Not Pumping Enough Milk

Updated on January 09, 2016
A.C. asks from Mound, MN
23 answers

Is there anyway to increase your milk production, besides pumping more? Are there reasons for getting less milk when pumping than when nursing? I had no issues with my first baby, in fact I pumped too much milk each day, if anything. This time, I barely get enough for her bottles the next day, even if I pump an extra time. I nurse her on weekends and my day off, and she does not seem dissatisfied with the amount of milk she is getting from me at those times.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

I decided to try drinking more water and pumping one extra time at night to see what happened, and so far, so good. I definitely will try herbal teas and supplements if I need too. Thanks!

Featured Answers



answers from Des Moines on

Stress, not drinking enough water, lack of sleep, nutrition all can leed to not making enought milk.



answers from Duluth on

Two things come to mind: When I was stressed (feeling like I didn't have time to be pumping; I needed to be doing other things) I noticed my level of expressed milk was lower. I really needed to be relaxed and comfortable with pumping for it to work. Sometimes I could make myself relax by thinking of my baby and getting all mushy about all the good milk he was going to get. :)

The other thing is practice. I pumped very regularly with my first and got good amounts of milk. With my second, my breasts feel fuller, but I can't pump as much--I think because I'm home with this baby, so I don't pump regularly. If I pump frequently in a week, though, my body's ability to respond to the pump also seems to improve.

More Answers



answers from Omaha on

I used Fenugreek. It's a natural supplement that you can get at NO Name Nutrition or any health food store. Even HyVee carries in their vitamin section.

I noticed it helped bring my milk in better within a few hours. I took it a lot during the first few months when my baby was growing so much and I felt my milk wasn't enough for my baby.

Good LUck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sheboygan on

have you seen this link
it has alot of info about what can cause a decrease in pumping output and ways to increase it!
Best wishes

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Green Bay on

Hi A.,
Try There are some wonderful, all natural, products on this site. I recently purchased a bunch of stuff for thrush treatment but I also noticed that they had a lot for increasing milk supply. It's a site exclusively geared toward breastfeeding. Good luck!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

the Irish drink beer with lots of hops...give it a try!



answers from Madison on

Water Water Water Water! And lots of it. Are you sure you're drinking enough? Also try fenugreek. Very safe herb and highly popular. Contact a lactation consultant for exact amounts. You can buy it at GNC. It really helped my. I used it for both of my girls. I was certain I was out of milk at 3 months, but water and fenugreek increased. My body did not like the breast pump with my 2nd child (no let down) so that didn't help me increase my milk with her. Good luck.

p.s. Are you getting enough rest?????? Enough calories???



answers from Milwaukee on

Hi A.:
I thought I would make a another suggestion to increase your supply. I hated pumping and found that I was starting to have problems with my supply. I had 50 bags in the freezer and was going through them fast.
I asked my herbalist doctor what I should try and she told me about More Milk Plus. It is a herbal supplement that combines fenugreek seed, blessed thistle, nettle leaf, fennel seed to assist with increasing your production. I was skeptical at first, but I tried it. Within 3 days my supply doubled. I have since had 5 other people try it and it has worked for them too. The great thing is that you take it for a little while then you can stop once your production is where you need it. When it decreases again you take the supplements and it increases again. Here is the website for the company that makes it
Hope that this helps. Good luck.



answers from Waterloo on

I've always heard that you must drink plenty of water, I can tell on the days that I don't drink enough. Make sure when you pump that once the milk stops keep pumping for another couple of minutes so the body thinks that it needs to produce more.
Good Luck


answers from Davenport on

I could only breastfeed for 3 1/2 months and supplement along with it towards the end. I couldnt keep up my production was very slow. I talked with the lactation nurse and was told that water doesnt do anything to help but that there were herbal pills you could take but you would have to take a lot of them during the day well I wasnt up for that at all other then that, that is all I know will do anything to help with milk production. But stress can play a lot on low production and my husband was gone overseas at the time so maybe that was my problem.
My sister had no problems with breastfeeding her second child but did more with her first. I know that you may want to keep breastfeeding for awhile longer but you may be only able to do it for a couple more months if that, it could be that things are just slowing down for you. I had a friend who had to stop also at 6 months for the same reason as me so it happens to the best of us when we dont want it to. But feel good for the amount of time you have been able to breastfeed!!



answers from Cedar Rapids on

Make sure your getting enough water as well and I found a tea called "Mother's Milk" and drank that. It helped, I found it at GNC. Good luck to you for sticking with it. I only nursed my 1st 3 1/2 months (milk ran out) and my 2nd for 5 1/2 months then the milk ran out again. Good luck to you.



answers from Minneapolis on

I just want to commend you for your committment to providing breastmilk for your daughter for as long as possible. :) I am in the same situation - I just came back to work this week, my daughter is 10 wks old. I am getting enough for her next day bottles, but it is not like it was with my first where I always had a TON extra. So I appreciate all the other mom's suggestions - I will try them too.

A lot of what I have read from LaLeche League and elsewhere, is that if you really can't pump enough, it is OK to supplement with formula for some of the bottles. But that you should continue to nurse as much as you can/your daughter wants when you are together - this will keep your supply up and continue to provide the benefits of breastmilk to your baby.




answers from Springfield on

I have enough milk supply for my DD because I am taking regularly organic tea called Healthy Nursing Tea by secrets of tea...!!!



answers from Bismarck on

Along with the other suggestions here, RELAX! Worrying about how much is coming out won't help! I always took a favorite picture of my child with me to work & would look at it to help with my let-down too. Then I would close me eyes & try to pretend that I was holding my baby & nursing him/her.



answers from Minneapolis on

Fenugreek - Just like another post said. That was what our pediatrician and my lactation consultant suggested, both kids. But talk to your doctor or practitioner to make sure they have no concerns about anything you might take, Fenugreek or other. Lots of water and rest.



answers from Minneapolis on

Pardon me for being blunt, but keep your daughter near your breasts as much as possible and it may help. For some women, and some pregnancies, pumping isn't as "stimulating" as having the child there, making it harder to produce. I was "lucky" if I got more than half an ounce out of each breast with the pump.

Sleeping is suppose to help. If you were able to sleep more after your 1st then maybe that's why you were able to produce more, but I don't know.

Fenugreek tea or pills is a recognized safe herb that is suppose to help. I drank the tea when I was nursing and had to do it after each pump/feeding, but my supply was extremely low. Either way, it's suppose to provide a temporary boost, and takes a couple days of regular consumption to get going, but it did help me some. Warning: it tastes like black licorice.

There is also a drug that you can take, it's safe for nursing mothers and increases production. It's so late at night I don't remember the name of it, but your midwife/obgyn/lactation consultant should know what I'm talking about. I'm sorry I can't remember.

Hope some of these help! Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

Massage and squeeze your breasts while you're pumping. You can usually feel where the milk pockets are- they are hard when they are full. Once I started doing that, I got a few more ounces each time.



answers from Minneapolis on

This is tough!

Mother's Milk by Traditional Medicinals is amazing!!! Drink 3-5 cups a day, and you should see an increase. Byerlys, Kowalskis, and Whole Foods will have it. (and co-ops)

Get more sleep. Being tired and stressed definitely reduced my milk supply when I was in your shoes.

Good Luck!



answers from La Crosse on

Drink lots of water and ice water before nursing and also, it could be mental stress. Get a massage to release the stress and feel great.



answers from Duluth on

Hey A.. I'm a first time mom to an 18 month-old boy, and work full time. I've spent a lot of time worrying about making enough milk for my hungry son, especially in the month before I introduced solids. It just didn't seem like I could keep up. Besides pumping more, there are a few things that might help you increase your supply: drinking more water (at one point I was drinking 3 - 4 quarts a day), getting enough rest (this made the biggest difference for me), and increasing my healthy calorie intake. I would also pump right after I nursed. My milk "let-down" reflex had already been triggered, and I seemed to produce more. I guess the bottom line is you should follow your baby's lead. It sounds like she's getting what she needs as far as nutrition is concerned. I'm sure she'll let you know if she's not. You can't beat breastmilk, so I hope I all works out for you!



answers from Madison on

Hi - this is not an unusual situation. Breastpumps are a wonderful invention, but they can only imitate a baby - not replace a baby. Definitely keep nursing your daughter as much as possible to increase your supply. The more you put her to breast, the more milk your body will make.
You might want to contact your local La Leche League group - their website ( has links to local groups with contact numbers. Their suggestion will likely be to nurse your daughter as soon as you get home from work and nurse her frequently at night. Often babies of working mothers will switch their schedules around and be more alert at night when they can nurse - not always ideal for mom, but if you're comfortable taking baby to bed with you, it might work well and boost your supply.

The most encouraging thing you said in your post is that your daughter doesn't seem dissatisfied with the amount of milk she gets when she nurses. that's a very good sign that you're making enough milk when you put her to breast. I know it can be frustrating when you want to provide her with enough breastmilk for all her bottles - but this indicates that your production is still there. Have you ever tried hand expressing your milk? It's a little more time consuming, but it can be very effective for some women. I have a friend who has never been able to produce a bottle full of milk using a pump, but has a lot better luck hand expressing. La Leche league has a fact sheet about the technique that might be helpful. I also found this on the LLL website about how to increase milk supply:

Hope that helps a bit - good luck!



answers from Eau Claire on

the same thing happened to me with ds. We spent slot of time with the lactation people at the hospital. One of their suggestions was the herbal supplement fenugreek. It is an herb that stimulates milk production, it also is used in maple syrup to add flavor. I had to take quite a few pills every day, but it did seem to help. I picked some up at GNC, that way you at least know they have a decent reputation. I was pretty nervous about herbal supplements but even my pediatrician said it was worth a try. It may be something you want to talk to your lactation consultant or dr about. Good luck, and good for you for trying to continue.



answers from Eau Claire on

Are you drinking enough fluids?

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches