Troubles with Milk Supply

Updated on December 27, 2015
B.T. asks from Flandreau, SD
13 answers

I am have been nursing my son for about 7 1/2 months now and my milk supply seems to be diminishing. I am currently nursing and pumping. I am nursing in the morning and evening or when home and I am pumping at work. When I pump at work I am not getting as much milk as I use to. I am looking for advice/tips to help my milk flow so I can continue to nurse until he is 1. I am also debating on whether to stop all together and go to strictly formula (which we can't seem to get him to drink) or just feed him what I can get. Please if you have any advice it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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

Featured Answers



answers from Appleton on

There is an herb called Fenugreek that you can buy at a vitamin supply or mothers store. Also, carrots, potatoes and oatmeal are all raw root products and helps a lot. I also had trouble and it worked for me! You can try half milk and half formula until he transitions if you are running low. That is how I did it.

More Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

Just to let you know, it is normal for your milk supply to drop at this time. It is when the babies are on the way to taking in good solids, plus the time they begin to crawl, explore the enviroment and are less into feedings. Pretty amazing how our bodies are in a natural cycle with the baby. You would be amazed at how one can tell what is going on in a lactating mom's life, just based on her milk supply. So I wanted to first say, take a breath and know this is normal; there is nothing wrong with your body. Second, I want to give you koodles for making it this long and wanting to continue for the next 5 months. (((HUGS))).
Now let's work on your milk supply.
1) Continue to pump while you are at work. If you have been pumping this long, I take for granted you have a good double electric pump. Try to pump 2-3 times a day while you are there.
2)Down a snack and about 8-10 ounces of water about 20 minutes before pumping.
3)Choose a quiet place and pump for 20 minutes.
4)Try not to look at the pump/bottles while pumping. Cover yourself witha towel.
5)If you have a good sense of smell, bring a receiving blanket the baby has slept in and cover your self with it while pumping.
6)Relax and read a book, magazine or something while pumping.
*** You will see a difference in 3 days*****

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Duluth on

one trouble with pumping is that it doesnt stimulate your breasts and milk production the way that your baby does.
so one bit of advice i can give you is to nurse your child every time he wants - on demand. even if he is not actually getting much (because a little will always be there) the actual process of him sucking will stimulate more milk production, in fact, it is REQUIRED. supply increases with demand. if this means you have to nurse at night too, then thats ok.

this also means that you should never give your baby a bottle when you are present. it doesnt sound like you are doing this, thats good, but i know its easy for a pumping mom to do. this way you can have the milk you pump for times when you arent around.

when you pump, that milk has 24 hours that it can be consumed or frozen. however you are working this out, freeze any leftovers after the first 24 hrs, and build yourself up a store of milk in the freezer. on weekends im assuming that you are not pumping, but nursing only, and that is what you should do, like i said, his sucking will be better at stimulating more supply.

drink lots of water, relax and rest when you can, dont exersize too strenuously, if you are working out, perhaps back off a few days. ive heard mixed reviews of different things moms can take to increase demand, so i dont know if they work or not.
one thing that will affect your supply, (and actually, your let down process) is stressing out about your supply, or anything else. though a bit of a slowdown is normal as your baby ages and relies more on solid foods, you should try to avoid stressing too much over it. relax - listen to recording of your baby while pumping, especially if you can catch a recording of him fussing to nurse, or actually nursing. this will bring those nursing related sounds to you in a way that might help your letdown. perhaps close your eyes while pumping so you can visualize nursing! :D

contact a local or nearby la leche league. they helped me tremendously, and they can help you too! :D
good luck!



answers from Boston on

The same thing happened to me... my LC suggested me Healthy Nursing Tea by secrets of tea... helped with both kids... you need to get this natural tea, really good... good luck



answers from Rochester on

Drink LOTS of fluids during the day. I notice if I didn't drink enough water the supply went down.



answers from Milwaukee on

Mother's Milk Tea, sold at Natural foods stores, helped me a LOT. Also, if you drink, a small amount of beer increases your milk supply.



answers from Minneapolis on

I've been having the same problem. My daughter is 4 months. I've been pumping while working since she was 6 weeks. And about 2 weeks ago my supply started to drop. I began taking Fenugreek tablets and I eat oatmeal every morning to help. But then I got my period, which is most likely the culprit. My daughter has also been sleeping through the night for about 2 months, so I don't get any stimulation through the night. So, I've started getting up half-way through the night to pump. I've started to see an increase in my supply today, and hopefully it will continue to increase. Continual stimulation, whether nursing or pumping, lets your body know to keep producing. So, perhaps some of those things might work for you as well. I would stick with it and see if something helps. Oh - one other possibility - when I was nursing my son (20 months) my milk supply dropped off, and it was because I was pregnant again - another possibility.



answers from Minneapolis on

Michelle M. had good advice and made a very important point. Decrease in milk supply as the baby ages is normal! It's also normal for you to freak out a little. It's hard to turn the worry off in your mind; I myself drove myself crazy with the same issues you and probably 90% of other nursing moms struggle with. At this age, babies don't grow as rapidly, and are able to hold more mild in their expanding stomachs, so he doesn't need as much now as he did. That reassurance from our pediatrician put me a little more at ease, though even now with my youngest being 13 months and really only nursing for comfort and not nutrients, I still feel inadequate because I hardly have any milk to give him! Stay hydrated and get enough to eat (I am being a hypocrite here), and if he is growing and keeps some baby fat, he is doing fine!



answers from Minneapolis on

My heart goes out to you; this can be so frustrating! I've seen people have good luck with fenugreek and brewer's yeast. Also staying hydrated is vital, as is constantly reminding your body to produce milk. I just wanted to add, because I know it caused me confusion, that it's okay to mix breast milk and formula in a bottle. If he won't take a bottle of formula, you can top off a bottle of breast milk and get him more used to it--and more full--that way.



answers from Davenport on

Hi B., I am currently in the middle of the same issue and have been consulting my OB and lactation consultant. I knew I would have issues because I had pumping problems with my first. What I ended up doing with her when she hit 4 months and I ran out of my stock of freezer milk was to supplement with formula, so she would get 1/2 breastmilk and 1/2 formula in a bottle. I was determined to keep her on breastmilk until 1 yr. I still nursed her as much as I could whenever I wasn't working and was able to keep going until I weaned her at 21 months. Now, my son is 5 months today and thank goodness I had the foresight to stock my freezer as much as I could before returning to work, because I've been using that supply to keep him strictly on breastmilk. But my supply is dwindling and I think I will end up supplementing a bit with him also. Some things I've been trying that may work for you are: Fenugreek capsules- I was taking 4 capsules 3x/day. That increased my supply to engorgement for about 4 days, then went back down. I am taking Blessed Thistle now and I think it's helping me a bit more. Also drinking a tea I found online called "Milkmaid Tea", I was drinking it before bed and waking up leaking (which I never do)at night so now I try to drink a couple cups during the day and it seems to help. You can also eat oatmeal for breakfast but I think the #1 thing that helps me the most is to drink LOTS of water, which is inconvenient at work because I have to pee all the time but it really does help. I also asked my OB about a RX for Reglan and she doesn't recommend it.
All I can say is keep trying and just supplement if you have to, part formula part breastmilk is way better than no breastmilk. Good luck!



answers from Omaha on

Fenugreek works great for increasing milk supply...I think you have to take it for awhile to see the increase though. You can find it at health food stores like GNC. Good luck and congrats on starting in home day care...I have been doing it for 10 years coming up in August!



answers from Des Moines on

I can sympathize with you. I struggled to keep my supply up as well. It seemed like a constant battle for me after returning to work. I took Fenugreek and drank herbal tea called Mamma Milk that is specifically designed to boost milk production. Both can easily be found at a health food store. I also noticed increased production after eating red meat and when I was well hydrated. We limped along from when my son was six months old (and I returned to work) to nine months before going to 100% formula. I really wanted to make it the full year, but it just didn't happen for us. And I can assure you that my son is very healthy and although breast milk is best, formula is a Really Good substitute.

I do have a tip for making that transition. My son hated formula but did great taking the bottle with breast milk. When/if you get to that point, mix formula with breast milk. We started with 1/3 formula and 2/3 breast milk in the bottle. Then gradually increased the amount of formula. This was about a 10 day process.

Also, this may not be a concern for you but just in case... the reason my supply dropped so sharply at nine months was because I got pregnant. When you get down to 3 feedings a day you can't really depend on nature as birth control anymore. So be forewarned! I am due in Sept with my second. They will be 18 months apart. Eeek!



answers from Omaha on

More Milk is a vegetarian supplement my pediatrician recommended. My 4th child is 5mos old and I have nursed her the longest with the least amount of formula supplementing. It is similar to the Fenugreek, which I tried with #3, but I notice it helping more. Your doctor can also prescribe Raglan, but it has some odd side effects. Pump more often, lots of water, and one beer a night also helps! Good luck!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches