Breastmilk flow slowed way down. What can I do?

Amber-Lee - posted on 05/16/2011 ( 21 moms have responded )

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I have been breast feeding my daughter since birth. She is now 3 1/2 months, and only pump and give a bottle occasionally. The last few days, my milk has slowed way down, and she is still hungry. A little milk comes out when I pump, maybe an ounce or two, but I was getting 4-5 on each side. What can I do?

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[deleted account]

The average pumping output is .5-2 oz total. It is normal to pump lots in the beginning because you are engorged. Your body begins to regulate around 3 months. This means your supply adjusts to what your baby needs. Your supply sounds just fine. Put baby to the breast on demand. If baby has 5-6+ wet diapers in 24 hours then your supply is great. Remember that the amount you pump, feel of your breasts and baby's behavior are NOT indicators of supply issues. She may be going through a growth spurt which is why she seems like she's still hungry. Just nurse frequently. Here's more info:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-su...

Amber-Lee - posted on 05/26/2011

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Thank you all for all the help. The Showers, and pumping in between breat to baby feedings helped a lot. I came down with a flu bug after I posted this, so maybe that had a little to do with it. (Being sick has never affected my milk beforebut, I'm getting older who knows) Thank you again.
Blessed Be.

Falyn - posted on 05/24/2011

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Even though your pumping the body is smart and knows its not a baby, I would try latching her on a few times a day and letting her stay, even when she begins to gum the nipple, thats extra sensation to the body letting it know its a baby and it wants more milk, therfore to start producing more. Second I had a similar issue and I went online and ordered a multi vitamin especially for lactating women. It promotes quality and quantity in your milk supply. Its called nursing blend. I also ordered the tea. Ive seen in the past 2 weeks that Ive been using it a 2 oz increase per pumping session. Also if you do breast feed your little one, pump in between feeding, this will help a ton. Good Luck.

Melanie - posted on 05/22/2011

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how often are you feeding your daughter? my daughter is 4and a half.

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Angela - posted on 05/24/2011

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You will want to increase the times you breastfeed. It could just have temporarily slowed down due to period, growth spurt, etc. Definitely keep an eye on it. If it keeps on you might want to use something like Nursing Time Tea (http://www.favorsandflavors.net).

Tanya - posted on 05/23/2011

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The reason you're drying up is because of the lack of breastfeeding stimulation on your boobs. No matter how much lactation tea you drink, or herbs you take, if you are not nursing baby-to-breast often, you will dry up. The teacher of my Breastfeeding class I attended at my WIC office told me that she worked a full time job while nursing, but was still able to nurse enough. Her baby only had 3 bottles a day, and nursed the rest of the time! So, start nursing her at the boob as much as you can! And the tea and herbs (consult a mid-wife or hollistic doctor for the right herb prescription). Hope this has helped :)

Cristina - posted on 05/22/2011

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Dear Amber,
DON'T WORRY!
1. It is demonstrated that milk flow is not always the same, it slows down at about 3 months, 5 months etc... i read it coincided with a stage in child's development when... i can't remember exactly what happens... (sorry!) Solution: pump as often as possible, drink water and breastfeeding tea, the milk flow should come back soon.
2. try to avoid flying. it is not demonstrated, as far as i know, but i am sure that in some way flying influences milk flow and reduces it. i pumped since my baby was 1 month old, and when he was 7, 8 and 9 months old we flu for short distances. what i noticed is that my milk reduced 7 oz with every flight and in the end it vanished, despite all my efforts. a similar story happened to a friend of mine whom travelled from us to europe and back. it is not demonstrated, i have no scientific arguments for it, just my own experience. for what i know, i am sure that with my next baby i won't fly until he/she won't be at least 1 year old.
3. sadly, a friend of mine breastfed until her baby was 3 1/2 months old and then the milk disappeared, she tried increasing the flow but nothing happened and her mom said it happened the same in her case. so, if your milk flow doesn't increase, maybe it is just something you inherited, who knows?
GOOD LUCK.
Cristina

Virginia - posted on 05/22/2011

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Try pineapple juice. I was drinking 1 to 4 8oz cans a day & it helped immensely! Good luck!

Ania - posted on 05/22/2011

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your body was overproducing before it got to know your baby. Now it produces just enough for your child. Feed her all the time and your milk will increase.

Shelly - posted on 05/21/2011

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Water intake is the #1 factor that affects my milk supply. If I drink tons, my supply will come back up. Second thing that will help is to pump after nursing. I did this once (along with drinking lots of water - like 2 cups per hour) with my first child and almost doubled my milk supply! I also like the suggestion of power pumping at night. I think I'll try a modified version now - once before I shower and once after. I find that I can pump more right after a shower. Good luck!

Laura - posted on 05/21/2011

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if you pump at a regular time every day (especially in the morning) that will increase your supply...stick it in the freezer for future use. Also could be that your breasts have just gone soft now that they are used to making the milk. Your milk is still there just your breasts have switched from warehouse to manufacturing! Demand feeding is the way to go-whenever she is hungry let her feed. The amount of milk that comes when you pump is not really a good indicator of what your daughter is getting. She is probably still hungry because she is going into a growth spurt. Don't worry!! Your body won't betray you. Keep at it and everything will be fine.

Mary Anne - posted on 05/21/2011

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getting enough rest and eating well is important. you can also try fenugreek in capsule... i take it with vitamin B complex & it helped to increase supply well... good thing about funegreek is that when milk supply has been established it stay the level even when u stop... the down side is that it makes u smell like the herb... but above everything else, rest is most important...

Lindsay - posted on 05/21/2011

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I had problems too and my milk supply just came back up after not being great for a few weeks. I tried fenugreek and it helped some. I also have been taking more milk plus and it seemed to work okay BUT the think that worked best is called power pumping. You pump for an hour before you go to bed, 10 mins on, 10 mins off 3 times. After 3-5 nights, you should see quite the improvement.

[deleted account]

Amber-Lee, the first thing to do is to make sure your supply has slowed down, and the way to do this is to check that she's getting enough - if she has 6-8 wet nappies a day, she's getting enough. babies generally get more efficient at sucking as they get older.

Also, the amount you pump isn't an indicator of supply - baby's sucking is far more efficient.

Has she been feeding any less? Maybe a few days of increased feeding and pumping would increase your supply if you think it's low. Jenn's suggestion of a "nurse-in" is a good idea.

Holly Janelle - posted on 05/16/2011

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Drink at least 8 oz of water for every hour that you are awake, take 2 capsules of blessed thistle 3x a day, 2 capsules of fenugreek 3x a day, and eat oatmeal. I have exlusively breastfed my daughter since she was born she is 2 months now and I feed her on demand we don't use a clock I let her tell me when she is hungry or when she needs me for comfort if she isn't feeling well or wants to go down for a nap it has helped me keep a very healthy supply. There hasn't always been clocks, that's what our babies are for and there hasn't always been pacifiers that's what we were made for, I LOVE being that comfort for my baby!! Hope this helps! :)

Shastin - posted on 05/16/2011

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Make sure you are drinking enough water and eating enough calories. A beer supposedly really helps. Also, you can get funugreek or a Mother's tea that will help to. If you have recently switched from nursing to pumping that can cause a decrease as the stimulation isn't the same. If you hand espress a little each day that can also help.

Jenn - posted on 05/16/2011

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there's a mother's milk tea that I've heard works wonders. It tastes like licorice so I've not used it. I drink rooibos tea and eat lactation cookies (recipe can be found online). I've also been told to eat lots of oatmeal. Have a 'nurse-in', which is skin on skin with you and your little one for a day of stay in bed time. I've also been told (b/c I call my local breastfeeding center pretty regularly) to feed every couple hours. I'd recommend an internet search of a local La Leche League. Hope some of that was helpful, Good luck!

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