Help! Im not making enough milk!

Kristen - posted on 06/06/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I have 3 children and this is the first time I have tried BF. My son is almost 5 months old and I have exclusively BF since he was born. I had to return to work so I have been pumping at work and feeding him from the breast when I am home. This has worked fine until the last 2 weeks. My son has been eating so much and it seems like my milk has gone down. We have gone through all of my stored milk and I am afraid I will have to start supplementing with formula which I do not want to do! I have tried pumping every 2 hours and it is not helping. I have been eating oatmeal for breakfast, alfalfa sprouts on my sandwhiches, drinking tons of water, eating healthy and nothing is working. Please help!

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Lise - posted on 06/08/2011

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Kristen, it sounds like you're making what he needs... Here are a few links for you to check out:

pacing feedings: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/bottl...

milk calculator: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkc...

To up your supply, make sure pump maintenance has been done.

I really feel for you moms, especially when pediatricians (who receive maybe one day's worth of training/info on breastfeeding) are giving bad info. Bf babies often gain quickly until the become mobile and then slow down (my dd was 18.6 at 6 months, 20 at a year, 22 at 19 months) and do not need to increase intake as they age, whereas formula fed babies increase intake.

You can try small frequent bottles (dc 1 was overfeeding my dd by combining her bottles to make 2 5.5-oz bottles - yikes - whereas our nanny and dc 2 had lots of success with 4 2.5-oz bottles or 5 2-oz bottles because she could drink more often).

Lise - posted on 06/08/2011

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There are actually a lot of reasons not to give solids until 6 months, and even then it's not a requirement. http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids...

Why do you think your supply is not working? How long are you apart? How much milk are you pumping and how frequently (i.e., 8 oz over 3 pumps)? A lot of moms think they can't keep up because daycare providers are overfeeding.

[deleted account]

Hi Kristen,
This link from kellymom is great:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/

It's easy to overfeed a breastfed baby with a bottle. Baby needs about 1-1.5 oz for each hour that you are gone. Is it possible that baby just wants to suck, but his caregiver thinks he's hungry so he gets more breast milk than he needs? The link has great info- I hope it helps!

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Roxana - posted on 06/11/2011

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it was the same with my DD from about 4months ...it seemed like I didnt have enough and my DD just wanted more and more...Im pretty sure ther're lots of growth spurs around that age too, thats one reason...
second , has he been showing any signs that he's ready to try solids yet?
my DD was very alert at that age and also always wanted to see and touch what was on my plate when I was eating so at 5 months I started introducing solids...she loved it straight away...sometimes they're just ready earlier than the recomended 6 months.

now she's 9 months, I still breastfeed her(on demand- which can be every 2-3 hours appart sometimes), she never had formula, she's on 3 meals a day and sometimes snacks and she's very happy and always put on enough weight

Nicole - posted on 06/08/2011

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I think my supply is down as well. My son is 10 1/2 months old, and the Dr. told me that my son needs to eat more bc he hasnt gained enough weight. I was so stressed about this bc the dr. wants me to give him formula and i dont want to do that and my husband totally flipped when i told him about the formula. I feel your pain and I an so glad you posted up! Thank you! I am going to try the hot packs as well!

Kristen - posted on 06/08/2011

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Thanks Christy I will try the hot packs. @ Lise ~ I leave at 8am and get home by 5:30pm. I try to pump at work every 2 hours and I usually get about 10oz (give or take) but lately I have only been able to get 7.5-8oz. My husband gives baby some rice cereal with Bmilk in the morning with some fruit and a veggie around lunch otherwise he just has Bmilk. He has tried just giving him a pacifier, playing with him etc... but baby just screams until he feeds him and then he's happy. He will eat 2-3oz and what I am making just isnt enough. Im so frustrated because I DID NOT want him to have formula but he ended up having to give him 1 bottle of formula the last 2 days :(

Lise - posted on 06/08/2011

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Also, breastmilk or formula should be the main source of nutrition until a year. Solids before 1 are just for fun.

Christy - posted on 06/07/2011

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Before you feed, put hot packs on your breasts. It stimulates milk production! You might need to do this for several feedings or a couple days. Here's how I found out:

With my last baby (#4) my milk had come in and I felt like it was too strong, too much and wanted to reduce it a little, so I was putting hot packs on my boobs for like all day. I called my best friend in tears complaining about the pain of being so full of milk. She laughed at me (nicely) and told me I should have used cold packs to reduce it. So I actually stimulated more when I wanted less. Anyway, happy ending is that my last baby was the only baby I had enough milk for! Silly me.

But, if he's five months old, you should be feeding him baby foods, cereal, oatmeal, rice, etc. and the milk should not be his primary source of nourishment anymore. So if you're not able to increase your milk, increase what he is eating for his meals with baby foods and the milk is there to wash it down! It is much harder to continue to produce a lot when working.

Ania - posted on 06/07/2011

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don't worry. Your baby also is reacting in that way because you are not with him. Try to nurse a lot at night I would suggest co sleeping if you want to exclusively BF for a long time. That would def boost your milk production. Don't stress about anything, you are doing a great job

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