Can I run out of milk?

Kassidy - posted on 01/11/2013 ( 12 moms have responded )

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So my supply is slowly going down, and even though I pump in the morning and 2-3 times at school I barely get enough for a couple bottles. My mom feeds him the stored milk while I'm at school but we only have around 10 bags left. I would hate to have to put my boy on formula, but if I run out then it's all I can do. Has anyone run out before?

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Christine - posted on 01/22/2013

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I don't believe you can run out of milk. Contact a local lactation consultant for help. There are many natural ways to increase your milk supply. The first thing you want to do is to nurse your baby whenever possible when you are home with him. Then, as you are already doing, pump when you are away. There are some herbs you can take to help increase your milk supply. Make sure you are also drinking enough fluids and eating healthy and getting about 2000 calories a day. Try to get enough rest and exercise too. Definitely reach out to a consultant. They are really good at what they do!

Beth - posted on 01/20/2013

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Try pumping even when you are at home. That's what I had to do in order to keep up with my daughter. I would pump after she nursed in the morning and at night, and pump once or twice (sometimes more) after she went to bed. On the weekeneds, I pumped as much as possible. At work, I would pump for a few extra minutes till my supply came back up.

Good luck!

Jannine - posted on 01/20/2013

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This might be an old wives tale,but it worked. My son was 5weeks prem & had no milk when he was born. My mom brought be ginger beer the next morning & withing 24hours had more than enough milk. My MIL obviously had 2 tell every1 tht I wasn't producing milk so I had plenty ppl tell me about the ginger beer. Try it...u never know if it might work 4 u.

Celeste - posted on 01/11/2013

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Run out as in your breasts? No. Think of breasts like factories not warehouses. Breasts make milk as milk is demanded, not stored.

First, pump output is not indicative of supply. It's totally normal for pump output to decrease over time due to supply regulation.

A few things: How big are the bottles? For breastfed babies, bottles need to be around 3 or so oz, about 1.25 oz per hour you're gone. Also, make sure you're using a slow flow nipple. This is to preserve the breastfeeding relationship.

Can you pump while you nurse? Pump on one side while nursing..

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Melanie - posted on 02/19/2013

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I pump 3 times a day and only get enough for a couple of bottles. If that isn't enough my husband makes a bottle of formula for her. Whenever I notice my supply going down I drink a LOT of water and it comes back up.

User - posted on 01/22/2013

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Of course you can run out. Sounds like you are. Your not expressing enough during the day.

Jessika - posted on 01/22/2013

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yes you can run out of milk it happens when you do not fully empty your breasts the mind senses that they still have milk in them thus stopping the production of new milk. there is a tea i think it is called mothers milk but it is for the mom to drink it will help your body produce more milk. also when you pump you not only want to pump both every 2-3 hours but when ever possible breastfeed cause your baby can empty them better then a pump can hopefully your production will increase again

Celeste - posted on 01/21/2013

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I'm glad things are better. But, be careful with the engorgement. Engorgement isn't necessarily a good thing. It can slow down milk production because your baby isn't using the "excess".

Kassidy - posted on 01/20/2013

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Thanks everyone! My supply has gone up in the past couple of weeks :) I never knew the feeling of engorgement would feel so good :) extra pumping was definitely the trick.

Aimee - posted on 01/19/2013

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I was told by a lactation consultant to pump first and BF baby after. Since baby can empty your breast so much more efficiently it will help stimulate more production. Also make sure you never go more than 4 hours between pumping/feedings even at night. This will cause a drop in supply.

Kassidy - posted on 01/11/2013

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Well I guess I wouldn't say running out now that I think about it, but since I have school and a part time job if I don't pump enough then he'll have to be supplemented at least part of the time while I'm gone, but I can feed him while I'm with him. I usually pump whenever he's done eating and they're not completely empty, but they are usually deflated lol

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