milk production - Help!!!

  • Hello, my name is Amber. I have a 4 month old and I have been breastfeeding since day one. I started pumping right before I went back to work. About 2 weeks into pumping, the milk production reduced significantly and also my baby would just cry if I tried nursing her. She was/is bottle fed during the day and nursed when I have her. Only thing now is that she only wants to nurse at night to go to sleep with me laying next to her and wants bottles during the day even on weekends when she is with me. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to try to increase the production. I am supplementing with formula right now because I'm lucky if I even get an ounce of milk when I pump at work. I'm getting very discouraged 

  • I am actually having a similar problem.  I just went back to work 2 weeks ago and my supply drastically decreased.  My daughter will also refuse the breast at certain feedings.  I called a lactation consultant and these are the things she told me to do.  It's been about a week but I am seeing a definite improvement.  1.)  Power pumping once a day: Pump for 10 min. then rest for 10 min. for a total of one hour.  (I do this around the same time every day).  2.)  Pump 2-3 times a day at work (this is very difficult for me to do but I just had to commit myself and protect that time in my work schedule).  3.)  During a weekend, take a "nursing vacation;" she told me to snuggle up in the bed with the baby and nurse as often as the baby is willing for the entire weekend, rest , and drink plenty of fluids.  I really wasn't able to do this because like I said, my baby will refuse the breast sometimes.  If she refused at a feeding I would give her to my husband to bottle-feed and I would pump instead.  It's been a slow, gradual process but I am seeing improvement.  Good luck and hang in there!

  • Hi,

    You can try putting a warm wash cloth on your breasts before pumping. it stimulates the milk glands and can help you to get more milk. plus, even if you are getting only an ounce, continue to pump! i started out with only half and ounce and now i pump about 3 ounces every two hours!

  • I have been battling the same issue and have the lactation consultant on speed dial. Here is the advice she has given me:

    1. Pump as often as you can. Numerous quick pumpings are better than one longer one.

    2. Eat almonds and oatmeal. Drink ovaltine.

    3. Massage your breasts before pumping and try to relax while you're pumping. Look at a photo of your baby or have a blanket with your baby's scent on it.

    4. Manually express some milk before you start your pumping session to help get the flow going.

    5. Pump at the same time everyday and try and make one or two of those in the morning. Your supply is naturally greater in the morn than later in the day,

    Hope this helps. It's a difficult battle but you're not alone! Asking around, I've also heard that drinking one dark beer a day helps too. But basically I think that pumping as often as you can is what helps the most.

  • These are all really great ideas. I love the "nursing vacation"!

  • I have the complete opposite problem, I'm producing too much!  My son was born 8 weeks early and the pediatrician perscribed a fortifier to increase his caloric intake, which is added to breastmilk then bottle fed to him.  I pump about every 3 hours and produce anywhere between 5 and 10 ounces at a time!  We've run out of room in two different freezers and I've started only saving milk that I've pumped between noon and midnight (that was an arbitratry decision).  My son only eats about 35mL per feeding every 3 hours, so I'm producing at least 5 times what he needs at a time. 

    I don't want to stop lactation, but is there a way to reduce milk flow without completely stopping?  If not, does anyone have storage suggestions that could help us reclaim our freezer space?  Right now I'm storing in the 2 1/2 ounce Medela bottles, but can fill 3-4 of them at a time.

  • I had the same problem with my 10 week premature daughter. He will eventually take more, but in the meantime, try this. I stored theMedela bottles in large ziploc bags to help reduce space. I also fed back the freshest milk, so I wouldn' have to store it. (Not much, but it helped some).  I also started storing in the plastic milk bags, cause they lay flat, and hold 5-6 ounces, so theytake up way less space. A tip another mom in the NICU gave me was to go every 4 hours sometimes or always. You will still keep your supply, but get a little sleep, and you may produce a litle less. When or if you do nurse later, you can always nurse more often and your supply will adjust. Hope this helps.  Your NiCU or Hospital may also have a milkdonation program if you would like to donate milk to another baby whose mom can't nurse.

  • I had same problem. I had less milk production. I felt lucky if could get 1/2 oz but then my doctor told me to feed baby as soon as possible. Baby suction increases the milk sup also i had oatmeat twice a day. That really helped me alot now i feed my baby with  supplemeting.YA also when you pump either have your baby with you or her cloth which has her smell it helps milk stimulation more. I tried that.

      Good luck 

  • -SAUKER-

    THANKS FOR SHARING THAT WITH US...NOW, CAN KIND OF BABY BOTTLE DO YOU USE? I HAVE A 3 MONTH OLD AND I HAVEN'T RETURNED TO WORK YET, BUT I HAVE STARTED PUMPING. WHEN I TRY TO GIVE HIM THE BREASTMILK IN A BOTTLE...HE GETS REALLY FUSSY...HE CRIES...AND EVENTUALLY DRINKS IT. IT MAKES ME CONCERN, SO WHAT CAN I DO? YOU THINK THE TYPE OF BOTTLE YOU USE MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

  • I am using Lansinoh bags for my breasmilk and they are easier for me to store than bottles. They can be laid down and stacked or sqeezed into tight spots.

    Good luck