or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Breastfeeding › Breastfeeding Challenges › Low Milk Supply Information and Resources
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Low Milk Supply Information and Resources - Page 2

post #21 of 37
The American Academy of Pediatrics has a good book on breastfeeding that explains how to increase your supply. One thing that affects it is the frequency of nursing and the length of the nursing session. If there is anyway you can pump more frequently at work, do it! Even if not much comes out, or nothing, do it anyway. And pump for as long as you normally would, or as long as you would normally nurse. Good luck!
post #22 of 37
I just read a very good article at MOBI (Mothers Overcoming Breastfeeding Issues) website about low milk supply / slow flow. Scroll down through the too fast flow for more info:

post #23 of 37
I have 5 month old twin piggies. Unfortunately, I have to supplement a little with formula, but I have monitored my milk production closely. I always eat and drink enough, but getting enough sleep is a huge factor for me. I can drink all the fenugreek in the healthfood store, but if I am overly sleep deprived (of course we are all moderately sleep deprived) my supply drops.

I've just started one other trick... if you have the time, after I pump (and am unhappy with my amount), I'll take a hot shower, make sure my breasts get plenty of heat, and pump again... I usually get 1-2 more oz each side. That also serves as a mini-simulated-cluster feed.

Good luck!
post #24 of 37
I have PCOS in a bad way and I wanted to add that Shatavari has helped me a lot with increasing milk supply. I take it in tincture form from www.herb-pharm.com and works like Goat's Rue and Reglan but without the horrible side effects. Goat's Rue has been known to increase breastmilk by 50% in women with PCOS. Maybe if I had found out about it sooner I would not have to supplement with formula at all. But I am satisfied with providing half, more would be great, but any breastmilk is better than nothing.

New Findings Vindicate Efficacy of Shatavari
(Asparagus racemosus), Traditional Medicine
by Lalit Tiwari
Shatavari is a versatile traditional plant used for a variety of serious diseases as also impotency of both the sexes. Shatavari means one 'who possesses a hundred husbands'. It is considered both a general tonic and a female reproductive tonic. Shatavari is the main Ayurvedic rejuvenative tonic for females. Shatavari is, however, also used for sexual debility and infertility in both sexes. It is also used for menopausal symptoms and to increase lactation.

Recent chemical analyses have now thrown some light on its efficacy. We give here references to a number of recent analyses of its multiple medicinal properties.

Extract of shatavari has been shown to increase both the weight of mammary lobulo-aveolar tissue and the milk yield. This effect was attributed to the action of released corticosteroids or an increase in prolactin.
We also have a thread here discussing Shatavari.
post #25 of 37
It sounds like maybe your body is just getting tired out...it sounds like you aren't getting much sleep. I got to this point before and found that B complex helped a lot, and I felt like I had a lot more energy.

Also, somehow when you pump and throughout the day, don't think about how much milk you need, or what you have pumped. Take your time pumping (sometimes it can take a lot longer to get another let down), and try your best to relax.

I know when I feel low on milk and I take a break and take a nap I wake up suddenly FULL. I don't think all of the other things (Fenugreek, etc.) will substitute for rest. Sleep really makes a BIG difference. But I know it's nearly impossible juggling that with work and the baby. I find I have the most milk with 8-10 hours at night, but during the week I am lucky to get 6.

Good luck-
post #26 of 37
Occasionally people will ask here what the "true" incidence of low milk supply is. I recently found a couple of good studies measuring this.

One thing to remember is that breastfeeding involves both mother AND child(ren) and many factors can affect supply, including infant factors, and pumping and/or WOH.


This study estimates that 12% of healthy, singleton, term infants had excess weight loss. This is in a "crunchy" area (Davis, CA) with high educational levels and motivation to breastfeed, and where moms had good access to care with lactation consultants, etc. In other words, in an uncomplicated hospital birth with lots of support, 12% of singleton moms still had low supply problems.


This study measured 319 healthy, motivated, first-birth women who were breastfeeding full term, healthy, appropriate for gestational age or large for gestational age infants, and where only 7% had undergone previous breast surgery. It found that
15 percent had persistent milk insufficiency despite intensive intervention.
I personally believe that low milk supply is a much more common than many health professionals recognize, and that it is an important area for ongoing research. Rather than burying our heads in the sand regarding this issue, I think breastfeeding advocates need to get the information out there for women that this is a real problem, and that there ARE some things that can be done to optimize breastmilk production. Off my : .
post #27 of 37
Sometimes tongue and lip tie can affect milk transfer, weight gain and eventually milk supply. I've made an FAQ on this topic:

post #28 of 37
Originally Posted by Happily Blessed View Post
I am a WOHM. My DS is 6.5 months old. The past few weeks I have had a serious drop in supply that I can pump. I have two bags left of my stashed BM.
I eat oatmeal every morning.
I drink enough water throughout the day.
I have eliminated almost all caffeine.
I take Fenugreek, 4 tablets 3 times a day. Blessed Thistle 2 tablets. Brewers yeast 4 tablets twice a day. Calcium/magnesium.
I have PCOS.
I use a medela PIS and I have recently changed out the white flappy things(sorry forgot the name).
I am able to pump twice a day at work.

Prior to the decrease, I would be able to pump about 5-6 oz. in the morning, and 4-5 oz. in the afternoon. More on Mondays because he nurses frequently when I am home.

Today I was able to pump 5 oz. total for the day, 3 this morning and 2 this afternoon. So, hopefully I will be able to get to pump while he is sleeping this evening for tomorrows feedings.

My sleep is awful because he is up almost every hour after his first waking. He goes to sleep normally at 7:30 or 8, sleeps until 10:30 to 11 p.m, then 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30. Sometimes I can get him to go back into a deep sleep until 6:30 which is the time I have to get him up to go. We co-sleep with a sidecarred crib.

I called my pediatrician and asked if I could use goats milk to supplement. She said no, because of the iron. Would that be lack of or too much iron in goat's milk? I don't want to give him formula but I am so stressed about all of this right now, I can't produce enough!

What else can I do???????????

Please! Please tell me how to increase my supply! I have tried pumping first thing in the morning but have found that when I do that it equals what I would normal pump in my morning at work pumping session. Example, I can pump 2 oz. in the morning before I leave for work and then only 3 oz. at work. This would be normally a 5 oz. bottle I would pump already so it did not help.


Lack of DHA - take as much as can afford - cannot OD on it. You are already highly deficient in it just being on western diet, America lowest levels in the world. I know lots of people who have changed their lives with adding this to their diet - some of whom take 7 gms per day.

Go for it!!
post #29 of 37
I think that your milk supply can go up or down for many reasons.
For example, stress, lack of sleep,quality nutrition,dehydration,milk changes to accomodate developing baby....Try to nurse or pump every 1 1/2 hours even if it is a little bit. I firmly believe that demand will increase supply. Do that for a few days and see if you see improvement.
Also, I have found that nuts of any kind..almonds, cashews...have really helped me during low production times. It gives you body the fats and vitamins you may lack.
I just wanted to add that I'm not sure what prescription or OTC people are recommending...but I would stay far and away from most prescription meds during nursing and be leary of any that claim to boost supply. I think as bf mothers we need to THINK about what we are putting in our bodies...and not take meds of any kind unless absolutely necessary. Even if it or Dr says...safe for nursing. I don't believe it...IMHO.
Good luck
post #30 of 37
to all of us with problems beyond "just nurse more often".

Here's info on Shatavari from lowmilksupply.org, including a recommended supplier:


Obtaining Shatavari
Shatavari is not well-known outside of India,so it is not likely to be available in local health food stores. However, it may be in local ethnic grocery stores. It is sold as plain shatavari capsules and also as a product called Lactare. Another option is to buy it online; if you search on Google, you'll see ads for places that sell it in the right hand column where all the paid advertisers pop up.

WARNING: Be extremely cautious about obtaining shatavari or any herb from Asian sources because they carry a higher risk of containing toxic metals.

One company named Ayurceutics recently contacted us to say that they sell Shatavari online and are pleased to ship to addresses in North America. Their products do NOT contain toxic metals. We agreed to provide a link to their site, but note that we do not accept any financial compensation for doing so; providing this link does not constitute an endorsement of their product.

NOTE: If you do not live in the US and are ordering from a US supplier, it is often much less expensive to choose the US Postal Service (USPS) for your carrier than the United Parcel Service (UPS).

Click here to purchase Shatavari from Ayurceutics.

post #31 of 37
Here's an excellent video illustrating pumping techniques, especially breast compressions. This could be useful for direct bfing also.

post #32 of 37
have you started solids. maybe dd demand is going down or she isn't feeling well, teething, etc. stick with it. also, try to pump at night. i wish you lots of luck!
post #33 of 37

Issue or non-issue

I am breastfeeding my third child. She is now 9 months old (15lbs) and is a little less than 5% on the weight chart (has been about 5%- 10% all along). My pediatrician is concerned about my milk supply. I only pump 0.5- 2 oz each side, but early on I could pump copious amounts. On Kellymom.com (where I found your link), it says this is normal- to pump much less than a breastfed baby can suck: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html

Also, it has different growth charts regarding breastfed babies:

What am I to believe? I also **thought** I had problems with my son (my second child) at about 10 months I started taking Reglan and it caused me a severe depressive episode. He was actually acting hungry after nursing and frustrated, where my daughter now seems very happy and content.

If you have ANY advice, it would be much appreciated. I do not want to wean "early" like my son (I ended up weaning at 11 months, but I was not ready, which I am sure contributed to my depressive symptoms as well, and hormonal changes.) My first I breastfed for 15 months and at 12 months I was pregnant.

(Went to the pediatrician's today to weigh- nurse- weigh to see how much she is drinking and was 4oz. She is taking solids 3 x /day, now.)

I think that breastfeeding makes MD's nervous because they cannot know exactly how much they are taking, and maybe low milk supply isn't as big an issue as we think??
post #34 of 37
hi ladies,

I'm a mom of 4, and still nursing, so I hope I can offer some help. I nursed my twin girls for 3 years, and I'm currently tandem nursing my 21m son and my 6m son. I've had lots of different nursing experiences along the way, and there are so many resources out there to help us, so hang in there! You're doing a fantastic job!

The number one thing is (obviously) that nursing is a demand and supply. The more that's removed, the more you make. That can be tricky for so many reasons of course. (baby distractions... growth spurts, introduction of solids, mom's hormones, mom's diet and energy level, other meds, etc...) so every situation might have its own remedy.

kellymom has a tremendous amount of advice for nursing issues and seem to be the most reliable in terms of research. Moms at local la leche meetings (http://lllusa.org/groups.php) also offer a huge support network, as there's always someone who has been there and can share first-hand experiences.

And I totally agree - pediatricians will be the first to say 'introduce solids (or formula) simply for liability reasons, or to say to the mom 'you've done enough...' but that doesn't really help the problem, only eliminate or go around it.

My twins were (and still are) total lightweights - they were always at the bottom of the charts. They nursed so often that I was sure my supply was the problem so I took fenugreek and pumped like crazy. Ended up with an overabundance, lots of plugs and mastitis. I think I went a bit overboard.

As for nursing a budding toddler and keeping your supply up, always nurse first - first thing in the morning, before any snacks or meals, before naps, after naps, before bed, (during the night if baby wants it). And offer. Don't wait until the tell-tale signs. After all, nursing is so much more than food.

As for pumping to increase supply, that does help but don't pay too much attention to how much is coming out. Pumping is not nearly as effective as a baby suckling to increase supply. And the frustrating things about a weight check before and after nursing is this: what if your baby was too distracted to nurse a big meal? what if your baby wasn't really that hungry, but just a little bit thursty? what if your baby was sooo hungry, that she got frustrated and didn't nurse well? what if (fill in the blank) - there are so many reasons...
post #35 of 37
I have supply issues. Considering how much time my 11-week-old spends on booby, I should be leaking milk 24/7. I've had to supplement since she was 3 weeks old, though now less than before, just to keep her gaining weight at all.

She nurses, I pump, I take fenugreek and Mother's Milk tea... Not sure what else I can do. Evenings are the worst. She will nurse continually, and then take 4-6 ounces of formula within a couple of hours. I always have some milk, just apparently not enough.
post #36 of 37
Here's a good new post on motherwear's blog. It looks like Diana West's book on "Making More Milk" is finally coming out .

Podcast: Low milk supply - could it be your hormones?
post #37 of 37
Co-sleep with the baby next to you for a 24 hour period - if you can, lay in bed together for an entire day, skin to skin, if possible. This will increase your hormone level. Also, drink lots of water & eat oatmeal & drink a cup of breastfeeding tea. If you're not in bed, wear your baby next to you in a sling - let the baby graze & nurse - don't pump unless you have to...pumping isn't a good indicator of milk supply. The more & longer you pump, the less that comes out with pumping...use your baby - the best pump on the market...you're probably making more milk than you think.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Breastfeeding Challenges
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Breastfeeding › Breastfeeding Challenges › Low Milk Supply Information and Resources