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what makes a breastfeeding mother stop producing milk

i have a 3 week old daughter i have been breastfeeding since day one but im worried i might have to stop because my milk production has dropped alot without warning. idk what the problem is. help???


Asked by brittneyndanika at 3:19 AM on Jul. 14, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (8)
  • Well, the first thing to do is double check that you are actually having supply issues. The ONLY indicator of whether baby is getting enough breastmilk is the amount of wet and dirty diapers. If you have 6-8 wet diapers a day, baby is fiiiine. Your baby is 3 weeks old, so that's right around growth spurt time. Baby will eat constantly, fuss a lot, all in an effort to make your breasts produce more milk. Things like pumping output and how your breasts feel mean nothing.

    There are things that can cause a dip in supply - dehydration in mom, too much caffeine, medications like Sudafed - but you can get it back. For 97% of moms, they can produce everything baby needs (and then some) by just feeding the baby on demand. If you're really experiencing a dip in supply, get in bed with baby. No shirt for you, baby just in a diaper, so you have a ton of skin contact and just nurse all day. Let me know if you have any more questions.

    Answer by asaffell at 3:41 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • I second everything the PP said! Good luck!

    Answer by NoNonsenseMama at 3:54 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • I think its a natural concern during that time. I have a 3 month old and when she was 3 weeks I had a dip in supply and was overly concerned like you are. as ASAFFELL says, just keep nursing on demand and she will be fine. I started to pump at 3 weeks b/c I was going back to work and nothing was coming out one day as opposed to the day before. I got all worried for nothing. Now I have about a months supply in the freezer. So check the babies diaper to make sure she's wetting them often enough and you will be fine. They say that Papaya helps milk production and there are some vitamins you could get too if need be. Just google it and the vitamins name will pop up. I didn't try the vitamins but did drink a lot of soup made with papaya.

    Answer by mschanng at 5:41 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • Listen to asaffell!

    Answer by AmandaQuu at 9:37 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • drink lots of liquids,stress can do it,most birthcontrols, rember baby can get much more from u then a pump can,so if u think u decreased becouse u cant pump much,NOT TRUE!usaly when people start suplementing,there supply decreases.offer the breast every half hour if u need too.

    Answer by angelairelan at 10:16 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • what asaffell said. Also, i found that my supply dropped when my period came back. Usually your period won't return as long as you're still nursing the baby on demand at least every 3 hours, including at night, but I coslept with my baby and nursed him round the clock and still got my period back at 7 weeks postpartum. Not common but it happens. My supply would dip for a few days but come back up after the first 2 days or so of my period. Also, it dipped once when i was taking natural vitamins for women (but not specifically for postpartum women) and come to find out it contained herbs in it that will dry up your milk. So if you're taking vitamins make sure they're specifically for lactating women! and like asaffell said, don't trust the pump. After a certain point, i couldn't get a drop out with the pump but I nursed my son til he was 2 years old no problem.

    Answer by asherraifsmom at 10:24 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • i agree with all of the above! just remember, growth spurts typically occur around 3 wks, 6 wks, 3 mos, 6 mos, 9 mos, 12 mos, etc.. it is normal around these times to "feel" like you may not be producing enough. just allow baby to nurse on demand and your supply will respond! it sounds like you are doing great! just continue nursing on demand and asking questions. some good websites are and congratulations on your new baby and happy breastfeeding!

    Answer by kyriesmommy13 at 10:34 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • Are you using a pacifier?

    Your supply may be adjusting itself. Just because your breasts are soft now does NOT mean that your supply is suffering. Count your daughters diapers. Remember breastfeeding is supply and demand. The more your baby nurses, the more milk you will produce. Let all of her sucking be at the breast.
    Only about 3% of the ENTIRE world cannot produce enough milk for thier baby if they as breastfeeding exclusively. Your supply is probably fine, if it turns out to really have taken too much of a dip, there are plenty of natural herbs, teas, supplements that can help replenish your supply. =)
    Good luck!

    Answer by Kelleysunshine at 11:45 AM on Jul. 14, 2009