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Breastmilk supply going down?

I breastfeed my 3 month old, and I usually pump once a day to freeze for when I return to work. I used to get 4-6 ounces, easily. For the past two weeks though, I have only been getting 2-4 ounces when I pump.

Does anyone know why this is happening? Any suggestions?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 6:59 PM on Mar. 8, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (13)
  • Unfortunately I do not know why this happens but I can tell you your not alone. I also had this problem when my son almost hit the 3 months mark. Pretty soon I was only able to get about 2oz from each breast every time and I was not producing enough to satisfy his hunger. It was very frustrating and I switched him to formula and breast fed as much as I possibly could until eventually I had to go formula all together. The only advice I can offer is to try and pump while your in a nice hot bath. That seemed to get the milk flowing better for me and I was able to pump more during that time.

    Answer by Ctink8189 at 7:07 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • I have that problem sometimes, Usually when he gets up more then usual in the night. I usually feed once maybe twice a night. Any more then that and I get less of a supply in the morning

    Answer by JaymieZ at 7:07 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • It's pretty normal. It will probably stay at that amount, or decrease slightly. It can be hard when you are pumping, because even if the milk is there (which it usually is) many women have a hard time responding to the pump. My suggestion would be to add a pump session or two.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 7:08 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • PS, just because your pump output dropped, does NOT mean that he's not getting enough while nursing!

    Answer by Krysta622 at 7:09 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • I have started to not respond too well from my pump. I know that if you nurse & pump off the side you are not nursing on, that helps. But what you get from a pump is not a good indication of where your supply is at. Try pumping more frequently, like in between nursing (not instead of nursing) & eat some oatmeal, get Mother's Milk tea, and drink lots of water.

    Answer by Wheepingchree at 7:11 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • This is what worked for me when I was having supply issues:

    Nurse frequently
    Drink lots of water, at least 6 oz every time you nurse and every time you pump
    Have lots of skin-to-skin contact with your baby
    Take brewers yeast tabs
    Look at pictures of your baby while you pump
    Wait at least an hour after nursing to pump.

    Answer by rkoloms at 8:16 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • One half to two ounces total is actually normal output. Your supply isn't going down, your response to the pump is. And that change is normal. Follow rkoloms' advice above...but keep in mind that breastmilk isn't like don't need as much. One to one and a half ounces per hour of separation is your "need." More is fine, but don't stress over it.

    Oh. One amendment to rkoloms. Nurse WHILE pumping. Best output because your body thinks it's feeding two babies.. No need to neither fill nor empty. Milk is made WHILE nursing or pumping.

    Answer by gdiamante at 8:55 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • There is a lot you can do to up your supply without supplementing. You could add an additional pumping session in the morning, pumping from one side while nursing from the other. Or a session at night before you go to bed. There are supplements called MORE MILK, or MILK PLUS that could boost your supply immediately. Oatmeal truly helps, too. Even oatmeal cookies help. You could always call the lactation consultant from the hospital you delivered to offer more suggestions or moral support.

    Answer by Rileysmom425 at 8:58 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • IT is supply and demand. Around 3 months there is a growth spurt, andyou can not keep up with just pumping, if you have the option, dont give any bottle unleesss you absolutely have to. Breastfeed as much as possible. It may take a weekend to just sit around and your baby may want to constantly nurse for a few days (it usually6 takes about 48 hours for your supply to catch up to the demand) but it can work for you. But if youwant to continue, breastfeed as much as possible, and maybe even pump for a bit afterwards, even if you dont get anything at first.

    Answer by AK_aries at 9:27 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • As previous posters have said, there is nothing wrong with your supply, its your pump output that has dropped. That is partly because of the growth spurt demand and partly because you are no longer over producing...essentially, your supply has regulated to a normal level -- the perfect amount as demanded by the baby. IF you want to pump more you have to pump more frequently, massage the breast while you pump, and pump between feeds (or at least take advantage of the baby's letdown by pumping one side while the baby feeds on the other.)   Go here to see how to increase pump output:


    Answer by amileegirl at 8:47 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

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