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Milk Supply Getting Low

My daughter is 5 months old and we are EBF. This last week she would sit and nurse for what seemed like forever, and she is waking up constantly to eat - whereas she used to wake up once in the night to eat. Today I tried to pump and didnt even get one ounce after pumping both breasts for 15 minutes... :( so my supply is low. I have gone back to school at night for 4 hours tops- there is no way that I can pump while I am away because we dont get a break. I am also working in the day where I am gone no more than 4 hours. I am babysitting a 15 month old boy, I cant pump in front of him and he is always awake when I am there. I am going to buy some fenugreek tomorrow and start drinking alot of water. But if I still dont pump during those times is it not going to matter? Will my supply still be low ? I am definately not giving up breastfeeding - I just dont know if doing those other things will work without extra pumping.

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Asked by Samantha19 at 11:14 PM on Oct. 15, 2008 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 2 (10 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • Try a beer. It works.

    Answer by SusieD250 at 11:48 PM on Oct. 15, 2008

  • Don't panic! I nursed my daughter exclusively for 16 months and I was NEVER able to produce milk with a pump. Chances are she has become a more effective nurser, and she might be having a growth spurt. As long as you don't go more than 4 hours at a time between feedings I don't see a need for you to pump. At 5 months every 4 hours is sufficient. Also just keep in mind that your body will supply ample milk.

    Answer by efsuermann at 11:52 PM on Oct. 15, 2008

  • i think youll be okay as long as your baby is only getting bm and ur not supplementing with formula. Is it possible though that baby is in a growth spurt and your body is simply playing catch up?

    Answer by humaniterian87 at 11:53 PM on Oct. 15, 2008

  • Well I used to be able to pump 6oz in under 15 minutes - they were like waterfalls ! Thats why I thought that my milk must be low when I couldnt even get an ounce.
    I hope you are right that 4 hours is fine - I talked to a lactation consultant the other day in passing and said I was going to school and gone for 4 hours and she said that not feeding the baby for 4 hours was fine - but - in the day she generally eats every two hours... so I am just worried that those 2 missed feedings are really messing up the supply.
    She could be having a growth spurt. I hope thats what it is - that would be a relief.
    Should I wait to find out if this fixes itself due to a growth spurt? I was going to buy fenugreek tomorrow but if thats what it is then I dont need to.

    Answer by Samantha19 at 12:00 AM on Oct. 16, 2008

  • Dont worry about the pumping thing. When my daughter was younger I could get 8 oz at a time, no problem. But once your body gets used to how much your baby needs your supply starts to regulate. My daughter is 5 months old and I'm lucky if I get MAYBE 2 ounces between both breasts. And I'm a SAHM and nurse on demand all the time. So I would not worry about that. It doesnt really mean anything.

    Answer by ma2b08 at 12:39 AM on Oct. 16, 2008

  • Have you thought of maybe using a nursing cover and pumping under it while the child you watch maybe watches a video or plays? Just an idea...

    Answer by ma2b08 at 12:40 AM on Oct. 16, 2008

  • pumping is NOT an indicator of low supply!! that's a fact. no pump can express what your baby can naturally. you're making enough! boobs don't just stop producing after a while. your body knows it has a baby to feed. babies' feeding schedules change as they get older. it's normal. if she's making enough dirty diapers & gaining well, you're fine. go to for those charts.

    Answer by jus1jess at 3:34 AM on Oct. 16, 2008

  • Your milk supply is very likely fine, however you just aren't able to pump. This happened with my second daughter. I tried herbal and even perscription pills to increase my supply and they didn't help. A lactation consultant asked me what was going on in my life and I told her all that I had to do. She told me that I was just too busy and my body was tired and not making enough to pump. Plenty for my daughter and I continued to breastfeed her till she weaned herself at 18 months. Just buy some formula and continue doing the best you can.

    Answer by AmandaH321 at 11:47 AM on Oct. 16, 2008

  • It sounds like your daughter is going through a growth spurt... Don't worry about not getting much when you pump, it is not an indicator of milk supply, some women just don't respond to a breast pump well and when you are stressed it is even harder to pump. Give her some time and she will get you milk supply up to her new demand. Your doing a great job =-)

    Answer by hillmom at 1:31 PM on Oct. 16, 2008

  • It definitely sounds like a growth spurt. Whatever you do, do not supplement, keep on nursing on demand, and your supply will be ok.

    Answer by mamajody0507 at 1:54 PM on Oct. 16, 2008

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