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Thread: how can you tell if you have low supply?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default how can you tell if you have low supply?

    I have an almost 4 month old and lately it seems as if I am not making enough milk. Most days my dd does not have the 6 wet diapers. She is fussy at the breast after she has nursed awhile like she is trying to get more out and can't get it. She went from getting up once a night to about 4 times. (every 2 hours). I used to get at least 3 oz pumping out of each breast and now I am lucky to an ounce and a half out of both. I nurse on demand about every hour and a half by day. I have tried fenugreek for 2 weeks and I am trying to pump twice a day to up my supply but it does not seem to help. Am I imagining low supply or does this happen for no reason?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: how can you tell if you have low supply?

    Does anyone have any help for me please?!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: how can you tell if you have low supply?

    I have not really had this issue, but this link has some great info:
    It has info on how to tell if you have low supply. It says that frequent nursing and low pump output do not mean low supply usually.
    Does your baby seem to be growing adequately?


    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: how can you tell if you have low supply?

    So sorry nobody has answered you yet! How are your baby's diaper outputs (number of wet/dirty diapers)?

    You are right around the time period when your body will begin to regulate your milk supply to more efficiently match the needs of your baby. Many women notice things like more soft/empty feeling breasts, a decreased pumping output, and less noticable let down. This is all perfectly normal and does not indicate a low supply. Here are some great resources you may find helpful:

    Is Your Milk Supply Really Low?
    My breasts feel empty! Has my milk supply decreased?
    My Pumping Output Has Decreased ... Is this normal?
    Is my older baby getting enough milk?

    and from LLL:

    How Can I Increase My Milk Supply?
    How Can I Tell if My Baby Is Getting Enough Milk?
    Last edited by @llli*paint.the.moon; September 12th, 2006 at 05:34 PM.

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: how can you tell if you have low supply?

    I've noticed the same thing with me. But I've been told that the low supply can just mean that your body is regulating itself.

    I don't make as much as I used to so I've started pumping 45 min. after every time she eats. It hasn't helped so far but I've only been doing it for three days so I still have hope. I also notice a difference when I don't drink enough water. AS long as your baby isn't acting fussy I would think it's fine.

    HTH!! I ask for advice too but for the most part everyone just thinks I'm paranoid!
    Last edited by heavenstice; September 13th, 2006 at 01:19 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: how can you tell if you have low supply?

    Well, there are a couple things you mentioned that are somewhat of a red flag: reduced # of wet diapers, and not contented after nursing.

    I think the most important indicator of low milk supply is going to be a slowdown in weight gain. At almost 4 months, some slowdown is normal, as BF babies tend to gain quickly in the first couple months and then more slowly as they get a little older. But if her growth rate is much decreased, or if she is not gaining over a period of weeks, then I think you would be right to be concerned. Has she had a weight check recently? Do you think your mind would be put at ease if you had her weighed and found she was still growing well?

    Sometimes mothers go on birth control a few months' postpartum, and that can have an impact on milk supply. Have you begun any medications or changed any dosages?

    Another thing that can impact milk supply that we don't always think about is if baby is getting supplemental feeds. Even if the supplement is expressed breastmilk from a freezer stash, that means the baby's demand is being directed somewhere other than mom's breasts, and may lead to a drop-off in supply. I don't know if any of this applies to you; I'm just throwing out some common scenarios.

    Milk supply problems do NOT happen for no reason -- it is usually a question of breastfeeding management (when/how you nurse) or a medical issue like hormonal birth control. I hope we can help you figure this out so you can again feel confident in your nursing relationship.


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