Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Why has my milk supply decreased so drastically?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    22

    Default Why has my milk supply decreased so drastically?

    HELP!!!!! When I tried to pump last night (after a brief hiatus, see explanation below), my left breast only produced 2oz in 15minutes and it usually puts out at least 5oz in 10minutes. The right breast however, has always produced less but its still doing worse than before (from 3oz in 15mins to less than 1oz in 20mins). Here's a little background on my situation.....

    My 5wk old was kept in the hospital for a week after birth, so my first encounter with breastfeeding was one of exclusive pumping. After about three days, I was allowed to put her to the breast and she latched onto my right breast well but I encountered some MAJOR problems with engorgement, mastitis, cracking & bleeding on the left breast, so I was instructed to continue pumping exclusively on that side until I was able to feed her from it with no problems (which took about another week). Fast forward two weeks......my DD turned 4wks & was finally hungry enough to nurse from both breasts during one feeding (although it was only 3-5 minutes per breast). Up until then, I would feed her from for about 8mins from one breast & pump for about 10mins from the other (except when pumping on the right, I'd go 15minutes because of the lower production). Ever since she started feeding from both breasts, Ive only pumped if my breasts felt "full" (which was once or twice a day). The last time my breasts felt full was three mornings ago & I produced my usual 5oz on the left/3oz on the right.

    Now, in addition to my not pumping as often, my DD has slept really well the past three nights (7hrs one night, 5hrs the next and 6hrs last night). Eventhough my breasts didnt feel full, she was sleeping soundly for the third night in a row so I decided, since I had some extra time on my hands, to pump last night. To my HORROR, I wasnt able to get anything near the volumes I was used to. Why has this happened? What have I done wrong? And most importantly, what should I do to fix it? To make matters worse, my DD is entering her 6wk growth spurt period and has been wanting to feed almost every hour today. Please....HELP!!!!
    Last edited by @llli*dtownjbrown; August 12th, 2009 at 07:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,262

    Default Re: Why has my milk supply decreased so drastically?

    Since your baby is feeding from both breasts, and you're not pumping unless you feel full, what's probably happening is that your supply is regulating itself to meet your baby's needs very exactly, without a lot of milk left over to give you that "full" feeling. This self-regulation of supply also tends to happen when your baby starts to sleep longer stretches, and your body figures out that it doesn't need to be making massive amounts of milk during the night- then all of a sudden you see less milk in the mornings.

    1-2 oz from one breast is actually a quite normal amount to be pumping, especially if you've already nursed on that side, it's really very good. 5 oz from 1 breast is in the oversupply realm.

    Now, as long as you nurse on demand and do not need to build a freezer stash for a return to work, I think you can probably just put the pump away and nurse, allowing your baby to regulate your milk supply be feeding more frequently when she needs it to increase and less frequently when she doesn't.

    If you are worried that your milk supply may be inadequate, the best thing you can do is to nurse as much as possible and go back to counting diapers. Good diaper output = good milk input.

    if you want to increase your milk supply and/or build a freezer stash, here are some things you can do:
    - Nurse as often as possible
    - Pump after nursing or in between nursing sessions
    - Try herbal milk increasers like feugreek, blessed thistle, and oatmeal
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Why has my milk supply decreased so drastically?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    if you want to increase your milk supply and/or build a freezer stash, here are some things you can do:
    - Nurse as often as possible
    - Pump after nursing or in between nursing sessions
    - Try herbal milk increasers like feugreek, blessed thistle, and oatmeal
    Thanks for the explanation. I had no idea I was OVERproducing.

    Two days ago, I started pumping more every 2-3 hours and I can see an increase in my milk production already (but still not the "high" volumes I was getting before) but I'll stop the marathon pumping and go back to only pumping once or twice a day and feeding my baby on demand.

    Thanks again :-)
    Last edited by @llli*dtownjbrown; August 15th, 2009 at 02:01 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •