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Thread: Not producing enough milk

  1. #1

    Default Not producing enough milk

    My baby is currently 2 and a half weeks old and I tried breast feeding her in the hospital and she would not latch on. So I decided to pump and for the first week or so I was pumping about 2 ounces every 3 hours and now I am down to about an ounce. I would like to know how do I produce more mild and what things can I do to produce more milk .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Not producing enough milk

    Are you stressed while pumping? Sometimes that can cause your milk to go down.

    What kind of pump are you using? I recommend a good dual electric pump. I myself used a pump in style advanced, but there are other brands out there that I have heard lots of good things about from other moms.

    Do you have any clogs / soreness / etc? It's possible you may have a clogged duct somewhere. I know with me both my breasts used to produce the same amount and then at about 8 weeks in or so, my left slowed quite a bit (about 2 oz less per pumping) and I had developed a lump in my breast. It didn't hurt, and it turns out (I had the lump removed when my daughter was 18ish months old) it was what they call a lactating adenoma -- basically it was a non cancerous tumor and was filled with icky dried / some what wet milk. I think that that was what caused my milk supply to dwindle some on that side.

    Have you tried hand expression? I found a combination of hand expression and pumping helped (a couple minutes of pumping, 30 seconds - 1 min of hand expression, couple minutes of pumping, etc).

    Do you have little white spots on your nipples? I used to get little hard balls of dried milk at the ends of my ducts in my nipples. They'd show up as little white dots on my nipples. I found that some good hand expression would work them free and with a rather good amount of force when they did! (I'd hear a little "ting" against the breast shield when the little hard lump would hit it). After I would work one of these free my milk would flow very well for quite a few minutes until another one got pulled into my nipple. I never did find out what caused it.

    I think I have heard of some moms using Soy Lecithin to increase their supply. I tried it once in the beginning with my little one and I'll never do it again, but that was because the first bottle of pumped milk I gave her after I took the first soy lecithin pill, she threw all the milk up. I didn't take another after that and she never did that again. I'm not completely sure that was what caused it, but my sister in law has told me that some members of the family are sensitive to soy, so.

    I've also heard of something called mother's milk tea, but never used it. I've also I think, heard that oats help? I think if you search the forums you'll find such info.

    Also, things to check on your pump:

    Make sure all the pieces fit snugly. For example, my pump had a little yellow valve that had a small white flapper piece attached to it. The valve would go into the part that the bottle screwed on to, and then the flanges would push into the other end of that part. If the white flapper isn't completely pushed in and covering the openings in the valve, your suction is drastically reduced and you can't pump as much milk. You should probably be feeling a difference though in the force of your pump if something like that is the case. Also make sure the tubing is properly seated and attached. Is it a second hand pump? If so, depending on what kind it is and how old / how much it was used, it may just be dying and you may have to get another one.

    If you're using a pump with detachable flanges, do your nipples rub any on them? If so, you might want to try moving up a size. I am small chested and had to move up to the next size up from what came with my pump (I think it was size large). It made a DRASTIC difference in the amount of milk I pumped.

    Are you still pumping on the same schedule? With me at that point I would give my daughter a bottle, set her in the swing, and then pump for 15-20 minutes afterwards. She fed about every 2-3 hours so I was pumping every 2-3 hours. If you've decreased the frequency / length, this might be what is doing it as well. Have no fear though, going back to that schedule should in time get your supply back up.

    Without knowing any more, there's not a lot else I can think of to suggest. Sorry if the suggestions are wide / seem to bounce around. There's a lot that can cause issues when you're pumping, and I remember how confusing it all was in the beginning.

    One last piece of advice: As early as you are, if you could do it, I would consider renting a hospital grade pump from your hospital for about a month. They are the best pumps you can get and do wonders for the beginning when you are establishing your supply. You might even be able to bargain with them. I managed to make a deal with the lady who rented the pumps that I would rent the pump for a month, and after that she would take that amount off the cost of a brand new pump and I would pay the difference for the new pump. No harm in trying.
    Momma to K 05/24/07 (due 05/31/07)
    Momma to I, 06/04/10 VBAC'd (due 05/31/10). Read about it here

    Exclusive Pumper to first for 18 months.
    I got my VBAC!

    Struggling with nursing but one way or another breast milk is all they get.

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