How Low Can You Go

I think my milk supply is decreasing.  The thought of it depresses me.  Breastfeeding is such a joy, I would hate it if I had to stop.

I noticed the last few days that my breasts* haven’t felt as full and I haven’t had any leaking.  Yesterday I forgot to put in my little liners in my nursing bra and didn’t leak the entire day.  Foxy is nursing regularly, but I still feel like I am not giving her enough.  Last night before bed I pumped and where I normally get 4-5 ounces, I only got 2.  Not good.

I’ve done some research and I am going to try a few things over the next week to increase my supply. 

-Pump twice a day.  I currently only pump at night before bed.  I am going to start pumping in the morning as well.

-Drink more water.  I drank a TON of water the first month, but got bored with it and slowly began drinking less.  I am going to get out my big cup and get started again.

-Eat oatmeal.  I read that eating oatmeal (not the kind in the packets) will help increase my supply.  I happen to love steel cut oats and I am looking forward to breakfast tomorrow.  The only problem is they take forever to make so once I go back to work I’ll have to find another option.

Those are the three things I shall start doing this week.  If these changes don’t work I am going to consult a professional.  I know there are a ton of other suggestions, but I know me and me ain’t doing all that other extra.

How did you maintain your milk supply?  Did you ever notice a decrease and then were able to increase it?

*a certain someone’s daughters refers to them as “boom boom pows”.  How funny is that!?

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18 Responses to How Low Can You Go

  1. Kera says:

    Hey Babs!

    I don’t have any children, but my colleague had a baby 6 months ago and has since returned to work. She pumps at work 2-3 times a day to maintain her milk supply and provide milk for daycare. It’s hard for her to pump b/c we’re teachers, but she believes the pumping keeps the supply going. I am sure everything will work out. Be blessed!

  2. Nerd Girl says:

    My supply did start to decrease earlier than I’d thought it would. Now that I look back, I think my supply decreased when my cycle started again – at about six weeks.

    I ended up having to see a lactation specialist – I took fenugreek (available at health food stores), reglan (by RX, but I have learned this is controversial) and drank copious amounts of water. With all of that, I still dried up at 10 months or so. I had quite a stash of frozen milk, so she was only on formula for about a month.

  3. keyalus says:

    I did a lot of the stuff that Nerd Girl did. I tried Reglan and took Fenugreek (readily available anywhere) & Blessed Thistle (find at a true herb shop…not GNC type store) daily. Each thing helped a little bit.

    KellyMom has some excellent ideas here: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html. The things you are mentioning don’t necessarily mean that your supply is low – your body could just be adjusting to BF.

    Also – overnight steel cut oats! You can make them in a crock pot and eat them all week long:

    http://www.thebittenword.com/thebittenword/2009/01/overnight-oatmeal-quick-cook-steelcut-oats-in-10-minutes.html

    I tried this but the easy recipe didn’t make me suddenly like oatmeal. 😦

  4. Christina says:

    fenugreek supplements are a lifesaver! I’ve also heard good things about Mother’s Milk Tea, but never tried it myself.

    You can get quick-cook steel cut oats at whole foods! Im not sure if it messes with the potency of whatever is in oatmeal that helps supply. ( i hate oatmeal, the hubby eats it though.) I figured it was worth sharing though, in case it helps you!

  5. amista says:

    I experienced a decrease in my milk supply with my last child, and I agree with what you stated above – drink lots of water, eat oatmeal, and pump (and store if needed). If you get tired of eating oatmeal – I sure did – oatmeal cookies or bars also help. I also co-sign Nerd Girl’s suggestion to take Fenugreek; when I started that with the above steps I definitely saw a considerable difference in what I was able to produce.

  6. jamie says:

    OVERNIGHT OATMEAL

    2/3 cups oats (steel-cut or old-fashioned rolled, not instant, this method will NOT work with instant oats–you’ll just end up with a disgusting, soggy mess.. )
    4 cups water or milk
    pinch salt

    (you can add apples, brown sugar, nuts, dates, raisins, big chunks of brownies, etc. if you want)
    Combine oats, water or milk and salt in crock pot and stir.

    Cover and cook for 7-8 hours on low heat.

    If you want your oatmeal in less than 7 hours you could cook it on high for about 2-3 hours.

    Good luck with your milk.

  7. sundaze says:

    I got nothing on milk production but wanted to let you know that Trader Joe’s sells frozen pre-cooked steel cut oatmeal. Pop them in the microwave for 5 minutes and you’re good to go.

  8. ames says:

    I think your body adjusts.I am back in my prepregnancy size bras. I stopped being engorged and stop leaking but the milk is there. Is your baby content after eating, does she pee and poop? That is how you identify if she gets enogh. You can go to her pediatricion weigh her, breast feed and weigh her
    again to see how many ounces she gets. We have a place called the puming station that has scales so you can do the same in a non clinical environment. your city may have something similar. My breasts have not felt full for a long long time nor have a leaked in months but my son is gaining weight.
    When the kids are having growth spurts I notice the breastfeed more often and my supply increases. Then they slow down and the supply adjusts with them.

    A baby is far more efficient at getting milk than the best pump, so you can’t go by that. I would not supplement either because you need the baby at the breast to produce. Laying down to breast feed is supposed to increase supply and of course not stressing. Stress will dry you up.

  9. ames says:

    Decrease- we took a week vacay without the kids. I pumped the entire week and my supply decreased. When I got back to my son he sucked a lot more often until my supply increased again. Now we are back to his normal pattern.

  10. dmac says:

    My milk supply decreased when I went back to work too. I wish I’d had the great advice you ladies have given.

  11. Steph says:

    A girlfriend of mine used to drink a tea that was specifically for breast feeding… It is sold at Babys R Us.

  12. KJ says:

    LMBO! @ Boom Boom Pows!!!!!

  13. amyg says:

    I could NEVER pump more than 2 ounces at a time – Judge it by her weight – if she is gaining ok, she is a much more efficient pump than Medela!

  14. Ang says:

    First, I would try more frequent pumping and increase in your fluid intake to increase your milk supply. If no results, the meds, herbs mentioned (reglan and fenugreek)are commonly used and may be something to talk about with your lactation specialist and OB.

  15. busybodyk says:

    If you buy a big bin of the old fashioned oats (store brand or QO) you can cook them in the microwave. Their not steel cut but they are almost as good and MUCH better than the instant. I make it every day for breakfast. 1/2 cup of oatmeal, 1 cup of water, cook for 1 – 2 minutes in the microwave (each microwave is different so watch that it doesn’t spill over). I add cinnamon and a spoon full of honey as a sweetener but you can add anything.

  16. juli says:

    If Foxy isn’t waking up every few hrs in the night, you should get up and pump. Every 3hrs. I had the same issue, and that brought it back.

  17. laughing808 says:

    a friend went thru the same thing some years ago after given birth and she tried this tea Traditional Medicinal Organic Mother’s Milk from GNC:

    http://www.gnc.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2134114

    Hope this helps……

  18. creolepeach says:

    I have a friend that’s a lactation consultant. I can put you in touch with her if you want.

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