Low Supply Hormone Issues and More

On this page, we have comments by other mothers on low milk supply issues. Below the comments, are a few helpful links for mothers who would like to boost their milk supply.

Leave your comments and questions below, we would love to hear from you!


Low Supply Hormone Issues?

by Rebekah

"Hi!

I am pregnant with my third and trying to be prepared for breastfeeding.

In summary, when my babies turned 6 months old, I had a huge reduction in milk supply to almost nothing.

I have taken fenugreek, fennel, and drank mother's tea. No matter how many supplements I take, or how much water I drink, I barely make any milk.

I have to supplement with formula, which is something I want to avoid for baby #3.

I feel my issues are hormone related because with both babies, I got my regular period within 2 weeks of my delivery bleeding ending.

Each month around the time of my period, my milk supply went down and the baby would have to nurse almost constantly.

I was barely able to make it to 6 months with both mine, then added solids and as I mentioned above the formula.

I am a healthy average weight and build and have a healthy diet.

Does this sound like a hormone issue? If so, is there anything I can do or take to trick my body into making more prolactin and oxytocin?"

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Jan 27, 2014
Periods and Low Supply Hormone Issues
by: Lyssa

"Moms often find themselves experiencing a dip in supply when their periods return. Often, the dip is temporary and supply returns at the end of the mother's period.

It seems that your periods return earlier than most, before your supply is well established. Contacting a local LC may help you work to establish your supply before your period returns. Nursing frequently will also help keep up your supply."

 

Low Milk Supply and Things to Avoid

by Kim Fernandes

"What should I stay away from, when I am dealing with low milk supply?"

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Jan 11, 2013
A few to avoid and a few to use
by: Tracy

"Hi Kim

Here are just a few of the things that I can think of, that you need to AVOID while breastfeeding...

Herbs that can decrease supply:

Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, menthol and spearmint, Sage (which is actually used for weaning or for healing mastitis), Sorrel, Thyme, Chickweed, Periwinkle, Cocoa, Black Walnut, Herb Robert, Lemon, Yarrow.

Medication that could decrease supply:

Menthol lozenges, Diuretics, pseudo ephedrine, flu medication and contraceptives.

Others:

Anything containing peppermint, smoking cigarettes or marijuana.

Those are just a few that I can think of now.

Now, for increasing supply:

Eat lots of Lactogenic foods, take lactogenic herbs and teas. (links are at the bottom of this page)

Use breast compression while breastfeeding.

Personally, I use dried herbs and make my own tea. I take equal parts of Fennel, Anise, Blessed thistle, Milk thistle, Alfalfa, Fenugreek. Mix them up and put a tablespoon of this in 1 Litre of water. Boil for 5 minutes and strain. I drink three cups, three times per day. I drink it with honey and lemon juice for taste.

Another thing I use instead of the tea sometimes is herbal tinctures of goats rue and blessed thistle.

I also like my sushi, which I make myself. I eat about three sheets of nori on my own, the next day my supply is more than triple. The seaweed has given me the best results so far.

Hope this helps"

 

Low Milk Supply and Things to Avoid

Combination feeding and low milk supply...
by Kelly
(Australia)


"I'm going through something very similar. My daughter clover is 5 weeks old and she is my fifth baby.

I desperately wanted to breastfeed my other 4 children, but for some unknown reason, I gave up trying to breastfeed before leaving the hospital. So when I found out I was pregnant again, I decided that this may be my last chance to breastfeed a baby successfully.

I wore nursing bras by 12 weeks into my pregnancy, I fed her within the hr after a c-section, and all was well for three days until her first weigh in, when a nurse told me my daughter had lost too much weight and I'd need to comp feed her...I burst into tears. My baby was seemingly happy, I had no cracked or sore nipples, we were happy.

I declined the comp feed at first, but then she hit below the belt and said, "don't you want your baby to be fed?" and then brought in the paediatrician, who agreed with her. The plan was, I would feed her boobs comp 30 ml formula and then get on the pump to increase my supply. I did this until I went home, but breast feeding, formula and then pumping was taking and hr and a half, I had 5 kids here, I couldn't do it.


So here I am occasionally pumping, breastfeeding and after every feed giving her 80ml of formula. She is happy, gaining weight and never cries...never. But I want to exclusively ...breastfeed, I have spoken to many experts and sadly they all tell me to do everything I'm doing and my supply should increase, but soon I know clover will want just bottle because she doesn't have to work for it...this makes me sad and exhausted.

I just bought some special lactation tea, maybe this will help. I get annoyed when I know of someone who can shoot milk across the room, it's overflowing with goodness and then they decided not to feed, I think "are YOU crazy"

.....All I want is to continue giving her all I can, fingers crossed...I will add that I bought an Avent manual, thinking it would be better than the Avent electric that I had, and I can get more out with this one. Which is not much, both breasts I can only pump out 25 to 30ml each time ....very sad!!!! I should be thankful I am able to feed her, even if it’s a little amount.....shouldn't I???????"

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Jul 28, 2010
You can do it...
by: Tracy

"What a great mom you are... You should feel proud of yourself for not giving up completely.

There is still hope for you to have a full supply and breastfeed exclusively...since you didn't stop altogether.

You can continue to breastfeed as you are doing, and pump in between feedings. Try the following and then please let me know if your supply has increased, if it hasn't increased after a week we can try a different approach...

- Start taking Fenugreek... It's cheap and it starts working within a day or two.

- Start massaging your breast every day, every time you take a bath or shower.

- Have you asked your doctor about galactagogues? You can take most of the herbal galactagogues in combinations which will help a lot. Just a word of caution, first ask your doctor if you are on any other medications.

- Have you thought of using a SNS system (supplementary nursing system)? This will allow you to breastfeed baby even while she is receiving formula...this will start to increase your own milk supply (because of the stimulation at the breast), and after a while you might be able to start breastfeeding exclusively without the lact aid.

Here is a video on how to use a lactation aid...



And yes, you are right...even the tiniest bit of breast milk is like gold...that's why its often referred to as "liquid gold" So you are doing a great job...

Good luck Kelly..."

 

Is my milk supply low?

by Anonymous

"Hi my sons 3weeks old, I breastfeed, but am also pumping, but I can get 50ml first thing in the morning from one full breast but when I try and pump after each feed I only get about 5/10ml. Is this normal? Anyway can I improve that? Is my milk supply low? Or and what's the let down reflex?"

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Oct 15, 2012
Low Milk Supply Advice
by: Tracy

"Hi

If your baby is picking up weight and having a few wet nappies every day and seems happy, your supply is fine.

The amount that you can pump, has really nothing to do with your supply, there are many moms who have a plentiful supply, but who cannot get any milk out with a pump.

A let down reflex is felt when a mother’s milk starts flowing, you might also hear baby start swallowing. It is triggered by the hormone Oxytocin, which makes the milk flow when Baby sucks. Not all mothers “feel” a let down"

 

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