Baby Hints & Tips

Dealing with low supply

Expert tips: I’m on empty! I need more milk!… Or do I?

(Medical disclaimer: Tips provided need to be considered in conjunction with medical advice. For immediate concerns, please contact HealthDirect (Australia wide) ph 1800 022 222 – to talk to a registered nurse 24hrs a day, and in emergencies call 000.)

My son is 11 weeks old I’m breast feeding and in the last couple of days I haven’t been feeling my breasts fill up like normal, usually they noticeably fill up! He has been feeding more often since yesterday, I’m guessing that is just another growth spurt but it has been a couple of days that I have noticed them not filling up so I know it’s not due to him feeding more often. So what I’m wondering Is, is my milk supply getting low? Has this happened to anyone else? 

  • Usually around this time your milk settles down, I would just to be sure weigh him tomorrow and then again in a week, if has put on weight he is fine, you wouldn’t be getting the 150-300grms but at least 25-50. but I would say its just your milk settling in, I have breastfed three kids and it happened to me at the three mth mark Yay you tho 🙂 Nikki
  • from my experience i would say your supply has adjusted to what his demanding, if you think your low you could express after a feed maybe Davina
  • My baby girl is also 11wks and this is happening to me also Sarah! Alicia
  • your milk will have stopped the engorged feeling. I’m BF my 14 week old daughter & mine have lost that feeling too probably about 3-4 weeks ago. You should still be making enough milk to feed your baby 🙂 Nicole
  • you wont have to weigh him, just look at his wet nappy output and you will know he is getting plenty xo Nicole
  • Does he seem full and happy? Plenty of wet nappies? March his weight too. If all this is ok then your body may be just getting used to the breasts filling up and the feeling isn’t as obvious. With my last bub I started feeling like this aro…und 9 wks but he was still packing the weight on, so it may not be a supply issue. People may say to express to see what you have, but don’t bother as the baby drains the breast more effectively and it won’t be an accurate indication of what you have. On the other hand pumping between feeds could increase your supply. Don’t be tempted to use formula to ‘top up’, you’ll only decrease your supply as bub will be too full to feed. Hope you’re ok!  Natasha
  • Your milk will start to settle down now an be more consistent give it another week or so and along as bubs is happy wouldn’t worry too much if bubs is still cluster feeding after a week or 2 then o would speak to your dr about supply. Danielle
  • It is normal Hun. Your supply will have evened out just in time for your bubby to have another growth spurt!! Lol it’s always the way! Just to keep you guessing! As long as bubby had full access and unlimited time at the breast there should… be no reason your supply would be lacking. It’s just over time your breast don’t get that engorged look about them but believe me there will be plenty if milk there, breast don’t have to look full to be full of the good stuff!!!  Sharnie
  • So many people I know(me included) thought their milk had ‘dried up’ at around 12 weeks, it was usually just their milk settling in. Jo
  • The same thing happened to me, I actually did lose my milk. If he is feeding more often and for longer, or seems irritable in between feeds, you may not be making enough for him. Metaclopromide (I think that’s how you spell it) can help increase your milk supply. It’s the same drug they give you for morning sickness. Good luck, Renai
  • I agree Sharnie… it does just keep us questioning what’s going on every step of the way! I experienced the same thing and it was just my supply matching my bubs needs. In the last 6 mths it has happened a few times so you may expereince it again. I always express a little so its available to ‘top up’ if needed. Good luck x Sarah
  • Around this time your milk regulates which means your body has figured out how much milk to make for your baby and you probably won’t feel that engorged full feeling anymore. If your milk does start to get low, just feed your baby more ofte…n (he’ll probably know if it starts to get low and feed more anyway, they’re clever like that!) and that will build the supply back up. The Australian Breastfeeding Assosciation has a hotline you can call and they’re fantastic at giving breast feeding advice, answering questions and reassuring you. Kylie
  • yep happens around this time ur body adjusts to wat bub needs so u wont get the really full feeling so much. the extra feeds would be getting ready for a growth spurt, which usually happens around 12weeks. along as bub is happy and producing wet nappies theyre getting plenty of milk. Kirsty
  • My nurse told me that alot me women stop breast feeding now because they think they dont provide enough. Please hang in there my Bub did this for weeks but it fine now and still feeding at almost 6 months. Amanda
  • Drink heaps of water, eat porridge for breakfast, avoid coffee and tea, and if you’re really concerned about supply, get some fenugreek tablets from a health food shop to boost your supply, helping you to catch up with bub’s growth spurt. I…t’s easy to get on top of supply issues while they are still very minor than later on when you’re struggling to make enough. Also, let bub’s feed as much as he wants, as his nursing will help build supply too.  April
  • It’s normal for a breast feeding mum to querie their supply because u can’t physically see the quantity as u would in bottle fed. If he is happy and content just relax and keep feeding. If u think ur supply is low it takes about 48 hrs for your body to start producing as much as they r demanding.  Kirsty
  • Kirsty is spot on. This happened to me also. Don’t worry and keep feeding. It’s all about supply and demand.  Kylee

Any tips on how to successfully wean my 2 week old off formula for comp feeds? (apart from the obvious of always offering the breast and leaving her on for as long as possible). My district nurse came to visit yesterday and she said we should try weaning her off the formula a bit, but after I breastfeed my baby for an hour and not much milk coming out, she screams for more food and …doesn’t settle until she gets the formula. We make her bottles up with 60mls but even then that’s not enough. Last night I BF for well over an hour and afterwards she took 100mls. So, how am I supposed to wean, when it seems my baby is ready for me to increase the formula. *sigh*

  • Maybe give her expressed breast milk rather than formula!!! Sounds like bubby is not attaching properly, mine didn’t either and i had to express every feed til my milk dried up 🙁
  • Just nurse. You need to build up your supply again, so lay about on the couch with no top of, just nursing often, and always cuddling your baby. I did this and successfully boosted my supply, and just don’t offer any more formula, baby doesn’t need it 🙂 you’re doing great mama xx
  • I had the same problem it was taking a good hour and a half to BF and after expressing they agreed that there wasn’t enough milk, you can ask your Doctor to give you something to help produce more. I wasn’t topping up on formula so that option was too late for me I ended up going straight onto formula on doctors advice
  • I had the same problem with both my kids my supply was just never that great I would feed up to two hours sometimes and even feeding on demand wouldn’t boost my supply. Do what you think is best for you and bubs and don’t feel guilty whatever you decide 🙂
  • Same thing happened to my little girl now 5 months. Sorry but i ended up just giving formula only. I just didn’t have the milk supply to keep her content. She born big and i found that she required that bit more. After a couple of weeks of tears from mummy and bub i decided that for both of us to be happy it was the way to go for us. And since then i have a very settled baby that sleeps through the night and is still having 2 day sleeps as well. Good luck and make the right decision thats right for you and your beautiful bub 🙂
  • Have you seen a lactation consultant? A friend of mine found after months of having a very unsettled ‘colicky’ baby & seeing several paediatricians that she has limited milk ducts & will never produce enough milk to solely bf. There could be other reasons your LO isn’t getting enough but seeing a lactation consultant should rule out any problems before you just cut out all ff.
  • Call the Australia. Breast feeding association – I’m sure they will give you some great tips.
  • Ring the ABA hotline (aust breastfeed omg association). They will be able to give you the best advice. You can take fenugreek tablets to help boost supply but some people say they make baby gassy. Lactation biscuits are fantastic also and I think mothers milk tea or blessed thistle??? Not sure but I hope you have a successful bf journey 🙂
  • Not sure where u live but in adelaide you can have a day stay at lylle mac hospital in the bf clinic. I did it after my bubba ( born 11lb) wasnt getting enough milk I ended up having meds to produce more but the clinic were great for little tips and encouragement. Good luck
  • In the end go with what you need to do. I suffered and so did my little girl because ABA knew best. My milk was low from day 1 as it took 2 weeks to come in. ABA kept saying “oh you’ll be all right, just don’t use formula and express and feed often and take fenu greek and a few other things and you’ll be right” I persevered but my lil girl kept losing so much weight as a result. After multiple dr visits and lactation consultant visits, she was moved to formula and it took only 12 hours for my milk to dry up completely. I so wanted to feed her longer but couldn’t. Explore all options, but my suggestion would be don’t let anyone boss you even if it is the ABA as not everyone even with the right help is able to breastfeed.  I’ll definitely try again for bub #2 when that day comes but i’m not going to be at the mercy of ABA starving my child.
  • My dd is 8 weeks old and we’ve had a routine of bf’ing since birth. I do all the feeds, but the last one b4 bed I bf then my husband gives formula (so we get a long sleep at the start of the night). She’ll take an extra 100ml of formula after boob …. but she’s a HUGE baby, so I’m sure she’s getting enough with breast only all day and night (-1), I also feel that I’m empty some feeds – as she sucks but doesnt swallow much. I think there is prob still milk, but she’s just pacifying on boob. Call ABA, they’ll let you know and convince you that you have enough milk for your baby.
  • Both my children were on formula for some reason I had no milk at all the second time around the hospital did everything they could but there was nothing and with my first I had very little. Both my oldest (10 years) and my youngest (1 year) have/are thriving both have normal development and good immune systems. I understand that breast is best but unfortunately sometimes it is not possible, don’t feel judged do what feels right for you and bub 🙂 …and a BIG CONGRATULATIONS on the birth of your little one 🙂
  • Can you try expressing between feeds and give the expressed milk after feeding from the breast? the expressing will also increase your supply so then maybe after a while she will get more from each feed. if you give more formula then your milk levels wont adjust to her demand and may end up giving even more formula…
  • Go and see a LC call one today..if in Sydney i know a great one Lynne Hall she saved my bf life! you need help with your supply which could be attachment issues i personally didnt find the ABA hotline any help and at 2 weeks was crying on the end of the phone with an oversupply and a baby that didnt attach you need a one on one with someone qualified Health nurses dont know as much as LC’s…..i bstfed until my daughter was aged 2 and as the GP reminded me the other day i have halved my chances of breast cancer and cardiovascular cancer by 50% so these are early days pursue so you know that you feel right about what you want to do..
  • Hi I just wanted to let mums know who breastfeed or wanting to breastfeed that Ovaltine is amazing for supply. I have had a fine supply but wanted to get more out of pumping and within 3 days I have had a huge increase in milk and my pumping is fantastic! I wasn’t aware of this with my first but found out about it through a international group I’m on

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