Common Reasons for a Decreasing Breast Milk Supply



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Common Causes of a Decreasing Breast Milk Supply Health Issues. Your health and the condition of your body and mind can affect the production of breast milk. When you’re Diet.

What you eat can affect your overall health and your milk supply. Certain herbs have a negative effect on milk. Latching/feeding issues. If your infant isn’t latching properly, they won’t be fully draining your breast during feeds, which can decrease production.

Milk left in the breasts for too long may also. Shifting Postnatal Hormones: You may not realize it, but your hormones are likely still shifting! In fact, they will continue to shift for months after giving birth, even at six months postnatal or longer. These changing hormones can slow breast milk production as your. Blockages, Infections & Medical Problems Some women experience cracked, dry nipples and blocked pores that can become infected.

This doesn’t always interfere with milk supply, but it’s possible and it can cause a sudden drop in supply. The most common cause of low breast milk supply is a poor latch. If your baby is not latching on to your breast the right way, he can’t get the milk out of your breasts very well.

The removal of your breast milk from your breasts is what tells your body to make more breast milk. Mint or peppermint is a known substance that can cause a decrease in supply though there’s some debate on how much it actually takes. Circumstantial evidence – one day when Oliver was about three months old, I noticed that my pump output was lower than usual. With pregnancy, there are hormonal changes occurring in your body that cause a decrease in milk supply. The supply drop typically begins by mid-pregnancy, but some mothers experience it as early as the first month of expecting.

As your pregnancy progresses, the milk will turn into colostrum for newborn consumption later on. Milk Making Tissue; It’s common for moms to have different amounts of milk-making tissue and different sized milk ducts in each breast, so one breast naturally produces more than the other. Differences in Letdown; It’s possible to have one breast with a more or less forceful letdown than the other. A forceful letdown could cause your baby. Reasons for low milk supply A small number of new mums have difficulty producing enough breast milk due to medical reasons, which include: Excessive blood loss (more than 500 ml/17.6 fl oz) during the birth or retained fragments of the placenta can delay your milk coming in (which usually happens around three days after the birth).

1. Answer From Elizabeth LaFleur, R.N. Various factors can cause a low milk supply during breast-feeding, such as waiting too long to start breast-feeding, not breast-feeding often enough, supplementing breastfeeding, an ineffective latch and use of certain medications.

Sometimes previous breast surgery affects milk production.

List of related literature:

Common causes of decreased milk supply include ineffective suckling by the infant, feedings that are infrequent or too short, maternal fatigue, low maternal thyroid function, preterm or late preterm infants, and some medications, including oral contraceptives containing estrogen.

“Foundations of Maternal-Newborn and Women's Health Nursing E-Book” by Sharon Smith Murray, Emily Slone McKinney
from Foundations of Maternal-Newborn and Women’s Health Nursing E-Book
by Sharon Smith Murray, Emily Slone McKinney
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2017

The most common cause of inadequate milk supply is fatigue.

“Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession” by Ruth A. Lawrence, MD, Robert M. Lawrence, MD
from Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession
by Ruth A. Lawrence, MD, Robert M. Lawrence, MD
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2015

Stocks RJ, Davies DP, Allen F, Sewell D. Loss of breastmilk nutrients during tube feeding.

“Breastfeeding and Human Lactation” by Karen Wambach, Jan Riordan
from Breastfeeding and Human Lactation
by Karen Wambach, Jan Riordan
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2016

One cause of secondary reflux in the breastfed infantis oversupply of maternal milk, with delivery of high volumes of foremilk.

“Breastfeeding and Human Lactation” by Karen Wambach, Becky Spencer
from Breastfeeding and Human Lactation
by Karen Wambach, Becky Spencer
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2019

Low milk supply due to prolonged lactation

“Comprehensive Lactation Consultant Exam Review” by Smith
from Comprehensive Lactation Consultant Exam Review
by Smith
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2016

Some feeding-related causes of low milk production are the baby’s inability to suck well, improper positioning, or inadequate time at each breast, leading to milk down-regulation.

“Counseling the Nursing Mother” by Judith Lauwers, Anna Swisher
from Counseling the Nursing Mother
by Judith Lauwers, Anna Swisher
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2015

There may be inadequate milk supply, pain with feeding, or inappropriate timing of feedings.

“Maternal Child Nursing Care in Canada E-Book” by Shannon E. Perry, Marilyn J. Hockenberry, Deitra Leonard Lowdermilk, Lisa Keenan-Lindsay, David Wilson, Cheryl A. Sams
from Maternal Child Nursing Care in Canada E-Book
by Shannon E. Perry, Marilyn J. Hockenberry, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2016

The failure to develop good milk transfer is the major cause of lactation failure and breast pain, especially in the neonatal period.49 Inhibition of the let-down reflex and failure to empty the breasts completely lead to ductal distension and parenchymal swelling from extravascular fluid.

“Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies E-Book” by Mark B Landon, Henry L Galan, Eric R. M. Jauniaux, Deborah A Driscoll, Vincenzo Berghella, William A Grobman, Sarah J Kilpatrick, Alison G Cahill
from Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies E-Book
by Mark B Landon, Henry L Galan, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2020

Poor intake reduces the lactating mother’s milk supply, worsening the problem.

“Study Guide for Foundations of Maternal-Newborn and Women's Health Nursing” by Sharon Smith Murray, MSN, RN, C, Emily Slone McKinney, MSN, RN, C
from Study Guide for Foundations of Maternal-Newborn and Women’s Health Nursing
by Sharon Smith Murray, MSN, RN, C, Emily Slone McKinney, MSN, RN, C
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2013

If you think this might be the case, consider nursing more frequently during the day to stimulate milk production (also check the tips on this page).

“What To Expect The 1st Year [rev Edition]” by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel
from What To Expect The 1st Year [rev Edition]
by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel
Simon & Schuster UK, 2010

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
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  • Hlo,my milk is low,I used stavri powder in milk n drinks more water n milk still my milk low,now m taking lactare capsule is it safe?? But still pbm same,wat I do dr?

  • I have implants(under the muscle), and have struggled w low supply w my previous kids-im 33wks and already producing a lot of colostrum-is this a good sign?
    Also do under the muscle implants affect breastfeeding/cause the same type of pressure?

  • Trying “healthy nursing tea” could be helpful as it really boosts lactation, best thing for moms who are struggling with breast milk supply issues.

  • 4 weeks in I was feeding and pumping fine, then I had a few days I couldn’t feed due to pain and hectic life.. I pumped but couldn’t finnish pumping.. my milk slowly went down no matter what now hes 10 weeks and my milk is gone:( really hard to even pump a drop..
    My fault for not trusting my body and topping up with formula
    Tried fenugreek for the past 3 days and trying to pump every three hours. Nothing working yet:(
    So hard to stay positive when I cant find answers if I’ll ever get supply back!

    This video has helped though so thankyou!

  • I keep nursing I’m a stay at home mom.. and at night I feed 3 -4 x a night and still notice that my milk is not producing enough now he wakes up more often and is more fussy and he doesn’t want the bottle

  • There are several tips for increasing amount of milk at home and discovered
    increase the number of times your baby feeds
    Try fenugreek or other herbs
    a breast pump
    (I learned these and why they work on Hartlyn milk plan website )

  • I’m a new mom and I have breast implants… I was told by my surgeon and my midwife that wouldn’t interfere with my breastfeeding bc how the implant was placed ( under the muscle ) but for last 3 months I have been having problems. I thought it was bc of me supplementing so my milk was drying up. Do have any tips for implant ladies bc I’m really working hard on trying build back up my milk supply so I can exclusively breastfeed

  • I didn’t know this �� thanks!

    Question: when the alveoli changes shape is it a permanent change or temporary deformation till the pressure is removed?

  • I never produced much milk at all! When my son was a newborn he was dehydrated from lack of milk and I had no idea.The most I pumped was 4oz in a whole day.. So stressful. I had to stop after 6months.

  • Question, how many streams should there be from each nipple on average? Mine only has 1-2 streams when I express milk. Anyway to increase it? I feel my baby don’t get enough milk all the time n I don’t want to rely on formula. I usually pump for 30 minutes per side to ‘empty ‘ the breast. Help. Need advice.

  • SUPPLY AND DEMAND phenomenon is awesome, it makes sense but my case was too different, I was absolutely unable to produce even to meet my DS’s needs, been trying things to establish a reasonable amount. The only thing I found helping is an herbal tea “healthy nursing tea which did awesomely fine to help me produce a healthy amount.

  • Top tips! Didn’t realise women can BF with implants. Also note toppng baby up with formula is also going to decrease milk supply because the breast isnt being stimulated to produce more milk..

  • This is awesome advice❤…what can we do to increase our supply even when we have added things to increase our breast milk and we have latched baby and still get the same amount of milk?

  • I was obsessed with getting my milk to come in. I refused formula and wanted to BF, but the nurses at my hospital kept us away longer than we should. 16 months later.. BFing like champs, it takes work, but I wouldnt have it any other way. Spend time with baby, and let the loving gift of milk flow. I ended up loving my hand pump, much nicer than the auto pumps. Nursing bras, stress free, lots of kisses for baby, and gentle care.

    Great video. Wish I saw this a long time ago. 😉

  • Yes my baby is super needy too! I would use a bra for the breast pump your hands are free I can feed or read and sing to my baby while he looks at me and I pump

  • have a look on “healthy nursing tea” as well, it’s also a great source of milk supply stimulation. I have been using this organic tea for six months right after delivery of my little one..

  • I would recommend a visit to, they’ve introduced an herbal thing “healthy nursing tea” a very effective tea blend for breast milk production.

  • So what does one do to get the milk supply back up? my milk supply decreased after going back to work and I think its because of the pressure.

  • My supply was pretty good, making enough like the infant bottle they give at birth at the hospital. But i was taking medications, one of them turns out.. i was allergic to. I went to the ER because of it. I stopped breastfeeding for like a week

  • Your bubba is super cute! I can so relate. Babies go through a period around the 34 month mark where they get really distracted during feeding, fussy on the breast etc ��‍♀️ this can result in reduction of supply as baby literally ends up feeding less (aka feeding strike ��). It’s crazy that they can just start refusing the breast for long periods of time, it’s something the “breast is best” movement doesn’t really address, that and a range of other issues including being bitten during feeds haha. Mummies need to feel unpressured and free to do what works best for them, their baby, and their family. Although I am breastfeeding now 5 months and counting, it’s definitely not a perfect, easy or sometimes even natural journey, although it has definitely had all of those moments it’s just that… a journey, with ups and downs and us poor mummas can only try our best �� Thanks for your honesty x

  • Hi iam alentina 

    My son having 9 and half months

    And now a days i noticed that my son’s leg’s calf portion os literally bended what to do… by applying massage it will become straight? Or any otherway?

    Plz help

  • My supply started drying up and I was getting only about 8 ounces from pumping four times and taking “Healthy Nursing Tea” from secrets of tea. I’ve been taking this twice a day for less than a week and I am back up to 15 ounces!

  • Pumping isn’t guaranteed to work anyway since you were a mom who was only breastfeeding, the doc was wrong for telling u that u less the baby had a weight issue. And I know ppl gave tips about tea an stuff but I would say u did GREAT! You did it for the recommended time for why breastfeeding babies is so amazing so he got what he needed. Also sleep training is smart, did it with both my boys and they still sleep through the night, I’m not one of those moms who deal with 3 year olds breaking out during the night cause I sleep trained. My advice, don’t put pressure on yourself and don’t worry about what others will say, ur video is amazing and I think will help many realize they are not alone. Good luck hun

  • this is probably late, but any mommy’s that want to increase your supply contact a lactation consultant, invest in a hands free pumping bra and hands free bottle for your baby.

  • Some pumps come w a battery opperation plug in. My Madela pump has a battery attachment so I can pump while I clean! Best way to get more breast milk is just pump pump pump.

  • some women have inherent abilities to produce more but this not that rest of the mothers have to live with low supply, you can also get a healthy stash by drinking “healthy nursing tea” it helps in developing a great amount of supply with no side effects as this tea is exclusively herbal.

  • Please I’m Rita well I had my baby premature so she is in N I C U well my milk was flowing and was producing well enough till I noticed my is getting lighter and really dried. I didn’t know cabbage can stop my milk flow cos I was a eating them a lot. My baby is not getting enough milk and I have tried the non alcoholic bear but still I’m also using Mandela symphony but is is still not flowing what I do please I’m desperate

  • if you are still struggling with your milk supply I would recommend an organic formula “healthy nursing tea” of secrets of tea. It’s an amazing blend for moms with lower milk supply.