I knew I wanted to breastfeed before I had Liam. I was always told to be patient with myself and the baby since we’d both be learning on the job. I was blessed with a boy who was hungry and knew what to do as soon as he was born. He latched on immediately and ate for an hour in the delivery room. I actually had to detach him after an hour because the nursery had to measure and bath him.

We were doing great until week 3. He hit a growth spurt and I think he’s been in one ever since. My milk supply just can’t keep up with the hungry boy! We’re fine in the morning  when it’s been a full 4 hours since I’ve pumped. But, as the day goes on, I run low with him eating every 2 hours. I have had to start supplementing him with pumped breast milk in the evenings.

I was pumping with the Medela Harmony manual pump, but it was taking 40+ minutes to get 2 ounces of milk. Instead of buying the $400 Medela electric pump, I bought the $120 Lansinoh pump. It’s a double electric pump and when I’m full in the middle of the night I can get 3 ounces in 4 minutes. Pretty awesome!

I took the extra step of eating oatmeal every day and taking fenugreek supplements. Still, we’re faced with the same issue. I’ve also noticed that my supply is low after I’ve exercised. I just don’t know if I should just get up to pump every 2 hours at night to keep the demand going or just continue to pump/feed every 4 hours at night. Decisions…

So, let’s talk breastfeeding. What are some of your questions/issues/concerns? Got any advice for my short supply of milk?

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12 Responses to breastfeeding

  1. Erin says:

    Hang in there! You are doing great so far. Are you part of a la leche league group or a hospital group for nursing moms? I’ve nursed 4 so far … Twins were tricky. If I was the least bit dehydrated – summer, exercise, etc. – my milk supply would fall off. I drank a ton of water, avoided all caffeine, and changed my exercise expectations … Really toned down my workouts – basically went to walking daily and skipped the gym and running altogether. I also tried to eat a lot of juicy fruits, frozen grapes, and other yummy snacks with a high water content – watermelon, for example.

    I did not pump at night – I just nursed on demand. I think I was just too sleep deprived to even think about doing that. I did, however, try to pump first thing in the morning. That seemed to work for us! Sleep with a water bottle by your bed. I also really toyed with getting the pricey pump … In retrospect, now that I’ve had 4 kids, I should have just bit the bullet and bought it! I only used hand pumps. Dumb!

    Ps love that bouncy seat … 🙂

  2. Bree says:

    I had the same problem with Clay. When I started excersising a lot my supply went way down and I never got it back to where it was. I nursed him until he was 15 months, but those last few months were hard. If I had to do it all over again, I would have skipped the working out and just walked and taken it easy. We were both very frustrated by the end. Feel free to text me anytime if you have any questions. I’ve nursed three babies and have had problems on both sides. Not boobs (lol) but over supply and under supply.

  3. Seung-Lan says:

    I agree with joining La Leche group. There is herbal supplement called ” more milk plus” by motherlove. I ordered it from Amazon. It’s basically essence of fenugreek, blessed thistle, nettle herb all of which help increase milk supply. You can also ask your Dr. to prescribe medicine for it too. But some people get benefit while others don’t from the medicine. So I guess the medicine works for some people. It didn’t work for me. I’ve talked a Lactation consultant, a nurse, a leader of La Leche group here about breastfeeding when i just had Zoey. I had so much trouble. They don’t recommend formula supplying because it will reduce demand from baby which means your supply will get reduced. Unless Liam loses weight, you have to just feed him with your milk. Other mothers say that you “will” get more milk eventually.
    Koreans believe in resting completely at least first 3 months after your delivery. We think because your body went through so much while pregnant and delivery. Plus baby is still developing and learning. So yes, try to rest more and concentrate on helping Liam to grow and learn about his little world.
    Please never give up since you do have milk. If there is a re-try button, I want to push it and try harder to feed Zoey with my milk. I’ve cried so many nights because of low supply and finally I gave up after one month. She was losing her weight, unfortunately.

  4. Emily Olin says:

    First of all, your fears are completely normal. my inspiration was my mother who breast fed triplets for more than a year!
    I had some of the same issues you have now but everything worked out. I always pumped in the middle of the night and guzzled water all day and night. Maybe cool it on intense exercising for awhile or just make sure to drink extra water–Remember that you need lots of good calories. Also, I ordered nursing cookies from a great bakery in Seattle called Yummy Mummy (I think the web site is or make your own since you’re very capable! Also remember that your kid can suck out more than you can pump so don’t worry about pumped amounts. Growth spurts don’t last forever–even if it feels as though do! He’ll hit another one at six weeks, one at 9 weeks, 12 weeks…etc. There is a book about this but I can’t remember the title. Also, join a new mom support group–I joined one in my son’s 3rd week called Amma Maternity near Minneapolis, MN–this saved my life! We all had the same questions and fears and all nursed with trepidation and excitement. None of our kids starved even though all of us, at one time or another, thought we were “low.”

  5. Emily O. says:

    Btw, I just read your story. I have PCOS too! It took my husband and me a year and a half to conceive. Acupuncture worked for us, miraculously. I’m a bit nervous to try again…we will see how it goes!

  6. Mary Helen says:

    I definitely wasn’t a breast feeding pro, but I will second what everyone is saying about drinking water as often as you can. I always drank pretty much constantly while I pumped (or during the rare occasion of actually breast feeding him.) My supply went WAY down when Damian first went into the hospital and the thing that I think helped the most was the nurses constantly handing water to drink in the NICU. I also really loved the herbal Mother’s Milk tea. It’s great and it also helps you get your water intake up. I went from barely getting an ounce to being able to pump out enough to feed my extra hungry boy who was getting way more food than normal. Oatmeal helped me too, so I hope it does for you as well. I’m not sure if getting up and pumping every 2 hours rather than every 4 hours will help. Part of low milk supply issues can be from being tired, so you may be counteracting any good you’re doing by making yourself more exhausted. I’m not sure about that though… I think exercising is going to be the biggest thing though. You’re probably just burning through too many calories right now. It takes a ton to make the milk so if you’re spending them on other things there’s probably just not enough to go around. Good luck! And remember, as long as you’re feeding him something you’re doing a great job!!! Don’t stress (lol because that too doesn’t help milk supply… vicious cycle)

  7. again, I haven’t tried this yet, but I was told to try Fenugreek [I think it’s an herb] and you can buy it at Fred Meyer, etc. My friend has three boys + a new baby girl and this is her lifesaver.

  8. Diana says:

    A good trick for pumping is to pump for 8 minutes, stop, wait 2 minutes, and then pump again for another 8 minutes. This allows your body to have a second letdown.
    I had to go back to work when my son was 12 weeks old, and this trick was a lifesaver! My supply really dropped off, but this method really helped out!
    My son is now 7 1/2 months old, and he is taking a bottle 3 times a day, and nursing 3 times a day.
    Hope this helps!

  9. I swear I’m the most useless commenter in these baby posts, but that first picture, with his mouth wide open…! Aww. Couldn’t babies just do that when they’re hungry instead of crying? I think that’s a good idea. 🙂

  10. Jasmine Petty says:

    I was having the same issue with a dwindled milk supply because I went bk to work, but my lactation consultant simply said to make sure I am pumping around the same about of his each time, like every three hours, and I also take fenugreek

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