What is causing your low breast milk production?
Making enough milk for their babies is a battle that many new mothers take on. I personally experienced it when both of my daughters hit the 3 month mark and had to take some extra measures to increase my production. For me, it was usually reason #6!
If you are looking for extra help with breastfeeding, I would highly encourage you to take the Milkology breastfeeding course. I took it with my second daughter and SO wished I had known all it taught me with me first baby. She has a section on managing your milk supply and a ton of tips for pumping too. You can read more about the course curriculum here.
1.Lack of sleep
This is actually one one of the largest causes of low milk supply. I know most sleep deprived mama’s are not skipping out on their snooze time by choice. This is where it just becomes important for you to sleep when the baby sleeps. It’s what’s best for both of you. When you aren’t getting enough sleep, it throws everything else out of wack. If needed, reach out to a close friend of family member to ask for help. They can spend time wit baby while you sleep!
This one kind of goes hand in hand with the lack of sleep. The hormones that your body releases when you are stressed can have a negative effect on your breast milk supply. Take some time to reflect… has there been a stressful event in your life (well, other than having a baby). Maybe you’ve returned to work and the added work load is bringing you down? Are there family issues arising that could be overwhelming you? If so, it’s important to find a way to either solve the issues or unwind from them. Take baby for a walk every evening to clear your mind after a long day or enjoy a hot bubble bath. Relax mama, you breast milk is dependent on it!
Estrogen can cause your supply to take a nose dive, hence how the pill could be a cause for lowered supply. The mini pill is often prescribed to breastfeeding mothers, but all women’s bodies could react differently to it. If you feel your pill could be effecting your supply, reach out to your OB and let them know.
There’s a few reasons why alcohol could be effecting your supply. First of all, it can get in the way of your let down reflex, thus causing less milk to leave your breast, meaning less of a demand. This could also lead to other issues, like a clogged duct or mastitis! It can also change the way your breast milk tastes to your baby, meaning they will feed less. This sends the signal to your boobies that there is less demand, so make less milk. No bueno. Read more on alcohol and breast feeding here.
5.The return of your period
It probably sucks enough that your monthly friend has returned, but now it’s ALSO caused a dip in your production. Blame it on the calcium level drop that happens in the middle of your period. You may be able to add a magnesium/calcium supplement to your vitamin regimen to help combat it, just check with your doc first. (This one happened to me when Emmy was just 17 weeks! Here’s the regimen I followed to keep my production from tanking)
A lack of water could be a major contributing factor to a decrease in breast milk production. Your breast milk is largely made up of water, so if you aren’t putting any in, it won’t be able to put any out! Some doctors suggest 100 ounces a day while breast feeding!
A pin hole in a tube, poor fitting breast shields or poor suction are all ways that your pump could be negatively effecting your breast milk supply. If you are concerned that your pump is not working properly, contact the manufacturer. Some Lactation Consultants also offer inspections as a small fee. Do a local search to see if there are any near you.
It’s a supply and demand game with your breast milk! Any time a regular feeding is skipped (baby sleeps through the night or the feeding is supplemented some other way) you must pump in order to keep up the demand. You can also use pumping session to help up the demand- read more on that here.
Common allergy medicines such as Zyrtec and Sudafed contain pseudoephedrine which can hurt your production. Be sure to run all medications by your health care provider, even OTC.
Looking for ways to increase your milk supply? Read how to in just 48 hours!