What can I do to get my milk supply back for my 3-month-old?
I think I am running out of milk. The past 2 nights at 10pm I have expressed and got less than 1 oz; I usually would get 4-9oz. I started to follow the increased supply routine yesterday; when I expressed at 2pm today I only managed barely 1oz, and when I had fed her she was still hungry. Initially I thought the problem was only there at the end of the day – until now. I have expressed since she was born so I know what to do and usually have no problems. My health visitor told me to just give formula but I don’t really want to; I am worried that if I give formula then my milk will dry up more and soon she will be formula fed. I don’t know what to do.
A supply dropping low does not mean the end of breastfeeding – even if you have to use a little formula whilst you get things back to normal.
The reasons why it happened could be many. If you are very tired or have had an upset over something, your milk supply will go down. The problem is that once you realise it is getting low, you worry about it more and more – which is not good for the supply. It is very dependant on hormones which can still be very much in control still, even three months after the birth.
Follow Gina’s increased supply plan, but don’t be surprised if it takes more than 24 hours to begin to notice a difference. It is more likely to be three or four days. Really resting between feeds and whilst your daughter sleeps is very important. So is eating and drinking well. Make sure you eat a proper breakfast, lunch and supper and also have a small healthy snack at the 10am feed and also have something at around 5pm. The long gap between lunch and supper is not good for breast-feeding women who need to keep their energy levels up throughout the day. In the first few days of the increased plan try to do the minimum needed in the house so you really are sitting or lying down for a lot of the time. What ever it takes to get your supply back on track, is the most important thing you can be doing in the next few days.
At three months after birth mothers often becomes a little run down. The euphoria and all the fuss surrounding a new birth have all died away and you are now very much on your own, as any help you had has probably finished by now. Although your daughter is sleeping through the night now, you have weeks of broken sleep to make up for. All this can lead to you being very tired and low. Also you probably feel that life is back to normal and are doing much more rushing around more now that your daughter is in a good routine.
Your problem is probably for a variety of reasons. When you express try to relax and do not worry that you will not be getting enough; if you become tense your supply will not flow so well. It is not always easy when faced with a setback such as this, but giving a small amount of formula to get you through the next few days is an option. Use it at the 10pm feed so, if your partner will do this feed, you are able to get to bed early. Any milk you expressed then can be used to top up with in the day. As soon as you notice an increase in your supply, replace any formula top ups you may have had to give, with expressed milk.