All Blogs | Why Is My Breast Milk Supply Decreasing?

All Blogs | Why Is My Breast Milk Supply Decreasing?

Why Is My Breast Milk Supply Decreasing?

For all the incredible mamas out there who have embarked on the extraordinary journey of breastfeeding, we understand that it can be both rewarding and challenging. While you've likely experienced moments of pure bliss and connection, you might also encounter certain obstacles along the way. One such obstacle is the concern over a sudden decrease in your breast milk supply. In this blog post, our aim is to equip you with practical insights and helpful tips to handle the situation with confidence and ease. So, let's dive into the reasons behind low milk supply and discover empowering solutions together.

Stress and Concern Around Low Milk Supply

It's completely normal to feel stressed or concerned when you notice a decrease in your breast milk supply. As a new mom, you may already have a million thoughts running through your mind, and worrying about not having enough breast milk for your baby or your baby's nourishment can add to the stress. However, it's crucial to remember that stress itself can impact milk production and decrease breast milk supply. When you feel anxious or overwhelmed, your body may release stress hormones, which can interfere with the hormones responsible for breast milk production.

The first step in addressing this concern is to take a deep breath and be kind to yourself. Remind yourself that occasional fluctuations in breast milk supply are entirely normal and are not a reflection of your abilities as a mom. Breastfeeding is a journey filled with ups and downs, and you're doing an incredible job nurturing your little one.

To alleviate stress and concerns, consider incorporating self-care practices into your daily routine. Find moments to relax and recharge, even if it's just a few minutes of deep breathing exercises or enjoying a cup of your favorite herbal tea. Prioritize activities that bring you joy and peace, such as taking a walk in nature, reading a book, or engaging in a hobby.

Surrounding yourself with a supportive network can also be immensely beneficial. Connect with other breastfeeding moms through local support groups or online communities. Sharing experiences and hearing from other moms who may have faced similar challenges can provide invaluable reassurance and encouragement. Remember, you're not alone on this journey, and there are many moms who have overcome similar concerns and thrived in their breastfeeding experience.

If stress and concerns continue to weigh on your mind, don't hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant. These experts can offer personalized guidance and practical tips to help you manage stress and enhance breast milk supply. They can also help address any other breastfeeding-related questions or concerns you may have.

Lastly, remember that breastfeeding is not just about the physical nourishment of your baby; it's also a beautiful opportunity to bond and connect with your little one. As you cradle your baby close, know that your love and presence are immensely comforting and essential for their overall well-being.

What Can Cause A Decrease in Breast Milk Supply?

An infographic showcases the reasons why breastmilk may decrease

Poor Latching

One of the primary reasons for low milk supply can be poor latching. A baby's latch is critical for effective milk transfer and stimulating your breasts to produce enough breast milk. If you're experiencing difficulty with latching, don't hesitate to seek help from a lactation consultant or attend a breastfeeding support group. These experts can guide you on proper positioning and latch techniques to improve milk transfer and increase your milk supply. With the right support and practice, you and your baby can develop a comfortable and successful breastfeeding relationship. Proper burping of baby between breasts is important as well. 

Lack of Sleep

Not getting enough rest can affect milk supply. As a new mom, getting sufficient sleep can be challenging. However, rest is crucial for your overall well-being and breast milk production. Whenever possible, try to nap when your baby sleeps or ask your partner or a family member to help with nighttime feedings. Don't feel guilty about taking care of yourself! Well-rested moms are better equipped to meet the demands of breastfeeding and parenting.

Disturbances in Normal Routine

Life can be unpredictable, and changes in your daily routine can impact your milk production. Embrace flexibility and try to maintain consistent breastfeeding sessions whenever possible. When facing disruptions, such as travel or unexpected events, continue to prioritize breastfeeding to signal your body to maintain milk production. Your body is remarkable at adjusting to new circumstances, and your milk supply will adapt accordingly.

Changes in Diet

Maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for sustaining a healthy milk supply. Changes in your eating habits can impact the amount of milk your body produces. Here are a few ways that alterations in your diet can lead to a decrease in milk supply.

  • Sufficient Caloric Intake: When you breastfeed, your body requires additional calories to support milk production. If you're not consuming enough calories to meet this increased demand, your milk supply may be affected.
  • Key Nutrients: Breast milk is rich in essential nutrients that are vital for your baby's growth and development. Your diet can impact the quality of your milk supply .
  • Hydration: Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining a healthy milk supply. If you're not drinking enough water throughout the day, it can lead to decreased milk production
  • Gradual Weight Loss: Losing weight too quickly after childbirth can impact your milk supply. While it's normal to want to shed the extra pregnancy weight, extreme dieting or aggressive weight loss methods can interfere with milk production.
  • Food Sensitivities: In some cases, changes in your diet can affect your baby if they have sensitivities to certain foods through breast milk. If you notice your baby experiencing digestive issues, excessive fussiness, or rashes after breastfeeding, consider keeping a food diary to identify potential triggers. Common culprits can include dairy, nuts, or certain vegetables such as broccoli, garlic, and onions.

Baby Going Through Growth Spurts

Growth spurts are a natural part of a baby's development, and they can lead to increased feeding demands. It's common for moms to worry during these periods that they're not producing enough breast milk. Rest assured, your body is designed to respond to your baby's needs and milk supply adjusts according to your baby’s needs during these growth spurts. By nursing on demand during these growth spurts, you're signaling to your body to produce more milk. Embrace this time as an opportunity to bond with your baby, knowing that your supply will rise to meet their requirements.

Other Medical Reasons

Every mama’s situation is different. If you’re considering taking birth control pills, recovering from a recent procedure, or planning to have a breast surgery, it’s best for you to contact a healthcare professional to discuss your unique situation and how these factors can contribute to breast milk supply. You can also visit the CDC website for more information.

How to Handle a Sudden Decrease in Milk Supply

Facing a sudden decrease in breast milk supply can be disheartening, but there are many effective ways to handle this temporary challenge. With a positive and proactive approach, you can increase milk production and continue providing your baby with the nourishment they need. Let's explore some practical tips and strategies to help you navigate through this phase with confidence:

Frequent Feeding or Pumping

One of the most effective ways to increase your milk supply is to nurse your baby or use a breast pump more frequently. The principle of supply and demand plays a crucial role in breastfeeding. The more often your baby feeds or the more frequently you pump, the more signals your body receives to increase your milk supply. Consider feeding your baby whenever they show hunger cues, even if it seems like they have just finished nursing. If you're using a breast pump, try to have a pumping session after or between feedings to stimulate further milk production. Using a pump and storing the breast milk for later isn’t only beneficial for milk production. It’s also particularly helpful for mamas who want to maintain milk flow when they’re returning to work.

Proper Latch and Positioning

Ensuring a proper latch is essential for successful breastfeeding. As mentioned earlier, a shallow latch or incorrect positioning can lead to inefficient milk transfer and low milk supply. Take the time to position your baby comfortably with their mouth covering a large part of the areola, not just the nipple. If you're experiencing latching issues, seek assistance from a lactation consultant or join a breastfeeding support group. These experts can guide you through the process and provide hands-on support to improve your baby's latch.

Stay Hydrated and Eat a Balanced Diet

Milk supply increases when you take great care of your body. Maintaining a well-balanced diet and staying hydrated are vital ways to support your milk supply. Breastfeeding requires additional calories and nutrients to sustain both you and your baby. Include a variety of foods rich in protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals in your diet. Don't forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Adding a Milkflow drink mix to a beverage is another delicious way to stay hydrated and add milk supply-optimizing herbs into your daily diet. While certain foods are believed to boost breast milk supply, focus on overall nutrition and choose foods that you enjoy and suit your dietary preferences.

Practice Skin-to-Skin Contact

Giving your baby skin to skin contact is not only a heartwarming way to bond but is also beneficial for milk production. Holding your baby close to your skin triggers a hormonal response that stimulates milk production to boost low milk supply. Embrace moments of skin-to-skin cuddles with your baby, especially during feedings, and enjoy the warmth and closeness of this precious bonding time.

Manage Stress and Prioritize Rest

As mentioned earlier, stress can negatively impact breast milk supply and make your body produce less milk, so managing stress levels is essential. Engage in relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. Make time for activities that bring you joy and help you unwind. Additionally, prioritize rest and take advantage of opportunities to nap when your baby sleeps. If possible, ask for help from your partner, family, or friends to lighten your load and allow you to focus on self-care and bonding with your baby.

Seek Support and Professional Guidance

Remember, you don't have to navigate this journey alone. Reach out to your support network for encouragement and assistance. Don't hesitate to ask for help from your partner, family, or friends when you need a hand. If you continue to experience concerns about your breast milk supply, seek guidance from a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized advice, address any underlying issues, and offer additional strategies to boost your milk production.

Ready To Breastfeed With Confidence?

You are strong, resilient, and capable of navigating through any challenges that come your way. A sudden decrease in milk supply is a common concern, but armed with understanding and support, you can address it with confidence.

  • Embrace self-care practices to manage stress and concerns effectively.
  • Seek help from a lactation consultant or support group for poor latching issues.
  • Prioritize rest and lean on your support system for a little extra sleep.
  • Maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated to support your breast milk supply.
  • Be flexible and adjust to disturbances in your routine while keeping breastfeeding a priority.
  • Embrace growth spurts as a natural part of your baby's development and trust that your breast milk supply will meet their needs.

You're doing an incredible job, and your love and dedication to breastfeeding are truly remarkable. Remember to celebrate every milestone and progress, no matter how small. With the power of perseverance and the support of those around you, you've got this, and your breastfeeding journey will continue to be a beautiful and fulfilling experience.

A woman pushes her smiling child in a laundry basket in front of a washing machine.