Q&A: breast dried up after possible mastitis

E writes:

"My son is 3 months old, I don't breastfeed him exclusively because of my low milk supply. However, I only give him about 120ml of formula a day and I breastfeed the rest.

My right breast has no milk now! Over the weekend I woke up and my breast was full and hurting, so I breastfed him from it and it stayed hurting me the whole day. Now its been 2 days, it doesn't fill up and when I pump barely comes out! 10oz maybe. Since I'm back to work, I pump at work and now I can't fill a whole bottle. What do I do?? Is it over for my right breast? I already have low milk supply, one breast won't be enough for him."

We've seen this before, unfortunately. I've heard lots of women report that after a bout with mastitis that side dried up. Usually mastitis would be more than just one day of "hurting" (when I had it it was hot and cold flashes, dizziness, shooting pain, and red marks on my breast all night and for about 6 hours after I started the antibiotics the next day) but E might have higher pain tolerance than I do, or her system may be more sensitive than mine is. If she already had low supply, just an inflamed duct could be enough to knock out her supply on that side.

Having heard so many stories from mothers (and from LCs) about trying to resurrect supply on a side that's dried up, I'm not sure anything E does will bring back her milk on that side. And many of us can't pump as much as we can give a baby when we're nursing, but E needs to pump, so not being able to get much from the other side is a problem for her.

I'd like to hear from anyone out there who kept nursing (and pumping) from one side, even knowing you didn't have a full enough supply to nurse exclusively. We all know that any breastmilk at all that E can give her baby is good for him, and that the nursing time she has with him when she's home is good for him, too. But when you're the only doing all the work for what feels like such a small amount, it can be hard to know it's worth it.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation? How did you keep knowing you were doing something good for your child? Words of encouragement for E?

64 thoughts on “Q&A: breast dried up after possible mastitis”

  1. I can’t comment on only one side producing, but I can say I was not able to pump enough while I was at work for a whole day. It did seem pointless sometimes, when all I got was 2 or 3 oz during a pumping session, but I kept in mind the following: 1) I was keeping the bar open so I could nurse when I was at home (and she got plenty from the source, it was just pumping that didn’t work well); 2) she received less formula which A) caused more digestion issues like constipation, and B) saved us money over all.Also, by keeping breastfeeding going, I was able to stop pumping at 11 months and yet still nurse. By that time she was eating enough to keep her going during the day. We are still nursing at 19 months when I am home.

  2. I’ve never had this experience, either, but I’ve had mastitis, and I wonder if BF the baby on the “dry” side might help more than pumping (obviously, when at home, not at work!). Pumping can be so inefficient, and I think nursing triggers more milk. Anyway, that’s my only suggestion – try nursing at home only on the dry side, and let the baby nurse as long as he wants/ will (obviously, if he’s hungry and frustrated from not getting enough milk, give him some from the other side). If you’re getting *some* milk that’s better than none, and it means there’s some milk flow there! I had weaned my son down to 1 feeding a day for like a month and then he got rotavirus and could not keep anything down except breastmilk. I just nursed and nursed and nursed, let him stay at the breast as long as he wanted, and after 3 days or so my supply came gushing back. The more he sucks, the more it should trigger the body to make more. Cluster feeding can be exhausting, but it might help.Good luck! Remember no matter what happens, you’re doing a great job.

  3. No advice, just want to let E know that she is doing a wonderful job. Sometimes, things happen that are beyond your control. You do the best you can. I hope everything works out with the milk supply. Breastfeeding is great, but there can be challenges. If, for some reason, breastfeeding doesn’t work out, know that you did your best. It is OK to be disappointed, but don’t feel guilty.

  4. I agree — let him nurse from the side that’s not producing and see what happens. Pumping isn’t a good indicator of actual supply.Worst case, though, I’m nursing twins and if I can manage to make enough milk for two, I’d think one breast could make enough milk for one.
    You might also talk to your doctor about it. I know they can give you some medication to make you produce more milk. It might help with this situation too.

  5. I also had low supply (though mine was foreseeable 9 years after a breast reduction), and could only pump like at best 2 oz at a time with both of my kids. I also supplemented with formula, and experienced a drop in my supply at 3 months postpartum, when my period returned.I know you already know this, but a 3 month old baby can generally get more milk from you than even the best hospital-grade pump can – so I agree with @Erin – nurse the dry side a lot more and it may come back. Co-sleep and nurse at night if you can still get enough rest that way? It is also normal to sometimes have one breast that is a better producer than the other.
    But… if this situation ever gets to be too anxiety-provoking or depressive for you, please give yourself permission to quit if that’s what’s in your heart. Truly, you’ve already succeeded!

  6. And if going forward you only ever get milk from one side, it still benefits your baby. I had low milk supply, worked hard to get it up, and settled for 25-30% breastmilk for 7 months until I went back to work.* We did breast first followed by bottle at most feedings. It did take a lot of time._For me_ the antibodies and the love were worth it. And being less-than-exclusive breastfeeders worked really well for us. I wish more people knew that was an option if 100% breastfeeding doesn’t work for you for some reason. Best of luck to you!
    *It wasn’t work that finally killed my supply at around 8 months, but a series of daycare-related colds that made the baby too stuffed up to nurse effectively.

  7. I was wondering if this is about the time that your breasts start to figure things out and don’t become as full as they once did, even though you are totally producing enough milk. I remember this happening, and I panicked that I was losing my supply. I work full time and breastfed exclusively, and I pumped while at the office. If I was worried that things were getting low, I would get up in the middle of the night to pump to remind my body to make milk. My daughter is now 16 months and is still nursing a few times a day (I stopped pumping at 1 year). From my experience, 10oz from one breast is a lot of milk for one pumping…Hang in there! Maybe your body is just going through a transition now that your son is 3 months and starting to settle into more of a predictable pattern for feedings? I would recommend nursing as much as possible when you’re together and see if that makes a difference. Offer the right side more often and pump the left if possible. This might get things going. I know lots of moms who had breasts that didn’t produce the same amounts (me included). There are also some moms that only had one breast that produced, and they were able to successfully breastfeed exclusively.
    Your son is a lucky boy – you’re a wonderful mom! Don’t get discouraged.

  8. I dealt with mastitis and dip in supply afterwards. For me it was not permanent but did take some effort to rebuild. The laws of supply and demand still apply so if you want to rebuild your supply some things I tried were–avoid supplementing. chugging lots and lots of water. fenugreek. i also got a big boost from oatmeal. offering clogged breast first. increase pumping frequency. stay home 1-2 days in bed with baby (if possible). look at the underlying reasons for the clogged duct that could also be impacting your supply. around 3 months my son’s sleeping started consolidating SLIGHTLY. so maybe add an additional evening pump? maybe need to increase the frequency at work…or another trick that may be possible around 3 months is try for a second let down within the same session…at some point when pumping i needed to change flange size from the standard ones that came with the pump. if you have the wrong size it could be contributing to clogged ducts and hurting your supply.i really wouldn’t give up on that side yet. 10 ounces? That sounds like a good amount to me…How much were you getting from that side before?

  9. I was going to comment, but Jen said all the things I was thinking after reading the question. But, I will add that I had good luck with Fenugreek capsules and mother’s milk tea when my supply was low — both are available at health food stores. I’ve also heard that eating eggs and oatmeal can help.

  10. I’ll add my data point that fenugreek really did help me with low supply. You need to take a lot–enough so that you emit maple syrup smelling fumes. I also second asking your doctor (if your doctor is on the same page as you, in general)… Also your local La Leche group may be helpful.Lots of great advice here! Good luck, and whatever happens, your baby has the exact mother he needs! It’s YOU that matters the most to him, and BFing has awesome benefits, but YOU, all of you, are the most important thing.

  11. Nothing on mastitis, since I never had it, but I did breastfeed both my babies until they would have it no more (around 9 months), in spite of very low supply. I pumped for awhile, but gave that up when I figured out that (*this is how it worked for my body*) I made about 8-10 oz of milk a day regardless of how it came out (meaning I could get a 4 oz evening feed and a 6 oz morning, or pump 4 oz at work and then get 2 at night and only 4 in the morning), so I started just breastfeeding evening and morning and skipping the pump.Here’s what my pediatrician told me, when it became obvious I wasn’t going to be an exclusive breastfeeder. There are benefits to exclusive breastfeeding, but there are also benefits to breastfeeding. The antibodies, for example, in breastmilk, are present even if your baby only gets a little bit of breast milk. He really strongly encouraged me to stick with it for my children’s health, even knowing they were (at peak) also getting 40 oz of formula a day.
    FWIW, I always nursed on both sides, usually “good” side first, then bottle (when they were really hungry — no way, no how were they going to tolerate switching to the nothin-there side after only a few ounces!), then let them finish up whatever excess sucking they wanted on the “bad” side. And if I thought it was just sucking they wanted (a la “human pacifier”), I nursed on the bad side (which also happens to be the side I’m physically most comfortable holding a baby). It worked out.
    One hint: If you want to combo breast/bottle feed, I highly recommend using a 1 or 2 nipple as long as possible. The higher numbers have bigger holes and it helps to minimize the breast-bottle effort difference as much as possible.

  12. A few words of advice… Set reasonable goals for yourself, possibly in stages. For example, I said that I would be really proud of myself if I could pump for six months, and I would only do it for a year if it was not a huge inconvenience for me. I did manage to pump for a year, but I had a very easy pumping situation where I could sit at my desk and work or play on the internet while I pumped. I didn’t have to travel at all or go to a special room, which I think would have made things much more unpleasant for me.Pumping is no small thing, and it’s only a part of how you are a mother, and probably one of the least pleasant aspects of mothering.
    Basically, I hope you can be proud of what you have given to your baby and are giving to your baby without giving yourself a hard time about not continuing, if that ends up being the most sensible option. Remember that taking care of your own health (including stress levels) is very important as a new mom.
    Good luck! And congratulations on your new baby!!!

  13. I echo Rudynparis – he has the exact mum that he needs no matter what he drinks.I never produced enough supply to exclusively bf my ds (massive complications after delivery), despite trying everything. So from three weeks on he was formula-fed…and the sky didn’t fall on my head, or his!

  14. kellymom.com is a great resource for breastfeeding info.First and foremost make sure that you are well-hydrated. As someone else mentioned, 3 mos. is a time when things level off and your body adjusts itself, so it may feel like you are making less because there is not that full sensation, but ALSO is time for a growth spurt, which means that the baby increases sucking – to stimulate your body to produce more – but will be disappointed for a bit (meaning seeming to not get enought milk) until your body gets the signal to make more. So this is actually a good time to take steps to increase production and keep on the right track. I never had supply problems, but remember the anguish, at he beginning of the three-month growth spurt (which seemed the most dramatic for me) of my baby sucking and crying and sucking and crying, and feeling like I wasn’t producing enough. Eventually, I’d have a big let down and my supply would increase. Supply and demand! It always felt like it wasn’t going to work, and it always did.
    Things that worked for me: putting baby to breast as much as possible; maybe on a saturday having a baby vacation where you spend the day skin to skin in bed, nursing as much as possible, just focusing on getting the supply up; lots of water, eating oatmeal, fenugreek, mother’s milk plus tincture (available in health food stores) is amazing!!! better than the tea and capsules of same name, I think, a little beer helps, too 😉
    AND most important, be kind to yourself. You are a mother of superhuman abilities, in my opinion, to have a baby so young and already be pumping. that is so much work and commitment and you should be very proud of yourself for what you’ve accomplished so far.
    And remember – in the face of conversations with pediatricians and la leche league people who may or may not share your beliefs or opinions – you are the only one who knows what is best for you baby and for yourself and for your family. Don’t let anyone make you feel like your decisions are bad or wrong. Go with your mommy gut. It is always right!

  15. I breastfed exclusively, or near exclusively . . . early on, there were a few bottles as we got things established. FWIW, I never felt full, and I never pumped well — 10 oz was beyond me. My breasts were really slack back then, kind of like those bags of oxygen in airplanes: even if they don’t fill up, oxygen is still flowing. As for pumping, at most I could pump 3.5 ounces from a breast at a sitting, and that elicited a happy dance and lots of whooping. I ditched the pump as soon as I could.I never had a great supply, but somewhere around 3-6 months, things evened out enough that I stopped thinking of myself as having any issues with it. Things that worked for me were Mother’s Milk Tea and Guinness. Drink beer. Seriously. If you have 1 12oz beer an hour, your blood alcohol should be .10 more or less . . . and that’s what your milk alcohol level will be, too. That’s the same amount that’s in non-alcoholic beer. (citation: Dr. Jack Newman, _The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers_, p. 184.)
    The other thing that worked was breastfeeding a lot. My son was a “snacker,” so we had the frequency down, but some days, the increasing-your-supply days that lasted about three days — those days I parked my hiney on the sofa in front of movies on demand and watched Gandhi while my son breastfed all day. I kid you not, all I did was switch sides and occasionally get up for food and water or to pee, while my son cried pitifully because of the interruption. And the morning after, I’d wake up with full boobs (which never happened otherwise!)
    It will work out. You’ll supply with more formula if you have to, and that will be okay. And you’ll know that any breastmilk you give your baby is a boon — even any time at the breast. My son is weaned, but he still sometimes needs to see the nee-nahs for comfort.

  16. About the one side issue: My baby almost wholly stopped eating from my left breast at around 5 months (not from mastitis… just because the letdown was always slower from that breast and it started to annoy her), and my supply regulated accordingly after a bit where she was maybe not getting quite enough and was slightly frustrated. So now when I pump I get maybe 0.5 to 1 oz from that breast, and 4-5 oz from the right one (used to be about 3 oz each). So it does self-regulate that way.Although I’d echo the other posters that say that what you are doing is wonderful, and don’t feel bad if you do or don’t BF or formula or pump or a combo. I know it’s easier to say than feel, but really, I think anyone who sticks with BF’ing more than a day should be commended, and anyone who doesn’t for her own sanity should be too (my sister and I were formula babies and we turned out great, if I do say so myself 😉 )

  17. I agree with those who say that pumping is a lousy indicator – let the baby nurse on the “bad” side first for at least a week and see how it goes. I think that’s your best bet of increasing your supply on that side.Also, good for you for keeping on keeping on and don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out and you have to supplement more than you’d like to. It’s rough going. I had to stop nursing for medical reasons for a couple of weeks when my daughter was two weeks old and my supply dried up almost entirely. In my case, building it back worked, and I was able to exclusively breastfeed for several months, but pumping was brutal. I had to pump four or five times a day just to get her enough to make it through the next work day. At nine months I had to go on a business trip with no back up supply at all and ended up switching at that point to formula while I was at work and nursing mornings, evenings and weekends. I remember being amazed at how much more efficient and successful my daughter was than the (rented! hospital-grade!) pump.

  18. Hear! Hear!What I would do differently next time (have a 4.5 yo and plan to try for #2 next year):
    1. take a baby vacation, as described above. No cooking, no cleaning, just rest, nursing, oatmeal, mother’s milk tea (or tincture, or whathaveyou), and force myself to take naps. Lots of water. Maybe every Saturday, maybe take an occasional sick day or plan a couple of days off in the first months.
    2. Get a hospital grade pump. My PIS never worked that well, and I eventually pumped with a handheld. I was getting such tiny amounts, it was just about relieving pressure. I’d pump maybe 4 oz total. W
    (We were night-cycling, what can I say? It wasn’t too bad until she was about 13 months and I totally hit a wall of exhaustion. She would only drink a few ounces during the day from a cup/spoon/eventually the avent white sippy cup tops.)
    3. Kellymom- I had this open on a tab in my browser EVERY DAY at work that first year.

  19. Call your GP, explain what’s happened and request a scrip for Domperidone.Email Dr Jack Newman (I don’t know who the corresponding American guy would be) but he’ll absolutely be able to give you the right advice. He may also be able to point you in the direction of someone who can write a scrip for you or give you a letter for your own doctor if you are having trouble getting the scrip.
    Low supply is almost always remediable and relactation is possible.
    And, finally, a quick reminder: just because your breasts aren’t full or that you aren’t pumping a lot of milk DOES NOT mean your child isn’t taking in lots of milk. (And, honestly, if you can pump out 10 oz you don’t have low supply! Wowzers!)

  20. I should expand on my last point: it is normal for the breasts to normalise and produce only what your child is asking them to produce. Most women think they have low supply or nursing issues when what is actually happening is physiologically normal.

  21. another surprised ‘yay for *only* 10 oz’! i pumped exclusively, every 4 hours for 8 months (baby in nicu for 7 1/2 months), and never ever *ever* got that much at one time, both breasts added together.so, you go, mama!

  22. First of all, you are doing a wonderful thing for your baby – any breast milk is great. And pumping is hard even under the best of conditions, so congratulations on what you’ve already accomplished.Here’s my own story – maybe something can help you. My son was exclusively breastfed for 6 months. I returned to work at 12 weeks and was not able to pump enough for him to have the necessary bottles at daycare. My son was/is huge so he was getting enough from the breast; I just was a “bad pumper”.
    1) For 8 weeks I was able to go to daycare and nurse him during my lunch. It took some understanding from my boss/coworkers and I ate a 5 min lunch at my desk all that time but it worked out for all involved. This meant I only had to send 2 6oz bottles to get him through the rest of the day. A typical day was 7:45- arrive at daycare and nurse son there, 10:00 AM bottle, 1:00 visit to nurse, 3:00 PM bottle, home and nurse as soon as we walk in the door by 5:45. During this time I also pumped 2x at work for 20 min.
    2) I had to pump 4x a day (twice at work, once in the early morning and once after he goes down at night) to get 12oz for the daycare bottles.
    3) A daily combination of 4-5 cups of Mother’s Milk tea, fenugreek and More Milk Plus pills helped boost my pumping output from 2-3 oz per side to 4-5 oz.
    4) I got access to a hospital-grade pump and within 2 weeks my output went up by 1-2 oz per side per session.
    5) LOTS. OF. WATER. Between the tea and the water I drink close to a gallon of fluids a day. When I don’t get enough to drink I notice a dip in my pump output the following day.
    6) Allowing him to night cycle and deal with the sleep deprivation. Up until about a month ago he got up 3-4x a night to nurse. Now he gets up twice.
    Now, at 7 months he takes 2 8oz bottles at daycare plus 2 meals of solid food. I still pump 3x a day but have for the first time since he was born been able to freeze some for use when I’m not around.
    And I think I’ve read every page of Kellymom.com – best source of info for breastfeeding on the ‘net!

  23. My baby was exclusively formula fed, no breast ever. Babies retain their mother’s protective antibodies for 12 months post-partum, regardless of feeding choice. I remember nodding my head in wonder when she got her first cold at exactly 12 months.Though my daughter just happened not to get sick in her first year, (oh except for prolonged diarrhea, I forgot!) I know lots of babies do get colds and ear infections despite breast feeding, and babies who are formula fed who get colds as well. My baby also got VERY plump and delicious on formula, and is now at 4.5, a tall drink of water. I think all those extra tissue cells make the power of viruses dilute, and ensures thorough myelination of neural pathways.
    Also, against the tide of info: SHe IS open to and wiling to try LOTS of different kinds of food. That’s what I was most sad about, believe it or not, that she wouldn’t enjoy my menu thru breast feeding, and that she might be picky.
    We found formula to be expensive, a pain to get the temp right, mix, clean 12 bottles a day, travel with, etc.
    PS daddy bonded almost instantly, maybe because he had a full share in the feeding.
    Good luck with whatever method you choose. We all feel your pain, and want the best for you!

  24. I had a similar situation, although my first LO was a few months older. My left side was always a poorer producer at the pump (although baby girl never seemed to have a problem at the breast). At 7 months old, the combination of traveling for work, depleting the frozen milk stash and a huge supply dip after mastitis led me to a critical point. Up to then I had just barely been pumping what she needed while I was at work, and after I was at least a bottle short every day. I drank as much water as I could stand, ate oatmeal and protein, and used mother’s milk tea. It helped a little, but I was never able to pump as much as she needed again.I was not thrilled about supplementing with formula at daycare, but I continued nursing DD one demand whenever we were together. I continued pumping until her birthday and sent whatever I was able to get. And her teachers supplemented her needs with formula.
    At 12 months I ditched the pump and she got cow’s milk at daycare. We continued breastfeeding when we were together and she self-weaned at 22 months.
    Exclusive breastfeeding is fabulous, but it is also possible to sustain a breastmilk/formula combo for as long as mom and baby are happy. Sometimes I really, really hated that pump. But it gave me a lot of satisfaction to send whatever milk I could and when it came time for toddler tantrums I was happy that we were still nursing. 🙂
    Good luck, E, on whatever path is right for you and your little one!

  25. Could also be 10 ml instead of 10 oz.I’m afraid I don’t have much to add besides what the others have suggested, but give yourself a break, as much as you can. It’s easy to get so caught up in pumping and obsessing about milk supply that you can’t properly enjoy your baby. As others said, you have already succeeded.

  26. The great thing about breastfeeding is that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you want to keep up or increase your supply, there are some great suggestions here (will 2nd, 3rd, 4th the assertion that pumping is generally a terrible indicator of how much milk you’re producing).If you want to stop pumping, feed formula while you’re at work and nurse when you’re home, that works, too. Your infant will thrive either way.
    If you had a certain expectation of what your nursing relationship would be, allow yourself to feel sad about that if it needs to change.

  27. I think it’s 10mL, because she says 120mL regarding formula (about 4oz). 10mL is 2 teaspoons.And I want to say that she’s doing a great job already. Making it to 3months is fantastic. If her supply doesn’t recover then increasing the formula does not mean she’s a bad mum or a failure. And pumping & worrying about supply can get in the way of enjoying your baby.
    So try some of these great ideas, but notice if the trying becomes detrimental your mental health or your bond with your baby.
    And being a one-boob + formula could be really handy. The benefits of breast milk (antibodies, bonding, free) plus the convenience of formula (share feeding duties). And bras with soft moulded cups can help hide any lopsidedness 😉
    My views are obviously colored by my own experiences.
    Best of luck to you and whatever options you explore.

  28. I feel lots of sympathy and admiration for E and her baby is a very lucky boy to have her for his mum.I got mastitis repeatedly in my biggest producing breast and I found that it forever impaired my pumping ability. As in no pump could drain it.
    I did begin every feed on that breast and my DD was strong enough to drain it and hungry enough for the other boob.
    When she stopped nursing abruptly I did go through a lot of terrible pain and another bout of mastitis in that breast.
    I already posted this earlier, ahem, but with an update now I got mastitis like pain and redness post-ovulatory for 15 months after DD stopped nursing in that boob.
    That has now gone away.
    My point is that mastitis in my experience changes your breast and pumping etc.
    There’s no guilt or shame in giving up nursing if the pain becomes too much at all. If it’s unbearable it’s not good for mum or baby. But pumping does not mean that E. will never be able to feed from that breast again.

  29. I had a similar situation with #1. He was a snacker, so I never produced more than 2-4 ounces per breast. Around 6 months I tried to up my supply by taking Fenugreek, got mastitis on the right side, and the supply on that side almost totally dried up. I quit the Fenugreek and just kept on nursing, always starting on the “bad” side. That side never returned to its former production levels, but the left side started picking up the slack. So the grand total of milk ended up being the same. I ended up up about 50/50 on formula and breast milk until my supply totally dried up at 15 months.Babe #2 is now 4 months old. I had a hard time ramping up my milk supply, and couldn’t get a let down for the pump at all. Fenugreek and Fennel helped both of those problems. I was also worried that my right breast would still be effected, so I started every nursing session on that side. It took a couple of months, but I am happy to say that both breasts are producing even amounts. Hang in there!

  30. Only one side really ever worked for me but I dutifully nursed and pumped on both sides to hopefully bring them to the same level … what it meant for my older son was a lot of work/frustration on the side that didn’t produce much (I called it the pacifier), but it kept my breasts about equal in size. With my second son, I gave up on the lesser side and nursed exclusively on the other and was very lopsided for a few years. They evened out eventually.Both boys were fed enough from one breast, though, to thrive. Your body seems to intuitively know it has to make more on the other side and compensates. It feels weird to be so heavy on one and flat on the other, but it’s fine. I worried about eye development, too, since my 2nd son nursed so exclusively in one position, but he has no vision problems now.
    Good luck to her!

  31. Wow! You are doing a great job.Even if you are not getting much milk when pumping, it is important to keep pumping for a little while. Your baby is still so little, and this pumping is keeping up your supply enough to nurse him on the weekend.
    Breastfeeding (ie putting him to the breast) is really important, no matter how much supplementation he gets. The research shows that the baby’s actual mouth on your breast is a big part of the antibody production mechanism. Besides, it is comforting and connecting and probably makes you feel good?
    Try and take a sick day and stay home in bed with your baby and nurse all day. If you don’t know how to breastfeed lying down, then ring a LLL leader and ask them how or phone a friend or look at a picture on the internet. The trick for me was two pillows under the head, one jammed behind the back and one between my knees.
    Plenty of water.
    Make one day of each weekend a mummy stays in bed day. This might need to last for a month or two. You are doing a REALLY hard job and you need to get plenty of rest for your own sake and for your baby.
    I admire your dedication.

  32. I was right where E was a month ago today, I realized this morning. I have a (now) six-month-old and two older kiddos (5.5 and 2.5; both nursed till 20+ months) and never had more than the occasional plugged duct, which usually went away in 12 hours or so (after lots of nursing, pumping, water drinking, ibuprofen, massage and hot showers). That’s what i thought this was; just another plugged duct but the fever was much worse and didn’t go away until i got antibiotics.I happen to be friends with not one but two awesome lactation consultants – which is my first suggestion for E: Get thee to one! – and they have been really helpful in guiding me through BF follies, even for a seeming old pro as myself. There’s always something to learn…
    …such as: Mastitis takes different forms! I didn’t think I had it because I had always heard the tales of searing pain from my friends who’d suffered through it. I had some pain, sure, but it wasn’t as bad as they’d described it. Just felt like a plugged duct. For me, the difference was the fever.
    Anyway, I had similar supply issues. I tried to pump whenever possible and was dismayed to see less and less come out, especially on the infected side. Joy of joys, this seemed to coincide with a growth spurt so he was nursing, drinking my freshly pumped milk as well as consuming some stored milk (which I tend to hoard until the first birthday approaches). I started to freak out a little, in a way that only a sleep-deprived, feverish mother can, because I was afraid my supply wouldn’t come back and he’d starve and I wouldn’t be able to figure out how to feed him formula, etc. etc. etc. Name the ridiculous scenario and I considered it.
    My LC pals assured me the supply drop was normal. One told me about her particularly horrific bout with mastitis – on a cross-country flight (!) – which made her milk *completely* stop flowing for a few days. She was able to resume nursing, though, and did so until her little guy was 2.5, I think. That gave me hope. She also told me that mastitis can affect the *taste* of the milk (i.e. it’s saltier) and some babies don’t care for it. In my case, my baby was already on something of a nursing strike on that side (j’accuse, bebe!) and he had even less interest in it while I was sick. Awesome.
    I had also heard that skin-to-skin contact helps but, with two other cherubs – who, I’ll note had ZERO sympathy for my ailment – demanding food and entertainment, I couldn’t get that to happen.
    One final great piece of advice the LCs reminded me of: It takes your body a few days to respond to BF stimuli. (Several PPs have referred to this, too.) So, I kept pumping, kept nursing, kept hydrating, kept massaging. S-l-o-w-l-y my supply has built back up. It took maybe two weeks before I felt that I was breaking even (i.e. not dipping into my precious, precious frozen stores) and another two weeks before I started to have enough excess milk to store. That brings us to the present…and, hey, look at that! It’s time to pump.
    Hang in there, E! You’re doing great. 🙂

  33. okay, my info was wrong about antibodies: according to my google search, antibodies ebb to their lowest starting at 2 months to sometime before 9 months. Ususally by nine months newborns have built a good foundation of their own immuno-globulins, but before then a mother breast feeding, supplements the babies own low igs, which you all know. Please forgive my bad info!

  34. I’m beating a dead horse here, but yeah…Skin to skin contact with baby while nursing on the “bad” side. Nurse and nurse and nurse some more on that side, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a very warm (hot) damp cloth being held on that breast while you nurse to loosen things up a bit.
    And I would second, third, fourth, etc. that pumping is not nearly as efficent as your nursing baby is, so get him on there and keep him there as much as possible.
    Drink tons of water, eat lots of eggs and avocadoes and try to relax, which I know is super hard right now what with work and having a little baby and stressing about your breastmilk.
    Good luck. I know it’s stressful, this too shall pass.

  35. E., do you mean you are getting 10oz each pumping session? That’s pretty good – I had hyper lactation and I only ever got 5oz per breast per session. So you might be doing just fine.I would recommend pumping more often during the day. When my daughter was in the NICU and I was having trouble getting things going, the hospital recommended every three hours, 10 minutes per side – any more often or longer duration apparently won’t do any additional good. Use a really good pump – I love my Medela Pump in Style (good for hiding at work as it looks like a backpack or briefcase, depending on the style you choose). Use it on the highest setting for maximum nipple stimulation. Take a photo of baby with you to work, or worn but clean PJ’s that smell like him. Sounds weird but it might help … I used to pump in front of my daughter’s incubator and sniff her from time to time for inspiration. It really did seem to speed up the let down and increase its’ intensity too.
    I also echo the posters above – let baby nurse as often as he wants for as long as he wants and hopefully you will have two gushers on your hands in about a week. Good luck!

  36. Haven’t had time to read the comments in detail, but want to echo what some of the other posters were saying. Around the three month mark, I pumped out an extremely full breast because it was causing me discomfort, and for several days after that it felt completely empty– like it wasn’t making any milk and I wasn’t getting more than an ounce or so when I’d try to pump it. I was really concerned and called a lactation consultant. She told me they get more calls about low supply at the three month mark than any other time. Long story short, I made sure I continued to feed often on that side and now have plenty milk in the problem breast. Hopefully your experience will be the same. If not, we’re so lucky to live in a time where there is an alternative. Best of luck!

  37. I didn’t have the one-breast-not-producing problem but I was never able to b/f exclusively, despite working with good LCs and extensive post-nursing pumping to try to increase my supply. That said, my son did BF as much as I could give him (and also drank formula when he didn’t get enough from the breast) until he self-weaned at about 13 months old. And honestly BFing was a wonderful thing for both of us (thank heavens) and something I’m very glad I was able to do. I did go back to work when DS was 2 months old, and pumped, and yes, that brought its own set of supply issues, but I did what I could (and supplemented with formula for what I couldn’t). All of which is a long way of saying to the OP … even if you aren’t currently producing enough milk to BF exclusively *and* even if that doesn’t change, that doesn’t mean BFing cannot be part of your baby’s nourishment and one of your shared experiences if you want it to be.The one tip I’ve heard (though only too late for me) that I didn’t see in a quick scan of the above is that applying warmth to the breasts pre-nursing can help (either a warm shower or bath or a heat pack of some sort).
    Best of luck to you in finding a pattern that is comfortable and works for you and your child, whatever combination of feeding methods that involves.

  38. When my daughter was 7 weeks old, I had two episodes of blocked ducts in my left breast, one right after the other, and that breast decided it was done. Shortly after that, the right one pooped out too. I nursed and pumped on the defunct side as often as possible, since the more frequently the breast is emptied the more it will produce. I also took fenugreek and blessed thistle, three pills of each herb three times a day. I spent three weeks smelling like maple syrup. And I am here to tell you, it worked. This was about three months ago now, and the left boob still lags a little bit, but I got my supply back up to where it needed to be and now we’re all good.Best of luck to you, and I hope things work out in a way that works well for both of you.

  39. I haven’t read all the comments, but it sounds as if a blocked duct caused the mastitis due to the fact that you woke up with swelling and soreness and you don’t mention any other possible cause of it (i.e. cracked nipples). I think that the milk is in there, just backed up behind the clog, that you need to get out. I had several clogged ducts and just pumped and fed as much as possible on that breast. The milk will come back, but it will take some time and effort.Just another bit of information, I tended to get blocked ducts. I read somewhere that sleeping on your side or front (where pressure is on the breast) can cause damage to the milk ducts. I tested it and religiously slept on my back (even though I am a side and stomach sleeper) and it really helped. Once I started it, I never got a blocked duct again.

  40. My supply was never great and diminished a lot at about 5 months. With twins. My bigger boy was very very hungry and he started refusing the breast because he wanted the bottle. I usually breastfed, then gave the bottle after. They could never get enough from the breast.When my other boy started refusing to nurse, I realized there was a problem and started trying to pump. It never increased back to what it was. My doctor told me that often an exhausted mother just stops making milk after 5-6 months, when babies start eating solid food. It just happens sometimes. I was getting 4 hours sleep per night.
    Whatever you decide to do, know that you have done a great job breastfeeding your baby and that these things sometimes happen in spite of our best efforts. I felt bad for a long time but then again, I did breastfeed twins (not exclusively but still) and they are fine strapping boys of almost 6 now.

  41. Yep, this happened to me. I had difficulty with supply and one side was always lower than the other – I’d get about twice the amount out of the good side when I pumped. Later (around 9 months? can’t quite remember), that side dried up completely and I kept nursing from the other side until my daughter was 18 months old.However, she was a little older than the poster’s daughter, and by about 12 months she was only interested in nursing once a day or so, so it wasn’t a really big issue how much there was, as it was more a comfort issue for her than anything else. She nursed in the morning for a few minutes and that was basically it.
    That said, I realized later in the process that I’d had some plugged ducts on the side that was low producing and that I hadn’t effectively cleared them out, and if I had I wonder if it would have cleared up the issue before my supply dried up. (I realized this after it happened on the other side, and recognized some symptoms I’d missed before on the side that was low.) Try heating pads on that side (rice in a sock, in the microwave) and massaging and see if you can open it up a little.

  42. I find that it often changes and my baby (4.5 months) sometimes likes one boob more than the other. I find breastfeeding tea good for a boost and malt drinks. Don’t give up yet, it could reallly come back. It may also sound mental, but look at a pic of babs when you are pumping.

  43. My left boob is my “dodgy” one – very prone to plugged ducts, and with my DD1 the supply on that side when I pumped was noticeable lower after the duct issues. i had two severe plugged ducts and always noticed a dry/pulling sensation when I nursed DD1 on that side, although it did not dry up altogether.Now I am feeding twins and it has totally stepped up to the plate, but it is definitely more sensitive to any challenging circumstances.
    I second the advice about pump flange sizes. The standard size was too small for me and gave me plugged duct after plugged duct until I worked it out. That also improved pump volumes. One thing to look out for is skin flakes adhering to the pump flanges, or your nipple looking like a sausage in the tube all the way up to the nipple tip.
    I have twins who were 36 weekers and had problems with low ewight gain due to poor milk extraction, and remain fairly inefficient breast feeders at 10 weeks. My problem isn’t supply per se but in keeping sufficient stimulus going to maximise pump yield, since both are getting quite a whack of their breast milk from the bottle. When I was first pumping for them I had to supplement with formula and pumping took forever – 40mins or so, even with a double pump. but now we are 100% boob and I can usually get the job done in under 15 mins.
    What worked for me were the usual suspects:
    * fenugreek (but I had to take flaxseed oil at the same time or it was plugged duct-orama – thanks to Ask Moxie for the tip!)
    * more pumping (naturally)
    * pumping after each and every feed, which I still do – 8 times a day – zzzzzzzzzzz (the real bummer with twins is you really can’tskip a go or you end up with 180ml of milk jamming up your boobs)
    * plenty of skin to skin time – I bath with the babies
    The only other advice I have is from my LC. She said pumping is a mental game and to maximise yield you need to “love the pump.” I found this really interesting as at that point I was resenting the hell out of the pump which I think is pretty natural when you are not getting the volume you need despite your best efforts. Weird as it sounds, I started to try to look at the pump as my helper / look at it “lovingly.” That sped up let downs immensely and made it a faster job. Not sure if it helped volume though but never hurts to try and screw with your mind eh?
    At this point my friend calls the pump my “triplet.” My body lets down for it as quickly as the babies – quite a mental trip.
    You are doing such a great job. I really think we pumping mums cop the worst of both worlds in a lot of respects – certainly it is so so much harder than my breastfeeding experience with DD1 which was from the source only. But our babies reap the benefits. If nothing else, my twins escaped a house of gastroenteritis a couple of weeks ago!
    All the best and I hope things work out for you, whatever you decide to do.
    Loz

  44. I fed my son on one side onky from four months till weaning at ten months. My daughter started to refuse one side for low production at around five months. I’ve been feeding her on one side ever since. She’s now 2 yrs and 2 months old. Totally doable. 😉

  45. 10 oz is bad? I get 10 oz the entire DAY with 3x day pumping at work! I’d like to increase my supply during weekends with some “all day nursing” marathons but my baby just does NOT like to hang out at the boob. When she’s not hungry, she lets me know it! Even when she is hungry, she will feed on one side for maybe 8 minutes and be DONE. If I try to encourage her to eat more or offer the other breast, she gets angry and squirmy … anyone else have this problem? I think she’s just not a big eater. Almost 8 months and she will take three 4 oz bottles during the day and sometimes doesn’t even finish those.

  46. @ Jane – we think she meant 10 ml, because she was talking in terms of ml of formula.(Slightly off topic: Is this totally weird? But hearing all the advice about taking a sick day to stay in bed nursing and cuddling skin-to-skin sounded to me like the best vacation ever? It made me really want to do that – I have a baby who will nurse and nurse and nurse and never stop (this child gained 3 lbs in the first 3 weeks of his life). And I love nursing him. I’ve really been drunk on the love hormone since having him.)

  47. Another suggestion for the poster or anyone wanting to boost their supply who doesn’t have time to stay in bed during the day with their babe (if you have other children, too, for example): cosleeping and night nursing.Both of my kiddos were reverse cyclers and got a lot of their calories during the night. While not for everyone, cosleeping and night nursing can be a wonderful way to boost/maintain your supply. My DD, in particular, will remain latched on and suckle the whole night. If you set yourself up with enough pillows strategically placed, you can be comfortable and get rest, too.

  48. I wasn’t going to comment as what I would say has already been said very well by others.Except for this: If it is a case of a plugged duct combined with reduced supply (which makes it feel like no supply), I suggest trying to see a LC or BF friendly/knowledgeable doctor who can drain the breast for you. When I had mastitis (pain like no other), DS was really good at draining most of the breast and the ducts. But there was this one stubborn duct. The doctor opened it up for me (with a pin) and drained the breast.
    She did this two times in addition to my other treatments (nipple cream, antibiotics, ultrasound, warm compresses etc.) And I really think it helped get things moving again. Fingers crossed, but all seems to be normal now. Once that was free I actually had to be careful to not let DS BF as much as he had been in the weeks preceding as it was building my milk supply back up when we were in the process of winding it down.
    Good luck to E and I echo the sentiment above that it’s OK to feel disappointed if you can’t have the feeding arrangement you would ultimately like. No, it’s not the end of the world, but I do think you have to acknowledge the feelings surrounding your situation and to respect them in order to move to a place where you can be comfortable with and feel good about what you CAN do, that is within your control.
    Perhaps it’s my own issue, but I always feel that ‘it’s not the end of the world’ has an underlying message of ‘Get over it. It sucks, but that’s life.’
    And I’m NOT implying that anyone here was implying this at all. But when you’re sensitive about something I think it can be taken this way, and I would hate for E to feel bad for feeling bad about this.
    @Erin, Regarding your OT observation, taking a nursing holiday with DS right now, for me, would be a kind of torture. BUT! DS is 2y5m, so not the same thing as an infant or child under 1. I’m actually at the stage now where any longer than 15 mins and I start to jump out of my skin.
    It didn’t used to be that way at all. I think I’m pretty much done with BF (except with the nurse to sleep, which I think I could continue doing for a while). DS, of course, has other plans. I’m OK for the moment with staying where we are, but I do try some techniques to limit his time when I start feeling squirrely. Anyhow, just wanted to give a different perspective. When he was younger I was much more content (if not exhausted) to nurse for hours or back-to-back sessions.

  49. @the milliner – I know what you mean! I have an older child and I was definitely getting there with him before we weaned. The story of his weaning at 18 mo is actually a little sad, and I think part of my ecstatic BF with #2 is a reaction to that experience.

  50. Dear E,I had a plugged duct on the right side with my first daughter. And then w/my second, I had mastitis pretty much continuously from her 2nd week of life to 4 months. I nursed through it for a while (that xtranormal viral cartoon is flashing through my mind as I type that), and then I just cut back On That Side.
    I was producing OK on the other side, and gradually scaled back on the right. It turns out that my milk production on the right side (the infected side) was in over-drive, pretty much from Jump Street. The baby would put her tongue over my nipple to slow down the flow into her mouth, which caused incredibly cracked and PAINFUL nipples. It sounds like that’s not an issue for E, b/c that was all I could talk about at the time – forget about the discomfort from the mastitis (which was also significant).
    So, to scale back, I gradually curtailed the pumping on that side, and picked up the pumping on the other side. I used cabbage leaves a little on the right side to help speed up the “drying up”. I stopped nursing on the right side by 6 months, and continued on just the left for another 3 or so months. I supplemented with formula to make up the difference, but my left side did well, and increased production, from what I could tell.
    Pain sucks. Do what you can. Enjoy your time with you wee lovely baby.

  51. Hugs to E! Breastfeeding can be tough in the early days, when you’re working to get the nursing relationship established.Moxie, what made you think mastitis? E didn’t mention any of the typical flu-like symptoms: fever, chills, etc. Sounds to me like the breast pain was maybe just a plugged duct (which can lead to mastitis if left untreated) since from the limited info we are given, it resolved without the typical systemic infection symptoms and without antibiotics in only a day or two. But without answers to more questions, even a trained LC couldn’t say for sure…
    Really, to “diagnose” anything, we need more info!! Like, could E be pregnant? Did she recently have a cold, and maybe took some Sudafed? Did E recently start taking oral contraceptives? Is baby nursing less often so as to decrease supply, maybe because baby recently started sleeping through the night? All these things can also decrease milk supply, and something like medication use is far more likely to produce the sudden drop in supply that E describes.
    True low milk supply is not terribly common. Incidence is something like 1-3% of women. For probably more than 97% of women, low milk supply can be remedied with proper management (including methods suggested here by many of the wise commenters). In fact, waking up with a feeling of fullness, plugged ducts, and mastitis are more common in women with HIGH supplies, so E, you just might have more milk than you think!
    Bottom line:
    E, if you decide breastfeeding is no longer working out for you and your baby, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it — we all do the best we can, and any breastmilk at all has given your baby measurable health advantages. Certainly no reason for guilt, you should feel good!
    But, E, if you decide you want to keep breastfeeding, please go find a qualified breastfeeding specialist or LC who can help you sort out these questions — it may be possible for you to build up your supply. Or go to a LLL meeting — the leaders and other moms can be a really helpful source of support!
    I have no personal experience with low supply, so I can’t offer personal stories of support, but to give you hope, E, remember that moms of multiples can breastfeed (each baby getting an average of only one breast (or less)) and that moms who’ve had one breast removed due to cancer can still breastfeed from the single remaining breast.
    Good luck, enjoy your little one!

  52. I haven’t been through that specific experience, but I have been in a situation of not being able to pump enough, for unrelated reasons. And here’s the thought that occurred to me one day when I was feeling discouraged: ‘By the time my son is twenty, he’s going to have a long list of complaints about all the ways in which I fell short of the mark as a mother, because that’s what kids always do. But do I believe for one nanosecond that “You couldn’t pump enough breastmilk for me when I was seven months old!” is going to be anywhere on that list? The hell it is. And if he’s not ever going to worry about it, then isn’t there a limit to how much I need to worry about it?’That was the thought that helped me get things back into perspective and keep them there. After that, I just went on doing the best I could to pump at work, got what I could, and didn’t fret too much about what I couldn’t get. Hope that helps.

  53. Hi there,First – you are doing an AWESOME job no matter what, so please don’t beat yourself up about this too much.
    It sounds like you had a wickedly blocked duct and that will totally reduce what’s coming out even if there is still lots of milk there (obviously).
    I had some bad blocks with my daughter (now almost 4), one of which developed into mastitis, and the end result was that that particular side was just never the “producer” that the other side was – it was always the weak one.
    Almost two years ago now I had another baby, a boy, who unfortunately only lived for a week. (He was a preemie; it was horrible and sad – but we’re at peace with everything :). While he was alive he was in the NICU and I was pumping for him exclusively – to get my supply developed and to have some milk available when we could start feeding him. I talked to an LC at the time about my poor producing right side. She suggested that I might have some scar tissue there from the mastitis and it might never unblock completely but she gave me two tricks.
    1. Take a baby diaper and soak it in hot tap water. Shake it off and hold it on your breast for about 3 minutes or so prior to pumping. (The diaper keeps the heat in better and it won’t get water all over the place).
    2. Right before you turn on the pump, apply counter pressure on either side of your nipple – put one finger on either side and just press for about 10 seconds or so. Then rotate your fingers 90 degrees and do it again. (If there’s a block close to the “exit” this will basically push the block back so the milk can get past it through the other ducts while the first one is working to clear).
    I did those two things for probably a day and a half and lo and behold – it actually started producing. I never got the opportunity to really test drive it at the time…but fast forward to now. I had another little boy in June, so he’s five months now. And you know, that work that I did before to deal with whatever scarring there was? Has TOTALLY made the right side the better producing side.
    It’s amazing the difference; so completely the opposite of what it was with my daughter.
    Regardless of what happens, I hope that you are able to get to a point that you are happy, and if you are trying to jack up supply again that maybe these tricks will help you.
    Best wishes!

  54. OK, if it is a blocked duct, has anyone mention lecithin yet? I never had that problem (kind of the opposite, really- my baby is 13 months old now, and I still have to wear breast pads….) but at the support group I used to go to, the lactation counselor would always recommend lecithin for blocked ducts. It is a naturally occurring lipid that is supposed to make the milk more “slippery”, so less likely to plug ducts.On the supply issue- you’ve gotten a lot of good advice. Fenugreek always helped me during the supply dips that are inevitable when you’re pumping. What also helped was making sure I was getting a lot of good protein. The big components of milk are sugar, fat, and protein. Your body can easily make sugar and fat from your own fat stores, but if you aren’t getting enough protein in your diet, you’ll have to start breaking down muscle to get more. So I’ve always figured that low protein could depress my milk supply. Certainly I’d notice a bump in my supply after having a big steak dinner, for instance.
    You could also check to make sure you’re getting a good seal with the pump- I’ve heard of people using lanolin around the edges of the horns to help with that- and that the horns are the right size for you. I had to go up a size from what came with the pump.
    Also remember that 3 months is the time of a growth spurt, so if it seems like the baby is always hungry- that’s normal. Even those of us without supply problems have to nurse a lot during growth spurts!
    You don’t say how often during the day you’re pumping. I found that I often had to pump one more time than the number of feedings I was replacing, particularly if my supply had dipped. So, if my baby was having three bottles while I was at work, I’d have to find time to pump 4 times in the day. I did that as 3x at work at once before bed. So one thing you could try is to start taking fenugreek (as @rudyinparis said- until you smell of maple syrup, which for me was two capsules with each meal) and at the same time increase the times you pumped. You don’t necessarily have to pump until you’re dry all of the times, but the stimulation is what sends the signal to your body that it should make more milk. Pumping before bed may sound horrible, but I have to say- it got me out of doing dishes for MONTHS. “Sorry, honey, you’ll have to do the dishes. I have to pump….” I would grab a book and my pump and get 15 minutes to myself.
    With all that said- listen closely to what your gut is telling you. For me personally, it was totally worth it to struggle through the rough times with pumping. Breastfeeding has been one of my favorite things about the baby years with both of my girls. But- I didn’t have any really hard things to overcome, just the run of the mill occasional drops in supply. I also had a job that could easily accommodate my pumping schedule (usually). So the pluses outweighed the minuses. You may hit a point where that is not the case for you, and you decide that it is time to stop pumping, or maybe even that it is time to stop nursing altogether. Don’t feel bad if that happens. I truly believe in the health benefits of breastfeeding (and I’m sorry to whoever posted the link to Hannah Rosin’s article- she didn’t really get her facts right.) But having a sane, happy mother is FAR more important for your baby.
    If this is your first baby, you are probably still coming to terms with the incredible judginess in our culture around mothering, and feeling a lot of pressure to do it “right”. Well, no matter what you do, someone will think you’re doing it wrong (evidence that Rosin article- she thinks I’m doing it wrong). You will eventually get a thicker skin to this stuff and learn to trust your own instincts more. It is really hard in the early days, though- and the hormonal roller coaster you’re on only makes it worse. Hang in there. It truly does get easier.

  55. I wonder if e was able to recover from it. I had a bout of mastitis in one breast and now I barely get 1 ounce from that breast its been 2 months and I’ve tried power pumping herbal supplements and medication. No luck getting that supply up in the breast. My son doesn’t like feeding from that breast so I have to always pump to avoid it from completely drying up

  56. They sell creams for that at the prcamhay, but I never used any so I couldn’t suggest one in particular. I know it sounds yucky, but I read about a trick in a breastfeeding guide. Every time I feed my daughter or use the pump, I never wipe off the drops of milk on my skin after I’m done. From what I read, breast milk is incredibly moisturizing for the skin and, so far, it has worked for me. It’s been 8 and a half months and I have never had a problem with that yet. 🙂

  57. I was drinking over 200 oz a day and I caituon you not to drink too much water. I ended up overdrinking on water and all the fenugreek I took ended up getting purged from my system due to the amount of water I was drinking before it had a chance to do any good. My LC told me to just drink to thirst, which was more like 100 oz for me so I just want to say there is a possibility of overdoing it. :)When you are pumping are you looking at pics of your baby? How about having a video to watch of your baby? Sometimes the addition of audio can help if pictures alone aren’t enough. I had to really work on clearing my head of everything but my son before pumping and really relaxing and concentrating on him. Also, how long are you pumping at each session? I ask because when away from my son I had extremely poor letdown and pumping sessions for me could be upwards of 45 minutes to get good letdown.

  58. I just wanted to say WOW to all of you wonderful women who are posting such encouraging words! How nice it is to see women supporting each other like this. I started reading this because I think I may have a case of mastitis coming on, I’ve had some noticeable decrease in my pumped milk supply on that side (5oz or so, down to about 2 oz.), and I was starting to get worried. Honestly, I feel better just having read all of your encouraging comments… and advice, too. Thank you!

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