As a mom (or as any caregiver), ensuring your baby is properly fed is an important job. You may choose to breastfeed, but it can sometimes be challenging. From pumping to waking up regularly to feed during the night, it’s no wonder a dried-up milk supply can put you and your baby in distress. There are telltale signs that your milk supply is drying up and ways to proactively prevent it from happening. Keep reading as we pump you with all the information you’ll need to know about how to get your milk supply back.
How to Get Milk Supply Back
Table of Contents
- What are signs your milk is drying up?
- Why is my milk supply drying up?
- Is it too late to increase milk supply?
- Can your milk supply come back after decreasing?
- How to get milk supply back up to where it needs to be
- How to get milk supply back after drying up
- How long does it take to regain milk supply?
- How to get milk supply back with pumping
- What helps to increase milk supply?
- How can I make the process of regaining milk supply a positive experience?
What are signs your milk is drying up?
As a mother’s body adjusts postpartum, navigating between signs of milk drying up and normal bodily adjustments to breastfeeding can be tricky. If your baby isn’t getting enough milk during feedings, there are a few signs to watch for that can indicate that your milk may be drying up:
- Fewer diaper changes: The amount of diaper changes is telling of the amount of food your baby is getting. For babies, it’s typical to have between 8 and 12 diaper changes a day.
- Dehydration: If your baby is showing signs of dehydration, it’s crucial to contact your healthcare provider right away. These signs can include a lack of tears when crying, decreased urine production (no urine for 6-8 hours), sunken eyes or fontanelle, and excessive fatigue or weakness.
- Baby’s weight: If your baby is not gaining weight, this can be a sign that they’re not getting enough food. It’s best to contact your healthcare provider if your baby is not returning to its birth weight or steadily gaining weight after.
Why is my milk supply drying up?
Your milk supply can start to dry up for various reasons. Here are a few of the things that may be the cause of a drying milk supply.
- Time away from baby: For many reasons, mothers can go periods of time away from their baby, like when they go back to work. Time away from your baby can decrease the demand for milk supply, causing your milk supply to dry up.
- Stress & hormonal changes: There’s no question that your body is going through a hormonal roller coaster after giving birth. Hormones post-pregnancy, coupled with the stressors of navigating parenthood, can be cause for milk supply drying up.
- Struggles with latching/feeding: If you’re having trouble with latching for feeds, you’re not alone. This widespread struggle can be cause for milk supply drying up. Be sure to seek support and resources if you are having struggles—there are plenty of professionals and other mommas out there who have lived that experience, too.
- Transitioning to other foods: If your baby is at the age that you have begun to introduce solids, breast milk supply will naturally start to decrease as you decrease breastfeeding frequency. While other causes of milk supply drying may be of concern, this one may just be due to saying hello to your baby’s next chapter of development.
Is it too late to increase milk supply?
Increasing your milk supply can become more of a challenge as your baby gets older, but it can be done. Increasing milk supply can be done by upping the frequency at which you are expressing milk, which can be done through pumping.
Can your milk supply come back after decreasing?
While the journey of regaining milk supply can look different for all mothers, it’s possible to get your milk supply back after decreasing. Keep reading as we review how to get your milk supply back.
How to get milk supply back up to where it needs to be
How to get milk supply back is dependent on various factors. While increasing the need for supply through pumping plays a huge role, stress does too. Remember that one of the reasons for a drying milk supply can be stress. If you’re looking to get your milk supply back, being patient and easy on yourself during the process will be important. While that’s always easier said than done, remaining patient and giving yourself plenty of rest can help to get your milk supply back.
How to get milk supply back after drying up
Reasons for milk supply drying up can include trouble latching or perhaps time away from your baby. This becomes especially common for mothers who have gone back to work. Getting your milk supply back will require stimulation to the breasts and in frequent durations. If you’re breastfeeding, but perhaps not often enough, find ways to make breastfeeding easier and more comfortable. Luckily, the Tushbaby Carrier doubles as a breastfeeding pillow! Whether at home or on the go, the Tushbaby Carrier can make breastfeeding more accessible and comfortable for you and your baby.
While pumping every few hours, it can also be helpful to work in some breast massages. Massaging your breasts during pumping can encourage more milk to empty, which allows the ability for more production of milk.
How long does it take to regain milk supply?
Regaining milk supply can look different for everyone. Regaining milk supply will take patience, as it can take weeks to months for those who are able to regain milk supply. Remember not to be hard on yourself in the process; supplementing with other food sources is perfectly okay so long as your little one gets the nutrients they need.
How to get milk supply back with pumping
Since pumping will help encourage more milk production, this should be done every few hours while working to regain milk supply. This can be up to 8-10 times daily as you encourage milk production.
Should I keep pumping if no milk is coming out?
With all this added pumping, you may wonder if you should continue if no milk is coming out. Don’t be discouraged if there are times without milk. Once no milk is coming out, it’s suggested to keep going for about 5 minutes more to ensure you continue to encourage production. You can try things like breast massages and lots of hydration to stimulate milk expression.
Will pumping every 2 hours increase milk supply?
Increasing pumping frequency can help to increase milk supply. Pumping about every 2 hours is recommended when trying to regain or increase your milk supply. Keep in mind, you can also nurse your baby, which can also help increase milk supply. If possible, nurse every two hours. If you’re on the go, bring your Tushbaby along and use it as a breastfeeding pillow; the Tushbaby can transform from a handy hip carrier to breastfeeding support simply by changing your baby's position. Plus, you can even store your rags and other necessities in the convenient storage pockets. Often, moms put off breastfeeding because it can be inconvenient. Finding ways to make breastfeeding more convenient will help you to do it more often.
What helps to increase milk supply?
There are a few things that can promote the increase in milk supply. Here’s how to get milk supply back:
- Increase frequency of expressing milk: Milk production can’t increase without the increase of milk expression. Upping your pumping frequency can help get your milk supply back.
- Decreasing stress: When you are more relaxed, you are actually promoting more milk supply. Seek support to help ease any tensions as you navigate regaining milk supply.
How can I make the process of regaining milk supply a positive experience?
Whether you are feeding or pumping, the process of regaining milk supply can be a much more positive experience with the aid of Tushbaby. Proper posture is essential whether you are pumping to promote milk supply, bottle-feeding to supplement, or if you can breastfeed your little one. Here are a few ways the Tushbaby carrier aids in making regaining milk supply a more positive experience:
- Support while pumping: Having the proper support for your increased pumping sessions will be key. It’s recommended to sit upright with feet on the floor and shoulders relaxed as you pump. Using your Tushbaby carrier for pump placement or added arm support can ensure a relaxing and more positive experience. (Remember that staying relaxed can help stimulate milk supply!)
- Comfort and support for mom and baby while breastfeeding: Improper posture and long durations of strain can lead to pain that makes everyday activities with a baby much more challenging, especially from an activity that occurs as often as feeding. Strap on your Tushbaby carrier and use it in the feeding position for breastfeeding, bottle feeding, and helping with digestion to avoid those painful long-term injuries. Read more about proper feeding posture here.
Your Tushbaby carrier will provide your back and arms with much-needed support to prevent any aches and pains that can make parenting even more challenging. Your body will thank you for the extra support and relief that Tushbaby brings, making any stage of feeding or regaining milk supply a much more positive and doable experience.