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No milk coming out - help!

(21 Posts)
user1471433387 Wed 18-Dec-19 16:07:20

I've been back at work for a while now and provide expressed breast milk for my baby. She is 11 months. A couple of weeks ago when I was pumping I starting hardly producing any milk. Since then it has got worse. I just tried pumping for about 5 minutes and literally only a drop came out. I started taking fenugreek yesterday. Baby is at nursery full time.

Any suggestions as to why this is happening and more importantly what I can do!?

OP’s posts: |
thetreeisstressingmeout Wed 18-Dec-19 16:22:59

Are you eating and drinking enough?
Are you nursing out of work hours?

If you are stressed it is harder to express.

user1471433387 Wed 18-Dec-19 16:49:30

Well I'm finding it stressful that no milk is coming out! I've tried to relax, leaning over, looking at photos of DD.

I'm pumping once mid morning during the day when DD is at nursery and then again at around 9 pm.

There is no change in what I'm eating or drinking.

OP’s posts: |
dementedpixie Wed 18-Dec-19 16:56:44

Pumping isnt as good at stimulating supply as the baby breastfeeding. If you aren't breastfeeding much your supply will drop. How often does your baby feed directly from you? Maybe need to express more often too or give some cows milk instead (cows milk is ok from 1 year but can be given beforehand if you are still mainly giving breastmilk)

dementedpixie Wed 18-Dec-19 16:57:35

I.e. I wouldn't give formula at this stage if they are only a few weeks away from age 1

HarrietThePi Wed 18-Dec-19 17:01:15

I breastfed my DD for over 3 years but I could never produce much milk from pumping for some reason. As your dd is 11 months could you give her cow's milk and water for day time while you're at work and just breastfeed when you're home with her?

TerribleCustomerCervix Wed 18-Dec-19 17:04:20

I read a tip about covering the expressing bottle with a sock so that you aren’t focusing on what you’re producing.

Apparently it’s a cycle of Not Producing Much At First > Mum Stresses > Milk Productions Inhibited By Stress > Not Producing Enough etc etc etc.

Orangedaisy Wed 18-Dec-19 17:04:56

Agree with harrietthepi. I did exactly that. Don’t stress about pumping, it’s really not necessary.

Passthecake30 Wed 18-Dec-19 17:06:49

When my dd went to nursery at 1 she just bf in the morning/evening/night and had water in the day, will that work?

UpperLowercaseSymbolNumber Wed 18-Dec-19 17:10:14

Have you checked the pump is working properly?

Aozora13 Wed 18-Dec-19 17:10:29

I’m a crap pumper (with big fat babies - it’s definitely not a supply issue!). I recently went away for a week with work and pumped to keep my supply up. I found I got most first thing in the morning - could you pump before work? Also got more when more hydrated and relaxed, but still a pitiful amount (generally 30-40ml, sometimes more but a couple of times I got literally nothing!). Neither of my DC would take a bottle though so just had water at nursery (from 11mo) and bf at home.

KittenVsXmastree Wed 18-Dec-19 17:15:29

Have you ever sucesfully pumped? If expressing is new, and unsuccessful, I'd forget bottled BM for an 11 month old.
Personally, feed her when you are home, and if she is eating well, forget milk when you are at work. If she isnt great with eating, formula.
my bottle refuser got cows milk in a cup from DH at 11 months

Chista Wed 18-Dec-19 17:20:03

My lo wouldn't latch so have been expressing since day one, took a break due to medication and thn found my supply was just a drop in 30 mins of expressing. I upped the frequency, so expressed every 4 hours for 30 mins at a time, bought myself some Fenugreek and Boobix and my sypply is steadily increasing again. With 11 months though I am not sure whether it will be worth the extra stress of it all.

xtinak Wed 18-Dec-19 17:20:14

It could be the pump. Mine lost suction over time.

dannydyerismydad Wed 18-Dec-19 17:43:21

Are you pumping to harvest milk for your little one, for your comfort or to maintain supply?

If you're pumping for your comfort, then there's no need unless you feel engorged or uncomfortable.

If you're pumping to maintain supply, it's almost certainly unnecessary. Once feeding is well established, as it is for you, your body doesn't necessarily need frequent milk removal. Many mums find they don't respond to a pump, but the emotional response to feeding their child means they produce plenty while feeding.

user1471433387 Wed 18-Dec-19 17:56:56

Thanks for all the messages.

I'm using the same pump - hand pump during the day and electric in the evening. I regularly change the valves and membranes so doubt there is an issue there.

I think a lot of you are right - it isn't worth the stress at this stage. I'm going to use up my freezer stash of milk and then give cows milk and water. No point buying formula at this stage?

Unfortunately I've been back at work since before DD was 6 months, I haven't had an issue pumping until recently. The thing is I nurse her at 7, then again at drop off at 8:30. I used to give her two small bottles of 3 - 4 oz but then I dropped to one for her to have midday. The nursery ended up giving her the bottle in the morning because they said she was hungry! Luckily now they are on board with her just having the one bottle so I'll either switch it to cow or not give one at all. She is hit and miss with her food. I also breast feed her once a day at nursery. I feed her again before bed and then I set an alarm and feed her once during the night. This is tiring and I plan on stopping the night feed but I'm concerned about the effect it will have on my supply.

The further frustrating thing is she is an on off bottle refusal. I give her a sippy cup now and sometimes she drinks it and sometimes she sips it and spits it out and sometimes she swallows. I have literally wasted hundreds of ounces of milk. Not to mention the time my freezer broke and the freezer stash I had defrosted.

I hate expressing milk, especially at work, but for some reason I feel guilty about stopping! This is my second baby, I had to go back to work early with my first too and expressing was one thing I hated then too. My first was also a bottle refusal - although much worse. I pumped to keep up my supply and mix with purees. You ladies don't realise how lucky you are in the UK with your lovely long maternity leave grin

OP’s posts: |
user1471433387 Wed 18-Dec-19 17:59:46


I didn't see your message.

I am pumping for milk for baby to drink and also for my supply. I never feel engorged nowadays. That is reassuring you say my supply should be well established.

OP’s posts: |
dannydyerismydad Wed 18-Dec-19 19:23:33

A huge part of getting the milk out is an emotional release. It's really hard to get the same rush of love you have for a child with a lump of plastic - especially at this time of year when your head is full of plans and deadlines.

If she's happy to feed from you when you're together, let her feed as much as she likes.

Orangedaisy Wed 18-Dec-19 20:17:07

If baby won’t have milk or water in the day can nursery spoon in yoghurt? My dd has this which made up for not drinking much and she just had her fill from bf when I was around.

xtinak Thu 19-Dec-19 08:45:21

I've been back at work since my DD was 6 months and pumping at work but I've just stopped now she's 1 and she's getting cow's milk at nursery - thanks to reassurance I got on here that it would be ok to do that. I totally recognise your feelings of guilt though! But I think we've done well to make it this far because pumping at work is difficult.

Harrysmummy246 Thu 19-Dec-19 16:51:30

You don't need to pump for supply at this point. It is well established. At 11 months, she should be able to make up for BF with food and water when you're not there

PS fenugreek is just as likely to reduce supply as increase it. Ditch it

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