Is it possible? I Have a 11 week old baby boy and I have breastfed (exclusivly pumping and bottle feeding) since day 1. I went back to work at 6 weeks and have had a real tough time, being able to pump on a regular basis and decided last week that I was going to switch him to formula! Well on day one, and two I used the supply I had in the freezer while mixing it with formula to switch him gradually, well day three came and we were going to do a full formula bottle and I looked at him and just broke down, thinking I may have made the wrong decision! So while my milk hadnt dried up completely it was almost gone. So I have been taking Fenugreek -2 capsules three times a day and pumping every 2 hours, YES every 2 hours, since sunday morning and I still havent noticed a increase in the amount. I get 1/2 - 1 oz in 45 min, every 2 hours. Before all this I could get 9 ounces in 10 min, every 5 hours! PLEASE HELP ANY SUGGESTIONS ARE BETTER THAN NONE!

asked 24 Nov '09, 12:51

Becky%201's gravatar image

Becky 1
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edited 24 Nov '09, 13:01

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦

Becky: You might edit in the information from your first question (, as you having a premature child who had difficulties latching is relevant for the answers you might get. By the way, how premature is your child?

(25 Nov '09, 03:09) runaros

Hi Becky, I know that it can be very difficult and frustrating. I am hoping that responses to these other two questions will help you with some suggestions.


answered 24 Nov '09, 13:03

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Tammy ♦♦
accept rate: 18%


Thank you for editing the title!

(24 Nov '09, 15:46) JJJ

I would just like to share what I was told by my Dr.

He told me it was absolutely vital that I remained relaxed, and that I ate a healthy balanced diet. He told me that the more relaxed I could be the easier breastfeeding would become, and that the importance of my baby suckling, would have an important effect on my being able to nurse sufficiently. I had great difficulty creating the right enviroment for nursing, I just kept trying to keep those simple points clear in my mind, and it worked for me.

I am not sure where your work place is or how far it is from your home, and I am not sure which country you are living in, but my guess is there should be some kind or leniency for nursing mothers with regard to their work schedules. You should find out about your rights.

Try to arrive home in a relaxed mode and with the feeling that you will soon have your baby in your arms as this could help you too.

The points below are quoted from Sutter Health because they mirror the information that was given to me.

How your body responds to your baby’s suckling:

Infant suckling stimulates the nerve endings in the nipple and areola, which signal the pituitary gland in the brain to release two hormones, prolactin and oxytocin.

How Your Breast Responds to Your Baby’s Suckling:

Prolactin causes your alveoli to take nutrients (proteins, sugars) from your blood supply and turn them into breast milk.

Oxytocin causes the cells around the alveoli to contract and eject your milk down the milk ducts. This passing of the milk down the ducts is called the “let-down” (milk ejection) reflex.

Interference with let-down

A variety of factors may interfere with let-down:

  • Emotions such as embarrassment, anger, irritation, fear or resentment
  • Fatigue *
  • Poor suckling from improper positioning Not enough time baby is actively nursing
  • Stress
  • Negative remarks from relatives or friends

I hope this is able to help you.


answered 24 Nov '09, 17:52

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

edited 24 Nov '09, 18:01

Those are all great too but also make sure you are well hydrated. One thing that helped me with my first was hot showers, baths and also massaging my breasts while in the shower. I think that's luck of the draw. I say that because my second child wasn't that easy and I know it was stress related. Make sure to find a lactation consultant and it's someone you're comfortable with. That can make the difference.


answered 24 Nov '09, 20:27

Lisa%20C's gravatar image

Lisa C
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Yes it is possible, but it's hard. Especially if you can't get the baby to latch on himself. Do you have access to a lactation consultant or breastfeeding counsellor? I think you might really benefit from expert help with persuading your baby to latch on.

All the advice I can find about relactation is based on using the baby's suckling to stimulate the supply. Even pump manufacturers admit that pumps are not as effective at stimulating the breast.

It sounds like you're doing the right things in terms of pumping frequency. The La Leche League International advice is 3 capsules, 3 times a day of fenugreek and they also suggest blessed thistle at the same dosage (both herbs at the same time).

LLLI website has this document on relactation which may be helpful.


answered 24 Nov '09, 13:17

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Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%

+1 Thanks for mentioning Blessed Thistle as well. Several of my friends had told me that fenugreek did not work very well for them but adding blessed thistle made all the difference.

(24 Nov '09, 20:10) Tammy ♦♦

Thank all of you for your suggestions, with the help of a lactation consultant and your suggestions,as well as a LOT of time! I am proud to say that we are feeding on the breast 4x a day and pumping with great sucess @ 6 oz every 3 hours! I would like to mention though 2 supplements that I believe played a large roll in my success! :~Malunggay powdered leaves (moringa oleifera lam.) and More milk plus. The Malunggay is a NEW herb that is from the Philippines, and is new to the lactation world, however it can help produce up to 228% more milk that previously produced! Its great! I TRULEY am thankfull that I was able to increase my breastmilk supply for the most precious gift in the world MY BABY!!!! ONCE AGAIN THANK ALL OF YOU THAT SUPPORTED MY QUESTIONS!!!! Yours Truley-Becky


answered 30 Nov '09, 12:59

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edited 30 Nov '09, 23:38

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦

There is a reason why doctors recommend breast milk over formula (also see this question), and you should try to breastfeed your child, but not everyone can fully breastfeed their child. This might be because of physiological reasons of the mother, the child might be unable to latch (perhaps because being premature), and there might be practical reasons why breastfeeding might not be possible (for instance because the mother needs to go back to work early, as in your case (although I'm curious which country has such weak rights for mothers..)). Whatever the reason is, you can only do your best, and you should at no point feel any less of a mother if you have to give formula. Formula is a very good second best choice. So my first advice is to relax, and not worry that you are a bad mother if you cannot give breastmilk. Perhaps the reason you have dried up a bit is because you are stressed.

You mention in another question that your child is premature, and therefor were unable to latch. This is pretty normal, but my experience is that premature children can get this ability later on, even months after birth. Perhaps you can try to get him to breastfeed, and then pump after the meal? Having your child close to you might also help the quantity you get from pumping.

And my deepest respect for doing so much in order to do the best for your child.


answered 25 Nov '09, 03:22

runaros's gravatar image

accept rate: 28%

my little one was also a premmie at 34 weeks and born without a sucking reflex (which is normal for babies born before 37 weeks) and had incredible difficulty with attachment. After a lot of persistence, pain and visits to a lactation consultant, she took a couple of months to attach properly and now she goes for gold! See my post in your original question -

(25 Nov '09, 12:42) Lin

+1 for the answer and the wording used.

(25 Nov '09, 18:28) Emi
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Asked: 24 Nov '09, 12:51

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Last updated: 30 Nov '09, 23:38