I'm a new breast-feeding mother, and I'm having trouble making sure my little one gets enough to eat. I'm pumping almost everything she gets and giving it to her in a bottle because she can't latch on to my flat nipples. (We have a nipple shield and it barely helps.) The last few times I pumped, I only got about 30 milliliters of milk. I'm assuming I could get more with proper let-down. What can I do to encourage it?

asked 04 Jan '10, 20:20

Artemis's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%


Funny how much longer it takes to ask a question on here when you're typing one-handed... ;)

(04 Jan '10, 20:21) Artemis

Congrats Artemis :-)

(04 Jan '10, 21:36) Emi

Hi Artemis,

Breastfeeding can be challenging. I had a similar problem; however, I was lucky that the shield helped a lot.

Although the questions aren't the same, there are probably some responses to the follow question that may be helpful. http://moms4mom.com/questions/2832/please-help-with-breastfeeding-suggestions

Some suggestions I remember from things that were told to me by public health nurses and other breastfeeding mothers at the time about encouraging/increasing milk production are:

  • Plenty of rest (I always thought this suggestion was a cruel joke).
  • Plenty of nutrition (remember you need to feed yourself too, even if it's the last thing you can manage to think about)
  • Plenty of fluids, drink lots of water -I found this made a big difference for me but again it's easy to forget about yourself
  • It helped me to take a warm shower, the shower almost always initiated let down for me, especially in the beginning.
  • I know some people that had some success with fenugreek taken with blessed thistle; however, I never ended up trying these myself. One of the responses in the post I linked to gives more information about these.

answered 04 Jan '10, 20:32

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Tammy ♦♦
accept rate: 18%


+1 for great points made. All I can add is try to remain relaxed within yourself, and try to focus just on yourself and your newborn baby, and try to ensure that there are no distractions like noise or loud voices and finally try and sit somewhere that makes you feel relaxed and do not hurry yourself.

(04 Jan '10, 22:52) Emi

Congrats Artemis on your new arrival!

I posted an answer to a similar question here

From AskDrSears:

If you are having difficulties latching your baby on because of flat or inverted nipples try these suggestions:

1. Pay close attention to how baby takes the breast. Review Latch-on basics and get hands-on help from a lactation consultant. Baby should grasp the breast with a wide-open mouth.
2. "Make" a nipple. Use the "breast-sandwich" technique to get more breast tissue into baby's mouth. Hold your breast well back on the areola, with your fingers underneath and thumb on top. Press in with thumb and fingers while at the same time pushing back toward your chest wall. This elongates and narrows the areola, which enables baby to latch on more easily.
3. Use a breast pump to draw out your nipples before feedings. The high-quality electric pumps available on hospital maternity wards will do the best job of drawing out the nipple without damaging it. You can also purchase a device specially designed to draw out an inverted nipple before feeding the Evert-It Nipple Enhancer , or ask a nurse or LC to help you make your own with a 10 cc disposable syringe. Remove the plunger, and with a sharp knife cut off a half inch from the nozzle end. Insert the plunger into the cut end of the syringe. Place the uncut open end of the syringe over your nipple so it rests up against your areola. Gently pull on the plunger to draw out your nipple just before putting baby to the breast.
4. Try wearing breast shells designed for flat or inverted nipples between feedings or for thirty minutes before feedings.

Good luck!! and well done for persevering with breastfeeding!! I had a lot of trouble with attachment with my premmie baby but after a lot of commitment and pain and seeing a lactation consultant we finally got there!


answered 04 Jan '10, 22:48

Lin's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

edited 04 Jan '10, 22:56

Breastfeeding doesn't seem to be as easy as you'd think. I also had trouble (different problem) and got help from the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic in Toronto. I would suggest that you try to get help with perfecting the latch. According to Dr. Newman flat nipples may make latching on more difficult but good latching technique is helpful (see book Guide to Breastfeeding p 57) or website for more info at drjacknewman.com.The staff there is amazing. I also like the suggestion from the person who suggested you make a sandwich with the breast tissue to help the baby get enough of the breast in his or her mouth. I used this myself too. I suggest this because I know for myself my letdown happens more easily and with an increased flow versus when I use the pump. When you pump, try to relax, have a drink, and think about your baby, it may help with the letdown. Also, I find using the pump on a gentle setting for a couple of minutes brings on the letdown and then increase the speed to pump the milk. Good luck and good for you for perservering! Erin


answered 08 Jan '10, 21:16

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Asked: 04 Jan '10, 20:20

Seen: 7,972 times

Last updated: 08 Jan '10, 21:16