Breastfeeding: Milk supply reduced after menstruation

My milk supply has greatly reduced since I started menstruating. I work full-time and my job does not give me the opportunity to pump. Any advice for me?

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

Though your milk supply may seem to reduce slightly during your menstrual period, it only lasts for a few days. This would not account for the overall reduction in your supply. Most likely, you have found your milk supply diminishing due to lack of stimulation of your breasts while you are at work. Your body get the message that less milk is needed, and your breasts comply.

To increase your supply, I would recommend expressing your milk at least once during the day, while at work. Maybe it would be possible for you to fit in a short pumping session, perhaps during your lunch break. If using an electric pump with double-pump kit, it won't take much time -- only about 15 minutes. (Actually, expressing your milk for 5 to 10 minutes is much better than not expressing at all, if time is tight at work). Nurse frequently when you are home. Nurse your baby before you go to work, and often in the evening. Frequent stimulation of your breasts will be most effective in building back your supply.

Some mothers have good luck with herbs, such as fenugreekb (first chekc with your doctor). If used in conjunction with frequent feeds (and pumping), you should see your milk supply begin to increase.

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