Help! What happened to my milk supply?

Myth or Fact? A mother’s breasts will change once her milk supply is established.

Did you guess fact?  If so, you are right in many ways.  Let’s chat about it. Shortly after giving birth, when your mature milk arrived, you may have been feeling like Dolly Parton’s twin! But now, 6-12 weeks later, you might be wondering what happened, and more importantly, questioning if you have lost your milk supply!

Don’t worry you’re not alone. It’s common for moms to have supply questions around this postpartum time.  A lot has happened since you delivered your baby.  You may have noticed your breasts don’t feel as full. Perhaps they are even soft. Or, when you pump, not a lot of milk comes out, or your breasts no longer leak. (Hooray, less laundry for you!) This does not mean you don’t have enough.  Surprisingly, milk is produced fastest when the breasts feel empty! It is now that your body is producing the perfect amount of breast milk for Junior to enjoy.  At times, babies will cluster feed in the evenings this is also normal. These frequent feeds cue our bodies to produce a steady milk supply.   Really, our bodies are that smart!

Newborn Breastfeeding

The breast change simply comes from your brain and body having ongoing and frequent conversations.  Around 6-12 weeks after you’ve been breastfeeding your baby, your milk supply begins to regulate itself.

The fullness (not to be confused with engorgement) you likely experienced during the early weeks of breastfeeding ensured your baby had enough to eat. It was also related to the amount of postpartum maternal hormones circulating in your “new” system.

Your amazing body figures out the perfect temperature for its food, and later calculates the perfect amount.  If you have triplets, twins or just one, don’t panic, your brain/body has already done the math and scored perfect!  However, keep in mind, there are two key factors related to the math: attention to detail and effort.  In order to make this formula work, remember to respond to Junior’s cues when he’s hungry and get support from your husband or partner and rest when you are feeling tired.  Together your teamwork will ensure a healthy milk supply for years to come.

P.S.-  If you’re looking for awesome community support on your breastfeeding journey we have it here in Halton!

Share your experience with us…

For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

About Carolyn Wilkie, RN

For most of my nursing years I have been out in the community supporting new parents on their fabulous and sometimes crazy journey into parenthood! I love working as part of the HaltonParents team. I have 2 sweet boys, who continue to amaze and surprise me everyday. So glad we could connect.
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2 Responses to Help! What happened to my milk supply?

  1. I’ve had this with both of mine, especially with my first one, he was born at 29 weeks so I was pumping like clockwork to try and get as much ‘liquid gold’ for him as possible and I almost had a panic attack when my supply dropped, it soon returned to normal 🙂

    • Carolyn Wilkie, RN says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience, yes, it really is unsettling when it happens. Especially with all of that pumping! I’m happy to hear you stuck with it, because “liquid gold” is invaluable ~ Carolyn, RN

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