Whether it’s 3, 5, or 10% of the population, there are people that struggle to or never make a full milk supply. From 1 month to 1 year, exclusively breastfed babies average 25 oz of breast milk per day. True low supply means making less than this when the breasts are stimulated every 1-3 hours day and night. Chronic low milk supply is linked to either a greater health concern or something out of your control which you cannot change or fix with cookies, teas or even sometimes medications and pumping.Low milk supply that can be increased with time and support:

*Baby not feeding efficiently from lack of oral motor skill or tongue tie
*Taking certain prescription medications with a side effect of dropping milk (Sudafed, Benadryl, antibiotics)
*Not feeding or pumping enough, especially over night
*Scheduled feedings or over use of a pacifier
*Birth. Many medications designed to help you labor and deliver actually inhibit baby from latching and feeding effectively for hours to days after birth. Hemorrhage or birth trauma can also cause low supply in the beginning
*Supplementing, especially in the two weeks after birth

Reasons for chronic low milk supply that may increase even with maximal support:
*Insufficient glandular tissue (IGT). Breasts never developed during puberty and look tubular or widely spaced. Signs of IGT include breasts did not grow in puberty, or increase in size during pregnancy. No engorgement in the week after birth
*Uncontrolled or undiagnosed thyroid disorder
*Uncontrolled diabetes
*Hormone or endocrine disorders, including severe PCOS
*Hormonal birth control placed/used too soon after delivery
*Breast or nipple surgery, augmentation, reduction, trauma
*Nipple piercing that scars shut instead of staying open

There is a mistaken belief that prescription galactagogues, teas, or herbs can cure ANY chronic low milk supply. Before self-prescribing or taking Domperidone, Reglan, fenugreek, or any other lactation supplement, consider having your serum prolactin levels tested and a full evaluation by a skilled lactation consultant.

GraceFull Lactation Consultant- Julie Matheney IBCLC