Poor milk supply - giving formula in Breastfeeding

Posted by Anonymous on - 3 replies

My baby daughter is almost 11 weeks old, she is still tiny and is not gaining much weigh, I'm breastfeeding her most of the time but eventually the she cries during every feed, my milk supply is getting less because I realised that her sucking is so weak , I started giving her formula because she is still hungry even if I keep feeding her from my brest. When the milk inflow from my brest she moves her head to avoid it and crys loudly, I really want to breastfeed her, but I can't leave her hungry so I give her formula milk. I would be pleased if you can advise me. Thank you

Users' Replies

Nov 14, 2016 15:14 PM

I wonder if you have had a full breastfeed observed by an experienced Certified Lactation Consultant? With their knowledge and experience they would be able to assess how actively your baby is feeding at the breast and make suggestions for changing things.

For example, it sounds like there could be some concerns about the speed of the flow of your milk. When a baby comes off the breast unhappily near the beginning of a breastfeed they are potentially responding to a fast flow following their mother's 'let-down'. Some mothers in these circumstances find that leaning their body back to slow down milk flow is helpful. They might also help their baby if they notice fast swallowing and gulping by taking their baby off the breast for a minute so that they can catch their breath and calm down before starting again.

However it sounds overall like there may be a concern about how much milk your baby is taking through the rest of the breastfeed, as you mention that your baby is not gaining much weight and requires extra formula. It sounds important to observe your baby's behaviour during feeds and to notice when she is not actively sucking and swallowing milk. You could assist her by increasing the flow of milk by compressing and massaging the breast during the feed. Normally babies respond quickly and will start swallowing again as more milk flows. There is more information on compressions on Jack Newman's website.

Given everything that you're describing it may also be that the level of your milk supply has been affected. If a baby is not able to regularly and effectively transfer milk from their mother's breasts then the breasts produce less milk.

For all of these reasons I would really encourage you to seek experienced breastfeeding support for your new family.

Sharon George IBCLC

Nov 14, 2016 15:17 PM

Thank you for your answer. I would like to ask please, is there any safe tablets that increase milk supply without being hormonal and have bad side effects! Thank you

Nov 14, 2016 15:18 PM

Thank you for your additional question about tablets to help with increasing milk supply. A popular option is fenugreek which can be purchased in health food shops etc. Research evidence indicates that it can have a positive effect on a mother's milk supply with minimal negative side effects. It is always recommended that any such supplements are reviewed with a health professional before starting them.

This webpage has current information about fenugreek in relation to milk supply, along with the suggested dosage levels for it to be effective. You will see that it contains information about other foodstuffs that may also boost milk supply.


I hope that this is helpful.

Sharon George IBCLC