In detail

Why does the milk secretion decrease?

Why does the milk secretion decrease?


- I have been breastfeeding for 4 months and 3 weeks and I have noticed in the last days a decrease in milk, plus my little girl, who did not wake up at night, now wakes up 2-3 times. The day seems not to be saturated (I breastfeed about 4-5-6 times / day before) but does not cry, does not make a scandal. Instead the night wakes up like a month ago. Plus, breasts no longer feel as hard from one breastfeeding to another as before. If the milk really drops, is it possible to grow it again? Or will it continue to decline? If possible, how can I increase the milk secretion again? Does the "breastfeeding as often as possible to stimulate secretion" function at this age?


If the baby sucks more often than usual, even at night does not mean that he does not receive enough milk; there are periods when he eats more, such as periods of rapid growth and there are periods when his appetite is lower.
If the baby is healthy, he is satisfied and sleeps quietly after sucking, if the weight curve is ascending (he takes the appropriate weight) then there is no reason to think that he is not saturated; if they were, then they would cry after sucking on both breasts and lose or even lose weight.
As for lactation, the principle "breastfeeding as much as possible to stimulate lactation" works at any age of the child: the more you suck, the more milk will be secreted. That is why it is recommended to breastfeed on demand: giving the baby to suggest how much he wants to regulate the milk secretion according to his needs.
In this case, from what you say, it turns out that the baby is not saturated, but that it sucks less but more often; it may be just the frequent emptying of the breast that is the explanation for the fact that you no longer feel the heavy breasts (do not get filled) which will give the false impression of insufficient milk. as long as the baby is satisfied with sucking, it is healthy and increases in weight you have no cause for concern: breastfeed it whenever it wants and as many times as it wants. Remember, however, that with the beginning of food diversification (the introduction of food) will suck less and less, milk tables being gradually replaced with foods, so that at the end of the first year it will only reach two milk tables a day ( in the morning and in the evening).
If at any point the milk secretion starts to decrease, the causes that could have caused this decrease should be sought:

  • insufficient frequency or short, hasty, incomplete breastfeeding;
  • diversification of diet too early or food introduced in greater quantity than necessary;
  • bottle feeding;
  • incorrect breast position and inefficient sucking;
  • the mental state of the mother (worries, stress, pain, poor mother-child connection, social problems, family, misconceptions of shameful type of breastfeeding, fear of breast deformity, etc.);
  • separation of the mother from the child during the day (by starting the service);
  • estrogen contraceptive pills;
  • omitting meals;
  • infections and diseases of the mother, fatigue, a new pregnancy, insufficient nutrition and hydration;
  • sometimes the baby does not suck enough due to an intercurrent condition (eg respiratory infections, clogged nose).
    By eliminating all the factors that can cause a decrease in milk secretion, having a balanced diet, properly hydrating and maintaining the physical and emotional connection with the baby, you can maintain the milk secretion as long as your baby needs it.
    Dr. Ciprian Pop-Began
    - Obstetrics and Gynecology -
    Clinical Hospital of Obstetrics-Gynecology Prof. Dr. Panait Sarbu