Why Am I Not Pumping as Much Milk as Before

decreased milk supply concerns

Are you wondering why you're not pumping as much milk as before? There can be several reasons for this change. Hormonal fluctuations, improper pumping technique, stress, dehydration, and medication or medical conditions can all impact milk production. In this article, we will explore these factors and provide evidence-based information to help you understand why your milk supply may have decreased. Stay tuned for practical tips and strategies to help you optimize your pumping sessions and increase your milk production.

Changes in Hormones

If you're not pumping as much milk as before, it could be due to changes in your hormones. Hormonal imbalances are common during the postpartum period, and they can affect your milk supply. After giving birth, your body goes through significant changes, including a decrease in the levels of certain hormones like estrogen and progesterone. These hormonal changes can impact milk production and cause a decrease in milk supply. Additionally, stress and fatigue can further disrupt hormone levels and contribute to low milk production. It's important to take care of yourself, get enough rest, and manage stress to support optimal hormone balance and milk production. If you're concerned about your milk supply, consult a lactation specialist or healthcare provider for guidance and support.

Ineffective Pumping Technique

To ensure optimal milk production, it is crucial to master an effective pumping technique. Here are three common reasons why your pumping technique may be ineffective:

  1. Improper flange size: Using the wrong flange size can hinder milk flow and decrease milk production. A flange that is too small or too large may not create a proper seal around the nipple, which can lead to discomfort and reduced milk output. It is important to find the right flange size that fits your nipple comfortably.
  2. Lack of regular pumping schedule: Inconsistent pumping can affect milk supply. Establishing a regular pumping schedule helps to maintain milk production by signaling to your body the demand for milk. Frequent and consistent pumping sessions, especially during the early postpartum period, can help establish and maintain a good milk supply.
  3. Inefficient pumping technique: Using the correct pumping technique is essential for effective milk expression. Make sure to position the flanges correctly on your breasts, apply the right amount of suction, and use a pumping rhythm that mimics your baby's nursing pattern. Experiment with different pumping settings and techniques to find what works best for you.

Stress and Lack of Relaxation

Feeling stressed or unable to relax may impact your milk production. Stress activates the body's fight-or-flight response, which can hinder the release of oxytocin, the hormone responsible for milk letdown. Additionally, stress can increase the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that can inhibit milk production. It is important to prioritize self-care and relaxation techniques to support optimal milk production. Here are some self-care tips to consider: make time for yourself, practice deep breathing exercises, engage in gentle exercises like yoga or walking, seek support from loved ones or join a support group, and ensure you are getting enough rest and sleep. These relaxation techniques can help reduce stress levels and promote a healthy milk supply. Remember, taking care of yourself is crucial for successful breastfeeding.

Dehydration and Poor Nutrition

Ensure you are consuming enough water and nourishing foods to support optimal milk production. Dehydration can have a significant impact on your milk supply. Here are three reasons why inadequate hydration and poor nutrition can lead to a decrease in milk production:

  1. Water is essential for milk production: Your body needs water to produce milk. If you are not drinking enough water, your milk supply may be affected.
  2. Poor nutrition can affect milk quality: Your body requires essential nutrients to produce high-quality breast milk. If you are not eating a balanced diet, it can impact the nutritional content of your milk.
  3. Malfunctioning breast pump: Using a malfunctioning breast pump can also contribute to a decrease in milk supply. It is important to ensure that your pump is working correctly and that you are using the appropriate settings.

Medications and Medical Conditions

If you are taking medications or have certain medical conditions, they can potentially impact your milk supply. Breastfeeding challenges and milk supply concerns can arise when certain medications are taken during lactation. Some medications may decrease milk production or affect the composition of breast milk, making it less suitable for your baby. Examples of medications that can potentially impact milk supply include certain types of hormonal contraceptives, decongestants, and certain antidepressants. Additionally, certain medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, and diabetes can also affect milk supply. It is important to consult with your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant if you have concerns about the impact of medications or medical conditions on your milk supply. They can provide guidance and support to help you navigate these challenges while ensuring the health and well-being of both you and your baby.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Type of Breast Pump I'm Using Affect My Milk Supply?

Yes, the type of breast pump you're using can affect your milk supply. Factors like breast pump maintenance and the impact of stress on milk supply can contribute to a decrease in pumping output.

Can Certain Foods or Beverages Increase My Milk Supply?

Certain foods and beverages, like sage, peppermint, and alcohol, can decrease milk supply. Stress and sleep deprivation can also affect milk production. Make sure to prioritize self-care and speak to a healthcare professional for further guidance.

Is It Normal for My Milk Supply to Fluctuate Throughout the Day?

It's normal for your milk supply to fluctuate throughout the day. After introducing solids to your baby, it's common for your supply to decrease. Stress and lack of sleep can also affect your milk supply.

How Long Does It Typically Take for My Milk Supply to Increase After Making Changes to My Pumping Routine?

To increase milk production after making changes to your pumping routine, it typically takes a few days to a week. Breastfeeding challenges are normal, but techniques like frequent pumping, proper hydration, and relaxation can help boost milk supply.

Can Certain Herbal Supplements or Teas Help Increase My Milk Supply?

Certain herbal supplements and teas have been found to have potential benefits in increasing milk supply. However, it is important to note that there may also be potential risks associated with using these supplements. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating them into your routine.


In conclusion, there can be several reasons why you may not be pumping as much milk as before. Changes in hormones, ineffective pumping technique, stress and lack of relaxation, dehydration and poor nutrition, as well as medications and medical conditions can all play a role. It is important to address these factors and seek support from a healthcare provider or lactation consultant to help optimize milk production.