Understanding and Managing Breast Milk Supply Drop

Experiencing a drop in breast milk supply can be concerning and frustrating for many nursing mothers. It's natural to worry about whether your baby is getting enough nourishment. Understanding the causes and signs of a drop in milk supply can help you take the right steps to address the issue.

This guide explores the common causes of a breast milk supply drop, identifies key signs to watch for, and offers practical tips to help maintain or boost your milk supply. Let's dive in and ensure your breastfeeding journey remains smooth and fulfilling.

stressed mom cause of milk supply drop

What Causes a Drop in Breast Milk Supply?

A decrease in breast milk supply can be attributed to various factors, many of which may intertwine with your lifestyle, health, and breastfeeding practices. Understanding these causes is the first step in addressing and resolving supply issues.

Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are major contributors to a breast milk supply drop. When you're stressed, your body produces cortisol, which can interfere with milk production. Common stressors for new moms include lack of sleep, adjusting to a new routine, and concerns about your baby's health.

Diet and Nutrition

Your diet directly impacts your milk supply. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is essential. Additionally, drinking at least eight glasses of water daily helps maintain hydration and milk production. Thus, not consuming enough calories or staying hydrated can lead to a breast milk supply drop.

Insufficient Breast Stimulation

Breast milk production works on a supply and demand basis. If breastfeeding isn't frequent enough, or if the baby isn't latching well, this can lead to a decrease in milk production. Similarly, not pumping effectively or often enough can reduce supply, particularly for mothers who are separated from their babies due to work or other commitments.

Medications and Health Conditions

Certain medications and health conditions can affect your milk supply. For example, birth control pills containing estrogen can cause a breast milk supply drop. Health conditions like thyroid issues, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and diabetes also impact milk production.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes, particularly during your menstrual cycle or postpartum, can influence your milk supply. Some women experience a temporary drop in milk supply when they get their period. These fluctuations are typically short-lived and manageable with consistent feeding and pumping routines.

mom breast feeding baby

Signs of Your Decreasing Milk Supply

Recognizing the signs of a breast milk supply drop early can help you take action to maintain your baby's nutrition. Here are the key indicators to watch for:

Changes in Feeding Behavior

One of the first signs of a breast milk supply drop is a noticeable change in your baby's feeding behavior. If your baby seems fussy or unsatisfied after feedings, it might indicate they're not getting enough milk. Look for signs like:

  • Prolonged feeding sessions
  • Frequent nursing without seeming satisfied
  • Crying or pulling away from the breast

Fewer Wet Diapers

Monitoring your baby's diaper output is a reliable way to gauge milk intake. A reduction in wet diapers can be a sign of a breast milk supply drop. On average, infants should have at least 6-8 wet diapers a day. If you notice fewer wet diapers, it's time to consider your milk supply.

wet diaper

Poor Weight Gain

Consistent weight gain is crucial for your baby's health. A breast milk supply drop might be occurring if your baby isn't gaining weight as expected. Normal weight gain is typically about 4-7 ounces per week for babies up to six months old.

Regular check-ups with your pediatrician can help track your baby's growth. Sudden changes in weight gain patterns should be addressed promptly.

Decreased Milk Removal

If you're pumping, a noticeable decrease in the amount of milk expressed can indicate a drop in supply. This is especially clear if your pumping routine has remained consistent.

Reduced Breast Fullness

If your breasts feel less full between feedings, softer, or don't seem to refill as quickly as usual, this might be a sign of decreased milk production.

How To Help Your Breast Milk Supply?

Experiencing a breast milk supply drop can be stressful, but there are several effective strategies to help boost your milk production.

  • Proper Nutrition: Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can support milk production. Include foods like oatmeal, fenugreek, and brewer's yeast, known for boosting supply.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps maintain milk volume. Aim for at least 8 glasses a day, or more if you're feeling thirsty.
  • Frequent Nursing or Pumping: Emptying the breasts regularly signals your body to produce more milk. Aim for at least 8-12 nursing or pumping sessions every 24 hours. Even a brief 5–10-minute pumping session can signal your body to increase supply.
  • Use a Wearable Breast Pump: To support more frequent pumping, consider using a wearable breast pump to enable multitasking, like the eufy wearable breast pump with heating. Its hands-free design allows you to express milk discreetly and conveniently, even while on the go.

It fits all nipple sizes and combines ergonomic design with up to 300 mmHg of hospital-grade suction. Featuring a built-in heating plate and smart adjustable settings, this pump mimics the natural nursing experience, effectively enhancing milk flow and reducing clogs.

eufy hands free breast pump
  • Skin-to-Skin Contact: Holding your baby skin-to-skin can stimulate milk production and enhance bonding.
  • Rest and Manage Stress: Lack of sleep and high stress levels can impact your milk supply. Try to rest when you can, and practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, gentle exercise, or deep breathing.
  • Avoid Certain Medications: Some medications can decrease milk supply. Consult with a healthcare provider before taking any medications while breastfeeding.
  • Seek Support: If you're struggling with low milk supply, joining a breastfeeding support group or seeking guidance from a lactation consultant can provide valuable tips and reassurance.


Managing a breast milk supply drop can be challenging, but understanding the causes and signs can help you take proactive steps. By focusing on diet, hydration, and frequent nursing, you can effectively boost your milk production. Additionally, tools like a wearable breast pump and relaxation techniques can also make a significant difference. Stay informed and seek support to ensure a smooth breastfeeding journey.


What are common misconceptions about breast milk supply?

Many new moms worry about breast milk supply, but several misconceptions can cause unnecessary stress. One myth is that small breasts mean less milk production, but breast size doesn't determine milk supply; glandular tissue does. Frequent nursing doesn't indicate low milk supply; it often stimulates more production. Some believe formula is needed if a baby seems hungry after breastfeeding, but this can reduce milk supply by decreasing demand. Pump output isn't always a reliable measure of milk supply, as it can vary.

How long does it take to increase breast milk supply after a drop?

If you experience a drop in milk supply, it can take a few days to a couple of weeks to increase it. Consistent efforts such as frequent nursing, effective latching, and regular pumping can help. The time to see a noticeable increase varies based on the cause and how it's addressed.

Do soft breasts mean low milk supply?

Soft breasts don't necessarily indicate low milk supply. Initially, breasts may feel full and firm, but over time they may feel softer while still producing enough milk. Your body adjusts to your baby's feeding patterns, and soft breasts can simply mean milk is produced on demand. Key indicators of sufficient milk supply include your baby's weight gain, diaper output, and contentment after feedings.

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