Help please! How do I increase my milk supply?

Shelly - posted on 09/19/2009 ( 36 moms have responded )

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My son will be 3 months old next week and my milk supply is slowing down. I have had to switch to pumping and feeding him by the bottle because I'm not producing enough for him at each feeding. I continue to pump and drink more and more water but my supply hasn't gone up. When I drink other liquids like Sprit or Lemonade my supply seems to go up a little....weird!

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do to help my supply? And what do you think about drinking other fluids besides water? I know the doctor always tells me he wants me to mostly drink water.

Thanks, Shelly and Baby Cruz :)

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Kerrine - posted on 09/19/2009

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Well drinking plenty of water is good but you dont have to make it exclusive. Drink a variety of things. My only real tip is pump between feedings and your body will produce more. Make sure you have a good pump too. I would talk to a lactician. They can help a lot. La Leche legue is a good source. They are a bit hard core but they do have a lot of good info http://www.llli.org/resources/assistance...,0 Also, check your local WIC office and there are often 24hr hotlines you can call with questions. I hope this helps :-)

Teresa - posted on 12/08/2012

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Keep putting him on the breast. Nothing stimulates it like the baby. My milk was fine until I started nursin school and had to be away from him and pump. Then my milk slowly decreased. Even if it doesnt come back, just know you gave him wht you culd as long as you did. My first was born 3 months early and got only 3 months breast milk with supplemental formula.

Arminda - posted on 09/23/2009

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hi! the secret is really liquids. in any form. juice, milk and meals with watery sauces. im from the philippines and we have here malunggay(leaves we can mix with meals) that can really boost milk supply. then there are herbal supplements made of these leaves. if you cant find this just stick with liquids and never leave you tummy empty. and also, stay away from foods with ginger, based on my experience, it affects my milk supply a bit.

[deleted account]

What works for me is pumping every time my baby nursed -I pumped the other side while she nursed the other (wait until you get the let-down feeling and then pump) and also pumping in between feedings. You may not get much at first but BE PATIENT and continue pumping and you will notice a big difference in your supply. Try not to bottle feed- your baby will get plenty from you and if your baby wants to nurse every half hour or hour or whenever, do so. It encourages your body into thinking that there's a greater demand so it will produce more. Be sure to eat a good diet and drink plenty of fluids like water, juices and limit your caffeine intake as much as possible. GOOD LUCK!! :)

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Cj - posted on 08/25/2013

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Has anyone ever used any Chinese herbs to try and increase their milk supply? If yes, which ones? I tried making this horrendous soup I had to drink for 3 days with Pork (so gross) dried soybeans and dried lily flowers and poof nada.Then I went back and told I had a "bad spleen" and to now start taking these herbs combined with a "very very very old chicken" seriously word for word she told me that.I then left feeling a little bamboozled and more so very very desperate to feed my child my milk. I am taking Fenugreek,Fennel,Blessed Thistle and I just started Goat's Rue. I am allergic to Reglan and Domperidone is supposedly illegal to use for this purpose so please ladies help a new Mommy out to feed my new baby chick. I really do do need help and will do most anything as you can tell...smiles

Jen - posted on 02/05/2013

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Emina, make sure baby gets enough calories in your milk since your not eating right

Emina - posted on 12/08/2012

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Mother I say Drink lot of sweet tea its on old women recipe for having a good milk even if you will not enough meal its okay as long is you drink sweet tea its very good I been drinking and having enough milk I even pump some for freege ...I hae many relatives that been drinking sweet tea and getting milk up to 2 years I really recommend for all mothers to try it ,,it works and it will keep to full you will not get hungry that way you can loose pounds and be skiny just like me hehe

Michelle - posted on 09/25/2009

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Try drinking anything, like water, before you sleep, I found that sleeping helps produce milk, what helps even more is if you have an extra bottle so you can skip breastfeeding and instead feed with a bottle, to let your breasts fill up more.. Also I hurd feeding between 1am-3am as much as you can helps tell your body how much milk you need to produce so you produce more.. Even the babies sucking motion will eventually tell your brain to produce more, and cause your milk to leak, producing more milk for your baby, it probably will be a longer feeding, but your baby will get enough in time..

Summer - posted on 09/23/2009

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Hey, the best thing I can tell you is, drink drink drink.... water can help but drink milk.... that will do a LOT...i drink about a gal ever 2-3 days... I can pump out anywhere from 5-12 oz out of one boob now... also the more you pump the more you will make, its a supply and demand thing... the more you demand of them the more you will supply. also your diet will help you can also take milk thistle capsuls...

Amber - posted on 09/23/2009

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Honestly the only thing that is going to up your supply is nursing / pumping more... I would nurse my son and then try to pump... at first I'd only get a few drops, but the more I did this the more milk supply I got. You're body will only supply what the baby eats... so if you pump after he eats then your body thinks he is eating more... therefore, will supply more. Good luck!

Chrissy - posted on 09/22/2009

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Make sure you are getting enough calories! Make sure you are getting enough rest! One of the main reasons a mother's milk supply starts to "dry up" is FATIGUE! (Everyone has already told you the others... lots of H20, pump between feedings, etc).

Jennifer - posted on 09/22/2009

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Hi my son is 6 mo. old & I went back to work when he was 2 mo. I had similiar issues. There is an over the counter herbal supplement you can purchase at GNC called FENUGREEK. You can take 2/day i think but make sure you drink a full glass of water with it. It is supposed to help you increase your milk supply & I think it has helped me. It is safe for baby, but check with the ped. doc just in case. It may make you smell like maple syrup! You can also nurse your baby & follow behind with pumping. This will help empty the breast so your body will know to make more milk. It is also recommended to nurse/pump more often. I dont know about the soda thing. It seems to have the opposite effect on me. There is also a prescription only medicine that you can ask your pediatrician about, however i wouldnt recommend it because it seems to have somewhat drastic side effects. Apparently long term use can lead to parkinsons like symptoms. I would try the fenugreek first & go from there. Hope Ive helped! - Jen

Tumara - posted on 09/22/2009

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Drink a strong wheat beer, I had one beer and I promise I could not dry up for about 12 months after I stopped, And all you do for that "feeding" is "pump and dump".

Shelly - posted on 09/22/2009

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Thanks everyone! Sounds like I need to breastfeed, pump and eat and drink more! If that doesn't seem to help I will call my lactician and see if she recommens the other supplements some of you suggested. I'm going to start full breastfeeding on Thursday so I'll let you all know the outcome.

Shelly - posted on 09/22/2009

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Quoting Michelle:

Milkshakes worked great for me. Making milk takes a lot of calories, and milkshakes have calories and are tons of fun...when else can you enjoy them guilt free. When pumping I increased my milk supply by about 1/3 after a big milkshake. Also...you may have more milk than you think...your boobs become less engorged at about this time...is your baby still having enough wet diapers and gaining weight?



He is still having plenty of wet diapers but it's because he only gets to nurse in the morning and then I give him a bottle the rest of the day.  On Thursday I'm going to go ahead and start breastfeeding all day again and just give him a bottle when he needs it.  I've been reading everyones suggestions and it sounds like nursing then pumping and getting lots of food and water seems to do the trick.  I will definitely try the milkshake...sounds yummy!

Minnie - posted on 09/22/2009

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Ditch the bottles and nurse baby at your breast.

Nurse baby whenever he wants- even if he nursed half an hour ago.

If you're nursing as you should to increase your supply to meet baby's needs you won't have time to pump.

Leah - posted on 09/22/2009

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I had a hard time producing enough milk to sustain my daughter as well so I feel your pain. I tried EVERYTHING the lactation consultant suggested (ie. more sleep, lots of fluids etc) without any success. Finally she told me to go to my doctor and ask for a domperidone perscription, a med that is for stomach issues apparently but also has the affect of increasing your milk supply and it worked sooo well. After about 2 days of taking it my milk supply almost tripled. Fenugreek wasn't recommened by her because it can give your little one gas and has other side effects.

Good luck!

Timbrel - posted on 09/22/2009

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pump in between feedings. make sure you are getting your 500 extra calories a day. be taking your prenatal vitamins...

[deleted account]

Milkshakes worked great for me. Making milk takes a lot of calories, and milkshakes have calories and are tons of fun...when else can you enjoy them guilt free. When pumping I increased my milk supply by about 1/3 after a big milkshake. Also...you may have more milk than you think...your boobs become less engorged at about this time...is your baby still having enough wet diapers and gaining weight?

Allison - posted on 09/21/2009

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i was told by my lactation lady to power pump...pump for ten minutes rest for ten minutes for an hour every few days... if that doesnt work she told me to get phenugreek, it makes you smell like maple syrup:) i thought the power pumpin worked but it's only short term

Sue-Ann - posted on 09/21/2009

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I've used Fenugreek to increase my milk supply. 3 tabs three times daily. The negative side effect you smell like maple syrup.Fenugreek also helped with my energy levels tremendously! You can buy it over the counter from any store like Whole Food, Meijer or Walgreens.

Tanya - posted on 09/21/2009

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My lil guy did the same thing.. my lactations specialist said it was growth spurt and he would slow a lil bit. But she told be after he ate that I should drink some orange juice and eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.. then wait an hour then pump.. sure enough after doing that eveyother feeding my supply went up..she u cant just drink something u need to eat too...not a whole meal but a snack...good luck!!

Michelle - posted on 09/21/2009

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With my son when he was about a year old my pediatrician thought it would benefit him to breast feed every two hours (besides solids) again because he was a low weight. But by then he had teeth and I was pregnant with my daughter and it was difficult to get my body to produce breast milk on that level again. My pediatrician had said that drinking beer can help a little (also taking brewers yeast which is what does it). He also suggested a homeopathic supplement made by motherlove called more milk plus. You can get it on amazon. There is a store where I live that carries it, but I haven't seen it around otherwise. It's not cheap but it works. There's a regular formula and one that you can use while pregnant (because it's not safe to take while pregnant otherwise). You can try that. I have horrible sinuses and take sudafed all the time and I never had any problems, but lots of other people I know have so there may be something to that too. Don't give up! There's a lot that can be done these days. My son was breast fed for a year and my daughter will hopefully get at least the same if not longer. Good luck!

Melanie - posted on 09/21/2009

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hey shelly and cruz :) with my first 3 boys i was a bit naieve and allowed people to tell me that i lost my milk...which wasnt true. i am a dairy farmer and all mammory glands work the same. it is true that a beer (only a small glass) will help with your milk, one a day, if that but not only that... alot of good grains and cereals. eat and drink alot, to put back in what lil cruz is takin out and you should be ok. you will usually only make as much as what your baby is taking out, so if you drop a little, you are still giving your baby what he is desiring. make sure you get adequate sleep too. thats when you make the best milk :) and if your still worried after all of that...go to the doctors and they can give you a hormone tablet that makes you produce milk again. you really can do it yourself though. i only got to feed my first 3 for 5 mo at the most due to listening to wrong advice. with my last one, i fed him til the night before his first birthday and only stopped because he has teeth and bit me ;). it worked for my cows with their produce...it worked for me and im sure that it will work for you too. good luck matey xoxoxo

Rebecca - posted on 09/21/2009

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old wives tail stout beer i had it and got more then i can handle after one

Jackie - posted on 09/20/2009

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DO NOT take decongestants it is used to "dry up" congestion it may un clog milk ducts but it can and will "dry up" your Milk supply I had a Yeast problem on my nipples due to anitbiotics and they cold only say lots of yogert and water I couldn't take no yeast infection cream or pills because it is a yeast drying agent and i was asking questions and they (my doc and nurses) were explaining to me that drying medications (to get rid of any iritation from moisture or liquid) including but not only. . decongestiants yeast creams pastes and pills, some antibiotics and such talk to your regular doctor or childs pediatrician!! keep in touch

Aneta - posted on 09/20/2009

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I recommend dark , nonalkoholic beer 'Karmi' ,(carmel, coffee and raspberry-the best for me, flavours) you can find it in polish shop.I've heard that Guinness is also good but contains an alkohol so I haven't tried.Karmi works for me in 100%.

Jackie - posted on 09/20/2009

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I had the same problem. My doctor told me to go to a vitamin store and buy Fenurgreek, drink one beer a day (because of the hops in it) and then she told me to go to my ob/gyn to get a prescription. There is a medicine that they can prescribe that is supposed to boost milk supply. None of it worked for me, but my ob was shocked it didn't, because apparently it works for everyone else!

Heather - posted on 09/20/2009

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I forgot to add, make sure that your milk ducts are not clogged. Once mine were clogged like sinuses, and I had to take a decongestant in order to unclog them...

Heather - posted on 09/20/2009

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Try eating oatmeal or apricots. I found that including grains in your daily diet helps to increase milk, along with drinking water. I've never pumped, so I can't help with that. But 5 kids in, and this always does the trick!

Kylie - posted on 09/20/2009

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Hi, I had major issues with milk supply, and for 3 months was on medication to increase my supply (I breastfed my son for 6 months), I was told water, and cows milk are good things to have. I found anything with caffine, or lots of sugar made my supply go down. I also found that pumping in between feeding times helped the supply. I would feed from both sides, and then offer the bottle to top up. I also found to more active I was and the more stressed the lower the supply.

Jackie - posted on 09/20/2009

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Do NOT feed bottles continuously feed left right left right dont stop till he is content your milk suppy will only go up if you let him demand it from your body, belive me i went through that for 2 months, the thouht is with brest feeding is 1/ 3 of your milk supply is Always their and when baby "taps" in to that you start producing more milk more often to make up for it i triedd everything. . . what worked was a whole day of chillin at home feeding her EVERY 10 to 30 minuts and then the next day feed him then an hour to and hour and a half after feeding pump so that every hour and a hlaf to 2 hours you are feeding or pumping!! your pilk we be backin NO time you don't want to turn to FenuGreek or that other stuff ummm starts with a B I think?? any way no medicin untill you have tried it natural side effect are ones you dont want you and baby have upset tummies and muscels hurt then too much milk hurts . . . . Stay away from yeast infection creams or pills or any other drying meds like Nasle decongestents cough and colds meds that type of stuff it will dry milk as well Good Luck keep in touch!!

Jaeda - posted on 09/20/2009

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Fenugreek worked great for me...a friend of mine suggested to me to drink a beer when i was running low...one drink wont hurt baby. i did notice an increase when i did that though. try to pump at least every 2 hours, even if he isnt hungry it will make your body produce more because it is based on demand, the more you use, the more you produce.

[deleted account]

LOTS of fluids(at LEAST 1 gallon/day), 1 caffeine or less a day (none is better, but I understand), nurse baby and then pump (tricks your breasts into thinking baby is having a growth spurt), drink some more, and possibly try taking Fenugreek with Mother's Milk Tea. I have also heard that Fenugreek with blessed thistle works really well together (I couldn't find blessed thistle, even at GNC). - The more you nurse, the more you produce. Supply and Demand! GOOD LUCK!

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