How can I increase my milk supply?

[deleted account] ( 49 moms have responded )

My daughter is almost 4 months. She's been breastfed since she was born. In the last month my supply has been decreasing so we've been feeding her formula and breast. Is there anyway that I can increase my milk supply? I've been trying to pump in between her feeding but it does not seem to be working. She gets frustrate when I'm feeding her and doesn't stay latch on because I think nothing is coming out. Help me please.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Minnie - posted on 09/11/2009

7,076

9

786

Formula is difficult for baby to digest. Baby feels full longer, doesn't nurse at your breast as often, you don't get the stimulation and milk isn't removed, thus your body responds by not making as much milk. It's a vicious cycle.



Ditch the bottles, put baby to your breast. Healthy mammals do not just not make enough milk. Our species simply wouldn't have survived.



She is frustrated at your breast now because she's used to the instant gratification she gets from the bottle. You've got to stop them. Try nursing lying down in bed in the dark, in the bath, or put her in a sling next to your skin so her senses are stimulated and she can nurse at her pleasure. Be patient and relaxed until you get the let down of milk. Just keep relatching her. The stimulation from her latching and unlatching will still elicit a let down.



Pumping- no indication of your supply. Pumps are inefficient.



Understand that there is a point in your breastfeeding relationship where your body will adjust and produce JUST what baby is removing and no more. At birth, you make a lot of milk because your body has no idea of the size of your baby or if you have more than one. But after a few months, your supply regulates.



Nurse your baby when she wants it, even if you just nursed her half an hour ago. Be patient with her- she has nipple confusion now from the bottles, and let her become used to working to get the milk from your breast again. Stay relaxed and it will work.



If your supply has indeed decreased as a result of feeding the formula, she is going to nurse as if she's going through a growth spurt. She'll have to nurse very frequently in order to meet her caloric needs- but she's not going to starve. Then, when your body has increased your supply to meet her needs again, she'll slow down.



But understand, breastfeeding is as much about comfort for your baby as it is about nutrition and fluids- try not waiting until she's crying to nurse and getting flustered and frustrated at your breast trying to get a letdown- try offering your breast very frequently, before she gets worked up. She'll be much more relaxed and patient.

Velencia - posted on 09/18/2009

2

3

0

You can drink a beer, but you need to nurse before u drink it and pump after you drink it. If you don't like beer go to your local health food store and by hoops. The hoops from beer or the pills help you produce more milk. When my son was about 4 1/2 months old my milk supply went down and when i took the pills they help alot. That night I started to leak like I was engorged.

Cherie A - posted on 09/11/2009

5

13

0

try fenugreek that's the most poplular it is known to increase the milk supply within 24 hours try that

Kim - posted on 08/13/2012

6

15

1

My son does that to but I think his is due to its not fast enough for him. But sometimes it confuses me to then I start to wonder if I'm not makin enough or if he's just fussy bout not gettin it fast enough

This conversation has been closed to further comments

49 Comments

View replies by

Christina - posted on 09/22/2009

21

19

1

I started taking Domperidone 24hours ago and I have seen an increase in my supply. I have heard that you could get so much milk you don't know what to do with it all. It is no FDA approved, but you can order it from Canada. You can get it by prescription in the states if your Doc wants too, but you have to go to a special compounding pharmacy. So, if you have tried everything else and don't want to take Reglan because of the side effects. Here is another option,

Goundy - posted on 09/18/2009

27

6

0

I ahve gotten into the habit of drinking a big glass of water after I have nursed my daughter. My LC also suggested Mothers Milk tea to help, and it has me. You should be able to find the tea a any health food store. I was able to find it at my local grocery store in their organic isles.

Good luck and when in doubt call the LC!

Anelle - posted on 09/17/2009

1

16

0

When I was trying to create a supply for when I went back to work, the pediatrcian said to increase supply, pump for 10 minutes every 20 minutes for an hour. She said to do this about 2-3 times a day. It really worked. It is difficult though to find the time to do it, but once you are able to fit it in between nursing the baby, it is easy. Hope it helps.

Wendi - posted on 09/17/2009

40

19

1

Drink lots of water and milk. You can also continue taking your prenatal vitamins. At four months old you can probably start a little cereal. Sometimes they have to nurse more often for short periods of time in order for your body to get used to producing the larger quantities of milk that older babies need. Hang in there!

Kat - posted on 09/17/2009

17

7

0

just feed from both breasts each feed. try the health food store and ask for fengreek. it comes in tea and tablet form and is very inexpensive :)

Cherie - posted on 09/17/2009

11

3

1

it works on a supply and demend basis, the more you feed the more you will make. try increasing your fluid supply. lots and lots of water. also try pumpimg alot more in between feedings.

Pamela - posted on 09/17/2009

1

6

0

I did it by pumping milk out with a breast pump inbetween feedings, and after feedings.

User - posted on 09/16/2009

1

14

0

Do your breast feel full? or soft at the touch? before you start nursing. Do they fell different afterwards? drink plenty of fluids and nurse often.

Laura - posted on 09/16/2009

2

3

0

besides drinking lots of water, and eating really well, there are herbal things you can get at your local health food store. What i found is that taking evening primrose oil really helped, and my vitamins make a HUG difference in my milk supply. they're super nutrition prenatal blend (for prenatal and postnatal moms). Lastly, i remember at la leche league they were having moms use pumps to help increase their supply by just having them pump a little after nursing.

LeeAnn - posted on 09/16/2009

201

30

15

Have you tried to increase how much you are drinking? I know it sounds like a "Duh" moment, but it does help. I was very fortunate to have PLENTY of milk with my second, but not my first. I was told that "it will come naturally, so don't worry", so I didn't...didn't read any books, listen to advice, nothing. I was only able to breastfeed her for about 3 months. When I got pregnant with my 2nd, I read every book I could find, asked questions, listened to advice, and I breastfed for 14 months. I have heard that drinking Ginger and Fenugreek tea helps, but don't know, as I have never tried it. I wish you the best of luck, and congrats on breastfeeding for as long as you have!

Brenda - posted on 09/15/2009

2,386

62

250

Lisa is so right, and unless you have a medical condition or are taking medications of some sort, you will make the right amount. I just hit four months and at four months a couple things happen. Your body regulates according to when baby eats and how much baby eats, and teething starts. Fussiness at the breast is no indication of how much baby gets. If you are getting enough wet diapers there is no need to supplement, even if doctors tell you to do so.

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/index.... details information on supply and how to tell if you really do have a supply problem.

Ashley - posted on 09/15/2009

50

21

3

I dont know if you are on BC but if you are it has to be a mirco pill anything else will decrease your milk supply.

Christina - posted on 09/15/2009

21

19

1

Quoting Brandi:

The reason beer works is because it relaxes most people. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed you are.... well you know..... Yeah I was told to drink a beer every now and then.



my lactation consultant said it was because of the barley in it.  Just take a fiber supplement and you will get the same effect and I am sure the relaxation does help too!

Christina - posted on 09/15/2009

21

19

1

Quoting Lisa:

Formula is difficult for baby to digest. Baby feels full longer, doesn't nurse at your breast as often, you don't get the stimulation and milk isn't removed, thus your body responds by not making as much milk. It's a vicious cycle.

Ditch the bottles, put baby to your breast. Healthy mammals do not just not make enough milk. Our species simply wouldn't have survived.

She is frustrated at your breast now because she's used to the instant gratification she gets from the bottle. You've got to stop them. Try nursing lying down in bed in the dark, in the bath, or put her in a sling next to your skin so her senses are stimulated and she can nurse at her pleasure. Be patient and relaxed until you get the let down of milk. Just keep relatching her. The stimulation from her latching and unlatching will still elicit a let down.

Pumping- no indication of your supply. Pumps are inefficient.

Understand that there is a point in your breastfeeding relationship where your body will adjust and produce JUST what baby is removing and no more. At birth, you make a lot of milk because your body has no idea of the size of your baby or if you have more than one. But after a few months, your supply regulates.

Nurse your baby when she wants it, even if you just nursed her half an hour ago. Be patient with her- she has nipple confusion now from the bottles, and let her become used to working to get the milk from your breast again. Stay relaxed and it will work.

If your supply has indeed decreased as a result of feeding the formula, she is going to nurse as if she's going through a growth spurt. She'll have to nurse very frequently in order to meet her caloric needs- but she's not going to starve. Then, when your body has increased your supply to meet her needs again, she'll slow down.

But understand, breastfeeding is as much about comfort for your baby as it is about nutrition and fluids- try not waiting until she's crying to nurse and getting flustered and frustrated at your breast trying to get a letdown- try offering your breast very frequently, before she gets worked up. She'll be much more relaxed and patient.



This is helpful information, but some women do have medical problems that can cause them to not produce enough milk at times. That is why there were amd are "wet nurses" or grandmothers would and in some countries still nurse for the mom.  There is great info in this thread.  I tried most of it and can produce a little now,but not enough so unfortunately my baby is mostly formula fed, but I hope that soon she will only be nursed once my medical issues subside.  Cumin in my tea helps even more, but not very tasty! Don't give up!  Nurse her even if she is not hungry just to get the stimulation!

Ana - posted on 09/15/2009

2

19

0

The best way to increase ur milk supply is to nurse, nurse, nurse!!! if u are supplementing with formula u need to bring ur baby to ur bare breast so that ur body knows that there is a baby that it needs to be making mild for... try giving her a lil formula just to satisfy her not fill her up and then bring her to ur breast... hope this works for you

Chelsey - posted on 09/15/2009

8

1

0

hey! i had the same probelm.. i used alfalfa from Skaklee (although you can buy it anywhere) If you do use it make sure to take plenty! i take about 14 a day. 6-7 in morning and 6-7 at night.. works great.

Jessica - posted on 09/15/2009

10

17

1

GET RID OF THE BOTTLE! Your milk doesnt flow as fast as a bottle nipple so she is getting frustraited that your milk comes out slower. I couldnt pump either but there was enough in the breast for my son. My supply dips during my period and I will occasionally take fenugeek and/or blessed thistle to increase supply. Google those herbs to find the correct doses- they can be found in the herbal section anywhere (walgreens etc...)

Meg - posted on 09/15/2009

40

44

6

Quoting Rochelle:

How can I increase my milk supply?

My daughter is almost 4 months. She's been breastfed since she was born. In the last month my supply has been decreasing so we've been feeding her formula and breast. Is there anyway that I can increase my milk supply? I've been trying to pump in between her feeding but it does not seem to be working. She gets frustrate when I'm feeding her and doesn't stay latch on because I think nothing is coming out. Help me please.



I have used MORE MILK PLUS by Motherlove. Its an Herbal Supplement. I took it when I used a medicine that dried up my milk and got it back in no time. www.motherlove.com

Ivana - posted on 09/15/2009

11

14

0

Hey Rochelle! I thought I had the same problem. My baby girl is 1 month and i've been giving her breast and formula. Well I only give her formula when I go out like church, restaurants, etc. My girl will get frustrated also but that's only because she either needs to burp or she's not latched on properly. MAKE SURE YOU DRINK PLENTY OF WATER! Very important. I hope all is well with you :-)

Brandi - posted on 09/15/2009

19

14

1

The reason beer works is because it relaxes most people. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed you are.... well you know..... Yeah I was told to drink a beer every now and then.

Monica - posted on 09/15/2009

94

62

9

I know you will think this is crazy but, I swear by it. Drink 2oz of beer. It works every time for me. My doctor said that small amount will not affect my baby. I've only had to do this twice and it worked both times.

[deleted account]

If you start supplementing with anything then your baby will not be suckling as much and your supply will go down. Your body makes as much as your baby needs, so letting the baby nurse whenever he/she's hungry will produce the right amount of breast milk. I nursed both my children until age 3 and starting them both on limited solids around 6 - 9 months. If you are stressed out about it then you won't be as relaxed while you're nursing and that may have an affect. I also never fed my babies from any bottles, I did pump on occassion just so that there would be some in case of an emergency.

Rachael - posted on 09/15/2009

13

7

0

Water.Water.Water.

Also- when you pump, it will decrease your supply. Same with formula feeding. The more your daughter breastfeeds, the more milk will produce.

There are teas out there that can help, too.

Angela - posted on 09/14/2009

1

8

0

hello, i know the feeling and i had the same problem with my first born. i was constantly thinking he would not get enough and i ended up topping him with formula, which i know now is not the right thing to do. with my second one i did it the right way which is the hard way. since birth i gave her my breast whenever she cried. this was because i could not distinguish which cry was for hunger and which for attention. the result was that after 3 to 4 months my milk supplie started to become more stable. the main rule is the more often you offer your baby your breast the more your supply increases. in the first 3 months your milk has not the right condesity and if you top your baby up with formula your milk won't develop as good. i know that it seems easy said. i was sitting the first 3 months nearly 2 hourly for over 40 minutes with my baby and it seemed that this would be the only job i could do, but believe me it is norma;l and after these initial months it gets better and when you go out you do not have to worry preparing bottles, afterall you are carring it with you and it has the right temperature. i hope this was helpful.

Rachel - posted on 09/14/2009

50

16

2

Feed her on the first breast than as you put her on the second, start pumping from the first again. Your milk production will increase because your body think that you are feeding a larger child or more than one. This I heard from a lactation consultant who breastfed triplets.

Michelle - posted on 09/14/2009

124

24

4

make sure you are drinking PLENTY of water. like 80-100 oz a day (every 24 hours). what i do is i keep a water bottle on me at all times and when my baby is eating i make sure to drink at least 12 oz everytime she eats. even at night. a good way to tell if you are hydrated enough is that your pee should be almost clear, not bright yellow. oh yeah and if you are drinking alot of caffinated drinks throughout the day, stop it. caffeine dehydrates you.

D - posted on 09/14/2009

11

10

2

I like to drink Mother's Tea. I get it from Sprouts. I drink it the week before my period for upkeep. I really think it helps. You can also go to an herbal store and get tinctures (such as Fenugreek) or capsules that you take throughout the day that help with milk production

Maria - posted on 09/14/2009

5

10

0

Get lots of rest and fluids (and the tea), but in the end I agree with Lisa. Long story, but I had quite a rollercoaster with my first and nursing. Doctor was concerned about my daughter's weight and so had me supplementing with formula. I nearly lost my supply altogether. I did not stabilize until I ditched the bottle and formula. Indefinite or regular supplementing is an early death to your nursing from my point of view. Trust me, wasn't easy for me and pretty scary, but I struggled through and am so glad. The baby is now six and still "small" simply because she has always been, and always will be, petite. My other children were just far more interested in food and are working on passing the first one up! lol.

Andrea - posted on 09/14/2009

7

36

0

hi rochelle have you tired mother's milk.Organic Mother’s Milk® promotes healthy lactation* and is traditionally used to increase breast milk production.* This traditional combination of anise, fennel and coriander has been used for centuries by European women and is often recommended by lactation counselors and medical herbalists. Organic Mother’s Milk® has a pleasantly aromatic balance of sweet, spicy and slightly bitter tastes. my pediatrician recommends it since i am just only breastfeeding, try it and i hope it works for you, good luck~

Rachel - posted on 09/14/2009

2

14

0

Drink lots of water, good water. Try to get alkaline water and drink about 4lts per day. Try to adjust your diet to more green and leafy vegetables also. But breast milk is produced by water, unlike the our mothers and grandmothers who thought to drink milk to get milk. It is actually water that makes milk. Hope it helps

Rachel, Trinidad and Tobago

Laura - posted on 09/14/2009

41

11

0

Make sure you drink lots of fluids. I normally drink a glass of milk in the morning and another before bedtime. And I drink a glass of water right before I breastfeed. Also when you feed her try to relax and don't stress yourself because the baby will feel that and get stressed also.

Shazlina - posted on 09/13/2009

1

24

0

theres lotz of things
u can try fenugreek seed tablet plus drink lotz of water n milk
in malaysia we have milk for breastfeeding mum so maybe u wanna try that
even try drinking malt drinks
u can try organic mother's milk tea
check my blog maybe smthing helpful there
http://mummynbabyshop.blogspot.com
good luck!

Kristi - posted on 09/12/2009

236

7

2

Hi! Yes, try Fenugreek. You can buy this herbal supplement at health food stores and most grocery stores with decent vitamin sections. Take it and keep taking it until you start to smell faintly of honey (fenugreek smells like honey)... once the supply is increased, stop the supplement. Use the dosage instructions on the bottle - it will depend on the amount in the supplement. Good luck! La Leche League website will have more info about Fenugreek also. www.llli.org

Mylea - posted on 09/12/2009

15

27

4

I'm new to this myself but I have asked my doc a million and one questions... These moms seem to have it down packed though, stay hydrated, keep a healthy and balanced diet and pump/nurse on a two to three hour shedule... Your body will produce milk as needed but you have to stick with a more strict pump/feeding schedule. Because the formula makes baby feel more full (but it is also more difficult for her to digest it) she might've gotten used to that. I agree that you need to be patient with her and feed her as often as she needs it no matter the time in between, your body will adjust accordingly. My doc also says that taking your prenatal vitamins help to produce the vitamins and nutrients your body needs before and after giving birth, so you may need to take your supplements again to help aid the process as you begin to try and lactate more for your child... :-) GOOD LUCK!

Rhoda - posted on 09/12/2009

4

17

0

I experienced something similar with my 1st child and I found that I didn't eat enough to maintain my milk supply. I began to go back to my exercise routine the day after the 6 week appointment and you lose the weight quickly because you are breastfeeding but you have to eat more and try not to lose more than 0.5 to 1lbs per week to maintain your milk supply. If you are exercising or you are not eating enough send me a message and I'll provide more specifics.

Rebecca - posted on 09/12/2009

595

37

74

Lisa Moreau, Well said! You took the words right out of my mouth. The more bottles you give the less milk you make, even with just one bottle given. You need to trust your body. You have been breastfeeding all this time, your milk wont just go away on its own unless you start giving bottles. Then it becomes sooo difficult to get back on track once this trend begins. And for baby they become so used to the artificial nipple and the instant gratification that they find it frustrating when at the breast. Alot of moms contribute this to no milk or low supply. You have to realize when EBF that there will be times that baby will be fussy, fuss at the breast and seem like they dont want to nurse or that there is "no" milk, this is because they are usually going through a growth spurt and are trying to increase your supply and nursing frequently is the only way that they can. This can go on for a few days, even up to a week but will get better as your supply increases with their demand. Get rid of the bottles and nurse, nurse, nurse! It will take time but it can and will come back!! Take care!

Sarah - posted on 09/12/2009

63

59

5

My doctor told me to feed on demand and pump as much as you can and this helps you build up more milk!

Stephanie - posted on 09/11/2009

4

4

0

When my baby was about that age, it seemed as though my milk supply was low too, but it was due to a growth spurt she was going through. I did drink the Mothers Milk tea during the spurt and it worked. It was very frustrating feeling that I couldn't provide enough for her, but it only lasted a few days. Then we were back on track. The way I understand, babies have several of those growth spurts during the first year. Stay hydrated and calm. Stress can affect your milk too. You are doing great.

Christa - posted on 09/11/2009

6

8

0

You might want to reach out to the local La Leche in your area to confirm that the baby is latched on properly. The best thing to do is to keep breastfeeding and pumping even at night. I would get up once during the night to pump until your milk supply increases.

Nina - posted on 09/11/2009

4

21

0

i just started havin this promable my daughtrer is almost 5 month my lactations consultant told me to use mother milk is a natuarl tea u drink ..i started it and it did its job u...can fins it only or some health store

Laura - posted on 09/11/2009

47

35

4

Rochelle-
You may also try meeting with a lactation consultant. My son did not latch properly and truly was not getting enough milk to sustain himself. I would literally nurse him for 3 hours without stopping, both of us were exhausted, and neither was satisfied. I agree with Lisa- though the breast pump does stimulate production to a certain extent, it is not going to be as effective as your child. If you have a supply issue, drop by my site, and I'll email you a recipe for lactation cookies... they're really good and did seem to help me. I also used Mother's Milk tea and there are also some capsules that are sold in natural food stores called More Milk Plus that can help. Good luck, and congrats for taking such good care of your child!

Rose-Marie - posted on 09/11/2009

13

18

3

Quoting Rochelle:

How can I increase my milk supply?

My daughter is almost 4 months. She's been breastfed since she was born. In the last month my supply has been decreasing so we've been feeding her formula and breast. Is there anyway that I can increase my milk supply? I've been trying to pump in between her feeding but it does not seem to be working. She gets frustrate when I'm feeding her and doesn't stay latch on because I think nothing is coming out. Help me please.


Hey Rochelle. Have u been drinking a lot of fliuds(porridge, soups,fruit juices,etc)? If u don't then ther will b inadequate milk production. Also if u have introduced the bottle then  she will have 'nipple confusion' and her taste buds will start  developing to acquire a variety of taste.Then u must know that some babies also wean themselves. it is a good time to start too.Remember, if u start decreasing the frequency of breast feeding then u will also have a decrease in milk production.

Carrie - posted on 09/11/2009

8

20

2

Make sure you are drinking plenty of water so your hydrated, and make sure the baby is latched on properly...that could be the cause of the frustration. Also if that doesnt work they have this tea from EarthMama AngelBaby called MilkMaid tea, it really helps builds with the supply...they sell it at babies r us.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms