how do i produce more milk?

Cathy - posted on 07/25/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I have a three month old son. I was excited to breastfeed this time around. I did a lot of research to do it the right way. I was put on birthcontrol do to heavy bleeding. I was told that it would not have any affect on my milk supply. Well now i'm barley pumping an ounce from both of them. I'm upset and will try anything to get my milk back. I want to do whats best for my little man. If you have any advice, i'm greatful to get it.

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Lori - posted on 07/25/2012

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And IUD shouldn't affect breastfeeding. However any form of birth control that contains estrogen can have an effect on your supply.

How often do you pump? How long are you away from your baby during the day? How much do you get total? When you say you are barely pumping an ounce from both breasts, that's from one pumping session right? How much time passes between when you last fed your baby and you pump? Or how often do you pump while at work?

Around 3 months most moms find that they're no longer engorged, and therefore feel as if they are loosing their milk supply. Not being engorged isn't a sign of low milk. It's a sign of the body regulating itself and getting used to producing the right amount of milk. The best way to determine if your baby is getting enough is by diaper count. If your baby is having 5 or 6 wet/dirty diapers each day, then baby is getting enough.

If you're supplementing, you need to pump often to stimulate your milk to come back. The more milk that's removed from your breasts, the more milk you will make. If baby eats, but you don't pump it's telling your body that your baby wasn't hungry, so you won't make milk for that feed.

Oatmeal is helpful in increasing your supply. One serving of oatmeal per day can make a difference. Almonds are also good for making milk.

Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, and don't skip meals.

And offer the breast often. Put him to your breast as often as he will go. Don't offer a pacifier. Let him comfort nurse when you're there. It's very good for your supply.

Lori - posted on 07/26/2012

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and Cathy - many moms do combo feed (feed both formula and breast milk.) Even just one feeding of breast milk per day continues to provide benefits for your baby.

However - It may also be that he is learning to prefer the bottle because a bottle is easier to get milk out of quickly. If this is the case, I'd suggest that when you're with him, you ONLY offer the breast. YOU should never offer a bottle. He'll learn quickly that with Mommy he gets to breastfeed, and if he's hungry and Mommy isn't around then he'll get a bottle. Make sure to offer the breast at the first signs of hunger. Crying is a LATE cue. If you wait until he's really hungry it will be harder for him to be patient. Watch for lip smacking, sucking his fist, turning his head toward your breast, rooting. Then offer the breast.

Celeste - posted on 07/26/2012

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To add to Lori's post, average output is 1/2 to 2 oz total. Also keep in mind that pump output is not an indicator of supply and it's pretty normal for pump output to decrease over time.

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Mona - posted on 07/27/2012

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try fenugreek seeds, tee or caps... it's a well known lactagogue and used much here in the middle east...

Celeste - posted on 07/26/2012

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Don't look at baby's behavior to judge supply. How are diapers? As long he's getting enough diapers, your supply is fine.

Cathy - posted on 07/26/2012

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he doesn't get a pacifier. i pump every two hours.im a waitress and i work 5 to 6 hrs day. but i pump at work. i put him to breast every two hours but he gets mad because hes not getting nuff to fill him. i just want to do whats best for him. give him what he needs. iv just ordered mothers more milk from motherlove.com. hoping that that works. if not im just going to face it that im not ment to breast feed past three months. thank you for your time and advice

Cathy - posted on 07/25/2012

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hi mama Dee Dee thank you for your time. i have done all that you said to do. i have had an iud put in for medical reasons but was told by two doctors that it would not have an affect on my milk. i do breastfeed him when we are together and he gets what he can threw bottle but its not nuff for him so he gets formula. hes does good with both but im sooo wanting to give him the best. im losing my mind trying to find ways to bring it back like the begin. i only breast fed my other two for three months til i went back to work and i lose supply. but this time around i wanted to fully do it right. i dont know maybe i just need to give up........

Mama - posted on 07/25/2012

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Hi Cathy,
That is one of my biggest fears (not having enough milk) and this is what I have been doing to be proactive and prevent a low supply.

1) Feed your baby on demand when they are hungry. You mentioned that you are pumping...does that mean that you are feeding him sometimes from a bottle? I would suggest putting bottles aside for a while and focus on breast feeding directly. That way they can stimulate milk production and tell your body to step things up.

2) As for pumping...I would feed your baby...and when he is done I would then pump each breast afterwards. It will make your body think that your baby is still there eating or wanting to eat and it will step up production.

3) Make sure you are drinking lots of water and eating a healthy diet and enough...don't skip meals or go too long without eating (I get busy and that happens sometimes but I try to eat regularly).

4) If your baby is sleeping most of the night you can pump at night as well. For example...if my 4 month old baby wakes at night and is hungry...I feed him one side...and put him back to bed...then I pump the other. (and freeze it).

5) Try drinking no alcoholic beer (ive heard it helps milk production).

6) Make sure you get enough rest and sleep.

I hope that helps. I'm curious to see what others say.

All the best!

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