Low milk supply - Can I increase it?

Nadine - posted on 04/27/2009 ( 30 moms have responded )

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My baby boy is 7 weeks old and I am breastfeeding and supplementing with formula. If I pump, I get approx 2 oz per session. Is it possible to still increase my supply at this stage, because I've heard that at 6 weeks your milk supply has already established itself?

Will pumping more often increase my supply?

Tx

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[deleted account]

Pumping is a very poor indicator of supply, our bodies produce better for our babies, because our babies know how to remove the milk from the breast. A pump can only do so much. But pumping after a feeding CAN help increase your supply. I would strongly recommend dropping the formula immediately and getting into bed with your baby for a day. Baby should only wear a diaper, and you shouldn't wear a shirt. Skin to skin will increase the babes interest in nursing, and is just nice for bonding :)

Drink plenty of water, and eat lots of good foods. Eating oatmeal has been known to help increase the supply, and you can look online for a recipe for "lactation cookies" which are said to be quite yummy!

there are herbal supplements available to take over the counter, check with your doctor first if you like to make sure there are no interactions, and visit your local herb shop for the supplements.

Also some babies who seem to be 'screaming in hunger' after a feed may be experiencing reflux, or other discomfort.

A common misconception is to nurse the baby 10 minutes per side, every session. This can lead to what is known as a foremilk imbalance. Baby's poop might be a bit greenish instead of yellow/orange, and there may be substantial gas pains (crying!). By feeding on one breast for as long as the baby stays there is perfectly acceptable, and a great way to insure that baby is getting plenty of hindmilk, which is what will 'fill him up' and keep him satisfied until the next feeding.

Breastfed babies sometimes eat every hour. Sometimes breastfed babies will do what is called 'cluster feeding' and will nurse SEVERAL TIMES in a short amount of time. Usually around the early evening/dinner hour the baby will want to nurse for 10 minutes, and 20 minutes later be back at the breast. This is NORMAL, and to be expected. The supply sometimes drops a little in the evening hours, and the baby is trying to get as much as he needs. Also, around 3 days, 1 week, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, etc the baby will experience a growth spurt and will nurse more frequently for a few days to increase your supply. Again, this is normal.

Shannon - posted on 05/12/2009

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Quoting Wendy:

Supplementing with formula can cause a drop in your supply (milk production is a supply and demand production). Additionally two oz is more than sufficient for a baby of his age. One also must remember that a pump cannot remove all the milk that a baby can, your breast molds to the babies mouth while a pump and your babies mouth don't look anything a like!

The best way to increase your supply is to nurse your child on demand (nurse when ever baby wants for as long as baby wants). Cut out supplementing, when you do this you take out a nursing session in which baby could be extracting milk more efficiently.

Throughout the time you nurse your child, he will increase your supply several times (that is unless you choose to supplement). This will happen when he starts to go through a growth spirt, his milk demands will increase so he will nurse more. The first one is typically around 6 weeks of age.



my problem is my son is 2 months today and i have a hard time nursing him cuz i have a 5 yr old daughter who is in preschool and a 3 yr old son who im tryin to potty train cuz he is suppose to start preschool in the fall. and if i nurse i have to use a shield. but if he nurses he takes forever cuz he is a slow eater!! so i have to pump, when i can which is usually ever 3 to 4 hrs when he is hungry or not i usually only give him formula at night, or if we are out and i don't have a bottle of breastmilki i give him formula cuz im shy about nursing in public, and cuz i have to use that shield too

Rebecca - posted on 04/28/2009

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I really disagree the the person who says don't supplement at all. Remember the most important thing is your baby's nutrition and if your milk supply is low and your baby is still hungry, I believe supplementing is a valid option. I am currently experiencing the same thing with my 5 week old and this is what I do.

1. Feed him on both breasts for as long as he likes
2. If still hungry, give expressed breast milk from previous pumping
3. If STILL hungry give formula
4. pump for 15 minutes

I also take fenugreek, blessed thistle, mother's milk tea, and reglen. It IS helping but it is a long stressful process. Stay strong and good luck!

Shannon - posted on 05/12/2009

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Quoting Tangie:

They have more milk plus pills or even mothers milk tea you can try...they worked for me and one of my friends



how can you get the tea to taste better?? i tried it and it was awful!!!

[deleted account]

Your milk supply will increase & decrease as your baby demands it, the more your baby nurses the more milk your body will create, as your baby demands less, the less your body produces, pill form remedies do not always work, my sister-in-law needed to try & increase her milk supply & couldn't even with the help of a pill & had to put her son on formula to help him gain weight. If you want to continue supplementing with formula, my suggestion would be to bf him first, then topping off with formula if needed, that way you don't cut out any bf sessions. Just keep nursing him as often as possible & keep remembering you're doing great! BF isn't easy, it's a lot of work & you're doing the best you can! Good Luck!

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30 Comments

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Celeste - posted on 02/21/2014

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First, why do you think your supply is low? Generally speaking, the more you nurse the more you will make

Poornimah - posted on 02/21/2014

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Hi.
My baby is four months old and she was a preterm baby. My milk supply was less since she doesn't know to latch and drink. Now she is able to latch correctly and suck but my milk supply is low. Can I increase my milk supply now after four months.

Rachael - posted on 05/14/2009

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yeah, is there a reason you are supplementing with formula?? if not...stop supplementing!! your body knows he is getting enough food and wont make any more than neccesary. i made this mistake with my first and ended up stopping breastfeeding at 5 months. let him suck as much as he wants and that will increase it naturally.

Rebecca - posted on 05/12/2009

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drink lots of water, pump after feeds and if that doesn't seem to be working see ur GP. there is drugs such as domperidone that will increase your supply

Shannon - posted on 05/12/2009

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Quoting Wendy:

Supplementing with formula can cause a drop in your supply (milk production is a supply and demand production). Additionally two oz is more than sufficient for a baby of his age. One also must remember that a pump cannot remove all the milk that a baby can, your breast molds to the babies mouth while a pump and your babies mouth don't look anything a like!

The best way to increase your supply is to nurse your child on demand (nurse when ever baby wants for as long as baby wants). Cut out supplementing, when you do this you take out a nursing session in which baby could be extracting milk more efficiently.

Throughout the time you nurse your child, he will increase your supply several times (that is unless you choose to supplement). This will happen when he starts to go through a growth spirt, his milk demands will increase so he will nurse more. The first one is typically around 6 weeks of age.



my problem is my son is 2 months today and i have a hard time nursing him cuz i have a 5 yr old daughter who is in preschool and a 3 yr old son who im tryin to potty train cuz he is suppose to start preschool in the fall. and if i nurse i have to use a shield. but if he nurses he takes forever cuz he is a slow eater!! so i have to pump, when i can which is usually ever 3 to 4 hrs when he is hungry or not i usually only give him formula at night, or if we are out and i don't have a bottle of breastmilki i give him formula cuz im shy about nursing in public, and cuz i have to use that shield too

Wissem - posted on 04/30/2009

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eaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat, eat and eat. I work and at a satge I though of diet but it was really not a good idea. beacause pumping my milk become a very difficut thing to do as I pump but there is no milk (although my baby is gets his milk). I stop diet and stat eating well and drinking a lot of water. and I try to be really concentrated when I am pumping, no noise, no any disturbance. Now it's better.

Geralyn - posted on 04/29/2009

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I agree with Wendy and Amanda and Lindsey. Having your baby nurse is the absolute best way to increase your milk supply.

Krystal - posted on 04/29/2009

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hi!! my baby is 5 months old and i only get 2oz also. i think thats all you may get at a time, my girl eats a lot during the day too. atleast 8 times. i notice i make more when i eat a big meal. drinking any kind of fluids will also increase it. no special tea or anything just water or juice or whatever.

[deleted account]

Try putting the pump away and having him feed frequently!!! You don't have a connection or a bond to the pump, so your hormones don't really detect it to be a "feed'... If you feed him when he is asking for it, your supply will increase in no time. Your milk supply will also change as baby goes through growth spurts and periods of eating less... Supply and Demand!!!!

Tangie - posted on 04/29/2009

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They have more milk plus pills or even mothers milk tea you can try...they worked for me and one of my friends

Christina - posted on 04/29/2009

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Pumping helps, but letting you baby nurse for as long as he wants, whenever he wants is a big key. My son ate every two hours from the time he started the previous feeding (ex. start at 2 feed again at 4 even if he ate for an hour) which my son did all the time, i remember a day when my son at for 3 hours, i was really sore afterwards, but that was what us moms go through for our babies!! Also, try to relax and you have to eat more calories then you did when you were pregnant. Remember, now you really are eating for two!!! I forgot to eat one day when my son was 3 weeks old, and he didnt have much to eat at all.... so i had to sit down and stuff my face, and within 30 minutes of me eatting and sitting in the recliner with my feet up letting my little one nurse, my milk came back in full. I always had problems with milk production when i was stressed and not eating right. Dont forget to drink your MILK and eat your VEGGIES and PROTIENS!! they are a hugh part of milk production for breastfeeding mothers and their babies!!

Nicole - posted on 04/29/2009

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you should try eating more vegetables. drink lots of milk. your breastmilk supply also depends on how much food your body gets. plus, stimulating your breasts will help too. good luck!

Nadine - posted on 04/29/2009

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I wanna get your guys take on this...

My milk came in very late, so my baby ended up screaming of hunger even after I had him for 45 min on the breast. Reluctantly I put him on formula as I was worried of his nutrition and at that point I just wanted to do anything that made sure he was full and not crying from hunger. I always believe that things happen so that you can learn from them. Can anyone give me advice as to (if I am faced with this with my second baby) what I can do differently in this situation (so that I wouldn't have to use formula). In my mind there's no other choice but to use formula if the baby is constantly crying of hunger after feeds.

Penny - posted on 04/28/2009

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i found few times i woznt pumping much milk and found that if i expressd out one side while feeding my daughter the other side at the same time my milk flowed quicker as the milk woz bein simulatd the other side my daughter feedin off.and wen next fed my daughter i did the same and alternated sides and did this like every 3hrs .

Sasha - posted on 04/28/2009

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I didn't feel that my nursing patterns were really established until about 8 weeks- I am a big big proponent of frequent nursing/pumping. I used a sling as much as I could to stay mobile and sane with the near constant nursing. Also, I let my little guy nurse as much as he ever wanted to at night. Good luck!

Wendy - posted on 04/28/2009

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Supplementing with formula can cause a drop in your supply (milk production is a supply and demand production). Additionally two oz is more than sufficient for a baby of his age. One also must remember that a pump cannot remove all the milk that a baby can, your breast molds to the babies mouth while a pump and your babies mouth don't look anything a like!



The best way to increase your supply is to nurse your child on demand (nurse when ever baby wants for as long as baby wants). Cut out supplementing, when you do this you take out a nursing session in which baby could be extracting milk more efficiently.



Throughout the time you nurse your child, he will increase your supply several times (that is unless you choose to supplement). This will happen when he starts to go through a growth spirt, his milk demands will increase so he will nurse more. The first one is typically around 6 weeks of age.

Christina - posted on 04/28/2009

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hi nadine. yes! pumping will definitely increase your milk supply.try every 2-3 hours.increase your fluid intake and dont skip meals.no dieting.we have here a supplement designed for breastfeeding mothers.its a herbal plant in capsule form.a love it.i have a milk factory in our fridge. =) my daughter is now 7 months and 2 weeks old.still drinking pure breastmilk.plus her solid foods.goodluck!

Crystal - posted on 04/28/2009

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Try buying some Fenugreek pills from a health food store as well as some nursing mother's tea! It will help a lot!

Ja'Nise - posted on 04/27/2009

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try motherlove 'more milk plus' it is an herbal supplement taken 4 times a day in a little water. works great in a day or two. easier than trying to pump all the time with a 7 week old to take care of.

Michelle - posted on 04/27/2009

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you can try drinking beer & waiting that works. The yeast in the beer produces more milk. I like to just put myself on a schedule whether my son feeds or not. I do a 2-3hour schedul & once my body gets used to feeding like that my supply is up.

Martha - posted on 04/27/2009

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Here is tons of info about milk supply on a website maintained by an IBCLC.



http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/index....



I don't think what you heard about supply being established at 6 weeks is true, because your supply will increase during a growth spurt, and it is also possible for women to relactate after stopping nursing. Pumping more will increase your supply, but nursing more is the better choice. Babies are better at getting the milk out than pumps, and the more milk that is removed the more your body will make.

Shannon - posted on 04/27/2009

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yes you can, after nursing pump for like 10 to 15 min. and it should increase after a few days,

Krystal - posted on 04/27/2009

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Try pumping for 10 minutes after your baby is done eating. And if your baby is sleeping for a few hours during the day, pump in the middle of their nap or an hour or so after they last eat. Between the different things, you will get more milk in, and have some in the freezer for other times. Also, make sure you are drinking lots of water, (I personally am not a big water fan) so try tea, or gatorade, lots of fluids, but limit caffeine, as it won't help, and in some cases can dehydrate you. Hope this helps.

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