Low Milk Supply Tips

Chelsea - posted on 10/20/2009 ( 565 moms have responded )

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This is a frequent question and many moms have some great advice. Please post any tips you have on increasing milk supply.

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Tarah - posted on 12/02/2009

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My midwife told me to express after you feed the baby didnt get much but it increases the milk supply.

Mala - posted on 12/01/2009

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raspberry juice and corn meal will increasing u'r milk supply ...and some anti-sickness tablets have side effect of increase in lactose.hope i helped

Katie - posted on 12/01/2009

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I was getting so close to switching to formula but I talked to a lactation consultant and they suggested two things which worked SO well for me! first, to pump after every feeding. even if barely anything comes out (because if you're like me, the only successful pump is when they're full), it's not for collection purposes, it's to make your body think you need more. and second, she recommended fenugreek, an herbal supplement, to help milk supply. and OH did it ever! lol my baby is almost 3 months old now, and my milk has been an issue since she was barely 1 month. I know it is so worth it in the end but it gets so frustrating, especially with a low supply! just remember what good things you're doing for that little one =) good luck ladies!

Susie - posted on 12/01/2009

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What I did is: 1) nurse anytime the baby wanted but also when nursing I pumped the other side at the same time since the baby is the better nurser then I would switch sides if still hungry. But, always be ready to give back the milk that you pump. Start off pumping only on the 1st feed of the day then week 2, 1st two feedings...and so on

2) Drink lots of water/liquids. I also like to alternate drinking fruit juices so that I know that I am getting more nutrients.

3)Mother's milk tea...or I also found "maxi-milk" by a company called mountain meadow herbs that I like better than the tea. I think this really helped!

4) sleep any chance that you get! I know it is difficult with one or several little ones around but it helps.

Kerryn - posted on 12/01/2009

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Fenugreek,,,,, either in suplement form or fresh....... as well as rest, fluids and regular feeding! Worked for me!

Shelly - posted on 11/30/2009

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I just battled low milk supply myself a few weeks ago... But with fenugreek, mothers milk tea, oatmeal, and pumping every 3 hours... I now have my supply back up. My best piece of advice... is to try not to get frustrated and stressed out. You just have to do what you can, and hope for the best. : )

LoriAnn - posted on 11/27/2009

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WATER is the best answer!....you have to stay hydrated to keep it going..... & pump frequently

Bonnie - posted on 11/27/2009

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Hi Chelsea. I use to pump for 7 minutes and take a break, take a long drink and relax myself a little more. I could really only pump since mu son was in the icu, but stimulating the milk ducts before & in between pumpings would help me to produce more milk. Using a hot pack to help with the let down as well. Definitely sleeping more helped to. I use to fall asleep pumping, but I felt so energized with those cat naps. There is something that some doctors can give you to help produce more milk, regalin, not sure of the spelling though. Good luck. :)

Susan - posted on 11/27/2009

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A nurse suggested that I pump one side for 5 minutes then wait 15 minutes. Then pump the other side for 5 minutes and then wait 15 minutes and go as usual. I did this when I was having problems bfeeding 10 days after my son's birth. By doing this, the nurse said I was tricking my body into producing more milk. There was a study about a hormone that is triggered by doing this and it increases supply. Worked for me.

Aubrey - posted on 11/26/2009

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Go to your local natural food store and ask about brewers yeast and mothers milk tea also fenugreek! Also nurse as often as can even if baby falls asleep keep the baby at your breast until it starts eating again or you can't sit any longer. If really desperate ask your local la leche league consultant about using a syringe with a thin tube that attaches to the syringe and then while nursing slip the tube in the baby's mouth and slowly squirt pumped breast milk in while they are sucking. This will help when there's no let down right away and keep them nterested in eating.

[deleted account]

I don't know if someone mentioned this already, but there are things to stay away from that can supposedly decrease your supply... mint and parsley being two of them. I forget the rest and I forget where I read this (I read so many breastfeeding books and websites when my 20 month old was a newborn) but I'm sure you can Google it. Hope this helps.

Amanda - posted on 11/26/2009

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Fenugreek! Fluids! Rest! I have read that u can take quite alot of fenugreek until your urine/sweat smells like curry or maple syrup haha. GoodLuck

Simone - posted on 11/24/2009

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my son never took to me and since i'm a huge believer in breast milk I pumped. I would take a sports bra and snip holes over the nipple and insert the pump. If I ever got low I would pump for 1/2 hour every 1 1/2 hours for a day and the next be flowing!! Make sure your drinking a lot of water and milk and eating good. Try the bra and you'll have free hands!!! ONE OTHE BIG THING !!! stay relax if you stress your body will notice and your milk can decrease



Hope I helped Best of luck!!!

Kiara-marie - posted on 11/24/2009

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feed baby when wants to feed and for as long as baby wants all the time his should help

Kimberly - posted on 11/24/2009

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Quoting Ashley:

I pumped every time I fed her, afterward, to make sure she was getting everything, and then bottle fed it to her. It's a lot of work, but after 4 days or so of doing this I saw great improvement.


this helped me but instead of nursing the usually 3 hours i did every 2 and it worked

Andrea - posted on 11/24/2009

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when its close to feeding time you can pump a few oz and then feed as normal and it will boost your supply

Chelsea - posted on 11/23/2009

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I have found drinking fennel tea and taking fenugreek (alternately) has helped increase my milk supply.
Converely, I found 'power-pumping' (pump for 20 minutes or nurse every 1-2 hours-recemmended by my lactation consult) to be draining and didn't produce enough increase to warrant it.

[deleted account]

Too much cardio exercise messed up my milk when my daughter was about 5 months. The trainer at my gym told me to either eat an extra meal each day or lay off cardio for a while.

On another note: I guess I'm different than most breastfeeding moms. I had a "flexible set schedule" for my baby to feed about every 2 or 3 hours. It gave my breasts time to fill up and then she ate more because she was hungrier. The longer she sucked the more milk I produced.

Miriam - posted on 11/22/2009

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There are several things you can do:
nurse more and make sure you drink plenty of water
if you have a problem with pumping it might be that the machine just does not make your body have the let down reflex then a video of your nursing baby might work or a picture and thinking of him/her
Domperidon 10mg three times a day, available in Canada and Europe, may make you feel drowsy but works really well! the reason it is not available in the US is that the intravenous form has caused arrythmias if it is given iv push, but the pill form did not which is why it is still available in Europe and Canada. Motilium is its weaker counterpart available here in the US, it is not as strong but worth a try.
Fenugreek an herb you can buy in pill form in the health food store, works ok but not as strong as Domperidon
nursing tea, need to drink a LOT of it and some people do not like the taste, but safe and worthwhile
most importantly though is to not stress over it and try to relax, breastfeeding should be relaxing and not stressful, if you have to supplement, supplement.

Lindsay - posted on 11/20/2009

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Quoting Cheryl :



Quoting Lindsay:

My lactation consultant recommended using Soy Milk Protein. It is an inexpensive powder supplement found at Walmart. It has been shown to improved milk supply up to 25% with approximately 1 1/3 servings. Results vary, but it worked well for me and my friend that I told about it. Just make sure to ask your doctor before using. It isn't a good idea for diabetics who have trouble keeping their numbers steady, etc.
Red wine in small amounts has been shown to increase supply. I've used a small amount of beer a couple times and it worked too. Again, it is small amounts and ask your doctor.
I've also learned that over consumption of water can reduce milk supply. It takes a book to explain why, but it made sense in the long run. Basically your body then focuses on getting rid of excess water instead of producing milk. The amount of water was EXTREMELY high, but their are limits to amounts over everything needed.
I think most important especially in the beginning to know is that you aren't supposed to have all this milk. That baby needs to nurse a lot and it is supposed to take 2-3 mo before your milk fully comes in. I think it's a misconception many women have that we are just supposed to have all this milk in the beginning. Sometimes it will seem like all you do is nurse for days at a time and that's just the way it is...






Thanks for the info and the tip what brand of soymilk protein from walmart so that I can pick one up and what are the drinking recommendations.





I can't remember the brand but it's a taller cyclindrical white plastic jar and it has purple and gray on it.  It comes in vanilla and chololate.   It will be next to the energy and weight loss drinks. It has the words soy milk protein on it and the price was around $8.68.   I used it for so long that all I remember was 1 1/3 servings (which was 1 1/3 scoops of the scooper it comes with) was what the book my doctor gave me recomended to increase milk supply.  I also am a huge chocoholic so naturally I bought the chocolate mix 1st.   Later I found the vanilla was much better and disolved easier.   I hope it works for you.

Terri - posted on 11/19/2009

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frequent feeds will top up your breast supply and also make sure you drink plenty of water. That happened in my first pregnancy my milk supply went way down and a nurse picked up I wasnt drinking enough. As soon as I did my supply went back up. A good tip is to keep a bottle or cup of water next to you just before you feed and make sure you drink the whole lot before you feed bub that way you wont forget to hydrate through the day.

Bridgette - posted on 11/19/2009

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-try not to stress, it could affect your milk supply.
-breastfeeding is all about supply and demand, you will only make as much milk as your baby needs, so when your bub needs more you will make it no problem.
- drink plenty of water.

Renee - posted on 11/19/2009

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I had milk production issues early on and took the blessed thissle and the fenugreek to no avail. My doctor prescribed domperidone and I have been on it since my baby was about 3 weeks old. She said that there is no problem in staying on it until I stop breastfeeding. It took about a month until I could exclusively breastfeed but I'm glad I stuck with it. Now no bottles to lug around.

Sarah - posted on 11/19/2009

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I have a 6 mo old and he is not doing well at the breast anymore, he weighs 15 lbs and dropped to the 5% so I have to give him formula to supplement, the Dr gave me Mother's Love More Milk Plus, I am hoping it will boost my milk up and he will want to nurse more...

Apol - posted on 11/19/2009

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yup drink lots of water and avoid drinks with caffeine coz it will lessen the milk supply...also try not to drink cold water and beverages. always drink your best chosen warm milk...smile!

Cheryl - posted on 11/18/2009

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this is interesting my baby usually wakes late at night to nurse i didnt know that this time would be great for milk production. Thanks for sharing

Cheryl - posted on 11/18/2009

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put baby to the fuller breast till it empties, then resume your normal switching between breast and you will notice and feel that the both the same. It happened to me. I did it and it worked!

Cheryl - posted on 11/18/2009

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Quoting Lindsay:

My lactation consultant recommended using Soy Milk Protein. It is an inexpensive powder supplement found at Walmart. It has been shown to improved milk supply up to 25% with approximately 1 1/3 servings. Results vary, but it worked well for me and my friend that I told about it. Just make sure to ask your doctor before using. It isn't a good idea for diabetics who have trouble keeping their numbers steady, etc.
Red wine in small amounts has been shown to increase supply. I've used a small amount of beer a couple times and it worked too. Again, it is small amounts and ask your doctor.
I've also learned that over consumption of water can reduce milk supply. It takes a book to explain why, but it made sense in the long run. Basically your body then focuses on getting rid of excess water instead of producing milk. The amount of water was EXTREMELY high, but their are limits to amounts over everything needed.
I think most important especially in the beginning to know is that you aren't supposed to have all this milk. That baby needs to nurse a lot and it is supposed to take 2-3 mo before your milk fully comes in. I think it's a misconception many women have that we are just supposed to have all this milk in the beginning. Sometimes it will seem like all you do is nurse for days at a time and that's just the way it is...



Thanks for the info and the tip what brand of soymilk protein from walmart so that I can pick one up and what are the drinking recommendations.

Jennifer - posted on 11/16/2009

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Quoting Amy:

My daughter is 3 weeks old today! I just started to feel that my supply is not keeping up with her demand and this scares me. After reading some of these posts, if I keep putting her to the breast and drinking lots of water, this should increase my supply?


yes, as don't worry too much, that is about the age of a growth spirt.I have felt that way with every growth spirt so far. As long as she continues to gain weight you have nothing to worry about. Just make sure you drink plenty of water and eat a high protien diet. Protien helps with the quality and quantity of your milk.

Jennifer - posted on 11/16/2009

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Quoting Dalia:

Hello :) I'm new here at circle of moms. I'm so happy to join the breastfeeding moms page. I'm having almost the same problem. whenever i put my baby on my breast to breastfeed, sometimes he would take it, but after some time he would start rejecting it. And sometimes he would reject it right away. another thing is that i have one breast that keeps producing milk and feels like it's getting full, while the other is always so small and looks like it's empty and my baby would never take it at all. Can anyone plz help? Do i just follow the recommended solutions here? Thank you.


My right produces twice as much as my left. The lactation specialist gave me some tips and they seem to be helping the productin in the left side. Start the baby on the low side every time and let him completely drain that breast, then move himto the other side to finish. If he won't take the low breast first, start him on the full side, let him go for a few minutes, then switch him to the low side, let him completely drain that breast, then switch him back to the full side to finish. I know it is a lot of switching but it is helping me out. My left is not up to par with my right, but the production in the left has increased scince I started this. Hope it helps.

Jennifer - posted on 11/16/2009

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Quoting Christine:

I'm needing suggestions for a working mom whose baby is on solids already. I'm having a tough time with my supply for my eleven month old. I've even had to send *ugh* formula with her to daycare a few times because I just wasn't able pump enough. Milk supply has never been a problem with me (this is my 3rd BF baby) so I'm very frustrated and feeling like I want to give up but she's allergic to cow's milk and I really don't want to put her on soy milk or soy formula. I've been taking fenugreek for a couple weeks now and have seen a slight improvement, but not much.


Christine, you should try taking blessed thistle along with the fenugreek, the lactation specialist I see says that that is the best combination, and is better that using one or the other by itself.

Gemma - posted on 11/15/2009

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Milkthistle or Fenigreek tablets, Tehir natural vitamens that increase the milk supply

Amy - posted on 11/14/2009

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My daughter is 3 weeks old today! I just started to feel that my supply is not keeping up with her demand and this scares me. After reading some of these posts, if I keep putting her to the breast and drinking lots of water, this should increase my supply?

Dalia - posted on 11/13/2009

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Hello :) I'm new here at circle of moms. I'm so happy to join the breastfeeding moms page. I'm having almost the same problem. whenever i put my baby on my breast to breastfeed, sometimes he would take it, but after some time he would start rejecting it. And sometimes he would reject it right away. another thing is that i have one breast that keeps producing milk and feels like it's getting full, while the other is always so small and looks like it's empty and my baby would never take it at all. Can anyone plz help? Do i just follow the recommended solutions here? Thank you.

Kelley - posted on 11/13/2009

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I had a problem with milk supply after I went back on birth control (micronor: the mini pilll). I had to go off of the pill, take motilium, and pump after every feeding for a couple of weeks.

Mandy - posted on 11/13/2009

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Quoting Jennifer:



Quoting Susan:

I have a simliar problem with not enough for my growing baby. She is nearly 7 months and won't eat any solids. I talked to my OB doc and she put me on a 12 day supply of reglen. It took about 3 days to notice a difference but now I'm making enough to freeze some of what I depleted trying to play catch up. I too tried Fenugreek and Mothers tea. It may have made a difference but not much. I suggest talking to your OB dr. Good luck






I would be VERY careful with the Reglan.  A La Leche League leader, who happened to be a nurse practitioner, prescribed that to me with my first child.  She didn't know about my history of depression.  I had very little ppd until I started taking the Reglan.  After about a week on the meds, I became nearly suicidal and even had thoughts of harming my baby.  When my OB found out, he nearly croaked and told me to stop that med immediately and told me to triple my dosage of Zoloft for a week...that is a very dangerous med if you have a history of depression.  I currenly take Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle with my 4 month old and I am having much better luck than with my first child!






I was also prescribed Reglan.  I have twins that were in the NICU for 4 weeks and didn't want to breastfeed once we were home.  So I started pumping and bottle feeding them that milk.  They are each taking 4 ounces every feeding and I am pumping about 7 ounces each session so I asked my Dr. for something to help.  Let me give you a little background on me.  It took me 7 years to get pregnant.  These babies were a blessing that were a long time coming.  I do not have a history of depression, nor does it run in our family.  I had a wonderful birthing experience and couldn't be happier with where my life is now.  UNTIL I took this medication.  After a day and a half I felt like I was crawling out of my skin.  I have never experienced anxiety before, but I believe that's what I was feeling.  I had to call my husband at work and ask him to come home because I couldn't catch my breath, my chest was hurting, but most importantly was that when my babies would cry I had no desire to comfort them or soothe them.  I couldn't sleep at all, I was jumpy and twitchy and felt like I didn't want to be in the house or around my babies.  We looked up the medication online and figured it was the medicine.  I stopped taking it and by the next morning I was literally crying with relief to look at my babies and feel love again.  I've never been so scared in my life.  Had I not known that it was a side effect of the medicine I probably would have continued to take it and who knows how bad things could have gotten.  It felt like the joy was stripped from my life.  I hope that I was just a worst case scenario, but I would not advise or recommend this medication to anyone. 

Krista - posted on 11/12/2009

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Nurse all the time anytime baby wants it! Also eat lots of granola bars, drink tons of water, eat lots of snacks, and I was told to drink half a can of guiness beer or any super dark beer production goes up tons, they did that with the mom gorilla when she couldn't produce enough for her baby, worked wonders. I would have to say keep snacks handy granola bars worked for me, pump too inbetween feedings it also makes your body produce more. Rent one from your hospital or health unit the medela ones work AWESOME! Hope we all helped in some way!

Emma - posted on 11/12/2009

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I have found that being hydrated and letting my daughter eat when she wants to or just suck for commfort helps

Loreli - posted on 11/12/2009

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Fenugreek!!! It's an herbal supplement. I don't usually invest in herbal remedies but my lactation consultant recommended it. I took two doses in one day and my milk supply doubled within a day! It's incredible and came highly recommended by my consultant and the attendents at the store. I don't think its usually available in supermarkets. But you can find it at natural stores.

Sarah - posted on 11/12/2009

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You can ask your doctor and they can perscribe you medicine to help your milk come in! worked great for me. Also fenugreek, mothers milk tea, oatmeal, and beer. I know beer sounds crazy but it works you only drink less than ONE and you dont have to pump and dump. Drink lots of water and nurse or pump as much as possible. If your on the pill it can be drying your milk up so you may consider getting off of it.

Katie - posted on 11/11/2009

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Of course making sure you get as much rest as possible with a newborn, and making sure you eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. A good way to help increase production is to pump after baby has nursed. Even if you don't get anything out it will help to encourage milk production and if you do get anything then you can store it and have back up for a night out!

Vanessa - posted on 11/11/2009

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I really don't think it has anything to do with drinking lots of water or eating right!



You may ask why I say this? Well I rarely drink any water at all I am more of a Dr. Pepper drinker which isnt the best thing I guess but I am still getting more milk then most.



I have been pumping for 2 months now and I pump 18oz about every 2 hours! I know this is crazy but if I dont then my breast get engorged and hurt. This was the same for my first born as well only then it was more like 18+ Oz's and every 1 1/2 so I have aalways been blessed with excessive milk.



My son is only 2 months old and is already 15 pounds so he is very healthy and I am also giving my frozen milk to my little brother's new born baby who is 3 weeks younger then mine.



I think if you just keep feeding on demand or do excessive pumping you may get some better results and this may help you produce more milk...... Also get as much rest as possible but stay active just dont over due it.

Crystal - posted on 11/11/2009

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Lactation blend with fenugreek! This has made a significant difference for me and my baby my goal was 6 months and we are almost 7 months old now!

Kaz - posted on 11/10/2009

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Quoting Christine:

I'm needing suggestions for a working mom whose baby is on solids already. I'm having a tough time with my supply for my eleven month old. I've even had to send *ugh* formula with her to daycare a few times because I just wasn't able pump enough. Milk supply has never been a problem with me (this is my 3rd BF baby) so I'm very frustrated and feeling like I want to give up but she's allergic to cow's milk and I really don't want to put her on soy milk or soy formula. I've been taking fenugreek for a couple weeks now and have seen a slight improvement, but not much.


 



These are some of the tips we gave in NCU



Try:-



- Make sure you are looking after your self, with 3 children and working I know you can skip things but it is important you do not, Eating a good ballanced dietincluding lunch and breakfast, drink regually through the day, have a bottle of water with you if need be and sip if that is easier than drinking your 8 plus glasses. Also make sure you are getting enough sleep and relaxation time.



- Start expressing/feeding at night for a while at least. Tough if you are working, but your hormones are highest between midnight and 2am and sadly that is the best time for increasing your supply. It is a ballencing act though because it is important you are not too tired as this can decrease your supply.



- Are you able to pump at work so your boobs start getting used to making more regually? It's not always possible I know but we are lucky in the UK your employer is obliged to provide somewhere quiet for you to do so, the time to do it and  and somewhere to keep it, not sure if you get that in other countries.



- When pumping try doing both sides at the same time if you can set your pump up to do that as this can help. The other technique is rather than sitting with the pump on one side for 20 mins swap sides every 5 mins. When pumping try just after you have fed or when your child is not there use a pic of them and also try something which smells of them. Smells can really help your let down reflex.



 



Several drugs normally prescribed to stop sickness or increase the speed the gut works which can help. Domperadone (Motilium) is considered the better one and may be worth a shot. If your doctor is reluctant there is some info here to show them as to why you want to try it http://www.breastfeeding.org/articles/do... The other drug which can help is metoclopramide (Reglan) http://www.breastfeeding.org/articles/re...



 



Hope that is of help. I am still feeding at 16 months but thankfully my daughter could have cows milk and would happily live off cheese and yoghurt (she does not drink cows milk only water or my rice or oat milk)  so I have not had to express for her to feed during the day.

Jessica - posted on 11/10/2009

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try porridge/oatmeal for breakfast with a glass of fresh orange juice, my baby really settled after i did this as it ironises the milk and also makes it good high calorie breast milk making baby nice and full. Tip from my midwife and really did the trick.

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