Need Tips To Help Increase My Milk Supply !

Cassie - posted on 01/27/2009 ( 33 moms have responded )

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My son is almost a month old and he is not getting enough breastmilk so I have been supplementing him with formula. I do pump both breasts in hopes of helping increase my supply. I have talked to lactation consultants but feel like I am getting no where.



He had a pretty good latch but is so used to getting food from the bottle it seems he doesn't want to work has hard on sucking from the breast.



I really want to exclusively breastfeed but feel like my son is getting not getting enough.

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Boriquita - posted on 01/30/2009

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Quoting Suzanne:

The point that Cara made about birth control is a really good one. Birth control pills that use estrogen often decrease your milk supply. So I started using the kind of birth control that is not supposed to affect your supply (progestin only, no estrogen), but I found that the pills still did decrease my supply. As soon as I stopped taking the pills, my supply went back up.


If you do ecological breastfeeding that is a method of birth control.



 

Cara - posted on 01/29/2009

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ok I had this same issue.  My milk supply was low and I was very concerned.  I resisted supplimenting with formula, and that's probably the best thing I did.  She did lose some weight at first, but quickly gained once my milk supply came up.  What I did was rented a pump from the hospital for a month, and I would pump EVERY 2 HOURS and feed the baby what I pumped AFTER I put her to my breasts.  This way my breasts were stimulated to the fullest, but my baby also recieved all the nutrients from the breast milk.  Also, if the baby is sleeping through the night, please make sure you get up and pump and store it in the fridge...seriously, EVERY 2 HOURS!  It really sucks to do it because you lose so much sleep, but it works!  I also added brewers yeast, 3 tablets twice a day according to my pediatrician....its supposed to boost your energy as well since its got a lot of B12 in it!  Stick to it and dont get frustrated!  here is a list of things to do:



1.  Pump every two hours and feed every 2 hours.....but let your baby sleep if its during the night but still pump and store. 



2.  Drink plenty of water, make sure youre taking care of yourself and your urine is not a dark color!



3.  Make sure youre eating enough!  Some women cut their calories WAY too much either on purpose to lose weight or because they are too busy with baby to eat, and your milk supply will drop!  You need at least 1800-2500 cals/day!



4.  RELAX!  Easier said than done!  I would pump after I took a hot shower, or have my husband massage my neck and shoulders while I pumped.  Stress can really affect your milk production and let down.



5.  get enough sleep!  I know, pumping every two hours is not going to let this happen, but once you notice your output increasing, and baby seems satisfied after feedings, maybe go 3-4 hours without pumping at night....gradually increase as your milk supply gets better.



6.  use one of the suppliments to increase your milk...like fenugreek, brewers yeast, etc.



7.  Be careful of the birthcontrol youre using....the pill can DECREASE your milk supply!



8.  Know that no matter how small the amount of breastmilk youre baby is getting from you, it is better than NONE!  Keep at it! 



 



good luck!

Jen - posted on 01/29/2009

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STOP SUPPLEMENTING! That is the most sure-fire way to DECREASE your milk supply. You need to nurse, nurse, nurse and nurse some more. If his output is good (plenty of wet and dirty diapers, clear urine) then he's getting enough. If he is crying because he's hungry, well put him back on the breast.

Baby's stomachs are teeny-tiny, and breastmilk is extremely digestible. He will be acting hungry/nursing a lot now because that's how babies regulate mom's milk supply...think supply and demand...the more you nurse, the more milk you'll produce. Conversely, the less you nurse, the less milk you'll produce.

My suggestion to you: get yourself into a comfy nightgown, get into bed with baby, and just have a nursing marathon. Put him to the breast every time he peeps or roots...let that boy have the boob as many times a day as he wants. HE will increase your supply.

Oh, and dark beer did wonders for my supply...I remember having a dark beer one night and waking up so engorged it hurt...I couldn't even get my pump on my boob it was so full. Also Fenugreek (you have to take a lot of it to get any effect, and it makes you smell like maple syrup, LOL!), oatmeal, and lots of water will help your supply.

:) Best of luck!

Christa - posted on 01/28/2009

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Take a deep breath. I know this is so frustrating! What makes you feel like he's not getting enough? Is he having 6-8 wet diapers/day, having at least 2 dirty diapers/day, and gaining weight? Also, are you using a hospital grade pump and pumping or nursing for a total of 8-12 feedings in 24 hours? How often is he getting formula and how much? I ask because: If there is a medical reason to supplement then you need to do what you have to do to feed your baby :). Hospital grade pumps are the only ones that can help increase your supply. Check where you delivered to see if they rent them out (if you haven't already). Try to get in 8- 12 feedings in 24 hours. If he's getting lots of formula, it will keep him fuller longer than breastmilk will, so he won't "request" a feeding as often and will most likely get frustrated at the breast because of the lack of immediate gratification (doesn't come out right away like with the bottle). If he will still latch, do go grab a supplemental nursing system (SNS for short) which is exactly what someone else described - a container connected to a flexible tube that you attach to your breast. You can control the flow through it, so that initially it can be quicker - to keep him interested and sucking at your breast. Then as he does better with latching and nursing and doesn't get as frustrated you can back off on the flow until you don't need it anymore. I've seen them save breastfeeding relationships. you can also do as someone else suggested - pump to get yourself close to letdown, massage your breast and put a warm compress on before your nurse. Do be sure he has a good latch - there are websites out there with videos that show great latches - I need to see if I can find one. Nurse on demand. Relax when you nurse - go someplace comfy, drink something tastey, look at your baby, enjoy the cuddle time. Stop measuring what you pump and getting concerned. A pump will never get from your breast what a baby can. It's normal for month old babies to nurse a lot. They go through growth spurts and can seem to want to nurse constantly for a couple of days, but it's only their signal to your body to make more milk. Take it easy and get support.

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33 Comments

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Jenny - posted on 01/30/2009

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You can try just letting him nurse for comfort. The more stimulation your breast gets the more milk you will make.

Boriquita - posted on 01/30/2009

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Sometimes not having enough milk is just that a perception. Different breast have different capacities but can make the same in 24 hour period. Also newborns go through growth spurts at 1 week, 3 weeks, and 6 weeks...they feel like they are breastfeeding 24-7, but it is nature's way of increasing breast supply, listen to your baby, don't look at the clock! :) I know the 1st few weeks of breast feeding feel like you are breastfeeding ALL THE TIME. Do just that, don't supplement at all! Take naps with the baby, and understand that THIS to shall pass!



Source: I currently breastfeed a 7 month old, and breastfed my first child for 3 1/2 years

Joanne - posted on 01/30/2009

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I agree with all that to nurse is the best solution.  I tried the mother's milk tea and the fenugreek - it worked very well but the odour that comes along with it my son did not like and turned to be very fussy at the breast!.



Try to pump one breast at the same time as you feed from the other. Sounds impossible but it actually boosts your milk supple.  Pumping wasn't fun for me until someone suggested this and not only did pumping becoming easier but my milk supply increased!



And drink lots of water.  Everytime you feed have at least one glass of water!



Good Luck!

Meagan - posted on 01/30/2009

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Have you tried taking Fenugreek? (I got it at Whole Foods and it really helped!)

Suzanne - posted on 01/30/2009

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The point that Cara made about birth control is a really good one. Birth control pills that use estrogen often decrease your milk supply. So I started using the kind of birth control that is not supposed to affect your supply (progestin only, no estrogen), but I found that the pills still did decrease my supply. As soon as I stopped taking the pills, my supply went back up.

[deleted account]

It seems like new bubs just want to feed alllll the time, nurse nurse nurse and make sure you drink lots and lots and lots yourself! At least 3litres during the day. Avoid caffeine, it acts as a dieretic (takes water out of your system). You can ppump between feeds, 20mins after a feed. I was in the same boat until a lactation consultant told me how to pump and i think it should be written material for every woman in australia!!!
Begin pumping fast 8-10 pumps.. then hold each pump for 2-3 seconds. Continue until milk stops and then for another 3-5 mins.. you may have another let down of milk. If so pump fast again 8-10 times then back to 2-3second pumps until milk stops. Do not pump longer than 20mins per side it can harm your breast tissue.
Dont stress if you dont get much if any milk out. Its the sucking motion that stimulates milk production.
You can also try the herb Fenugreek, it makes the ducts relax and more milk comes out, which helps boost supply while you're pumping. It's harmless alhough may make your pee smell sweet like maple syrup (it's used to flavor maple syrup) dont use it lonfger than 2 weeks straight as it may lose it's effect. Have a few days off and try it again. I find fenugreek immediate and only use it on really hot days =)
Good luck =) Hang in there!!!!!! keep going!! New babies want to feed alllll the time!

Karmyn - posted on 01/29/2009

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Eat tons of fresh fruit. Fresh fruit is water rich, protein rich, EFA rich, vitamin and mineral rich. Also make sure to relax. Your body was built to nourish your baby. You built a beautiful baby in your womb all by yourself. Just trust in yourself and your baby. Good luck! :)

[deleted account]

I had to start supplementing as my baby lost a lot of weight and if I did not have it increased it would require a visit from a obstatrician, and if he continued to lose it would mean a public health nurse/family services visit. So we now supplement but only when he seems extremely hungry after I breastfeed. Like I said before I am on both fenugreek and blessed thistle, and my baby has access to my breast whenever he wants and eats regularly so hopefully it will come in fully soon.

Victoria - posted on 01/29/2009

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I have a 2month old son and he eats like crazy and they way i produce more milk is when i lay down at anytime of the day i lay on my chest even tho it may hurt. And when i get up they're  full of milk. especially at night!!.



It works for me!!

Connie - posted on 01/29/2009

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kids, they have minds of their owns.



That tends to happen, it's called "nipple confusion" the milk comes out much quicker out of the bottle so they tend to prefer that more than the breast.



Just be sure to feed THAN pump after EVERY feeding throughout the day.  Good luck Cassie

Kathy - posted on 01/29/2009

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As previously suggested, taking herbal supple, 'blessed thistle' and 'fennel' capsules were suggested by my midwife and naturalist, also fenugreek- but I found with that one it made both me and my 1st baby extremely gassy! The 'fennel' seemed to work better. Also drinking 2-4 cups of raspberry leaf tea per day. This along with nursing a min. of every 2hrs, greatly increased my milk supply! I too was supplementing with my 1st and 2nd born at first. Then was able to gradully cut back gradually to just supplementing once in the evening before bed, in order to keep night-time feedings to a min. Also make sure your RESTING b/w feedings; if your exhausted your body won't produce as much milk.

Samantha - posted on 01/29/2009

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My daughter is almost 5 months old, and i've been going to a breastfeeding support group since she was born, and we talked about this problem.  One thing i got from there was lactation cookies (can find recipe by googling it), which help b/c of brewer's yeast and flaxseed in them.  another tip some of the moms gave was to drink a beer a day (again, for the brewer's yeast).  those were just two tips i was given early on, and i've had a good, regular milk supply since.  good luck!

Keisha - posted on 01/29/2009

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Hi I have to go with Christa get yourself an SNS It saved my breastfeeding relationship with my Daughter big time. I had to supplement feed as she was losing weight big time, then like you she started to refuse the breast... I have ben using the SNS and avoiding the bottle at all cost. I also agree with pp's try the herbal remidies they do help and drink plenty of water and eat right. Good Luck with it all.



Keisha

[deleted account]

Hi Cassie,



congratulations on your little one. I thought that my milk supply is low too and was really worried. My little girl is 16 days old now. I got myself a book which is very encouraging and helpful. It is a Nursing Mother's Companion. They do suggest to refrain from supplementing...



Anyway, what I do is I drink tea. It is called Mother's Milk by Organics. you can get it in the grocery store. It has all the herbs that supposedly help milk production. It takes about a day to work.



A friend of mine drinks one Odouls a day and that helps her.



Try out the book. they have many helpful hints and tips and it is very encouraging to read. It also tells you about growth spurts where they just eat all the time. my girl did this yesterday and today.. I read that it is normal for her age and she eats to increase my milk supply. It signals that i need to produce more when she eats so often.



Dont get discouraged and keep trying. Good luck!!



Nicole

[deleted account]

Im in the same boat. My son is 8 days old and I am not making enough milk to keep his weight up so we have had to supplement a bit with formula. He does try really hard to breastfeed though so im thankful for that. I am on the fenugreek and blessed thistle, and am hoping for a increase in milk flow soon. I am only producing about 25ml every two hours right now, which is not enough,

[deleted account]

I've been nursing Isaac on demand but I feel like its having the opposite affect and if it were up to him he's be on the breast 24/7...I feel like he's ALWAYS hungry (no exaggeration) and that I have nothing to offer him. I have also been trying to pump to build up a supply for when I return to work but I'm not getting very much that way either...

[deleted account]

the best way is to stop pumping and just nurse him every time he says he's hungry. When Jeremy was born I had to nurse him close to every hour for a few days to get my supply up. He has never had to supplement with formula.
Because Milk supply is linked to the emotional bond, pumping will not help increase your supply. Also, every time he eat have yourself a GIANT glass of water, you need the extra fluid to make the extra milk.
Good luck and hang in there... it does get easier.

Kristin - posted on 01/28/2009

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~make sure you are using breastflow bottles, that way when you are supplementing your son is still "working" for his food.  (Firstyears has a great breastflow bottle). You dont want to use a bottle that the formula comes out really fast, then he'll for sure not want the breast!!!!



~Oatmeal & lots of water actually can increase your supply. Keep taking your prenat. vit. too



Best wishes

Mandala - posted on 01/28/2009

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maybe stop giving the bottle, baby will have to feed from your breasts if there is no other option. many heplful tips in previous posts! good luck

Wendy - posted on 01/28/2009

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Fenugreek worked well for me too. I also found that once the milk supply increased I didnt have to keep taking it. I found that wearing my baby in a sling helped too as I would have a number of let downs while he slept against me.

Michelle - posted on 01/28/2009

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FENUGREEK !!!!

All natural, my daughter is 6 months old and i had the same problem I almost gave up all together, i tried prescription meds. for nausea thats suppose to make non lactating women lactate and it worked but i got severly depressed and stooped immediately ( that is one of its side affects ). My doctor told me about fenugreek. MIRACLE !!!!!! and remember your baby is the most affective way of increasing your milk supply so nurse often.

Jaime - posted on 01/28/2009

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This is my third nursing experience and I always seem to have trouble keeping up and have always supplemented at least a bottle a day but this is going better this time as the days go by because she doesn't suck too hard and she snacks more often. I recently used Nursing Mom YOGI tea and it worked well and tasted good, easy to tame with milk or honey if too strong -was even good cold and I was able to use it even every second day and was leaking as if I just started nursing, so just to warn you! DRINK, before you sit to nurse grab a glass and sip on the way and during. Pump after you nurse even if only for a couple minutes, just to let your body know the demand is there... or try it ahead of time to get things going and then baby will get the hind milk drained letting your body know it needs to replenish.....RELAx too!

Suzanne - posted on 01/27/2009

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I agree with everyone here… nurse as much as you can, pump too, get lots of rest and drinks lots of fluids. If that doesn’t work, maybe consider taking herbal supplements. I had major problems with milk supply when I first started breastfeeding. I pumped several times a day for a few weeks... and I took fenugreek (4 capsules, 3 times a day), blessed thistle (3 capsules, 3 times a day) and riscinus conunus (not sure of the spelling.. 3 pills, 3 times a day). The pills REALLY helped with my milk supply... after beginning the fenugreek, within about 24 hours my supply had increased. Apparently fenugreek is more powerful when combined with blessed thistle (check out this link: http://www.breastfeedingmums.com/dr_jack...,%20herbs,%20lecithin.htm. ) Look into it to see if it’s right for you. Best of luck with breastfeeding!

Jennifer - posted on 01/27/2009

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I found that the Second Nature bottles to be the most like breastfeeding. They have multiple openings in the nipple that only open with sucking, the harder baby sucks the more they get. This can help baby get used to working harder while you work on your supply... Good luck!

http://www.umix.com/Second_Nature.html

Dawn - posted on 01/27/2009

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offer the breast every 2 hours during the day, To help stimulate let down, put a wawrm moist towel on your chest before a feeding and pump for aminute to get things started so that your baby doesn't have to work so hard in the beginning.  as others said, drink lots of water and eat things like oatmeal and add wheat germ and flax to foods.  It's best to try not to supplement so that your son naturally ups your supply by nursing.  it mays take a few days and he may want to nurse VERY often but if you let him it should tell your body to make more milk..  If he has jsut nursed and is still acting hungry, offer 1or 2 oz of formula but only after he nurses.  www.kellymom.com has some great information too.  It might have some good info for you.

Kim - posted on 01/27/2009

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While you nurse, nurse, nurse be sure to DRINK, DRINK, DRINK!  If you aren' taking in enough fluids (which is a common prob & easy to correct) it will have a direct effect on your supply.  You should drink a minimum of 8oz every time you feed him.



 



Have you tried the trick where the formula comes through a narrow tube taped next to the nipple?  Once he's latched on & sucking you remove the tube. A lactation consultant or a pediatrician that supports breastfeeding can help get you set up.



 



Good luck!



 



 

Shanyn - posted on 01/27/2009

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The best way to increase your milk supply is to nurse, nurse, nurse and then nurse some more! ;) You can also try eating more oatmeal and supplementing with fenugreek. Raspberry leaf tea and Mama's Milk tea are both good for supporting breastfeeding as well. But truly, the best thing to do is nurse, alot. Hang in there and keep us posted!

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