Reglan to increase milk supply?

Michelle - posted on 10/05/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Hey everyone, Im new to breastfeeding and Im determined but my supply is low. Ive been working with a lactation consultant and she said if it didnt improve over the weekend by pumping and nursing at the least every 2 hours, that I should ask my GYN about Reglan. I know it has some pretty harsh side effects though (depression, anxiety, etc). Im only pumping 1/2 an ounce from each breasts after 20 mins on each side and thats if Im lucky, my baby is a month old. Hes never satisfied and I have to supplement, which Id like to stop doing all together.



Has anyone had to use Reglan or know of anyone who did? How does Reglan increase milk supply?



Thanks!

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Vanessa - posted on 10/14/2009

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Of course you have a let-down! :) For me it sorta feels "pinchy".. ha ha... but sometimes I don't feel it very much either.. but I can usually always hear the drops of milk in the bottle, so then I know for sure something is going on.

You are an awesome mommy; just remember that! BF is hard. Plain and simple. And, not everyone wants to even try.. which makes me a little sad, but that is a personal choice. Anyway, if you are still doing it then you'll probably be OK. The first 2 or 3 weeks are tough, and now you are close to 6 weeks.. it will get easier, for sure.

However.... IF you end up supplementing, do not do not do not beat yourself up over it. You have already given your baby colostrum and that is really good stuff.

If anyone knows it's challenging it's me. My son's doctor was pretty much against it so I had to persist and I sought comfort from one of my friends who also breastfed, as well as my lactation consultant. They really really helped me stay motivated and helped me keep up my confidence. Diapers good? Weight gain good? Baby looks happy/healthy/bright eyes/not lethargic? Then you are good and obviously he's getting enough. Trust body.. I know it's hard to trust nature... don't fight it.. Relax; I know it's hard to do, but have a little faith.. deep breaths help.

Vanessa - posted on 10/14/2009

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OK. It's so good you are reaching out! It's really tough to breastfeed when you are on your own.. trust me, I know! I am so glad I found a good lactation consultant.



Super switch nursing... instead of 2 latches per nursing session, I do 4... so side 1 until he's done, then side 2.. then I offer side 1 again and then side 2.. He usually does like 3 or 4 minutes more the second time.. and it's just a bit more stimulation. My LC suggested it and I saw an improvement.



Also... pumping.. I take a break.. So.. I start and if I don't get a let-down within 5 minutes I stop and take a little break.. just like 1 or 2 minutes.. then I start again.. it usually happens (the let-down) the second time. Also, I take a break after the first let down slows a bit.. usually this is about 9 or 10 minutes after the initial sprays.. again, about 2 minutes.. then start again. I usually get about half ounce more with the second start.

I pump at night before bed, and for a while I was having let-down issues.. BIG TIME.. I was in tears about it. My friend suggested taking a warm shower to help me relax. And.. if no let-down within 5 minutes.. take a break then go back to it.

After pumping I do some manual expression to help get a few more drops (plus, this is the stuff that has more fat, too). It was hard to learn to do that, but I got it now and I think it helps my breasts feel a little more empty.. you know what they say.. the more you remove the more you make. I saw a video on it.. I'll have to find the link and maybe msg you later.



One other thing that really helps me is if I "zone out".. so I have a book that I read until I feel the milk coming out. My let-down is kind of slow, so this is another way that helps me relax and once I relax I feel the milk and then I can start breast compressions (squeezing your breast while milk is ejecting.. helps get more out, I think)



Hope this helps!! I'll look for the link for the video for the manual expression and msg you.



and PS.. 5 weeks old.. I think it's normal to have about that much milk come out.. I didn't start getting more milk until my son was much older.. when I first came back to work I think I was able to get 2.5 oz to 3oz per pumping session.. but now I get a bit more (which is good since he's 9.5 months old now!) You are doing great to even be pumping at this age! I didn't start until my son was 2 months old (9 weeks).. so you are ahead of the game and I bet you will have an awesome milk supply!

Amanda - posted on 10/03/2011

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I don't know if anyone is listening, but do not take reglan! I'm a mom of a 3 year old and 8 month old. I was just diagnosed with gastroparesis. Looked into the meds to help my chronic disease and found out that reglan causes an irreversible mobility deal! I have to keep up with my babies and refuse to take it! Please! Do not risk your health and chances of holding your baby for sake of keeping your milk up! I did not look into it for that sake. I have gastroparesis and found out that way. I need my health to be a good mom. It was blacklisted by the FDA in 09'. Please! Do not take this drug for any reason!
All my love for fighting moms!
amanda

Michelle - posted on 10/14/2009

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Awww thank you so much, those few encouraging words really do make me feel so much better and determined! For a little bit I was starting to think maybe I just wasnt cut out for it but Im keeping at it and I think I am gonna buy the InStyle pump to help things along, especially with the let down, Im not too sure I even have one and if I do, I dont feel a sensation to strongly tell me I am..LOL

Michelle - posted on 10/14/2009

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Quoting Vanessa :

OH yeah.. exactly what Jessica said about the local WIC office.. you might be able to borrow a pump.. or maybe rent one. I'm using a Medela pump in style, but I didn't get it until my son was about 3 months old. Up until then I was using a manual single pump (Medela Harmony) and it was surprisingly good (and the price was not too bad). When my son was younger I would pump the side he wasn't nursing on, so it was like I was getting double stimulation anyway.

Hang in there! Your body is making the milk.. try not to stress out. I know it's hard, especially since we don't get much sleep! Nap with the baby! Every now and then I would just let my son nap on me, close to my chest.

Question: is everything else OK? like good latch, good suck?



Is the InStyle pump good? Im thinking of splurging and getting one since hes not really taking the boob anymore but wants breastmilk. He will latch every now and then but Im having to breastfeed through pumping mostly now.



 



Im on the fenugreek and its helping, Im gettign 2 ozs now instead of one.

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Chloe - posted on 10/26/2010

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I originally thought the side effects only happened to the mother until I read this: http://www.reglandruginjury.com/reglan-a...

I would never take Reglan after reading this and I would suggest any of my friends who have taken it and seen these symptoms to see a doctor and contact a lawyer! I can't believe drug companies release these products!

Michelle - posted on 10/14/2009

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Quoting Vanessa :

I like the PIS by Medela. Of course I haven't tried others, but one of my friends said it was way better than the one she had first (I think it was by Playtex?) because it has the two phases.. quick at first then slow. I got lucky and got mine when Target was having a sale, AND I had my little 10% discount because I'd set up a baby registry. Is the 2oz each side or total? how much time in between pumps? If it's 2oz each side that is awesome! I didn't have success with any herbs, but more nursing, pumping, super-switch nursing, and pumping after nursing helped me.



The 2ozs is total after doing 15-20 mins on each side. I dont think Ive mastered pumpig or how often I need to do so, so any tips are appreciated...lol what is super switch nursing? Im kinda on my own with this breastfeeding, no women in my family had success with it and keep telling me to just give up but im determined to do all I can. My son is 5 weeks so Im hoping this is just a bump in the road and the new pump will help.

Vanessa - posted on 10/14/2009

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I like the PIS by Medela. Of course I haven't tried others, but one of my friends said it was way better than the one she had first (I think it was by Playtex?) because it has the two phases.. quick at first then slow. I got lucky and got mine when Target was having a sale, AND I had my little 10% discount because I'd set up a baby registry. Is the 2oz each side or total? how much time in between pumps? If it's 2oz each side that is awesome! I didn't have success with any herbs, but more nursing, pumping, super-switch nursing, and pumping after nursing helped me.

Sara - posted on 10/05/2009

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I did use Reglan. BEWARE!!!!! I wouldn't do it again. I had a normal delivery, no post partum depression what so ever. Began taking reglan when she was about 7 months, when I started working one night a week. My milk supply had decreased, due to increased stress? That's what I think it was now. Horrible depression, bad! Wanted to do nothing but sleep, hated showering or leaving the house. It was awful. After research, I abruptly quit taking reglan, things slowly went back to normal.

I then went to taking feneugreek and milk thistle, found any where herbal supplements can be found. Also used an herbal tea, "mothers milk". Found this in the organic section at Kroger, not the best taste, but got used to it. My milk supply did increase with the herbal supplements, just as it had with the reglan, only no depression.

Eventually, once I got used to the new routine of working, being a new mom, the stress subsided. My milk supply increased, and I had gotten so used to adding extra pumping secessions in to my daily routine. I could have fed a day-care. So back off the supplements and extra pumping if it increases too much. At 14 months old, when I decided to quit BFing, I had over 250 oz. of EBM frozen. We didn't actually need cows milk till well after 17 months.

Good Luck, happy pumping!

Tara - posted on 10/05/2009

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I have not used Reglan, however I have used an herbal supplement called Fenugreek. They carry it a GNC or possibly even your Wal-Mart depending where you live. I was given instructions by the lactation specialist at the hosptial where I had my son. They told told me to take 2 capsules 3 times a day (the bottle tells you to only take 1-2 capsules per day, but I was told that dosage wouln't be effective). It worked wonders for me within a day or two. I am now 7 months into breastfeeding, and I still have to take it every now and then to pick up slow supply. Hope this helps!



P.S. No joke the Fenugreek will make your milk smell like maple syrup!

Vanessa - posted on 10/05/2009

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OH yeah.. exactly what Jessica said about the local WIC office.. you might be able to borrow a pump.. or maybe rent one. I'm using a Medela pump in style, but I didn't get it until my son was about 3 months old. Up until then I was using a manual single pump (Medela Harmony) and it was surprisingly good (and the price was not too bad). When my son was younger I would pump the side he wasn't nursing on, so it was like I was getting double stimulation anyway.



Hang in there! Your body is making the milk.. try not to stress out. I know it's hard, especially since we don't get much sleep! Nap with the baby! Every now and then I would just let my son nap on me, close to my chest.



Question: is everything else OK? like good latch, good suck?

Vanessa - posted on 10/05/2009

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How much formula are you giving? What kind? I read a pretty good book called "The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to making more Milk.". I also scoured kellymom.com and other breastfeeding sites. I found one that had a little video on how to do manual expression (to increase milk without having to take a drug or other supplement).



Here's what I tried that helped me:

1) nurse/pump more often

2) super-switch nursing (4 latches per nursing session)

3) pumping RIGHT after nursing

4) manual expression right after finishing the pump.. hard at first, but now I'm better at it

5) taking in a little more calories

6) drinking enough fluids (water, juice) to thirst and so that pee was pale yellow

7) no carbonated stuff (like coke, pepsi, etc.) because my LC told me it would wreck my calcium balance!



I also had to supplement. We had good results with GoodStart Natural Cultures (his poo didn't change) Don't feel bad! If you are persistent and start to relax it should get better. Now that my son is on solids I have been able to stop the formula (a whole month now, woo-hoo!). Even when I was supplementing I was only giving him ONE bottle, at night, and not a full "serving" (only about 3 or 4 ounces) so that he still had to nurse with me to get full. I think it really helped.



I also made these oatmeal cookies.. I never tried the lactation cookies, but the oatmeal choc-chip I tried were good enough for me.



Relaxing helped me as well. For a long time I was so worried about my supply, because his doctor didn't/doesn't really know much about BF, but I talked to another friend who breastfed her son exclusively and she made me realize that there was nothing wrong with my supply! Formula is definitely a silppery slope (as my friend said) because then boobs definitely won't make more.



Sometimes hormones are an issue, too, I think.. I notice every now and then a low pump day, and I think it's related to progesterone/estrogen cycle... I definitely have low pump days when I'm stressed out or feel "rushed".

Jessica - posted on 10/05/2009

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Quoting Michelle:

He is gaining weight ok but the formula Im having to supplement with is making him sooooo constipated, thats another reason Id like to end it. Im really not sure about let down, Ill feel a tingling/itchy feeling after hes been on for a few minutes but I dont seem to see an increase in what hes taking in. When I pump I dont feel or see a let down at all though. Maybe I need a better pump, but money is tight.

I suppose its just frustrating that my body doesnt seem to want to do what it was made to do, ya know? LOL

My doctor wrote me the prescription for the reglan and I got it fille dbut cant bring myself tot ake it just yet. Im gonna give it a few more days of frequent pumping and only boob and see how it goes I suppose, Im at a loss.

I havent tried relaxing or reading while I pump so I will try that. I just find myself worrying so much about how much is coming out, maybe thats a problem?


Check with your insurance company (or local WIC/La Leche League office) about free or reduced price pumps. 



It's always hard to know how much our babies are eating, but as long as they seem sated and continue to grow, they are getting enough to eat.  When we worry is when we hurt our own supply; and I know it's hard not to worry, and hard not to give in with such a "Formula Centered Society"; but we can do it!!!!

Jessica - posted on 10/05/2009

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I would perhaps try increasing the time/frequency you are pumping and nursing. The suckling triggers our body to make more milk. Take a warm shower, sit ina quiet room, just enjoy your baby. Or; grab your hubby (or significant other) and get horizontal! The release of endorphins can help in letdown. Or there's always the "beer a day three times a week" plan. That's just a thought... I like to use medications only after natural methods fail. Have you thought of Fenugreek? I personally have never used it, but from what I've read, it stimulates milk production without the side effects.



Best of luck!

Michelle - posted on 10/05/2009

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He is gaining weight ok but the formula Im having to supplement with is making him sooooo constipated, thats another reason Id like to end it. Im really not sure about let down, Ill feel a tingling/itchy feeling after hes been on for a few minutes but I dont seem to see an increase in what hes taking in. When I pump I dont feel or see a let down at all though. Maybe I need a better pump, but money is tight.



I suppose its just frustrating that my body doesnt seem to want to do what it was made to do, ya know? LOL



My doctor wrote me the prescription for the reglan and I got it fille dbut cant bring myself tot ake it just yet. Im gonna give it a few more days of frequent pumping and only boob and see how it goes I suppose, Im at a loss.



I havent tried relaxing or reading while I pump so I will try that. I just find myself worrying so much about how much is coming out, maybe thats a problem?

Vanessa - posted on 10/05/2009

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I also had a bit of supply issues at first.. I never tried Reglan, but the side effects also scare me!

Maybe let-down is an issue, too? Have you tried taking a shower before (to help relax)? One thing that also helped me was to take a break while pumping.. For example, I usually pump until the milk flow is realy slow or not there anymore (usually around 9 or 10 minutes), then I take a 2 or 3 minute break.. then pump again. I usually get another good let-down. My total pump time is about 15 minutes, sometimes about 20 minutes. And.. I also read something to help me "relax".. a book or a magazine, something to make me zone out.. then it's not long before I feel the milk coming out.

Since your baby is only a month old you still have lots of growth spurts... I seem to remember one around 6 weeks.. maybe your baby is having one now and just needs to nurse nurse nurse to build up your supply. Hopefully your baby is gaining well. My son was a slow gainer, but he always had good diaper output, so I didn't really worry.

Good luck!

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