How do you increase milk production?
MOST HELPFUL POSTS
Carrie - posted on 03/31/2009
Fenugreek is a good option. Try eating a bowl of oatmeal in the morning or drinking a beer high in hops. You of course don't want to do more than one beer a day at this stage. Most importantly you just need to nurse like crazy because breastfeeding is supply and demand. The first six weeks is basically one giant growth spurt, and he just needs to nurse like crazy to get your supply up to where he needs it. Every time he has a growth spurt he will have days where he will want to nurse like crazy. Then once he ups your supply up to where he needs it for his current age, he will go back to whatever his normal is. Two ounces from pumping is really good for how old Ian is, but also remember that pumping is not a good indication of your supply. Even the best pump is not as good at emptying the breast as Ian is. As long as he is having plenty of wet and dirty diapers, then he is getting plenty to eat. Hope this helps! :)
Marabeth - posted on 06/20/2009
2 oz is what i get on a good pumping.. just relax and imagine your little one the best you can. just in case it has any merit i eat a bowl of oatmeal a day too (some women say this increases milk supply in general). even if it's unfounded at least the oatmeal is good for me :) feeling good and not stressed out has a lot to do with my milk supply.
What is normal when it comes to pumping output and changes in pumping output?
Most moms who are nursing full-time are able to pump around 1/2 to 2 ounces total (for both breasts) per pumping session. Moms who pump more milk per session may have an oversupply of milk, or may respond better than average to the pump, or may have been able to increase pump output with practice. Many moms think that they should be able to pump 4-8 ounces per pumping session, but even 4 ounces is an unusually large pumping output.
It is quite normal to need to pump 2-3 times to get enough milk for one feeding for baby (remember that the pump cannot get as much milk as a baby who nurses effectively).
heres the rest of that:
Susan - posted on 05/18/2013
I am the grandma---and I remember a milkshake in a book by Adelle Davis back in the 70s that had me producing all kinds of milk. I do remember vitamin B was important for the "let down" reflex and I remember the milkshake may have had some Brewers Yeast in it for that and had eggs, including the eggshells, does anyone know of or remember that milkshake? It make have been in "Let's Have Healthy Children".
Beverly - posted on 02/19/2013
I need help!!!! My little girl was born with a bunch of problems with her heart and she is in the pediatric cardiac unit in the hospital. I haven't been able to nurse or even hold her... I told the hospital that nursing is SO VERY IMPORTANT to me! At first my milk supply was awesome and I pumped all the time... Now i still pump all the time but I keep loosing the amount that I'm able to pump! I am trying very hard to keep up my milk supply by pumping frequently, and taking two fenugreek a day... but I still feel like I'm not winning this battle to hold on to my milk supply... I may have another month before I am able to nurse her and I'm afraid i will have nothing for her other than the milk supply stash in my freezer that i've been saving since she was born a month ago. I wanted to breastfeed for the first year and now i fear that isn't going to be possible! Please help with any ideas you may have:'(
Tine - posted on 04/07/2012
Firstly, 2 ounces is a LOT for pumping! We aren't dairy cows (lol!) and it sounds as though you actually have heaps of milk. Don't increase your supply if you don't need to, you may get mastitis.
If you do need to increase, fenugreek is great but you need to take lots- enough to smell sweet!
Homeopathic urtica urens is by far the most effective thing I've tried, but see a good homeopath.
Hope - posted on 04/03/2012
Supply = Demand, plain and simple! The baby is the best way to get the milk out. You never know how much he/she gets- but you know it will be enough trust me. The supply will equal the demand. It will even out. Let your child feed ANY time he/she wants-in fact make them, this will also increase production. Stop pumping and start nursing- once you get your supply back up then you can pump again- give it a few days.
Tania - posted on 02/22/2010
I agree on the supply and demand theory. I also drank 'Jungle Juice', which is full of vitamins and nutrients. It's wonderful, because the ingredients increase milk production, keeps you hydrated and gives you plenty of energy. The recipe is quite easy, and it makes around 3 litres of juice:
2 litres of water
1 litre grape/apple/berry juice
50 ml Blackthorn Berry elixir
1 Cal-C-Vita fizzy tablet
1 sachet Rehydrat
You can also replace the water with rooibos tea. My husband also drank some of this when he needed to study - he is a part-time student and the late nights took its toll!
April - posted on 01/14/2010
Breastfeed Breastfeed Breastfeed! Pumping is nowhere near as effective at extracting milk from your milk ducts as a properly latched on baby. Dont take the 2oz of pumped breastmilk to be any indication of how much milk you are producing. fenugreek or Milkthistle (sp?) are apparently good at improving volume, but I never tried either because I was not in need of it.
As someone else said below, make sure to eat plenty of healthy carbs so your body is happy to produce as much milk as your little one demands. Also make certain to drink enough too...nothing insane as far as amounts go-- the advice of drinking 16oz each breastfeeding session seemed impossible to me personally.
A word of caution about what NOT to ingest if you want to produce more milk-- antihistamines are a no no and too much caffeine is too. They both seriously affect milk quality and production.
best of luck.
Jamie - posted on 01/11/2010
Remember: pumping is so different than actual nursing. There was a study that I learned about that proved that our bodies respond not only the the stimulation of our little ones sucking but also our let down is a result of our absorption of our baby's saliva. Through their saliva our body can tell what their little bodies are in need of. (ie; more protein, or vitamins) So don't be discouraged by the amount you can pump. As far as increasing your own supply... be sure that you are eating enough calories (your doctor can tell you the appropriate number you'll need). And like many moms have already said, let you baby latch on very often. You body WAS made to breastfeed, supply will increase and cater to your baby's demand.
nurse a lot! nurse as often as your baby is willing without getting frustrated, and make sure your breasts are emptied each nursing. if baby falls asleep go ahead and try to pump them empty. i could not eat oatmeal or drink milkshakes when i was breastfeeding because my already high production got just plain crazy if i did. i would try those. a friend swore by the tea named 'mothers milk' that you can buy at the grocery store or health food stores. by the time i went back to work after my first 2 kids and was pumping during the day, i was pumping 10-20oz every time i pumped. it was insane. i literally could get 4 oz just from let down and didn't even have to turn the pump on. while i was lucky it was also quite frustrating because i didn't go a day without going through 10 pairs of breast pads and at least one wardrobe change due to a leak... also because there was nowhere in our area that would take donations so it felt bad to waste it!
Suz - posted on 11/29/2009
I found by pumping every hour on the hour during the day just for a few days seems to bring my milk back in full flow. After 9 overnight stays in hospital with gallstones I thought my milk was gone, struggling and down to only 1 feed a day I'm now full time breast feeding again, keep trying and don't give up if you want it!
Anna - posted on 08/25/2009
I like "Mothers milk" tea and I've heard about the oatmeal.
I agree that its a supply and demand thing!
If you don't drink enough it will reduce your output...
but what I really wanted to say is:
You have to get your sleep!
I can tell when I loose sleep my milk supply is not as much (I feel kind of like I'm "empty all the time"). Even after a needed nap I feel fuller than otherwise. Your body just makes more when you are asleep than when you are awake.
Kelly - posted on 08/18/2009
There is a tea you can drink called "Mother's Milk" and it helps increase your milk supply. It tastes pretty good too. You can get it at a health food store. The best thing for sure is to nurse on demand, don't supplement wtih formula, and relax! Like everyone else said before, stress can be a milk reducer! Don't give up and if you can find a La Leche League in your area, go to a meeting. That will put you in touch with a lot of women excited to help!
Nicole - posted on 08/05/2009
My LLL leader suggested a "powerpump" in the evenings. It goes like this- sit down in front of the TV and pick a lighthearted show that you enjoy that is an hour long. Get yourself set up and ONLY pump during the commercials. Apparently this will give you several mini-pumps and can be a great way to stimulate supply. The other suggestions of oatmeal and fenugreek are also good to try, as their supplementation couldn't hurt.
Bri - posted on 08/02/2009
Good diet, plenty of water, and just let your baby nurse! Your milk will come as supply and demand...the more your baby eats, the more milk you should produce....also, if you nurse and pump-that should increase the milk supply because your body reacts as if you're feeding two children... ;-)
Courtney - posted on 07/02/2009
Nurse, nurse, nurse! When your not nursing, pump. Make sure your getting lots of rest(I understand its hard with a little one, but sleep when they sleep), drink plenty of water, Fenugreek. Have you been to a lactation consultant? They can be major help! I had a supply problem for the first 3 1/2 months with my daughter. It was the hardest thing I've ever done (including birthing naturally!) She didn't gain any weight, and actually started loosing weight, she cried all the time (i thought she was colicy, but it turned out I was pretty much starving her ) so I had to supplement with formula for a couple months. But we got past it, and my supply never had a problem again! So good luck, and stay strong!
Minnie - posted on 06/26/2009
If you're nursing as you should to increase your supply you won't have time to pump. That's the normal course of things. If you truly aren't making enough milk, baby will want to be at your breast all the time.
Pumps aren't as effective at expressing your milk as baby or at stimulating your breast. You're just going to have to pump more sessions to get out what baby will take. It's not a good indication of your supply at all.
Drinking extra water will do nothing to increase your production.
Cheryl - posted on 06/20/2009
Yes nursing is supply and demand so the more you do, the more you sould make. But check your nipples- are they inverted or lopp sided at all? Not to give you a complex about your nipples ;-) But if they are, the latch and suck is not the same to stimulate the production hormones. You may dry up unless you try some manual expression in the shower (or with your husband).
Also, how is your diet?? The more whole and healthy foods you eat the more nutrient dense your milk should be. 2 oz at a time may be plenty if it's loaded with nutrients.
Carrie - posted on 03/31/2009
Oh another thing I thought of is to make sure that you're staying hydrated. Try to sit down with an 8 oz. glass of water every time you nurse and drink as much of it as you can. Sometimes when I would get tired of the water, I would add some Crystal Lite to it to get some flavor.
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