What can I do or drink to produce more breastmilk?

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Liz - posted on 04/18/2011

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Make sure you drink enough fluid yourself. You can try various supplements - fennugreek (makes you smell like maple syrup if you're taking enough) works for some people. Oatmeal and ginger are recommended foods also, but it's one of those 'try and see if it does anything for you' scenarios.

You don't say if you're breastfeeding one or more children, how often you breastfeed, whether you're at home or how long you've been trying to improve your milk supply.

If your baby isn't hungry enough to suckle at both breasts in a feeding, you could consider renting a pump (Babies R Us do Medela 'hospital grade' pumps which are excellent for maintaining and encouraging supply). If you have a recognised supply issue, you might even be able to get a prescription for a pump from your physician, which would lower the cost.

Medications (e.g. Reglan) can help boost your supply, but they really only work while you're taking them and you cannot take them long term, because of the risk of permanent side-effects.

Also...take a deep breath. All of these remedies may fail to help you improve your supply and you may end up having to supplement or fully feed with formula. If it happens, it doesn't mean that you are a bad mother. Some people just have this difficulty. In older times, moms with this problem just had a 'wet nurse', so it's been around for a while!

I had to take Reglan AND fennugreek AND pump and do all the other things, such as eat oatmeal, in order to try to keep my supply going while my premature daughter was in the NICU. In the end, just as she came home after 3 months, I had to make the - to me - heartbreaking decision to stop trying to breastfeed and switch to formula. My daughter has thrived and weighs 21 pounds at 15 months. If you have to switch to formula or supplement with it, it won't be the disaster that you'll feel it to be at first. I promise.

Hugs.

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Jenni - posted on 04/18/2011

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Feed your baby as often as the two of you are willing.

May I ask why you need to produce more milk?

Kirsty - posted on 04/18/2011

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Make sure you drink enough. There is a great product here (South Africa) which is a herbal tea that you can get at any health food shop/ pharmacy, which is specifically for increasing milk. I am sure you have a similar thing where ever you are.

Good Luck.

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