Does anyone have any experience with supplements/medications to increase breastmilk? I am afraid I will have to stop breastfeeding because my supply is dwindling, I am afraid of the medications, because I have heard they have bad side effects, but my husband is afraid of the herbal supplements, which would be my first choice? Has anyone had any success or problems with either?

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Eve - posted on 01/28/2009

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Looks like you've had tons of advice, but here's some more... Contact La Leche League in your area (got to http://www.llli.org/ to find a group in your town). They are the world-reknowned experts on all things to do with breastfeeding and can definitely help you get back on track! They're awesome women who've been there. In the meantime, drink some red raspberry leaf tea or "Nursing Moms" tea by Yogi - you can find it at Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage and sometimes even a regular grocery store. I'd put of meds until you get some advice from LLL! Good luck - you're a great Mom to hang in there and ask these questions instead of just giving up!!!

Amanda - posted on 01/29/2009

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I had this problem with my first son.  I used a suppliment made by a company called motherlove called more milk.  It worked great for me.  http://www.motherlove.com/  I also took this right after my second son to help get my milk supply established.  Even if you have to suppliment with formula after feeding stick with the breast milk.

Norma - posted on 01/29/2009

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motherlove.com has great supplements also.  look it up. I used milk plus I believe in the beginning. just nurse as much as you can. It helped alot. and ovaltine, oatmeal, odouls, mother's milk tea.



then there is a tea oasis tea, their website was under construction but that was great too. it's a tea and it has all those herbs. fenugreek, alfalfa, blessed thistle and alot more.. and when you compare the prices it was a good deal rather than buying all those herbs separately. good luck!



 



 

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Kristel - posted on 01/30/2009

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Hi Candice,



I just bought a supplement from a health food store called Fenugreek.  I have not used it yet, but my friend used this when she first had her baby and was able to pump more than one bottle at one sitting.  She said that it made a huge difference.  I asked my doctor when I was in the hospital after my daughters birth if this was safe, and she said yes.  Hope this helps!



Kristel

Shauna - posted on 01/30/2009

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There is a tea called "Mother's Milk Tea" that helps increase a mother's milk supply.  You can buy it at Wal-Mart or Kroger.  It smells a little like licorice, but it doesn't taste like it.  It's pretty good.  I found that if I drank that when I had the least amount of milk that it helped.  Also try to pump after you nurse each time, that way you are telling your body to make more milk.  Eat and drink a lot too, about 500 calories a day.  Also stay away from mint, sage, and, parsley because they can decrease your milk supply (see http://www.babycenter.com/0_breast-milk-...)

Melanie - posted on 01/29/2009

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Quoting Carolyn:



I had that problem feeding twins, and I took an herb called fenugreek.  It smelled bad, but I feel like it did help my supply.  The best thing that I did was rest when I could, and eat lots and lots of protein.  I would eat peanut butter by the spoonful, and grilled chicken breasts for breakfast.  Sounds weird, but it helped me to nurse longer.  Hope this helps!






I also used Fenugreek which the maternal health nurse recommended!  It works.

Jen - posted on 01/29/2009

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Hi there.  I started to have the same problem as well and I talked with my naturopath.  She gave me Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle along with a lot of water and my milk supply was back within 8 hours.  These are all natural supplements that will not harm your baby.  Good luck.

Didem - posted on 01/29/2009

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1. drink 4 lts of water every day



2. drink the herbal tea, be it still tea, mother's milk whatever,



3.  eat a lot of wheat, rice, oatmeal.  wheat definetely works,



4. drink nonalcoholic beer, that is malt or if dare sip a little alcohol drink beer itself,



5, never give up, it's mostly psycologic, first of all believe that you can breastfeed.



ı have many more tips but they mostly are local food that you won't find anywhere but Turkey



hope it works...

Marjory - posted on 01/29/2009

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Quoting Candice:

Does anyone have any experience with supplements/medications to increase breastmilk? I am afraid I will have to stop breastfeeding because my supply is dwindling, I am afraid of the medications, because I have heard they have bad side effects, but my husband is afraid of the herbal supplements, which would be my first choice? Has anyone had any success or problems with either?




I don't know about the supplements but do you drink lots and lots and lots of water? Marjory Reed  mother of 8

Catherine - posted on 01/29/2009

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Have you heard of Materna? Well I took this caplet during pregnancy and continued into breastfeeding as advised by my doc.

Michelle - posted on 01/29/2009

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I had a LOT of trouble when I first started breastfeeding when my son was new. I worked with a lactation consultant several times. Her suggestion is to take Fenugreek, which can be found in health food stores. It has been taken for centuries so it is safe, unless you have asthma. Also, eat oatmeal and drink lots of water.

Justine - posted on 01/29/2009

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I just read about this today in Feb 2009 Ladies Home Journal. There is an article on the benefits of tea and apparantly there is a tea called "Fenugreek" that will 'help with milk production in nursing mothers'. Good luck!

Krystal - posted on 01/29/2009

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I use a tea called "Mother's MIlk".  You can get in the organic section of the grocery stores.  It works well.  Also drink a lot of water.  Hope this helps.

Mary - posted on 01/29/2009

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when my supply starts to dwindle i know i need to drink more water!!! its soo easy to get dehydrated. i also think it helps that i still let my daughter nurse at night. she is 12 months old and i let her pacify and nurse whenever she wants. i know frequent stimulation of the nipples/breast and frequent nursing is supposed to keep it coming so i think it makes sense that this helps. she's still not eating much table food (will be better when her molars come in!) so she still nurses quite a bit so im still protective of my supply. i dont do any strenuous physical exercise and i try to avoid stress as much as possible. those definitely affect supply from what i've read. good luck!! good for you for breast feeding! :)

Avon - posted on 01/29/2009

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This is a grandma talking... I use to put a gallon of water in the fridge in the morning and I had to finish it off by bed time.  It was just a way to measure how much liquid I was getting and an incentive to get it down.  I nursed twins & had pleanty of milk.

Crystal - posted on 01/29/2009

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I had this problem and my doctor prescribed me something. I had bought an herbal pill that was supposed to help but she advised me not to take it as some herbal remedies can cause blood clots and that is the last thing you want! I totally suggest going through your doctor, they know best.

Monica - posted on 01/29/2009

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phenugreek works excellently and is totally safe, you can ask your doc about it.

[deleted account]

I took a combination of herbal and medications. On the medication side I took Motillium which you need a prescription for in Australia. And on the herbal side I took feungreek and also drank some Nursing Tea made by Weleda. Which all helped. That and of course you can get a breast pump and express especially at night going to bed as it stimulates your supply. Also might be a good idea to see a lactation nurse if there's one in your neighbourhood they are fantastically helpful that or maybe a breastfeeding assocation can also be helpful.

Tracy - posted on 01/29/2009

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I agree with Dyane, drink more water.  You also have to keep your calories up.  I found that when I tried to loose weight while breastfeeding, my milk production was insufficient.  But if I ate normally and drank lots of water, it was abdundant.



 

[deleted account]

If you speak to a lactation consultant, most likely  they will advise you to drink more (water, juice, etc) and get on a frequent schedule. If your baby doesn't nurse every 2-3hours, then buy a pump and pump to get more frequency. The more you let-down, the more you encourage the milk to flow.  With herbs and medications, you never know what kind of effects it may have on you or your baby (even if someone else didn't experience it), so try working with your body's natural rhythm first before trying other things. If you nurse or pump at 8a and you're on a 2hr schedule then nurse or pump at 10 then 12 then 2 and so forth

Tammy - posted on 01/28/2009

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Iwas told to use More Milk Plus.  You can get it at any Natural Stores such as Wholefoods.  only I was told to take feenugreek.  It has helped and try drinking more water!   Good luck.

Sunny - posted on 01/28/2009

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ice cream will definately increase breastmilk!!! everytime i had a cup of ice cream, i noticed a huge difference. i breastfed my child for 9 months and i could've easily fed a set of twins.

Lisa - posted on 01/28/2009

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Also heard drinking beer, no joke helps too, can't verify, don't do the brew.

Lisa - posted on 01/28/2009

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I was given a tea to try, didn't need it, called a lactation from Yogi, organic teas. Can be found at fruitful Yield or Whole Foods. Good luck, just remember it's a supply and demand thing, Make sure your taking time to relax and drink lots of water. Stress alters milk supply.



 



 

Heather - posted on 01/28/2009

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I do both the Nursing Tea once a day and Motileum to increase my milk supply...I do both because i want to make sure she's getting enough and I wasn't on my own producing enough...The tea is a bit pricey but when I pumped after having the tea my supply was double what I normally pump! I think the motileum does work but its hard with everything else going on to take it 4 times a day...But you just make it part of your routine.

[deleted account]

I had very low milk supply with both kids and had to supplement by day 3 each time. I was put on the max dose of Motillium (4 pills 4 x/day). That helped slightly. Some people have great success with it. I also tried Fenugreek which helped a bit and Blessed Thistle.



I was also told that sea vegetables are the best help, but eat the actual veg...ie put seaweed into a soup. And, was told that Barley Juice is a huge help.



By the way....I did not have any side effects with the prescribed med, or the herbs (nor did the kids)



If you had good supply at one point, I believe it will only decrease as feedings decrease. With my supply being so low, I was told to pump 10 min per side after baby finished eating to try to increase supply (pump after nursing 4 times per day).



good luck!

Melanie - posted on 01/28/2009

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I used fenugreek and the mothers milk tea based on recommendations of the lactation consultant. Both are safe and can be picked up at vitamin shops. Hope it helps and drinks lots of water.

[deleted account]

Stay away from stress and salt. Doctor told me that I should cut salt out of my diet. It helped, but altimatley I dried out because I was stressed from worring about if I was going to dry out. Ironic.

Sarah - posted on 01/28/2009

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Fenugreek ( 3 caps 2x day) & Fennel (2 caps 2x day). These are very safe!  Rest, eat well, drink tons of WATER!!. I have taken these supplements daily for almost a year. I am an older mom with some health issues & these herbs have been a lifesaver. The teas didn't help that much. Reglan can cause extreme depression.



Breathe deep & enjoy your baby!!

Sarah - posted on 01/28/2009

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Fenugreek capsules (3 caps 2 x day) will increase your supply. Fenugreek may make you "smell like maple syrup" . Fenugreek is actually used to flavor pancake syrup. Fennel capsules (2 caps 2 x day) will also help by improving "let down".  The capsules work better  any tea. I am a 40 year old Mom with lots of health problems & a emergency C-section ( my 1st child was born with a midwife, no meds at all) . My milk did not come in for 11 days after my son was born. I tried everything. These two herbs helped & continue to. I take them everyday. My son is 11 months old & still nursing. There are no sideeffect (other that the maple syrup thing). Reglan can cause severe depression.  Make sure to rest, eat well & drink LOTS of water. Everything will be okay!

Sarah - posted on 01/28/2009

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Fenugreek capsules (3 caps 2 x day) will increase your supply. Fenugreek may make you "smell like maple syrup" . Fenugreek is actually used to flavor pancake syrup. Fennel capsules (2 caps 2 x day) will also help by improving "let down".  The capsules work better  any tea. I am a 40 year old Mom with lots of health problems & a emergency C-section ( my 1st child was born with a midwife, no meds at all) . My milk did not come in for 11 days after my son was born. I tried everything. These two herbs helped & continue to. I take them everyday. My son is 11 months old & still nursing. There are no sideeffect (other that the maple syrup thing). Reglan can cause severe depression.  Make sure to rest, eat well & drink LOTS of water. Everything will be okay!

Shelley - posted on 01/28/2009

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Quoting Candice:

Does anyone have any experience with supplements/medications to increase breastmilk? I am afraid I will have to stop breastfeeding because my supply is dwindling, I am afraid of the medications, because I have heard they have bad side effects, but my husband is afraid of the herbal supplements, which would be my first choice? Has anyone had any success or problems with either?




I had a similar issue and supplemented with fennugreek and it worked great!

Jocelyn - posted on 01/28/2009

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My sister had the same problem a few weeks into breast feeding. She talked to her OB about it and she gave her some meds that were completely safe. She was able to keep breast feeding until her daughter was 9 months old. Your best bet is to talk to your doctor. They'll have all the info on what works and what is safe. In fact, I believe the med she took was herbal. Maybe you can talk to your doc and get a herbal remedy that is doc approved. Then neither you or your husband will be leary. Good luck!

Berkeley - posted on 01/28/2009

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Fenugreek is a natural herb- works great and makes your sweat smell like maple syrup! You can get it at GNC- it works great!

Heidi - posted on 01/28/2009

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You can also find a lot of good information from La Leche League. www.llli.org They are a free breastfeeding support group that has up to date current information free for mothers who are interested.



Many mothers have found that taking fenugreek either alone or together with blessed thistle works well for increasing milk supply. The recommended dose is usually 3 capsules of each 3 times a day. You will know you are taking enough if you smell like maple syrup. (I noticed that mentioned several times earlier) You can get the herbs at Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage, or any natural grocer in your area.



Nursing your baby on demand and as often as they are willing often increases your milk supply as well. Eating well, drinking lots of water (to thirst) and eating healthy foods. If your baby is going through a growth spurt then your baby will want to nurse what feels like constantly. A lot of mothers feel that their milk supply is diminishing becaues of this. If your baby is going through a growth spurt then usually feedings will return to normal in 2 to 3 days. I have heard it explained that your baby is "putting in their order" of food for the next day by nursing constantly so that your breast will make more milk.



As long as your baby is having plenty of wet and poppy diapers in a 24 hours period, growing, and gaining weight then your baby is probably getting enough to eat. Keep up the good work!

Christy - posted on 01/28/2009

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I am a pharmacist and used a prescription.  When I was breastfeeding my daughter I started cutting back to lose weight.  When I did that my supply also went down.  My doctor prescribed Reglan (metoclopramide) and it was like my milk coming in all over again.  It did a great job.  You do have to watch for side effects with your baby but they are not common.  My doctor had prescribed it several times with only one person reporting side effects with her baby.  I also know someone who used fenugreek.  It is recommended to cycle on and off every 3 or 4 days, but she found that she had to take it daily to continue her supply.  Hope that helps.

Margi - posted on 01/28/2009

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I am currently breastfeeding and have used Mother's Milk organic tea, which has helped.  I also have started eating more whole foods.  There's a great book I purchased before Christmas called Mother Food.  It's all about increasing milk supply.  I have found this book to be helpful and enlightening.

Jean - posted on 01/28/2009

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i am a nurse and had trouble with my milk coming in when my son was born. my lactation consultant recommended fenugreek (you can get it at wholefoods). it works really well. my son is 16 months old and still breastfeeds :> don't be afraid you will be fine. i highly recommend it! also, make sure you get enough sleep and eat enough calories. hope this helps you out!

Francesca - posted on 01/28/2009

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i have had 4 children and breast fed the last 3. i was told by my midwife that the more you feed the more you make. if he/she doesnt need feeding you could always buy a breast bump. it worked for me...or should i say worked to well...by the end of my breast feeding days i had a freezer full of breast milk...lol

Margi - posted on 01/28/2009

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I am currently breastfeeding and have used Mother's Milk organic tea, which has helped.  I also have started eating more whole foods.  There's a great book I purchased before Christmas called Mother Food.  It's all about increasing milk supply.  I have found this book to be helpful and enlightening.

Margi - posted on 01/28/2009

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I am currently breastfeeding and have used Mother's Milk organic tea, which has helped.  I also have started eating more whole foods.  There's a great book I purchased before Christmas called Mother Food.  It's all about increasing milk supply.  I have found this book to be helpful and enlightening.

Diane - posted on 01/28/2009

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Like some of the other posts...fenugreek, it may make your urine smell like maple syrup but it does work. I used it with my first baby. It comes in tablets and you can get it at health food stores like GNC and possibly @ your pharmacy. Increase your water intake and stay away from sudafed. I took sudafed for 2 doses a few months ago and my supply dropped by half. It is only temporary. As soon as I stopped taking it my supply returned to normal. Good luck.

Laura - posted on 01/28/2009

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Oh, Fenugreek which comes in a pill form is just as good if not better than the Brewer's yeast powder. That can also be found at whole foods. I used it a lot b/c I didn't want the hassle of constantly cleaning my blender.

Laura - posted on 01/28/2009

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My OBGYN told me I could buy Brewers Yeast which would help w/the milk production. Farmers use it for their cow's milk production. You can find it at Whole Foods and it's a powder. Warning - it tastes Disgusting, but...I would make a chocolate shake by putting about 1 Tbs of it w/about 3 TBS of choc protein powder, some milk and little of ice (oh and add a touch of hershey's choc syrup). Drink up. It's for the greater good! LOL. Also, I'm told Brewer's yeast comes in a pill form but I haven't seen it. Go to Whole Foods. You could also drink some beer...that has yeast in it too and will help.

Sharon - posted on 01/28/2009

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My favourite advice was from my aunt (mother of four and now in her 80s!): drink guiness (or other stout type beer), I had a half pint a day, fish (for brains and milk!) and Oh yes: CHOCOLATE!



I fed both my babies for at least 6 months - even after I went back to work - and had oodles of milk - had to express in to bottles all day - filled a bottle in the morning and kept it in the fridge so their Dad could give them their bedtime feed and any extra got frozen for babysitters and childminder to give them when I was away.  I don't know if this level of production stemmed from my aunt's advice but any diet that recommends chocolate is worth it :) Best recommendation as previously posted is to feed on demand and for at least 20 mins so baby gets the full quality milk - make sure you alternate sides.



Good luck - but don't feel bad if you can't continue - not everyone can  the first few weeks is key to help their immune systems and even if you bottle feed on demand is now recommended!

Rachael - posted on 01/28/2009

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You've gotten a bunch of good suggestions, and the only one I haven't read that I've heard of is rx Reglan, which is supposed to increase supply. The other bit I will add is to relax as much as possible (easier said than done, I know!) and to pump for several minutes after each feeding. Pumping is NOT as efficient as the baby at the breast, so don't despair if you see very little production. The best way to adjust your supply is to increase the demand for it - if you demand feed for a few days, and pump after each feeding, your body will (unless there is an underlying medical condition) tend to increase your supply. If none of the above suggestions help, talk to a lactation consultant locally who can help you.

Good luck!

Margi - posted on 01/28/2009

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I am currently breastfeeding and have used Mother's Milk organic tea, which has helped.  I also have started eating more whole foods.  There's a great book I purchased before Christmas called Mother Food.  It's all about increasing milk supply.  I have found this book to be helpful and enlightening.

Angela - posted on 01/28/2009

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Hi Candice. 



I experienced the same problem wikth my last child.  I tried the herbal supplement Fungreek and it worked great...although you do tend to smell liek maple syrup.  My doctor also told me the best way to increase your milk supply is by pumping after each feeding.  A great OTC pump  is the Avent manual pump.  You wouldn't think that a manual pump would work so well but it actually worked better than my electric pump!  Good Luck!!!

Ruth - posted on 01/28/2009

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I know from experience that supply and demand is the way to increase your milk supply along with a bottle of beer! After your child has finished feeding on one breast, (at least 20 min) put him on the other side and at the same time pump the breast he just fed on, this will trigger the demand response in your body to tell it the we need to make more milk since baby is demanding more. When baby has finished on the second side do the same I would pump for at least 10 min. Use breastmilk storage bags and freeze the pumped milk if you freeze in a deep freezer it lasts 6 months. Make sure you date it and then if you want a night out and need a babysitter you will have milk available to use. Also make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids, I always drank a bottle of water every 3 hours, surprisingly enough, you don't go to washroom anymore than you normally would, because you body is converting the fluids into milk. You want to make sure that you invest in a good pump and if you can and have the means you might even look into renting an electric pump they tend to get more milk than the manual ones. Demand more milk and your body will supply it! Hopes this helps.

Rachel - posted on 01/28/2009

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My dr. told me that non-alcaholic beer will increase breastmilk. He also suggested a medicine but I didn't have to do either. I just let my infant feed on demand and my supply built back up.

Lisa - posted on 01/28/2009

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"Mothers Milk" tea by Traditional Medicinals works REALLY well! I added a little honey and thought it tasted pretty good. Also, just keeping a water bottle by your side all day long will make it easier to keep your fluid intake up. Do you have a good pump? After baby is done eating, pump your empty breasts for 5 minutes or so. That will tell your body that you need to start producing more milk and after a few days you will! If you do pump & bottle feed at all, be sure you are pumping ever 3 hours, or however often your baby is eating and for as long as baby usually eats so you will continue to produce enough. I started to dry up when I started my son on the bottle, because I would go longer between pumpings, which told my body it didn't need to make as much. Good luck!

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