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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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!

Rosita - posted on 01/28/2009

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The only things that helped my milksupply was to drink apple juice and carrot juice every day i also bought a herbal tea called "Mothers milk" that has fennel in it among other things, i drank 4-5 cups a day(it tastes very good) and i found that whenever i did not do these things i did not have the same milk supply.

Erin - posted on 01/28/2009

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I used domeperidone as well, and found it worked great for milk supply, I did have constant sugar cravings while I was taking, as did some of my friends. But as far as side effects go, I guess thats not bad.

Bonnie - posted on 01/28/2009

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Depending on the age of you baby, the easiest and best way to increase your milk supply is to increase the amount of need (i.e. feed as often as you can).  You also need to drink plenty of water and rest as much as possible.  If you can feed as much as you possibly can (or express) in a 24 hour period your breasts will receive a hormorne response from the increased need and produce more milk.  I have always had to fight for my supply also and belive me this works a treat.

Becky - posted on 01/28/2009

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Honestly, any types of drugs going through your system, will carry to the baby's sytem.. I found that with my last child, I could not produce enough to keep him content, so I alternated with using carnation good start mixed with my breast milk...and then breast feeding him from the breast at night. I pumped, and froze my milk..I was able to do this until he began eating solid foods, and he was a very healthy, active baby! Don't give up on your milk...even if u have to supplement some...as long as your baby is getting some of your breast milk, he/she will get your antibodies..

Colette - posted on 01/28/2009

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Drink plenty of fluids and keep feeding "the more you feed the more milk you will produce" Hope this helps keep breastfeeding your doing so well.

Mary - posted on 01/28/2009

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I would increase your water intake/fluids! Make sure you are always drinking. And if you have a pump, pump after you nurse... to stimulate more milk production..supply and demand!

Lisa - posted on 01/28/2009

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I currently just stopped taking Domperidone for increasing milk supply. This medication does work and yes it does have side effects, but not bad ones and the doses do not get into the milk stream. The reason that I stopped is because I have chosen to bottlefeed, as I find I am stressing too much about breastfeeding. Discuss it with your doctor. The only bad thing I have heard about thistleseed is that the seeds are huge and you may find it difficult to swallow. Hope this helps.

Kerry - posted on 01/28/2009

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Milk is produced based on supply and demand, so technically, the more you nurse, the more you will produce.  You didn't say how often you are nursing or how old your baby is, but if you are supplementing with either water or formula I would stop doing that and offer the breast instead.  Babies will also nurse more often, such as during a growth spurt, with that very intent of increasing your milk supply.



A good rule of thumb is to drink a glass of water every time you nurse.  You insure you are getting enough fluids without worrying you are overdoing it.



Good luck!

Venessa - posted on 01/28/2009

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mother's milk tea i heard works really well. you can find it at gnc. also contact the hospital where you delivered, they should have a lactation consultant that can her you step by step.

Trish - posted on 01/28/2009

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The best method for you and your baby without side affects is Mother's Milk Tea. YOu can drink it cold or hot. I produced 40 oz a day. It can now be found at Walmart tea section...if not at a herbal store or on-line. The taste isn't bad but you can mix it with other teas. My niece is using it and can't believe how much it has helped her milk supply without side affects for her or her son. Good luck

[deleted account]

I stopped breastfeeding because I thought my son was getting sick from something I was eating and as he is my first child I was unaware of how fast your milk depleats. I tried breastfeeding all the time, but more breastfeeding doesnt always lead to more milk, unfortunately. Everyone is a fan of herbal, myself included, but if you truly want to continue to breastfeed don't mess around with a million pills. Go to your doc, I went on a prescribed medication and had no side effects, except more milk. Be careful, and voice your concerns to your doc, but don't be scared to try. Once that milks gone, it's gone!

Maile - posted on 01/28/2009

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I am going to give you the "old wives tale" answer that my mom - who very successfully breastfed 7 children - gave me. 1) Eat a whole head of iceberg lettuce in a 24 hour period. I know, it sounds weird, but I swear it worked! #2 is a little more controversial, but I will share it anyway - Guinness. I know, i know, it's alcohol, but the yeast in it works wonders. One can, do it after you've nursed if you're worried about it. I nursed 2 kids and worked full time while I did it and never lost my milk. Whenever my supply went down, I did one or both of these things. Old wives tales, I know, but it worked for me.

[deleted account]

Personally, I tried the fenugreek and it didn't help...so then I tried a RX...that didn't help either. The best thing that you can do to help increase your milk production is to have him/her nurse more. Even if he/she isn't hungry (think of it as paci that never gets lost) or you can pump between feedings. I had the same problem when my son started sleeping thru the night. I would wait a couple hours after his last feeding and pump..or even wake up early. Breast milk works on a supply and demand.

Amy - posted on 01/28/2009

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I struggled with my milk supply after my son was born at 28 weeks. The NICU recomended Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle. One of the midwives wrote me a prescription for reglan. They did help. I did not have any side effects, but I should mention that I rarely have side-effects from medications.



The other prescription is domperidone (sp??) which is harder to get as it is not FDA approved, but is used in Canada. I used the herbs/prescriptions as I had anemia and toxemia after delivery as a result of HELLP syndrome.



My mom, a La Leche League co-founding director in our area, really emphasized that rest and water are the keys to maintaining a milk supply.



La Leche League and Kellymom.com (site set up by a lactation consultant) have lots of information and medical studies on maintaining your milk supply.



Good luck.

Patricia - 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 would not mess with any supplements. its time to move to formula. before you start anything talk to your doc



 

Jennifer - posted on 01/28/2009

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It would seem that I am definetly not the first to second the fenugreek :) but I do highly recommend it...My milk had not come in when my son was born (almost extended our stay in the hospital) and my lactition nurse told me to take the fenugreek and have my soon nurse 10-15min on each side. Finally after about 2 days my milk came in (big time). plus I've used it periodically since then to up my supply when my son with through growth spurts.

Tisha - posted on 01/28/2009

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I also had this problem when I went back to work. I took the herbal supplement fenugeek but I didn't think it worked and it gave me really bad headaches. I instead invested in a really good double breast pump, increased my fluid intake and pumped every three to four hours to similate my babies feeding schedule. With a good pump it should only take about 15 min or so to express a good amount of milk and keep your supply going. Good Luck!! Stick with it!!

Karen - posted on 01/28/2009

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Many years ago the Plunket Nurse recommended this for me to build my milk supply and of course add some nutrition by the recipe. It was delicious.



1/2 cup frozen undiluted orange juice (or any fresh fruit,

a couple of bananas, peaches, blueberries,

strawberries)

1 cup fresh skim milk

1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1-3 teaspoons Safflower Oil



Blend all the above in a blender. Add: 3/4 cup instant

powdered skim milk, 1/4 - 1/2 cup Brewer's Yeast (may want

to start low and build-up STRONG TASTE). Stir in 2-3 cups skim

milk. Drink at least 1/2 cup at a time, at least 4 times a day

(Brewer's Yeast is available at health food and natural stores.

Also some pharmacies and grocery stores)



http://www.pumpingmoms.org/faq-boost.htm...

Tara - posted on 01/28/2009

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I have heard drinking beer helps bring the milk in. But when I had this problem, the nurse gave me a bottle that hung around my neck with a tube that ran to the nipple. The bottle was filled with formula. And as the baby sucked, he got formula but also stimulated the milk ducts to produce. It took a few weeks, but finally my milk came in strong and the bottle went away. Hope you find a solution.

Diane - posted on 01/28/2009

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drink more water and try Fenugreek, an herbal supplement. you can find it at gnc.it helped me with both of my kids.

Deonna - posted on 01/28/2009

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Try fennugreek.  I was having the same problem and I asked my doc and she said to try that.  You can get it from an All Natural Food Store.  It didn't work for me, but it did work for my cousin.  Also ask the doc if the baby is latching on correctly, some times that can affect how much they are getting.  Good Luck!

Polly - posted on 01/28/2009

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Fenugreek tea &/or Fenugreek suppliments. Both @ Health food store. I liked the tea better. Got a pump? Pump 2 ounces or so on each side every 3 hours or so in addition to nursing. It takes 48 hours for you body to notice a difference/catch up with extra milk making. Check your local La Leche League/Birthing Hospital for Breastfeeing Support groups. They are on a walk-in basis and are usual fronted by a IBCLC (Lactation Consult w/ RN backing), and you can ask questions there and meet with other Moms, a great support source!...good luck ;)

Tammy - posted on 01/28/2009

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Drink plenty of fluids! It works. My ma told me drink a 6pack of beer lol but yeah all u doing is drinkin plenty anyways lol.



 

Jamie - posted on 01/28/2009

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Making sure I got lots of non-caf fluids and getting rest helped.  I also would pump after a full feeding for an extra 10 minutes.  That seemed to help.  Make sure you are eating well.  Sounds like lots of good advice in these replies.  Good luck :) 

Tammy - posted on 01/28/2009

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Drink plenty of fluids! It works. My ma told me drink a 6pack of beer lol but yeah all u doing is drinkin plenty anyways lol.



 

Sheena - posted on 01/28/2009

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Hi there,



Try eatting oatmeal. I did this and it seemed to help. It took a couple of days for it to work but it helped quite a bit. I liked the herbal stuff. Fenugreek (something like that) and Blessed Thistle work also. Yes lots of water aswell and try to cut out as much caffeine as possible!! Good luck :0)

Sheena - posted on 01/28/2009

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Hi there,



Try eatting oatmeal. I did this and it seemed to help. It took a couple of days for it to work but it helped quite a bit. I liked the herbal stuff. Fenugreek (something like that) and Blessed Thistle work also. Yes lots of water aswell and try to cut out as much caffeine as possible!! Good luck :0)

Roanne - posted on 01/28/2009

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Well I have a bit of a different perspective, but this addition to your diet doesn't have side affects so long as you get a quality product. I didn't hear about Coconut Oil until after I weaned my son, but I have heard it can do the trick. The best brand is Nutive Organic Cold Pressed. I add it to fruit smoothies with yogurt, frozen fruit and orange juice. I also use it to cook with-- it adds a great taste to chicken and vegetable stir frys and I also use it to cook pancakes and eggs. It is even safe to give your baby straight, or put a little on (yourself) before nursing for an added boost of nutrition and healthy fat. Another way to increase your milk is to make sure your body has enough time between feedings to rebuild your supply and make sure your baby is nursing for atleast 20 minutes on each side. He or she will get the hind milk, which has the most fat and will not feel the need to nurse as often. And as the other's said, drink lots of water and get plenty of rest.

Ellen - posted on 01/28/2009

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A friend of mine made breast feeding cookies. She said that they worked really well. Not sure exactly what she put into the receipe, but I am sure you can google it online. They weren't nasty tasting and who doesn't like cookies! Also, it kind of a more natural way to increase your breast milk supply rather than having to take any drugs.

Stephanie - posted on 01/28/2009

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Hi. This happened to me when my second daughter was about 4 months old. I took fenugreek and milk thistle and the mothers milk tea. I also borrowed an electric pump and pumped a ton. Unfortunately it didn't help and my daughter is now on formula and starting solids. The doctors weren't sure why it happened. With my first daughter my milk supply was fine. I'm not normally an herbal person, but these supplement never seemed to have any wierd affects on me or my daughter.

Jill - posted on 01/28/2009

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Sometimes fenugreeek alone doesn't work. If that's the case then try adding blessed thistle as well. I think it's like 2 pills each, 3 times a day. It didn't work for me, but I didn't really give it a chance - I hated breastfeeding so we switched to formula at 4.5 months. Good luck!

Amy - posted on 01/28/2009

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I used fenugreek first and that worked for a while. The only side effect was that I smelled like syrup. I kept having issues after a few weeks and the Dr. switched me to reglan that worked awesome. I didnt have any side effects and my producetion went up dramatically. I went through 2 rounds and pretty much as soon as I was done with those I ran out of breast milk. The supplements and reglan got me to the 6 month mark before I couldnt brestfeed anymore, so I recommend them. Baby had no side effects (other than smelling like syrup too).

Rebecca - posted on 01/28/2009

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Hi Candice,
I know the feeling! I used an herbal supplement called Fenugreek when my supply would get low. I didn't notice any side effects other than the fact that it makes you smell like maple syrup (which surprisingly, my husband didn't object to). It's used in maple syrup flavorings, curries, and teas. Is regarded as safe, and it increased my supply within 24 hours every time I used it...which was periodically throughout the 1 1/2 years I was nursing. Hope it helps you too! Here's a link to some more information on it, as well as a fantastic site for nursing moms:
http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/milksuppl...

[deleted account]

I used the Mother's Milk tea too - I found it at the larger Target stores. That helped along with a LOT of water. It takes some work, but it does get you back to what you need.

Andrea - posted on 01/28/2009

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The best ways to increase your supply is by drinking lots of fluids(water is best-but clear fluids like 7Up and juice are good too). Try pumping at least once a day (the best time for me is after baby is asleep at night). Make sure you are eating enough calories and not exercising too much because you need about an extra 500 calories a day to make milk. Good luck!

[deleted account]

Try the herb fennugreek first.  It is perfectly safe as it is used as a spice in many Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines.  The only side-effect is giving off a slight maple syrup smell.  Have your husband read about it on Widipedia if he is uncomfortable.  It was recommended to me by a trusted nurse/lactation consultant and I found it to be helpful when work kept me from breastfeeding all the time and I was getting less from the pump.  If that doesn't work you should talk to your doctor, or your child's pediatrician, but know that you will get five different suggestions from five people you ask this question of.  In the end you must do what you feel most comfortable with, and that will be the best answer for you and your baby.

Julie - posted on 01/28/2009

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I also used "Mother's Milk" tea. It is made by Traditional Medicinals. I used to get it at Whole Foods and I think Wegman's may have it...

Karina - posted on 01/28/2009

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I used a tea called Mother's Milk when my milk supply completely went away suddenly after I used to have more than enough for my (big) son. Within 2 days, my milk supply was back where it was before. I found it at the Vitamin Shoppe but you may be able to find it elsewhere.

User - posted on 01/28/2009

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Personally, I would am more hesitant to take prescription drugs than herbal supplements. Granted, you don't want to go crazy with them, but I feel that for the most part, as long as you research them and are careful with what you are doing, I think they are safer for you.

Carolyn - posted on 01/28/2009

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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!

Janine - posted on 01/28/2009

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I have had lots of success with domperidone, it is quite costly, but there is no side effects for you or baby and it doesnt go through your milk

Jeannette - posted on 01/28/2009

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When I was breastfeeding I drank a breastfeeding tea. You can find it on www.breastfeeding.com - it's called nursing time tea. I had some luck with that and I know several women that have used it and it has definitely increased their supply. Also, I have had some friends use Reglan (metoclopramide) a prescription medicine. I did not want to take it b/c I've heard that it can make postpartum depression worse, but my friends had a lot of luck with it.

imo I think either one of these is safe to use. Reglan has very few side effects and the nursing time tea is all just natural herbs sometimes used in teas. It even has anis seed which helps with gas. That was enough of an incentive for me to try it!! :) Hope this helps!! Good Luck!

Dyane - posted on 01/28/2009

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I had that problem, and what helped me was to increase my water intake. I drank big 36-oz glasses of water at a time, several times a day. It made all the difference!

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