desperate for advice on increasing milk supply...

Roberta - posted on 05/15/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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please help! I have always breastfed my baby boy, but 2 months after my csection I temporarily stopped breastfeeding and pumped because my baby and I had thrush that would not heal, I didn't realize pumping isn't the same and that it would decrease my milk supply drastically. Since then I have been on supplements my naturopathic doctor recommended, as well as a prescription my family doctor prescribed, and I drink 3 liters of water a day because my obstetrician said that would help my milk supply. I do not know what else to do to increase my milk supply, but I am not producing anymore milk, even 2 months later STILL doing all these recommended things! i am desperate, my baby boy hates formula (can't blame him) and I run out of milk several times a day, I let him feed on demand, and sometimes that's every hour or so as I don't have enough milk. He is 4 months old, I don't know what to do, family says to force feed only formula, once he's hungry enough he'll take it, but I cant stand the thought of him starving, crying, and drinking something he hates - it's absurd. Does anyone know what else I can do to increase my milk supply???

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Alicia - posted on 05/19/2010

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Pump and nurse more frequently. If your baby won't eat he won't eat, but the more you express your milk the more you will make and the faster it will build up. When your in the shower try hand expressing too.
Are you sure your milk is really drying up? When the baby gets older you won't get engorged anymore so sometimes it feels like you don't have any milk but its really there.

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Angela - posted on 02/27/2011

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Has the doctor run bloodwork to make sure you're not anemic, etc? There are so many reasons why you might not be making enough milk. When breastfeeding you want to make sure you're getting enough food, liquid, and rest.
I've got a chronic type of low milk supply. The only way I can keep my milk supply up is by using herbs. The product that works best for me is Breastea. I have tried others in the past that didn't work so well for me. If the product you're using now doesn't work, I would try a different one.

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It's true Roberta...he will eat when he gets hungry enough!! I KNOW it's hard to get thu but the more you nurse the more it will produce...eventually. Stressing does not help at all, in fact it can probably hurt. I heard once that the barley in beer helps produce milk...maybe google that one. I did it once, I think it helped anyway. This is very hard to go thru but YOU CAN DO IT!! Google LeLeche League...get phone #'s and call them too, they are a world of help...sometimes I think I should've been on their league!! lol!! I hope this helps Mom...you're on the right track!!

Sara - posted on 05/19/2010

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I am so sorry to hear your hardship... I will make this short

Rest and less stress!! it's the only way I have found.. I never stopped completely but it went down and my sister (who's a midwife) said I needed to go to bed for a day with my baby and rest sleep when she did and keep offering the breast, she eat on and off all day and we played toys, read books and slept and the day after I was fuller. I slowly got back into the swing of my life over 5 days and now I am producing so much I could feed a whole hospital of babies and my let down has come back on the other boob when she is feeding from the opposite. Lilly is now 5 months old. It was the only thing which helped me and I know it's hard not to stress about it but it doesn't help.
Good Luck xxx

Marissa - posted on 05/19/2010

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I am sure that you are overwhelmed with advice right now. From what I read, it is all great advice. The only thing that I would wonder about it how a strenuous boot camp would work. You want as many of the calories and body's energy to go into making milk. Have you ever checked out the website http://www.drjacknewman.com/ he is the leading expert in North America on Breastfeeding. His book is great too!! I also wanted to tell you that I have a 4 month old and a almost three year old. It is busy so I totally understand. You can do skin to skin contact with a sling and your bra in the house and if you get some practice you can also nurse with him in the sling, that way you can stay doing other things. My four month old was going 4-5 hour streches during the day and now suddenly he is now only making it 2.5-3 hours. I was worried that my supply was going down, but turns out he is having a growth spurt as well. A few other things to be aware of as well: have you started your period? this can temorarly effect your milk. are you on birth control? the added estrogen can hinder your prolactin levels. Also, nursing at night can raise your milk supply because you have higher prolactin levels at night when you are resting. One more piece of advice is to suppliment at the breast. Medela makes a suppliment nurser that you can use. It works great. this way your breast is still getting the sucking, but he is getting supplimented. Slowly the sucking even on "empty" will trigger your body to increase milk and you will need less supplimentation. here is the link to find the nurser: http://medgrid.medela.ch/CDN/breastfeedi... basicly you fill it with formula or expressed breast milk, hand it around your neck, and stick the skinny tube in the side of your baby's mouth while he is still latched on and while he is still sucking. he will then get what seems to be another let down and keep sucking hard, but he will be drawing in the formula. it might not be the taste of formula but the bottle or the comfort of nursing he is looking for. If he pulls away instead of drinking he formula from the nursing supplement thing then you can know he is full and you know he is just working on upping your supply. You can also email your questions on the dr. Newman site and will get an answer back. I have used this a few times and have gotten an email back within 24 hours. Keep trying, don't give up! you are an inpiration for not giving up! Just to be sure as well, are you on Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle as well as domperadone? How long have you been on them? The dr Jack newman site as the doses and how long and stuff. it's a great site. anyways, I hope this post helps. Keep incouraged and trust your body and you baby!

Jennifer - posted on 05/18/2010

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eat oatmeal, drink chicken broth (it contains calcium). Let him nurse all he wants. Make sure you are taking in enough food.



Might try replacing some water with chicken broth. I think too much water might flush out nutrients. 1-2 liters a day is plenty. You might be more successful if you BM is full of more nutrients and a little less water.

Nina - posted on 05/18/2010

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If you are still trying to increase your supply, try taking these herbs...Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek. My lactation consultant recommended this and it worked for me. Take 3 of each 3 times a day. You can find them at www.swansonvitamins.com and I use the Nature's Way products. Make sure you drink lots of water!!! Best Wishes

Dora - posted on 05/18/2010

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Continue with the water and eat healthy. Also continue to allow him to feed whenever he is hungry. Your milk should go back to normal after a couple of weeks.

Tegan - posted on 05/18/2010

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Fenugreek works awesomely i used it and my boobs where soo full after 1 day of taking 3 capsules!

Celeste - posted on 05/18/2010

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Roberta, it sounds like you're doing great! As I said in my previous post, if your baby is getting 6-8 diapers, you don't have a supply problem. What you're describing sounds very normal, and sounds like a growth spurt, which around 2 months, is a prime time for one.

I was nursing twins and I had a 4 year old daughter. I totally understand, but it does get better!

Read this article on kellymom
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-su...

Edwina - posted on 05/18/2010

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sure i do, fenugreek tablets found at health stores, please ask for the one thats safe for bf moms and drink oolong tea,peacock coffee and tea shop sells it, 3 days of bedrest,keep baby sucking on the breast for the 3 days in bed,keep hydrated water, rooibos and 3 cups of oolong tea and voila you will have milk.pls email me at edwinabruc@yahoo.com should you need anymore bf advise.oh YES RELAX.TENSION WILL NOT HELP YOU AT ALL.

regards Edwina

Roberta - posted on 05/18/2010

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wow, thanks... my boy feeds every 2 hours during the day, and with my 2 year old allready not getting very much of my time i can't find the time to pump, not that i have anything. it's so hard watching my baby get frustrated working so hard to get milk, and then he gets frantic when there is still none. I hate it, I hate the stress of it, and I try and nurse first, always. I have the tea, the supplements, I have used everything in conjunction for the last 2 months and nothing is increasing my milk. I am trying to sleep when he sleeps at night to hopefully help my stress, and i am starting an exercise boot camp to get rid of my stress and make me feel better, hopefully it helps. I used to use a heating pad and forgot about it, so I'll try it again! I am going to bed really early tonight, and will make it a habit, we'll see if it helps too.

Winde - posted on 05/17/2010

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Hi Roberta! What an awful feeling of not being able to make enough milk for your baby! I have been there.... I love all of the ideas that were posted... the only other thing that was helpful for me was to keep pumping... every time I nursed I pumped right after to make sure I was empty... saved the milk for later (if there was any... I still pumped at least 5 mins each time to add to the demand on my body) I also pumped every 2 to 3 hrs at night even when my little one was sleeping thru the night... that was a huge help.... at 3 months I had to add formula after i did everything to increase my milk... My body at the highest only made 3 oz total every 2 hrs..it was very sad for me... remember to be easier on urself and ur little one... Good Luck

Jeni - posted on 05/17/2010

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I also heard that THYME tea helps. I agree with the stress reduction and most likely the growth spurt. I remember a time when I thought I wasn't laking enough because my daughter was constantly sucking every hour. Turned out she was just informing my body that her demands were going to change and was preparing me for it! Heat also helps. I placed a heating pack on my chest and found that it was comforting-reduced stress-and my flow picked up quick again. Best wishes!!!

Nicole - posted on 05/17/2010

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the only real way to increase milk supply is to nurse more. Talk to your partner. Tell him you need a weekend. no if's and's or but's about it. Plus the baby is probably going through a growth spurt and just needs to eat more. Don't worry your doing everything your suppose to. :)

Vicki - posted on 05/17/2010

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Fennel tea is meant to help with increasing supply Best to get it from the health food shop Try & relax a bit as being stressed can lead to supply going down I know its not easy with 2yr old

Valerie - posted on 05/16/2010

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it sounds like you are doing all the right things but under a lot of stress...you need to minimzie the stress...perhaps play soothing music...keep nursing on demand...if your baby is having lots of wet diapers don't worry...keep up with the supplements and mother's tea...and ons of water, juice, ...relax as best you can...call la leche...all the best

Roberta - posted on 05/16/2010

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wow, lots of great ideas, I will eat more oatmeal, and didn't realize how much skin to skin contact is so important, so I will do that more. However, I have a superbusy 2 year old daughter, so I can't just have an entire weekend in bed nursing, although a nursing vacation sounds great!
Andrea - what is More Milk Plus???

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There is a fantastic book out called "making more milk" I'd highly recommend it. I also found that Porridge (oatmeal) worked for us too. Make sure you get plenty of rest (well, as much as you can with a 4 month old). A nursing vacation is a great idea!

Andrea - posted on 05/16/2010

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Remember too he could be growing and needing more - eating more doesn't mean your supply is low. I reccommend a nursing weekend - 2-3 days of straight nursing. No chores, no cooking, just watch movies in bed all weekend. He may nurse every hour, and that's fine. I took "More Milk Plus" for a while, and that helped a lot - start it a week before your nursing weekend, and you will be all set. Make sure you are eating well and drinking water - but no need to over-do the water - it doesn't increase your supply, it maintains it. Make sure you are topless and he's just in a diaper - skin to skin is important for milk supply. let him eat and suckle as long as he wants - do it laying down for the most part - then if he falls asleep, you can relax, and when he wakes up, feeding time again!

Read the forum at the top of the community.

Lise - posted on 05/16/2010

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Eat oatmeal, and nurse nurse nurse! Can you do a nursing vacation? My LO and I spent a weekend in bed nursing and snuggling. I went topless and she latched on frequently. You're never really empty, and I doubt you "run out" - your body is constantly producing milk.

Celeste - posted on 05/15/2010

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How are his diaper counts?? Is he getting 6-8? If so, your supply is fine! It sounds like you're doing all the right things! It also sounds like he's going through a growth spurt, which 4 months is a prime time for one!

Breastfeeding works on supply and demand. The more you nurse, the more you will make. So, keep nursing him on demand and your supply will adjust! Hang in there!

Fanchon - posted on 05/15/2010

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have you tried Traditional Medicinals brand Mother's Milk herbal tea? I would just try and relax and keep doing what you are doing. pump and nurse as much as you can.

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