drop in breastmilk supply, HELP!!

Nellie - posted on 10/21/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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im a single mom and up to now i've made sure that i eat plenty and eat very healthy only because my daughter, kayla, eats what i do through breastfeeding. but lately i've been struggling a lot financially. kayla is fine, i do the cloth diaper thing ad i make sure to do lots of laundry with her clothes, so she's not suffering, but i've had to cut back what i eat in order to pay bills. i treat myself maybe once every two months, if that. i go to the food bank, i hardly ever eat out. but some unexpected expenses came up. some days i can only eat once a day. now, i honestly couldn't care less, but my breastmilk supply has taken a nosedive. i got a perscription from the doctor for medicene that will boost my supply, but i have to wait till i et paid to get it. ive been pumping and drinking gallons of water and eating as best as i possibly can given my financial situation. i make bean salads and stirfry rice with veggies in it and egg sandwhiches and somedays i can eat twice a day. any suggestions? please help!!!!

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Sarh - posted on 10/22/2010

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Lots of protein! Also, my son was going through a growth spurt and I had read that oatmeal helps w/increasing milk supply, so I tried it and I woke up the next morning engorged! lol. It doesn't have to be plain oatmeal, I ate maple and brown sugar oatmeal. Good luck!

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It's important to eat well and drink lots of liquids but if you are going through such a hard time, the nosedrive in supply might easily be caused by stress. I naturally eat just once or twice a day and my daughter and I are breastfeeding fine but when I get stressed, my milk supply goes way down. You can apply for foodstamps anywhere in the US. There are also programs like Temporary cash assistance and Subsidized housing, there are programs to help you pay your heating and energy bill and also to pay your rent for a place you already live in if your landlord consents. Also, there is the WIC program and free daycare services among other things. Do a search online or look in your telephone book and see what you can find in your area. Do you get child support from the baby's father? I also live in a small town and we live far below poverty level and have no family around with a car that's falling apart so I know how awful it can be but you have to keep your chin up and try to stay positive for your daughter and stay creative about making meals. I eat a lot of beans and rice and they are really healthy and really cheap so those are great things to stock up on! Fresh fruit and veggies are really expensive and I know it's hard to buy those things but you can buy store brand frozen ones that have no added sodium or sugar and those are a lot cheaper. Also if you have any farms around you, they often sell produce cheaper then the store. Bananas are probably the cheapest produce item you can buy from the store and you can use them in salads, as a snack or on cereal like old fashioned oats are also really cheap and are really great to keep you full. We don't have a TV or microwave or toaster oven or any of that because it's too expensive on the energy bill and also cable would be too much. It's healthier to live without them anyway =)

I agree with Kat about the medicine. Tea is better. I drink Mother's Milk tea when I can afford it and I don't know if it helps my supply itself but it helps my stress and relaxes me so that I can produce more milk. =)

Kat - posted on 10/21/2010

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You have to eat. Period. Your body can't make breast milk out of the medicine you've been prescribed, so don't waste your money on it. I'm surprised that doctor thought that would be a good solution. You clearly don't seem to have a problem with milk supply when you eat enough, so that's what you should spend your money on - food. Also check if a local church can assist you and if there is a soup kitchen you can get another daily meal from. You can even ask a local food store or Dunkin Donuts if you can take their unsold bakery items at the end of the night. Do whatever it takes to get that baby and yourself the calories and nutrients you both desperately need. Otherwise you're both in for a lot of health trouble down the road.

15 Comments

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Jessica - posted on 09/14/2016

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Plenty of water, proper sleep hours and Healthy nursing tea helped me increasing my breast milk supply.

Becca - posted on 10/23/2010

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Oats are definately also a big help, mostly because they are high in protein. Anothe helpful food is avacado. I think if you focus on whole nutrition and fluids, and SLEEP. Stress, Fatigue and Nutrition are the biggest culperates in reduced production. At least in my experience.

Becca - posted on 10/23/2010

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Try barley fennel water It really helped me. If you can find a tincture called Mother's Lactation Tonic made by Herb Pharm. I would recommend getting that as well. It has blessed thistle, fenugreek, fennel, etc. Very potent, very strong tasting but worth the effort. Trust me, I lost my milk production when my son was 10 weeks due to stress before having spinal fusion surgery on my neck. I also had reduced production when I went back to work, couldn't let down for a pump at work. I just remembered every time I nursed or pumped, to take two droppers full and drank the barley fennel water through out the day.

Lise - posted on 10/23/2010

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How do you know your supply is down? Yes, it's great to eat well while nursing, but in many countries malnourished women can still breastfeed. I think water is going to be the biggest boost, and oatmeal if you can swing it.

Jennifer - posted on 10/22/2010

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I hear that oatmeal is good for supply as well as being hydrated. I would concentrate on making sure you take your vitamins because you're no good to your child if you're sick and run down on top of your current stresses. From what I know the BM will get what it needs from your body so you'll end up depleting your vitamin and mineral stores and sacrifice to your milk. But if you're not well nourished you will suffer first I believe. Hang in there and talk to a breastfeeding clinic. I have one in my area (Brampton Ontario) and they were amazingly helpful at tips for breastfeeding. Good luck!

[deleted account]

Hi Nellie, as others have suggested, stress might be causing your drop in supply rather than your diet. After all, women have been breastfeeding their babies for thousands of years through povert, famine, war etc. Not that you should be neglecting your own health. I wouldn't go spending money on medications - your little girl is the one who will boost your supply - the more she feeds, the more milk your body makes, so breastfeed as often as possible. Pumping certainly helps, but it's not as efficient as the baby's feeding. Are you certain your supply is low? Remember the nappy test - if she's having 6-8 wet nappies a day she's getting plenty.

But you have to keep healthy to cope with the stress you're going through - are you eligible for any welfare benefits? Other mums have made some great suggestions about food for you - think about them.

All the best.

Nellie - posted on 10/21/2010

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I live in Canada. They might have free daycare in the city (I`m not sure) but there is nothing even close to that sorta thing anywheres near where I live. I have a lease with my appartment until March so moving to the city right now isn`t an option. I buy frozen veggies. I get a food box from a local charity once a month which is a box of fresh fruit & veggies but it`s not enough to last all month. The food bank, if I stretch it to the absolute limit and eat 1 or 2 times a day, will last up to 2 weeks, and I`m allowed to go once a month. It`s not meant to live off, just to help. I`m on maternity leave, which is $500/two weeks. I also get a bonus for low income families. Jenifer, that stuff isn't available where I live. I'm involved with Healthy Beginings, which is a program that teaches me about Kayla's development in the first three years. My family isn't an option as they are violent and refuse to respect my rule about Kayla which are don't throw anything such as chairs when Kayla's in the room, don't sceam when Kayla's in the room. I have no idea where Kayla's father is, he moved.

Jennifer - posted on 10/21/2010

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hey nellie. I know what it is like to be in a small town with little support. I am glad to see you are taking advantage of the food bank. I hope that you are also looking into subsity for housing, and making use the early years centers for support. (if you have one) The people at the early years centers are trained to be aware of what supports are available in your town. You may also consider moving to a town that can better suit your needs. dont be afarid to ask for help....get child support from dad, ask parrents or relitives for a place to stay remember its all about giving your baby the best start the first 5 years are so so so important.
There is a herbal tea out called mother milk tea youll find it in a holistic store. its about 7 dollars and has like twenty bags. I use it when im menstraiting to help keep my supply up and i can really tell that its working. Keep drinking the water and hopefully your taking vitamins (otherwise im not sure baby will benifit to much from b/f.

Kat - posted on 10/21/2010

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That's really tough. Are you working? Maybe try to obtain some free daycare through a church, or daycare, or family member and do extra, non-committal jobs like raking people's yards for some extra cash. You're in a really tough spot. I'm sorry to hear that. Could you apply for welfare? A friend of mine did when she was going through tough times and now she is back on her feet and not receiving the assistance anymore. Just a thought. Where do you live? Another one of my friends used to work for a state assemblyman and says that you could probably call yours and ask for some assistance. They have money, and tons of contacts and favors at their disposal.

Nellie - posted on 10/21/2010

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I live in a very small town, there`s no soup kitchen, there`s only a food bank. And I go as often as they allow me. I do go to the bakery and buy the cheap stuff. I get bread for $1.00 which is really cheap. I make meals out of whatI used to think was nothing, one day I had dried kidney beans, viniger, butter and cumin so I made bean salad. I am doing everything I possibly can to eat well. I am selling my laptop and rocking chair and stroller. Usually I am financially secure, at least enough to be well fed and look after my baby gurl. I`m just struggling at the moment. But my point is, as of right now I do not have the option of eating well. Oh, I could, if I stopped going to the laundry matt to wash Kayla`s cloth diapers, but I am not about to do that. An I have had problems with milksupply when I did eat well, I just pumped and pumped and pumped and drank lots of water and finally got my supply up enough that I could stop supplementing with formula.

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