how can i increase supply?

Becky - posted on 04/07/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )

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i am working and breastfeeding. My son is two months old. I was just curious if there were any foods/natural remedies to increase my supply so I can continue to give him breast milk without supplementing formula. Id really like to keep him totally breastfed. My boyfriend is quick to jump to formula, and its frustrating me greatly. Im not sure he understands how hard Ive been working to keep up with pumping and feeding and how strongly i feel about breastfeeding. I dont want to give up!! Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!!!

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Jen - posted on 04/21/2009

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aw, Becky that's great to hear! I'm self-critical, too ... motherhood will either cure you or exasperate that issue more! Hope you continue to find your confidence. Your baby doesn't need formula, he needs your milk. You're an awesome mom for trying so hard to give him the best!!!

Chris - posted on 04/21/2009

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I agree 100% with Angela Hall. I have nursed 4 and through it all, I had to pump and nurse to keep my supply up. It worked. I nursed my oldest for 8 months, the 2nd for 13 months, the third for 15 months and the last for 17 months. Don't give up!!

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Kaija - posted on 06/21/2016

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I have used many remedies to increase my milk production but unfortunately nothing was going to help. However, when I started drinking an herbal tea called healthy nursing tea, I started producing enough breast milk that my baby was not getting satisfied exclusively with my breast milk.

User - posted on 04/21/2009

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Becky I am in the same boat. I want to boost my supply and am afraid that pumping at work will deplete my milk supply. I am getting about 3.5 ounces at a pumping at work, and she's eating 4-5 ounces per feeding at home. It's sooooo frustrating. what did you do that worked for you?

Also a question... how much should a 3 month old baby be getting in a bottle? just wondering...

Michelle - posted on 04/21/2009

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defnintely pump more...I know it's hard...I'm in the same boat. I work 12 hour shifts as a nurse and don't get a lot of time to pump but even 5 minutes of pumping frequently is better than nothing. Fenugreek is also a good natural supplement. If that doesn't work Reglan works well but is available only by prescription from your doctor. I am currently taking the Reglan and my milk supply increased from 1-2 ounces per pumping session to 3-4 ounces per session. I exclusively pump b/c my daughter was premature and we have to add calories to her breastmilk to get her to gain wt. Obviously the only way to do this is by bottle feeding. B/c I bottle feed I don't get the natural stimulation of my baby sucking but I try the next best thing which is putting her skin to skin against my chest. Hang in there, I know it's hard and frustrating but don't give up on it. I gave up with my son after 2 months and regretted it. My dtr is now 2months old and as hard as bf is I am determined not to give up!

Mandi - posted on 04/21/2009

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If you want to take something to help as well as BF and pumping herbs like blessed thistle and fenugreek are recommended. The label will tell you how much to take but mine was two capsules of each three times a day. The fenugreek will make you smell like maple syrup when its at a therapeutic level... it has to buid up. The baby may smell like this too. Also your doctor can prescribe the medication Reglan but it can help contribute to postpartum depression if you have any of that. Reglan is typically used for nausea but has been known to increase milk supply. I hope this helps.

Becky - posted on 04/21/2009

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I mostly felt that way bc pumping was taking up all my time with little results. I was struggling to pump enough milk to leave with whoever was watching my boy while i worked. The "inlaws" family do not understand the whole breastfeeding thing, ie- quick to say hes not getting enough in a feeding blah blah. This stress from them wasnt helping the situation either. Baby dipped a little more than normal in his first week, but his weight is GREAT now- 93 percentile so they really should stop the concern. I am working and was concerned about missing feedings when at work resulting in depleting my supply. However, now I drink the Mother's milk tea, and figured out a way better pumping schedule, thanks to all the good support HERE, and seem to be on track. Im self-critical too, so i do put pressure on myself. Im determined to not have him get formula. Im much more confident in my ability now. Just want to get through the 3 month growth spurt and Ill be all set!!

Jen - posted on 04/21/2009

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Eat eat eat! Quality, nutritious meals and lots of snacks. For me, I've had to lose my baby weight a LOT more gradually than I would like, I worked super hard for a couple weeks there, but it affected my milk supply. You will have to eat more than when you were pregnant, for now! It will taper off as your baby takes in some solids in a few months, especially heading to the one year mark, so just know it's such a SHORT time period to "sacrifice" for your baby. Tell your boyfriend that you need his support!! You are doing an amazing, beautiful thing with your body, nourishing your baby.

Megan - posted on 04/21/2009

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I was just told to get the Mothers Milk Tea at GNC or in the mean time start drinking herbal tea with milk added to it. I was up for anything and it worked more so than the Fenugreek. Also, the morning is when you have the most milk. My daughter seems to be getting enough from one side, so when she is nursing on one side I am pumping the other. After almost 4 months I am starting to have extra! Hopefully this helps. Don't give up. You are doing the best thing for your son!

Leah - posted on 04/20/2009

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Congrats that you are breastfeeding! To increase supply just BF BF BF!!! You could also take fenugreek an herbal supplement thats proved to increase supply. i took it for a short time n it def boosted my supply. you could also pump in between feeds. i have a question tho. why do you feel you may need to supplement with formula? whats the reason you feel you need to boost your supply? what makes you believe your supply is low? is he not gaining weight? is he not having enough poopy/wet diapers?

Eilizabeth - posted on 04/20/2009

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Make sure you are getting enough calories and staying hydrated. Also, the more you express milk or let the baby breastfeed, the more milk your body will produce. So, try pumping more frequently or letting your baby latch on instead of bottle feeding when available.

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I work night shift and nurse my baby too.  With my first daughter I lost my supply completely by 6 months.  I would supplement in the evenings when i didn't have enough milk.  Now with my 6 month old I still have a lot of milk.  I put her to breast when she is hungry.  She cries when there is not a lot of milk or when it doesn't let down fast enough.  I calm her with the pacifier for a few seconds and put her right back on.  After a minute or two (which is long when she is crying) my milk lets down, even when I thought I had none.  You can also try feeding or pumping every hour or two.  This will increase your supply for sure.  Pump for 10 min. at least every 2 hours for a day or two and your milk will increase.  Rest and drink plenty of water.  You CAN do it.  If you are confindent then maybe your boyfriend will stop pushing the formula as much.

Angela - posted on 04/07/2009

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When I was working on increasing my supply I drank LOTS of water and pumped in between feedings. My boobs were sore, but it worked. I would only pump about 1-2 ounces at first then it went up to 3-4 ounces after a couple of weeks. Don't give up! You're doing great!

Lorena - posted on 04/07/2009

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You need 1,800 calories or more if you're excersing. Drink lots and lots of natural juices, milk and alot of water. My baby girl ONLY wants to be breastfed so its something thats its good to help.

Lindy - posted on 04/07/2009

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Good for you wanting to stick with breastfeeding over formula! Every day counts! To increase supply -- drink tons of water, Mothers Milk tea and take fenugreek (I think you can take it twice a day, but check the label). Also pump/BF more frequently (3 - 5 minute sessions is better than 1 - 15 minute session). You can also do compressions while pumping (massage/squeeze your breast). Check out this website: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-su... And get some support through friends or a lactation consultant in your area! Shame on your boyfriend! :)

Angela - posted on 04/07/2009

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The only way I know to increase supply is to increase the frequency you express milk (either by BF or pumping). Good luck!

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