I'd like to increase my milk supply. My son is 9wks and taks all of what i can offer PLUS anoth 6oz of formula..I want to stop using formula all together.

[deleted account] ( 34 moms have responded )

I am taking fenugreek, it seemed to help but now i only drop milk like 2x a day..

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Bridget - posted on 03/08/2009

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Nurse your baby and then pump for an additional 10-15 minutes after every nursing session. Even if you don't get anything out the extra "sucking" will tell your body to make more milk. It's all supply and demand. The more you nurse, the more you make.

[deleted account]

The best advice I got was if your baby only nurses for less than 15-20 minutes then the next time you feed him use the same side and then use the other next time. it really works. you should not supplement formula if your trying to increase your milk . he might want to eat every 1.5-2hrs for a few days but then your milk will increase and he'll be fine they go through these kinds of growth spurts.My friend was over feeding her daughter and when she cut her milk down to 4 oz as it was supposed to be for age and size she didn't even care and she is doing much better. So make sure that he is TRUELY hungry and not just poopy,tired,or needs swaddled or something.I read less than 1% of moms actually dont have enough milk so try to nurse often and exclusively also pumping in between nursing him will make it go faster. Good Luck

Amy - posted on 03/07/2009

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Hi Brittany, I had the same problem with my daughter in the beginning...I couldn't produce enough milk for her and I had to top her up with formula. I went to the Dr. and she gave me a perscription for a medication called Domperidone. What that does is helps you produce more milk for babe. Mind you I'm also pumping now because she doesn't want the breast anymore..she got too used to the bottle. But I hope this helps you...it helped me!!

Marivic - posted on 03/07/2009

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I've been fully breastfeeding my baby for more that 9 months already. Before, they were feeding my baby with formula and I opposed it so I threw away the formula and eventually my milk increased because my milk increased more afterwards.

Nicole - posted on 03/07/2009

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when i was having this problem i was told to drink as much water/liquid as possible, feed on demand and pump after feeding to completely empty. that way your body thinks the baby is eating more and will supply for the demand. i was also told to pump every two hours. both worked for me. my daughter is now six months old , still breast feeding, and i am producing enough to keep her satisfied... good luck

Jacklynn - posted on 03/07/2009

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This is an online excerpt from La Leche League....their info helped me a lot.

How Can I Increase My Milk Supply?

This is a common breastfeeding question. When mothers observe certain normal changes and behaviors, they may assume their milk supply has decreased. This is often a "false alarm." Other times, a mother's milk supply may truly need to be increased. This FAQ will help you determine if you need to increase your milk supply as well as give you ways to increase your milk supply if appropriate.

The FAQ Is My Baby Getting Enough? also pertains to milk supply. Reading that FAQ will help you learn the indicators that your baby is receiving enough of your milk. If your baby is thriving on your milk then you can be assured that you have an adequate milk supply. The most up-to-date information on increasing your milk supply, including podcasts, journal articles and book reviews can be found on our Milk Supply Issues Web resource page.

At times, mothers are unnecessarily alarmed about their milk supply. They may not be aware of the normal process of breastfeeding. For example, by about the time a baby reaches 6 weeks to 2 months in age, mother's body has learned how much milk to make. Around this time, many women no longer feel "full." In addition, baby may be only nursing for five minutes at a time. These are not signs of decreased milk supply. They simply mean that both mother and baby are becoming more adept at breastfeeding. Mother's body has adjusted to the requirements for her baby and baby has become very efficient at removing the milk.

Some mothers become concerned about their milk supply if their baby begins to have fewer bowel movements. By about 6 weeks after the birth, colostrum is no longer present in a mother's milk. So this may mean that baby's bowel movements will decrease to one every day or even a few times each week. This is normal.

Another age-related "false alarm" is that babies will experience several "growth spurts" in the first few months of life. Generally, these occur around two to three weeks, six weeks and three months of age or they may happen at any time. These are days when baby wants to nurse longer and more frequently to build up mother's milk supply. Follow baby's lead on this by letting him breastfeed as often and as long as he wants. This will help bring up milk supply quickly. The breasts work on the law of supply and demand. The more baby "tells" mother's breasts to make milk, the more milk she will have.

By allowing your baby to nurse more frequently for a few days, your body will receive the message that more milk is needed for your growing baby. Once your supply has increased, your baby will usually return to his usual routine.

If, after reviewing the Is My Baby Getting Enough FAQ and ruling out the false alarms mentioned above, you find that you do need to increase your milk supply, get help. If your baby is not gaining well or is losing weight, you will want to keep in close contact with your baby's doctor. Often, improving breastfeeding techniques will help resolve the situation quickly, but in some cases slow weight gain may indicate a health problem.

Here are some ideas that may help you to increase your milk supply. Look them over and consider which might work for you.

* Contact a local La Leche League Leader for information and support.
* Encourage your baby to breastfeed frequently and for as long as he will.
* Offer both breasts at each feeding. Allow baby to stay at the first breast as long as he is actively sucking and swallowing. Offer the second breast when baby slows down or stops. "Finish the first breast first," is a good general rule. (This technique gives baby lots of the fatty "hindmilk.")
* Baby should end the feeding. He may do this by falling asleep and detaching from the breast after about 10 to 30 minutes of active sucking and swallowing.
* Be sure baby is latched on and positioned correctly at the breast, that is, lips should be on the areola (the darker skin area), well behind the nipple. An LLL Leader can help fine-tune positioning as well as suggest ideas to ease soreness. Breastfeeding isn't supposed to hurt.
* A sleepy baby may benefit from "switch nursing" that is, switching breasts two or three times during each feeding. Switch breasts when baby's sucking slows down and he swallows less often.
* All of baby's sucking should be at the breast. Limit or stop pacifier use while encouraging baby to nurse more effectively. If you are supplementing, even temporarily, you can give the supplement by spoon, cup, or with a nursing supplementer. Contact an LLL Leader for assistance in using these.

This may be a stressful time. Take care of yourself. Pay attention to your own need for rest, relaxation, proper diet and enough fluids.

Breastfeeding your baby is meant to be an enjoyable experience. If you are concerned in any way, contact your local La Leche League Leader for support and information. You can find a LLL Leader and Group by going to our Web page on finding a local Leader.

Erika - posted on 03/06/2009

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hi, Brittany!



I find that coffe/tea dehydrate a lot, and I notice a decrease of milk as soon as I take a little extra than my usual once-twice a week.



 

Jennifer - posted on 03/06/2009

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I don't know if you want to go this route, but there is a drug you can use called Domperidone. With my first son I was working full-time and he slept through the night, so I wasn't demanding enough from my breasts and started to dry up. I wanted to make it to at least a year so I used this drug. Pros--it will turn you into a dairy cow. Way more milk than you need. Cons-It is not FDA approved for use to increase breast milk, although it is commonly used that way in many other countries, so you have to find a doctor willing to prescribe it to you. My midwife was willing. Also since it isn't FDA approved for that my insurance didn't cover it. It was $100/month but I was able to make a months supply last quiet awhile since I could take less than the prescribed dose and still make plenty of milk.

Lesley - posted on 03/06/2009

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I'm going through the same thing. my baby has never had formula, but the last few days he just doesn't seem satisfied and fenugreek upsets his tummy. I did start giving him his pacifier right after eating and in a few minutes he seems fine. So I think he is just playing sometimes b/c when he's hungry he'll let me know!!!

Shannon - posted on 03/06/2009

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At the nutrition store you can find 'mother's milk' which is suppose to increase your milk supply. I took it to help my milk come in and it seemed to work. Also your son my not be hungry everytime, he maybe just needing to suck on something. My son did this with me, I would hold him like I am going to nurse but then use the pacifier to stick in his mouth. I only did this after he nursed for a while and I knew he was full b/c his little belly cannot hold that much!

Katie - posted on 03/06/2009

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Oh, just two more things to be mindful of: not losing your 'baby weight' too quickly, and not over-exercising. Your milk volume will suffer if too many calories are being expended elsewhere, and your fat reserves are depleted too quickly.

Jennifer - posted on 03/06/2009

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Offer the breast more often, keep up your fluid intake, eat oatmeal, and pump after each feed to tell your body that you need to make more milk.



Good luck!

User - posted on 03/05/2009

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I'm feeling your pain as well I'm going threw the same thing exactly and have tried everything, I don't want to take medication to increase milk supply but I also don't know what else to do! Help please...

Andrea - posted on 03/05/2009

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My milk took a long time to come in fully. The LC at the hospital told me to pump for 10 minutes after every feeding from 6am-10pm. I took Feunugreek & then switched to More Milk Plus. I ate oatmeal & drank lots of water. And, the best way to increase your supply is to stop supplementing & nurse more. Your body won't produce it if your baby doesn't demand it.

If you need to pump milk to store, try pumping on one side & feeding on the other so you get a let down.

Check out kellymom.com. It will help a lot.

Heather - posted on 03/05/2009

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You got the "drink water" bit enough....so, my additional advice would be to pump at the same times each day.  This will put your body on a schedule to get the amount of milk you need.  Now, it doesn't always happen that way (if I'm at work and time does not allow me to pump), so I am pumping through the night.  Yes, I wake once or twice to pump.  Don't worry about affecting a feeding, because your body will still produce milk for baby.  My daughter is 7 months old now and I do find myself pumping all the time to keep up and I have also learned that I do better pumping and giving her that milk because she is easily distracted and wont stay latched on.  

Jamie - posted on 03/05/2009

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Drink lots of water! Nurse frequently will help produce more milk. Use pump in between nursing.

Stephanie - posted on 03/05/2009

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They go through phases - I know we've gone through some where I barely had enough, so just know it's not necessarily the beginning of the end. One thing I found that helped me was to be sure you're drinking LOTS of water. I noticed that helped me right away.

Carol - posted on 03/05/2009

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Hi, there's lots of fantastic advice. Lots of knowledge here. I also suggest using complan and milk shakes with things like banana's, berries, etc.. in them to help boost the hind milk. I'm sure you'll do fine. And even if you cant go fully breast, then your baby still has a fantastic loving mummy who is doing what works for her and her child (which is hugely important)

Itsamystery - posted on 03/05/2009

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Yep I agree with all of the above, drop the formla and take a nursing holiday. A nursing holiday means dropping everything for 24-48 hours and spending the entire time skin on skin and nursing. Get plenty of healthy food and fluids while you're doing this and your supply will be up in no time.

Nena - posted on 03/05/2009

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With breastfeeding, the wayit works is: the more you feed, the more milk you make. Unfortunately, if you give anything other than your breastmilk, that will mean you'll make less. So the only way to make more milk is to stop the formula and feed, feed, feed. It might be hard at first, but there are ways of doing it. If this is your first baby, you can just go to bed together, do lots of skin-to-skin, make your breasts available all the time for about 24 to 36 hours and let your baby feed as often as possible.

Have a look at Dr Jack Newman's website for some practical information.



Nena

NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor

Edgware, UK

[deleted account]

Oh and I agree, make sure you are eating well, getting good caloric intake (about 2000 cals I believe is needed) and drink LOTS of water. Often it is suggested to ensure you drink at least 8oz with every feeding... have a bottle or glass of water right there with you and drink it while you feed. Ensure good rest/sleep too!

Best wishes again and hang in there. If you only breastfeed and offer the breast more and nurse like crazy, your supply will meet the demands of your baby. He will nurse more when he's going through growth or developmental spurts too, to increase your supply... this is just fine, go with it so you produce what is needed.

[deleted account]

It's all about supply and demand. That 6oz you are giving in formula is 6oz your not demanding of your body. So of course it will never produce it. You must start demanding that of your body. Thus, stop supplementing with formula. I was told by a dear friend to nurse every 2 hours around the clock the first 1-2 months. This will ensure good weight gain and supply. I did it and it worked. I know you are a little further than that, but give that a try for say 2 weeks and see, does your supply go up.

Also, consider cluster nursing of an evening. Nurse every hour for 4-5 hours before bed.

Then yes, during the day pump. I was told this... offer the first breast, this is dinner. Offer the other breast, this is dessert, then once done, pump both for the leftovers. I also did this the first 3 mo. and actually had an over production of milk. I donated some of my milk to a milk bank for a while.

Eventually I stopped donating and pumping around 5mo and my son and I got in total sync. I produced what he needed.

My son is 26mo. and still nurses, we're doing child-led weaning. I am also 34.5w pregnant and have not noticed a decrease in my supply at all.

Best wishes!!!!!!!!!!!!

[deleted account]

It's strange, but the more milk you pump or feed, the more milk you will make.  You may need to pump and feed more frequently. I read that 1-5am is when your body tells itself to make the most milk, so this time period is the most effective to pump all you can after a feeding - if you have one - or just add a time to empty your breasts even if you don't have a feeding. Even if you only are able to pump a little bit....totally emptying your breasts as often as possible will gradually increase your supply.  I know, it seems that if you pump, you won't have any left over to feed your baby, so if it makes you feel more comfortable, make sure you pump, totally emptying each breast AFTER feeding him.  Pump after he goes to sleep for the night and If he only empties one side, pump the other too (which it sounds like he's taking all you have though). At first it will seem like you have even less milk, but over a short period of time 3-5 days or even a week later, you should notice a difference and be producing more.   You may need to supplement formula for a little while while working on this, but empty, empty, empty as frequently as possible and you should make more for your little one.  I hope this helps and sorry if I'm repeating something you already know.  It might even help to have him nurse every 2 hours instead of 3 (which is fine because at that young age he should take more if offered) and then pump after each feeding consistently for a period of time...this also might help.  Then of course make sure you get as much sleep as possible...a nap when he's napping, take your vitamins, eat plenty of calories, drink LOTS of water...take care of yourself.  Best wishes!! 

Jennifer - posted on 03/05/2009

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I went through the same thing with my son because he was born with jaundice and we had to suppliment with formula for the first couple weeks.
La Leche League had me do this and it worked-
Stop formula all together!!!
Feed on demand (I had my son at my breast every hour).
Try to have 24 hours of you and your baby naked in bed and almost always breastfeeding. If you have someone to help take the baby for daiper changes, make food for you, etc, it's easier. Skin on skin will help your body produce more.
Send someone to Whole Foods to buy you Mother's Milk Tea.
The first couple days without formula will be incredibly difficult! Your baby will cry because he wants more than you have. Put him to your breast and encourage him to suck.
It's like going to a restaurant. You have to place an order before the kitchen will make it. By letting him suck constantly at your breast, he's placing an order, and your body will make it:)
No pacifiers/bottles/other nipples.
You will be exhausted - but it will work. He will be cranky and hungry, but he will not starve. Don't worry- your body can do it.
You should do it now, before he gets any older and your body thinks it is making enough.
Hang in there!
xoxo

Sarah - posted on 03/05/2009

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your doing a great job keep feeding on demand as u are i.ts early days and your milk will settle hes at the age for a growth spurt which can last a while my girl is 7months and has been doing the same for weeksits a 6 month growth 2 to 3 hourly feeds i remember that she was the same at that age but she did settle down in the end

Katie - posted on 03/05/2009

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Hi Brittany. I just replied to the thread before yours, "I need help", and then saw your post. I'm literally just cutting and pasting, because it all applies - including the compliments to you!! Here goes:

You rock! You're dedicated to giving your baby the best start you possibly can, and that's superb! Your baby is really lucky: the fact that you are trying to get back to a state of exclusive breastfeeding, despite really difficult circumstances, is truly inspiring!

It sounds like you're trying lots of stuff, but here are a couple of ideas to work alongside them:

One thing you can try is having lots and lots of skin-to-skin contact with your baby. As you probably know, the hormone oxytocin is necessary for breastmilk production, and the sensation of feeling your little one's skin against your own, triggers its release in abundance!

In a similar vein, try pumping when your baby's next to you. I have a friend who is a neonatologist, and she encourages new mums of premature babies to pump at the side of the incubator, as for some reason (presumably oxytocin release whilst gazing adoringly at your new born!) milk yields are massively increased when mothers are at their babies' sides, as opposed to pumping in a separate room / building.

Finally, do you use a dummy / pacifier? If so, try stopping and replacing its use with your nipple! The more stimulation your breasts receive from your baby, the greater the signals to your brain to produce more milk. Co-sleeping is a great way to achieve this, as it means you get your rest at the same time. (And of course, co-sleeping also helps with the skin-to-skin oxytocin release, so you get a double whammy!!) I've heard a lot of mothers say they remove their babies from the breast when it's evident they're "just playing" with the nipple, but actually that stimulation is really important - they're making their next meal!

You've been put in a difficult position, as each bottle of formula you've fed has, in effect, instructed your body to produce that much less milk, and so as a result you HAVE to supplement, which in turn decreases your supply (and on and on...) You are really brave for choosing to address this. I hope these simple, 'natural' tips help and don't patronise you.

Best of luck!

Sarah - posted on 03/05/2009

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i have found that feeding on demand will increase your milk to what is needed although this is time consuming your milk will increase also drink water regulary eat well ,u could also try expressing and storing i hope this helps sarah

Sarah - posted on 03/05/2009

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i have found that feeding on demand will increase your milk to what is needed although this is time consuming your milk will increase also drink water regulary eat well ,u could also try expressing and storing i hope this helps sarah

Sarah - posted on 03/05/2009

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i have found that feeding on demand will increase your milk to what is needed although this is time consuming your milk will increase also drink water regulary eat well ,u could also try expressing and storing i hope this helps sarah

Sarah - posted on 03/05/2009

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i have found that feeding on demand will increase your milk to what is needed although this is time consuming your milk will increase also drink water regulary eat well ,u could also try expressing and storing i hope this helps sarah

[deleted account]

thank you for your advice

I do try to feed every 3hrs when he's hungry but it just doesnt seem to be enough...and at this point if I pump and store I wouldn't be able to feed him any since it's just not at the quantity it was 4wks ago...i just dont know what to do...

Sarah - posted on 03/05/2009

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i have found that feeding on demand will increase your milk to what is needed although this is time consuming your milk will increase also drink water regulary eat well ,u could also try expressing and storing i hope this helps sarah

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