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THANK YOU FOR YOUR INPUT ON Increasing milk supply - has anyone tried these?

Oana - posted on 07/12/2009 ( 82 moms have responded )

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It's been a week since I posted my question and there was tremendous support from mothers everywhere, so THANK YOU ALL!

This is what I have done in the meantime and the result was a 50% increase in supply:

- Fenugreek - have increased number of capsules from 9 to 12 per day (4 every 8 hours; note you should not take more than 8 grams of fenugreek per day)

- Shatavari - I've started taking this, 6 capsules per day (2 every 8 hours)

- Traditional Medicines - Mother's Helper nursing tea - have started drinking 1 litre per day (4 tea bags)

- Mini-pill - have stoped taking it

- Power pumping (10 min each breast for one hour)

- Pumping more frequently - every 2-3 hours



My baby girl is eating every 4 hours approximately 180 ml (6 oz) of breastmilk, 5 times a day. My reason for pumping vs. nursing may sound selfish to some, but I decided to do this as I know exactly how much food my baby is having and I can make sure she has enough. This way she is less fussy and has started giving me the chance to have reasonable sleep at night.



Good luck to all you mothers out there!

Oana



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I am breastfeeding my 4 1/2 month old baby and I can only pump 140 ml every 4 hours (nursing not viable) but she definitely needs more than this. I have so far taken fenugreek (not a huge boost, about 20% increase) and More Milk Plus from Motherlove (didn't make ANY diference) and I am trying to see if anyone has tried anything else that worked.





Please, only if you've tried it, not heard of it. Also, please specify what impact it had on your milk supply.





Thank you!


Oana

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Stephanie - posted on 07/14/2009

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The thing that worked for me is OATMEAL and lots of Gatorade!!! And to ensure that you are emptying out completely stop pumping and massage ur upper breast for about 2 minutes which pushes the milk to nipple and pump again(I usually get about 1 1/2 to 2 extra oz)

Mindy - posted on 07/18/2009

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I drank Mother's Milk Tea, took Brewer's Yeast capsules (1 with each meal 3x's/day) & had my OB/GYN prescribe Reglan. Reglan is normally used for reflux but has also been shown to increase the milk supply in lactating women. I noticed a significant increase but I am not sure if it was a combination of all of these combined or just one. Good luck & congratulations on giving such a wonderful gift to your baby!

Amy - posted on 07/14/2009

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I also used fenugreek and I was very impressed with its results. However, in addition to it, I drank Traditional Medicinals Mother's Milk Tea. It was fantastic. You drink 3-5 glasses per day, so it's also increasing your fluid intake. Be careful about drink TOO much water, though, because that can actually hurt your supply. Only drink to thirst - drinking more than 80 ounces of water a day has actually been proven to decrease milk production. I also took alfalfa, which in combination with Lactuca Virosa (a homeopathic remedy) has been proven to increase milk supply 50-100%.

Starting any solids is going to decrease your supply. It's just impossible to "supplement" anything without hurting your supply. Any nutrition a baby gets aside from milk is going to make them less hungry for milk. I learned that the hard way - we started solids at 6 months, and by 9 months, my son was chowing down on solids, and I started to dry up! Then it hit me one day that he should still be getting 100% of his nutrition from milk until he's a year, and the solids are just to acclimate his palate, not to fill him up. That's when I started drinking the tea and taking the other herbs - then I got pregnant when he was 10 1/2 months, and he quit nursing altogether! I was crushed!

Anyhow, good luck!



Here's a very helpful website!



http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/milksuppl...

Lynda - posted on 07/20/2009

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Several things are at play! One: Supply and demand! The more you nurse the more your breast will produce. Two: Fluid intake! You should be drinking one 8 oz. glass of water everytime you nurse and as often as you can in between.

I also had a lactation consultant tell me to drink 1 oz. of beer with the 8 oz. glass of water every time I nursed and my milk supply more than doubled within a week or so.

You could also be stressed about the amount of milk your child is taking in and that stress can affect milk production. Relax, take a bubble bath, get lots of rest and don't worry! Your breast will figure it out and with the added pampering you will do fine.

82 Comments

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Noelle - posted on 07/19/2009

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It is definitely okay to take more than one thing at a time. With the frozen milk, if your daughter doesn't have to have it too warm, you can thaw it pretty quickly just by sticking it under warm water.

Olivia - posted on 07/19/2009

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is it okay to take all of them i want to try it but im worried i have givin my daughter some formula about 3 times this week and i dont want to do that even though i have frozen milk sometimes its not fast enough for her so im trying to increase my milk so she gets it faster i have been taking the Fenugreek but only three times a day i didnt know i could take it more and i want to try the shatavari, but i didnt know it was okay to do more then one thing at a time!

Laura Dawn - posted on 07/19/2009

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When I had my son the lactation consultant told me to take fenugreek and blessed thistle. I took 3 pills of each 3 times a day. It increased my milk supply alot. You will know it is working when your sweat/milk has a maple syrup smell to it. (One of the herbs is an ingredient in maple syrup.)

Jen - posted on 07/19/2009

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I had the same problem with my son. I lost my milk completely by the time he was 5 months old. I tried Fenugreek, with and without the fennel, I drank more water, power pumped and tried to breast feed every two hours. Oh, and I tried the Mother's Milk tea. Nothing worked. If you find a good solution, post it please. I really do not want this to happen again.

Joanna - posted on 07/19/2009

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Hi, Try adding more fish in your diet. Also, Try taking Rice Milk instead. For me, these 2 definitely helps alot !!

Kacie - posted on 07/18/2009

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Pumping is not a good indication of you milk supply. Baby is much more efficient at getting the milk than pump is. I drank a TON of water a day, ate oatmeal in the morning, fenugreek tablets/pills work well also.





Early morning is when supply is at it's largest so pump extra long at that time and try a little more often then 4 hours just to boost supply. 2-3 hours should get it going. Try not to stress about it. Stress decreased supply also. Hold and look at a picture of your baby while pumping also helps. JUST REMEMBER SUPPLY AND DEMAND.





**If you are on your period that could also decrease your supply temporarily.

Teri - posted on 07/18/2009

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I also took the fenugreek. Other than smelling like maple syrup all the time it did help. Along with that I pumped in between feeding because that makes your body think the baby needs more milk. It did help a bit. In the end with my work schedule I wasn't able to continue nursing. I'm 8 months pregnant again and this time I'm hoping to go longer. :) Hope things are going better for you.

[deleted account]

The hormone in the mini pill is actually progesterone..which should increase yourmilk supply not lessen it/./ that's why docs give it to nursing mothers rather than a pill containing estrogen which willd iminish your supply..I've done fenugreek with no great response but together with Blessed Thistle it worked well..and I'm nursing twins and have been for nearly 4 months..no bottles hooray! if all else fails nurse on one side and pump the other at the same time..then switch..a few days of that and your milk should be up.

Kaycey - posted on 07/18/2009

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I took fenugreek and it worked great for me. I had to take a lot of it though. 4 pills 3 times a day. But it worked great in that dose. Also, I drank mother's milk tea from traditional medicinals.

Noelle - posted on 07/18/2009

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I tried the Fenugreek and an herbal tea called Mother's Milk. It did seeem to increase my supply, but not incredibly. Have you contacted a lactation consultant? They would be the best resource if you don't hear anyone else with suggestions. Sometimes it also helps to simply try to relax more and think of your child while pumping, which someone suggested to me and did seem to help. Try also increasing your water intake. The last suggestion someone gave me was to just try and have an all-day nursing session with your child (like on the weekend when you have time). Nursing really helps to increase flow more than even the best pump. Do you have a good pump? That could be the problem too if you don't have a pump with a good enough suction.

Katie - posted on 07/18/2009

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By the way, I found fenugreek to be somewhat helpful with my son, but by the time I started using it my supply wasn't saveable. :( You should really get in touch with La Leche League, they can help you figure out how to remedy the problem.

Katie - posted on 07/18/2009

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See if you can get a rx for Reglan from your doctor. It is known to help increase milk production. There is another rx medication that I've heard of being used for this purpose too. Are you only pumping every 4 hours? Increasing the frequency of pumping sessions will increase your supply. What pump are you using? In my opinion, the Pump In Style is the ONLY pump worth buying on the regular market, and if you are exclusively pumping you really should start renting a hospital grade pump, it will make a big difference. Let me know if any of this is helpful!! Good luck to you, and kudos for trying so hard to give your baby breastmilk. It is truly the best thing!

Sarah - posted on 07/18/2009

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Try Mother's Milk tea by Traditional Medicinals. I've seen it at grocery stores Whole Foods as well as Safeway. I found it to be very effective.

Oana - posted on 07/18/2009

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I'm now taking 12 capsules a day, that's nearly 8 grams, the max you should take. I'm also doing the power pumping.

Jamie - posted on 07/18/2009

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How much fenugreek have you tired? I know i took only 2 a day and had a great boost in supply. Maybe trying more would work.
Try power pumping. pump 10 mins stop 10. for an hour. see how that works.

Sianne - posted on 07/18/2009

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i had trouble with this, i did not have a huge milk supply no matter how much water i drank or how much rest i got or no mattaer what foods i was eating, or how often i was using the breast pump or feeding. eventually ihad to put my baby on a bottle because i feared i was starving him. and once i did he started puttin gon weight and finally sleeping properly. no-one had even mentioned to me that i could breast and bottle feed alternativly. so i didnt-and being a fist time stressed nervous mum this commonsense did not even occour to me until it was too late

Megan - posted on 07/17/2009

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Start pumping every 2 hours so your body will think it needs to produce more... and in hence it will. It may take a few days but your body will produce whatever you are demanding.

Colleen - posted on 07/17/2009

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My suggestion would be to pump for 5 minutes and then breastfeed your daughter until she gives up. If your breasts are not empty then pump again. This significantly helped my milk production and it is better for the baby because it is the fattier milk.

Shoshannah - posted on 07/17/2009

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Oh, yes! I know this too. You can always try straight warm goat's milk (so easy on the tummy, can be tolerated better than cow's milk), fortified with infant vitamin drops, some DHA and AHA powder (you can find this type of stuff at a natural food store), and once she gets to be about 6 to 8 months old, mix a LITTLE bit of cereal or pureed veggies or fruit into it (washed and raw or steamed, and then pureed). That would be a really good formula mix for her, since she has a sensitive tummy, like my girls. You can definitely mix carrots and sweet potatos/yams too, but not too many cause it can make her skin turn a little orange!! Looks pretty funny. :) My first born was on this formula. It's a bit more work, but it's better than the regular formula that makes her sick. And it's no more expensive. :)

Shoshannah - posted on 07/17/2009

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Hi! I had this same problem with my first baby. And to avoid that again with my second, this is what I did, and it WORKED! But you have to keep at it, and keep doing it once you see results. 1) Drink more water (you need to get at least 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water everyday, and maybe more cause you ARE nursing). 2) Take Borage Seed Oil capsules. 3) Stop pumping if you can. The pumping is your biggest enemy with this, because you aren't getting a natural letdown stimulation with pumping. Only her little suckle and mouth can do this amazing thing! If you can't nurse because she can't latch, try a nipple shield, which will allow some natural stimulation. Unfortunately, you can't get a total stimulation, but it helps some if she can't latch. You will have a better chance of nursing longer. But if you have to pump because you work, try nursing her as much as you can while you are with her, and pump when you are away from her, chilling your milk supply for the next day while you are working. If you have any questions on this, you can email me. shoshannahd@gmail.com. Hope this was helpful. I am so sorry if it wasn't!! Just nurse as long as you can, until you dry up. It will be worth it. Shalom!!

Julia - posted on 07/17/2009

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You need to increase your water supply. You can't produce if you are dehydrated. Try increasing your water intake and if it's possible offer the breast to your baby. The sucking stimulation will send signals to your breasts to increase their milk supply. If you can't offer the breast then increase how often you use the breast pump. It will work, taking vitamins or other medicines won't work nearly as well as stimulation and water. Make sure you are eating enough because you can get lightheaded if you're not eating enough while producing. (I have breastfed two children.)

Melissa - posted on 07/16/2009

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I did not know about the birth control but was never on it after my baby. I ordered some fennel oil from young living oils and would put 3 drops in an empry pill shell and I only needed to take it twice a day at the most. I would say it doubled my milk supply. It was a terrible mess and so I tried the fennel pills from the health food store that were just the herb and that did not do the job. The oil might be a mess and smells like licorice, but if you really need the help I would try it. You can also rub it on you but neither my husband or I can stand the smell. Hope this helps.

Nicola - posted on 07/16/2009

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There are some teabags you can buy in the supermarket which seem to help. think they are called Mother's Milk. organic and very nice tasting. not sure how much it helps but i will try anything.

User - posted on 07/16/2009

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I've tried lots, but one I have found is eating a couple of magnum ice-creams a day works for me....

MICHAELA - posted on 07/16/2009

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Malted milk powder works great for me. I haven't ever measured actual mLs pumped, but I can tell a huge difference when I take it. I used to put two heaping scoops in a glass of milk in the morning, but I think my little boy has a milk intolerance, so I just add the malt powder to my oatmeal in the morning. Oatmeal is another thing that is supposed to boost your milk production.

Lisa Marie - posted on 07/16/2009

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Oatmeal, Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle and when all else fails beer - I hated doing it but it helps because it helps you to relax, destress AND with increasing supply.. if you are not getting enough sleep you may be over stressed also... I would pump when I was feeding my baby in the begining this helped increase the supply.. I would let her eat on one side and prop the pump up on the other side.. it takes some practice but it really helps with let down & increasing supply - good luck!

[deleted account]

I also tried oatmeal, but it didn't really help. My midwife suggested I try drinking a guinness a day, or wine. The wine really helped a lot. If you don't have an aversion to alcohol I would suggest that. The Traditional Medicinal tea "Mother's Milk" also worked nicely.

Arrynne - posted on 07/16/2009

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I was pumping between feedings (power pumping) 10 minutes each breast, whether or not milk was coming out, it was still sending the signal that more milk needed to be produced. Before we got thrush I was breastfeeding solely and pumping 16-20oz a day.

Alison - posted on 07/16/2009

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Oana,
Accupuncture worked best for me. I tried blessed thistle, fenugreek, more milk plus, pumping until my boobs should have fallen off.

It is important to note, you may never pump as much as you make.

Lots of luck!

Julie - posted on 07/16/2009

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just looking at other's posts.
ihave a Ameda Lactaline Personal. it's electric, plug-in, and will run on batteries too. it does double or single and can control the cycles and the vacuum indepenantly of each other. i prefer it to the ones in the SCBU and post-natal wards.

(have you looked into weaning with freshly made carrot juice to supplement with, since your baby is 4.5mths. sorry i haven't myself, but know of others who have).

Julie - posted on 07/16/2009

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i've tried the fenugreek one - boiling up the seeds, seiving, cooling the liquid and then diluting with about 1/3 water, 1/3 fenugreek 'tea', 1/3 fruit juice.
result - an increase in volume. probably about20-30% up. but only when i drank at least a litre of this every day.

i've now found a fenugreek tinture - which i just add a few drops to a small glass of water. this seems to work the same, without needs to cook up the seeds and consume large volumes of the 'tea'.

the other tinture i take is fennel. this is said to be good for the let-down reflex. it seems to work. again, add drops to glass of water.

i tried fenugreek seed tablets - didn't seem to do it for me. but maybe i didn't take enough of them or regularly enough...

then there's the basics - drinking at least 2 litres of water daily. and looking after myself, especially emotionally. keeping a positive outlook.

have you tried pumping more frequently? (i'm just thinking demand and supply) - remember it takes 48hrs for the supply to respond to the increased demand.

hth, good luck, and if you find any other gems that work, pls post. i'd like to know too!!

Ashli - posted on 07/15/2009

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The Dr. put me on Reglan too...and it worked big time....my only complaint was that i was a little extra tired while on it...but my baby thanked me for all the milk!

Katrina - posted on 07/15/2009

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The Mothers Milk tea that has fenugreek seed in it really helped me, I never pumped so I'm not sure by how much but I drank it a couple times a day and could feel my milk supply increase and was able to keep up with her growth spurts..



The capsuls didn't seem to do anything.



Oatmeal can make your milk heavier and more nutritive.

Jill - posted on 07/15/2009

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I had to increase my supply when my son was a month old. I did it by pumping for 10-15 minutes after feedings. Get a good double electric pump. I have a medela. It is worth the money. The manual Harmony is also good for the occasional use. Drink a glass of water at each feeding. And probably the most important, don't stress over it.

Tracy - posted on 07/15/2009

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I used Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle together. Also, I simply let her use me as a soother, which stimulated milk supply. I'm not sure which one worked better, but she's gaining weight at the normal rate, so my supply did increase. I don't pump anymore so I can't tell you how much it did come up. Good luck. I know how challenging it can be.

Chantal - posted on 07/15/2009

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I knw this sucks but I had a dozzy baby too. I had to make him uncomfortable enough to stay awake (stripped him dwn to his diaper) so he nursed longer which also helped him sleep longer. In turn I produced more milk. It might help along with what your currently doing. Stay strong and good luck!

Blanca - posted on 07/15/2009

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I know this will sound VERY strange but what helped me was to drink a beer or two in the mornings plus ALOT of water. What helps is the barley in the beer... It's and old Mexican remedy. I checked with my pediatrician and she said if it works, then there really is no harm. When you're producing milk, whatever is in your bloodstream, only 2% of that alcohol is transferred to your milk. Hope it helps!

Oana - posted on 07/15/2009

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Quoting Crystal:

I have three babies and breast fed all of them. With my little girl (she is now one) I had problems producing enough to satisfy her. Pump more often and drink a lot of water. This will help a lot but, It will take time. Supplement in between feeding if you have to but, eventually you will produce enough that you will not have to.



Unfortunately I can't supplement as she doesn't tolerate formula and throws up for a day and gets upset stomach from it :(

Crystal Aka Niki - posted on 07/15/2009

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I have three babies and breast fed all of them. With my little girl (she is now one) I had problems producing enough to satisfy her. Pump more often and drink a lot of water. This will help a lot but, It will take time. Supplement in between feeding if you have to but, eventually you will produce enough that you will not have to.

Keela - posted on 07/15/2009

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I am on the mini pill and noticed a decrease. I was put on Reglan (prescription) and eat oatmeal just about every day. I have so much milk,i quit taking the reglan andmy supply is still here.

Laura - posted on 07/15/2009

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Someone told me about a tea. I think it's called mother's milk tea or something like that. And of course more pumping.

Lauren - posted on 07/15/2009

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the fenugreek helped a little bit for me but my milk never went back up and i was sad for a very long time about it. but then my son self weaned at 7 months! probably because i didnt have much milk..oh yeah in the organic section of stop and shop they have something called mothers milk..its a tea with fenugreek and other herbs in it. it helps a little more than the feugreek and you just have 3 cups a day of it. it really does help. drink lots of water too and make sure you try not to stress out cuz that can make a difference too. milk is also supply and demand so nurse your baby for as long as possible or pump for atleast 10-15 minutes...

Oana - posted on 07/15/2009

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Quoting Kristin:

Have you tried pumping more often? That will stimulate the body to produce more because theirs more of a demand. I have tried it, it was about a 10% increase for me but that's all i needed. I'm sure if you did it more than i did it would make you produce more. Just get on that pump when she's napping and late at night with a good book!



I'm pumping every 2-4 hours and it takes me about 30-40 min to do it, plus washing up and sterilising, it feels like this is all I do.



 



And to top it all up, my baby doesn't really sleep much, so add that to the stress.

Oana - posted on 07/15/2009

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Quoting Janice:

keep drinking the lactation tea...about 4 cups a day and make sure you stay very hydrated! at least 64 ounces of water a day, more if you drink caffinated beverages. Eat well, lots of dark leafy greens and try to get enough sleep. If you can pump more that will help too. What kind of pump are you using? If you can get your hands on a hospital grade pump those are the best, They can be rented from medical supply stores and insurance will usuall cover the rental for 10-12 months! Good luck! I battled with my production as wel especially once i went back to work because i could only pump at lunch time.. My daughter is almost a year, im still nursing and planning on gogin to just morning and night nursing at the year mark, my production is very depleated at this point.


I will buy the lactation tea when I get out of the house today.  I've just increased also the number of Fenugreek capsules from 9 to 12 per day and given up on the pill. Since I pump exclusively my supply shouldn't be affected by the introduction of "solids", plus most of them are being mixed with the breast milk.



I bought a Medela Swing, there's no insurance to cover for a rental and that would be very expensive. I will see how I can fit in a pumping session at work as well.

Kristin - posted on 07/15/2009

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Have you tried pumping more often? That will stimulate the body to produce more because theirs more of a demand. I have tried it, it was about a 10% increase for me but that's all i needed. I'm sure if you did it more than i did it would make you produce more. Just get on that pump when she's napping and late at night with a good book!

Janice - posted on 07/15/2009

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keep drinking the lactation tea...about 4 cups a day and make sure you stay very hydrated! at least 64 ounces of water a day, more if you drink caffinated beverages. Eat well, lots of dark leafy greens and try to get enough sleep. If you can pump more that will help too. What kind of pump are you using? If you can get your hands on a hospital grade pump those are the best, They can be rented from medical supply stores and insurance will usuall cover the rental for 10-12 months! Good luck! I battled with my production as wel especially once i went back to work because i could only pump at lunch time.. My daughter is almost a year, im still nursing and planning on gogin to just morning and night nursing at the year mark, my production is very depleated at this point.

Heather - posted on 07/14/2009

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I all but lost my milk supply at 8 weeks with my first baby (I started the birth control pill)...I went from nursing my son plus pumping and freezing 6-8 oz (180-240 mls) each morning to not having enough milk for my baby...I started drinking a wonderful tea...it is made by lunar eclipse and it is called nursing tea...it is for milk supply and for colicky babies...my milk came back and I nursed my son for 9 months...I have recomended this tea to others and they have had success both in increasing their supply and their babies were less fussy

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