What is the best way to produce a good supply of milk?

Megan - posted on 10/10/2012 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I am pregnant with my 4th child, due in May. I really want to breastfeed this baby, as I did with my other 3, but I had some serious complications with breastfeeding my other kids. With my oldest (who is 7), my milk dried up out of nowhere after about 6 weeks of solely nursing him, with my second son (who is 4) the exact same thing happened except it was after about 8 weeks, with my daughter (who is 3) I solely nursed her until 3 months old, had a good supply, but she didn't gain an ounce of weight. I took her to the Doctor's who ran some tests on a sample of my breast milk and was told that I needed to immediately stop nursing and put her on formula because my milk contained NO nutrients. It was the equivalent of a milky colored water. It was devastating. I love nursing, and really want to nurse as long as possible with the new baby! Are there any tips that you can offer to help produce a good, abundant, healthy milk supply?

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Mary - posted on 10/11/2012

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I have been told that Marshmallo Root (which you can buy in capsule form at health food stores) increases the fat content of your milk.



I would also suggest you make sure you get enough to eat, and that it is good, healthy food with lots of vitamins and healthy fats/oils.



Did your third baby have any symptoms that didn't seem normal?



I would recommend finding a new doctor who is VERY supportive of breastfeeding before the new baby is born. A recommendation to stop breastfeeding immediately without trying to just correct whatever problem is going on is not something I think a supportive doctor would do.



Is there any chance you had oversupply? Foremilk looks like milky-colored water, and if you had oversupply there would have been a lot more "foremilk", which is lower-fat content. I don't know if it is low nutrient content or not, but that might be something to look into.



Get in contact with your local La Leche League group if there is one, and start going to their meetings. They can be great places to get advice from moms with a lot of experience breastfeeding, and the leaders have a lot of information available to them.

Celeste - posted on 10/10/2012

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The best way to produce a good supply of milk is to nurse on demand. No schedules, no timing. The more you nurse, the more you will make.



I would highly suggest educating yourself. Learn how to tell if baby is getting enough. Never judge supply on baby's behavior, pump output, or how your breasts feel. You want to watch diaper count. Kellymom.com is a great resource. Any book by LLL or Dr Sears is great. Another great book is "So That's What They're For" by Janet Tamaro.



What test did they do that determined that your milk contained no nutrients? It's very rare for breast milk to contain no nutrients. Breastmilk usually does look a little watery but it still contains nutrients.

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Abigail - posted on 08/03/2016

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Healthy nursing tea is the best ho,e remedy to boost breast milk production.

Megan - posted on 10/14/2012

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Thank you! You ladies have been very helpful!!! I'm going to read those books, and hopefully this time breastfeeding with be a total success!

Celeste - posted on 10/13/2012

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I'm glad you have a great doctor. I still would highly suggest that you see an IBCLC and it's very rare that milk wouldn't have any nutrients. Breast milk usually is watery looking (it's 88% water) and it can look different from day to day.. I would honestly be curious what test they ran and then research this test. Maybe you can figure out what the problem was..



You made the best decision at the time, and I'm glad you're willing to try again!

Megan - posted on 10/13/2012

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I guess I should have included that I have a phenomenal doctor, that I've been with for 15 years, and is also my kids' doctor. She IS very supportive of breastfeeding, but at that point she was more worried about Grace's health and brain development. She worked with my with both my boys when my milk supply was drying up, when what she had recommended me to do wasn't working she referred me to a lactation consultant.



When I say "milky colored water" what I meant was that essentially what I was feeding her by nursing was water, except it wasn't clear like water, it was "milky" or "cloudy" if you will. I never asked what test they did, they just came back and told me that I had to immediately stop nursing her. They also saw her once a week for the next 3 months because they were worried about her brain development from the lack of nutrients from my milk. I was so upset about it that I never really asked any questions.

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