View Full Version : how can I increase my milk supply?
03-13-2008, 03:12 PM
I recently had twins (26 days ago). They were born four months early so they are in the NICU and able to actually nurse. It will be at least another month before they are able to nurse. I am pumping because they are both being fed breastmilk through their feeding tubes. The problem is that I am only getting about 1 oz each time I pump, which I do 8-10 times a day. I have a hospital grade pump and everything on it is working correctly. I have been taking all the vitamins that the doctor gave me and am taking fenugreek. I have tried the mother's milk teas. I drink and eat enough. And no there is no way that I can reduce my stress level at this time. Does anyone have any other suggestions???
03-14-2008, 12:32 AM
Congratulations on your twins! I happened to read another post of yours about using fertility drugs...this may be a stupid question but would it have anything to do with the fertility methods you used? I am sure stress probably has alot to do with it also. Best wishes to you and your newborns)
03-14-2008, 10:46 AM
Thanks for the idea, but no it has nothing to do with all the fertility drugs that I took. I stopped taking them a while ago and I don't remember any of them having that side effect. I just don't know whatelse to try.
03-17-2008, 12:29 AM
i have a two year old and a 7 month old girl. I'm still breastfeeding my daughter, although only on my left breast because she gradually refused my right one. Anyway, in addition to eating and drinking extra, you need to sleep (on your back). If you sleep for an hour or two during the day, your body is well rested, and i think your supply will increase, worked for me.
I was very stressed with my first born so I didn't have much milk, i had to supplement twice a day for seven months.
Don't stress yourself too much, breastfeed if you can, otherwise if possible just supplement or gradually give formula. It'll be easier on you too, so others can help you with the feeding. Good luck.
03-17-2008, 01:38 AM
I don't know if this will be much help but I know that oatmeal is suppose to work, getting enough sleep (so yes try those naps) and water & protein is what produces breast milk so eat & drink a lot of that. Oh and also, I don't know if you already do but when you pump, don't stop when no more milk comes out. Try pumping for like 5 minutes after so you tell you body to produce more than what it is already otherwise it's just going to produce the same amount thinking thats all that is needed. Also, I don't know how often your babies eat but I would breast feed mine like 8-10 times a day. Since you have 2 babies AND they aren't actively feeding off of you, you may need to pump more than 8-10 times a day. Your body may be thinking it is only feeding one baby. Hope some of this helps. Good luck!
03-19-2008, 12:39 AM
When I had trouble keeping up supply a lactation onsultant suggested oatmeal. I ate it twice a day, and I know my production went up signifigantly. It has also helped several friends. I just used the instant packages, as they were quick and easy. Good luck, and congrats on your twins!
03-20-2008, 03:41 AM
When my daughter was in the NICU, one of the nurses recommended pumping at least once between midnight and 4am to ensure a good supply the next day, something I read somewhere else as well. Sounds crazy, but it worked.
I have an almost 4 month old son. Luckily I have been able to breastfeed him since birth. With my daughter, who is now 5, I had a low milk supply. I have noticed that the more water I drink the more milk I have. I can actually feel my breasts filling during the day. However I don't have anywhere near as much as I had the first couple of days after his birth.
In addition, I have noticed that once I remove my bra in the evenings, my breasts tend to fill up. I'm not quite sure why but they do. Once you are actually able to feed your babies directly, your body will get used to producing more milk. The pumping suction and the natural suction are not the same.
Before reading the responses from your inquiry, I had never heard of eating oatmeal to increase production. I'm not a fan of oatmeal, at all, but I am willing to try it to produce more milk.
I wish you well with your two new children.
03-21-2008, 08:51 PM
i'm having trouble of breastfeeding my baby girl she's 10 weeks old...i do pumping my breast because she doesn't want my breast.... i do evrything i could to suck my breast but still she doesn't want it... so i decide to pump but suddenly it stop when she's 6 to 7 weeks old.... i tried evrything i could to increase my milk but it ain't working. is there a possibility that i would regain my milk supply and try again to breastfeed her? thank you
03-22-2008, 10:57 AM
Perhaps you already received this advice, as I did not read all responses since many of them annoy me. With a newborn and a 2 year-old my chances of lying in bed to nurse for 3 days straight is slim to none. How can you reduce stress when your breasts aren;t working? My milk began to diminish after a pretty severe bout of mastitis. I pumped regularly, called consultants, ordered the hospital grade pump, tried everything within reason and researched like crazy. I read about a medication called domperidone (motilium) which is not FDA approved for use in the US, but is everywhere else in the world. I ordered it from Canada and hoped for the best. In the meantime after many tears and much angst I started supplementing my 3 month old with formula. I kept pumping and nursing but was only producing about 4 oz. total per day. Finally, after 14 days the Domperidone appeared in my mailbox. I began taking the medication on a Friday, 10mg 3 x per day, within two days there was milk running down my babies chin once again. We went from supplementing up to 20 ounces a day, to no supplementing at all. I plan to take the meds for a month and then stop, hoping my milk will have regulated by then. Of course I would never presume to recommend medications, as I am not a physician, though my lactation consultant indicated hundreds of women in her clinic have successfully used it. All I know is it worked for me. Best of luck to you and your twins.
03-25-2008, 09:34 PM
First of all, don't be too disheartened by the amount you pump out as it's not a good indicator of just how much milk you're actually producing. No breast pump, hospital-grade or what, could ever compare to Baby (or in your case, Babies...congrats, btw). I was in a very similar situation as yourself and there were a couple of things that worked for me. One was changing my breast shield to a larger size (Medela makes different sized breast shields). The standard size was too small and getting a different size made a big difference. I went from pumping out an ounce to pumping out 4 ozs! Like you, I drank nursing teas and took fenugreek. I didn't see that much of a difference with the teas but when I coupled the fenugreek with blessed thistle pills, that helped. The thing that allowed my baby to have an all-day buffet was the domperidone (I believe someone had mentioned that in reply to your post). I felt a difference in 24 hours...it's like a miracle pill! Ask your doc about it though...sometimes all it takes is a latch correction. Someone suggested drinking a pint of Guinness Stout once or twice a week. I did drink it once but I'm not a beer drinker and I was too paranoid about drinking alcohol and breastfeeding but I don't know if it was psychological or what but my boobs felt fuller. My friend said it had something to do with the yeast...? If you're near an Asian supermarket, my cousin swears by eating "malunggay" leaves (I think it's horseradish leaves...they taste like baby spinach in my opinion). But out of everything I've tried, the domperidone really was the best for me. Best of luck to you!
03-26-2008, 12:07 AM
I had a depletion of milk supply also and a lactation consultant told me to drink alfalfa juice and also to try warm water compresses and both worked extremely well. Wet a small washrag with hot (not too hot) water and place it on your breast for about 2 mins (the heat makes the ducts expand causing more milk to let down) then while pumping gently rub around breast until done and repeat on other side. Remeber to drink lots of water and try drinking the alfalfa juice (you can find at wholefood or jambajuice)
03-27-2008, 07:32 PM
My daughter was born at 31 weeks and I had to pump because she was in the NICU for 6 weeks. But once she got home she was taking more breastmilk, i asked my ob-gyn for something to help produce more milk and he prescribed me metoclopramide, which worked i noticed the difference the next day. There were no side effects for me or the baby. I tried fenugreek but it didnt work for me. Talk to your doctor re: this medication. Good Luck
04-11-2008, 07:15 PM
I had nursed both my childern but not two at the same time I did have a bit of issue with the demand of milk. I have heard beer the hops can help bring in milk but its not like you want to be doing that on a regular baises. What helped me (as much as it stinks) it to get up every couple of hours at night and pump. That is when you supply is at its peak. Also keep yourself well hydrated constantly eat healthy snacks. I stockpiled milk in the freezer in case I had issus again. Another help was a herbal supplement called More Milk Plus found at www.motherlove.com.
First things first - Congratulations! Irrespective of how many you have or how many times you've gone through the pleasure of carrying a little life within you - a mom is a mom and it is worth celebrating.
I can totally understand the stress under which you are and despite the mood swings, stress, sleep deprivation and an array of other problems - you have to pull yourself up together to greet (and also smile gracefully at) all those well-meaning folks who either call-in or drop-by to offer mental support and help (when all you want now is some relaxation and of course your babies). But don't worry it won't be long before you want your little ones sleeping in their cribs so that you can catch some shut-eye yourself. The good thing is that besides all this - you are trying and doing your best to breast feed them. That is really wonderful and will help them a lot.
Now to address your problem - here are a few tips that worked for me. First, I didn't even make 1 oz (you should feel good about this). I would pump with the big monstrous hospital grade pump for 30 mins (10-15 mins more than what the doctor asked me to do ... I was not out of my mind ... I was just in desperation to somehow see something more than few drops oozing out ... yes few drops was all I got and that too mixed with blood ... but it improved). What I suggest is to create a schedule and stick to it as much as you can, eat well and sleep well (difficult but few hours would help - rest increases milk supply and happy mom = happy babies). And more than 30 mins of pumping like what I did, I would recommend frequent pumping. The latter is way better in increasing supply than the former which I found out later.
About the schedule - you have to feed newborns once every 2 hours initially to 3 hours and improve afterwards. So stick to your pumping schedule in accordance to this time. Have a table to tabulate when you pump. Don't obsess over how much you are pumping (newborns don't drink a lot but they drink frequently and that is all your body will produce). I used to set an alarm to wake me in 2-3 hours. But if you find it stressful to be woken up I would not bother. Pump after u get some sleep. You would be engorged and pumping will relieve u anyways.
Try to get a pic or two of yr kids and keep it before u when u pump. That really helps. If you can get to convince the docs, ask them to let u spend few seconds/mins if not hours w/ yr kids (yes - in the NICU - just sitting next to them wud do even if u r not allowed to touch them along w/ those myriad of tubes they are connected to ... but if you think it would upset you further to see them in a room that's more like the room in which the ENIAC was - then please refrain from it). Feel calm because before long they will be crying (one followed by the other and your worry will shift from will I make enough milk to will there ever be 48 hours in a day).
You are already doing your part w/ vitamins and stuff. Fenugreek helps and so does garlic (I mixed fresh ground garlic with every thing that went down my food pipe).
You can also ask a lactation consultant for hormone boosters that artificially increase milk production (they are usually not supportive of this unless and until you really need it and I think they are expensive - I read this online and when I asked my consultants, they refused). But I never gave up hope and gradually after several weeks of my hourly rituals, the milk supply started to show improvement.
Once your babies are a little better and when you do get to nurse them directly your milk supply would increase vastly. Till then, just keep the good work going.
Best wishes and congratulations once again!
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