Any advice on increasing milk supply

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by Soph&Bump, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. Soph&Bump

    Soph&Bump Well-Known Member

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    Hi

    Because of some feeding problems earlier on and because my nipples are too sore if I BF all day/night, I'm now doing a combination of BF, expressing and formula. This works for me on a few levels, including the fact me and my OH can share nights now, as we give a formula late at night, when I express. During the night hours LO then usually has a bottle of EBM and a bottle of formula. I find the morning feed painful, so express and give it in a bottle.

    So, it's working in that every other night I get a full night's sleep but I think my milk supply is dropping in the day and LO isn't getting enough sometimes (though I know how much she's getting when she has EBM or F). I thought the supply in the night would drop but my HV warned me that not feeding/expressing through the night, could cause problems in the day.

    I'm now worried and want to increase my milk supply and thought there must be some experienced ladies out there who know how to go about doing this.

    Thanks in advance...
     
  2. AP

    AP Well-Known Member
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    Not expressing at night will be one of the causes, I know i was exclusively expressing, a few nights missed and i was screwed.

    Taking Fenugreek and fennel tea(from health foodshops) is said to help, as well as Brewers Yeast. The hospital tried to get me to take that but it is VERY vile tasting, I ended up putting it in a shot of orange juice!

    In the end i was prescribed some tablets but this was because my LO was in hospital and premature, so BM was very vital.
     
  3. LilianA

    LilianA Well-Known Member

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    Fenugreek pills from a health store will help. and it you get it it will say to take two tablets a day but you should actually take alot more than that to get a good milk supply going i took 2 tablets three times a day (thats what they said to take online) and it did help alot. good luck
     
  4. Soph&Bump

    Soph&Bump Well-Known Member

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    Ooooh, thank you. I'm going to get to Holland & Barrett tomorrow and get some.
     
  5. sun

    sun Mum of 3

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  6. westbrja

    westbrja Well-Known Member

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    When I took Fenugreek I think I was up to 16 tabs a day. They reccommend you increase the dose until you and/or baby smell like maple syrup. However sometimes it can make baby gassy so just keep an eye on it. Good Luck!
     
  7. Punky79

    Punky79 Well-Known Member

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    I tried Fenugreek (I thought my supply was low but it wasn't!) and it definitely worked. You need to take quite a bit - 3 tablets 3 times a day I think and like westbrja says you need to smell of maple syrup (it made my LO's poo smell of popcorn!)
     
  8. Elysian1c0

    Elysian1c0 Well-Known Member

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    Pumping as often as possible helps, but I find that when you need a fast supply boost, feed normal through the day, and at night pump on one side all night and nurse on the other. Then, next day, feed normal, and that night, alternate. Pump other side, feed on the opposite. You pretty much double your supply that way. And then, you just go back to feeding normally when you're where you wanna be.

    I had to do this after Adi's growth spurt so that i could produce enough to express and store. From that point on I've had more milk than I know what to do with.
     
  9. Marleysgirl

    Marleysgirl Mum to a SCBU Warrior!

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    Wow - 16 a day! And there was me worrying about taking more than 9 a day - I've never had that maple syrup smell! Mind you, I've run out now - they're not cheap, are they!
     
  10. pennysbored

    pennysbored Well-Known Member

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    Every type is different, the brand I used I was supposed to take 6 a day (in sets of 2) so just follow the directions. I used it at those doses and it worked just fine.
    Some women say oatmeal works, and a dark beer supposedly helps (I found it did). Just drink one after a feed and it should really help.
    And most importantly, make sure you are hydrated.
     
  11. Soph&Bump

    Soph&Bump Well-Known Member

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    Why do you think you need to pump on one side and feed on the other during the night. Would it just be at the times when I would feed anyway. I haven't been BF in the night as I find I have problems with latch on then. Prob because I'm tired and trying to do it with low lighting. That's why I decided to switch to bottles at night. But I guess if I want to increase my supply, I need to pay the price. Actually, could I just express on both sides through the night and stick with the bottles??
     
  12. Soph&Bump

    Soph&Bump Well-Known Member

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    That's a good point. I know I'm not drinking enough. Or eating enough. I just don't feel hungry and only feel thirsty when I start feeding or expressing.
     
  13. Punky79

    Punky79 Well-Known Member

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    It's so important to keep yourself eating and drinking well. I find if I don't drink enough water my supply is definitely affected. I keep a litre bottle of water with me all the time and just keep drinking. Also have things like fruit cake to hand which are nutritious but easy!
     
  14. Elysian1c0

    Elysian1c0 Well-Known Member

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    Just for TWO nights, this tricks your breasts into thinking your baby is eating double often, and your milk supply doubles accordingly. Then you can go back to normal breastfeeding after 2 nights.
     
  15. Elysian1c0

    Elysian1c0 Well-Known Member

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    When its time for your baby to eat, put the baby on The Right side. when done, pump the left. Next time baby wants to eat, put the baby BACK on the right side. Pump the left. Do this all night.
    alternate breasts as you feed throughout the day. You'll find your right breast is making A LOT more milk. The next night, put baby on the LEFT breast. Continue to Pump the right. Next feed, back on left breast. Pump right.

    Next day feed normally.
    You should see a boost in your supply on BOTH sides by then.
     
  16. avabear73

    avabear73 Mum to Finlay

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    I started this last night - although because Finlay is a bit older he only wakes up the once - will post tomorrow and let you know if it's worked :)
     
  17. Punky79

    Punky79 Well-Known Member

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    How long do you pump for Elysian?
     
  18. MrsSixx

    MrsSixx Yummy Mummy

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    This book has a load of herbs listed and their recommended dosage: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Breastfeeding-Mothers-Guide-Making-More/dp/007159857X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262108012&sr=8-1. It also suggests making sure you pump frequently during the day to boost supply and definitely don't miss pumping sessions during the night when hormone levels are highest. I am trying to exclusively express and currently pump on average 8 times a day (sometimes more if supply seems low), including once as I put LO to bed around 11/12pm and again when she wakes up at some point between 2 & 5am (hubby gives bottles of EBM at these times). If I miss a night pumping session I really notice the difference!

    Am currently producing enough to sustain 7 x 4oz EBM feeds and am hoping to increase this so I can build up a stash and 'calibrate' my supply at the higher end.

    Have bought some Fennugreek today and i've been eating porridge for breakfast and generally buying lots of products with oats in as these supposedly help! Also taking Seven Seas Vit B Complex with Brewers Yeast.

    Oh, and this baby has made all the difference: https://www.medelasuction.com/UK/breastfeeding/products/symphony.php

    Regarding fluids, just drink to thirst/so you stay hydrated, going OTT on the fluids can have negative effects on supply.

    Hope you get it sorted, let me know if you find anything else that works for you! :thumbup::flower:
     
  19. Soph&Bump

    Soph&Bump Well-Known Member

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    Great advice. Thank you. About expressing. Do you stop when the milk stops dripping. Do you do both sides and how much do you get from each side. Sometimes I only get 1.5oz on my left and I get a bit disappointed and don't know whether to leave the pump on when nothing is coming out anymore.

    Also, I read somewhere (can't remember where now) that if you feed or pump too often, it creates a supply that would be based on a snacking baby. Is this true?

    Thanks
     
  20. MrsSixx

    MrsSixx Yummy Mummy

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    Have not found anything about the snacking baby supply you mention. However, power pumping (short pumping sessions many times a day) is something a lot of women do to boost their supply so I wouldn't worry too much. Your boobs will replace whatever you take and the best practice is to drain the boobs as thoroughly as you can whenever you pump and whenever you feed (by pumping immediately after the feed if you need to). Apparently, the more empty the boob is, the fattier the replacement milk.

    I pump on average for 20 mins - both boobs at the same time - every 2-3 hours during the day. During the 20 mins I usually have two let downs (milk lets down at the same time for both boobs). So when you think the flow has stopped after 10/15 mins or whatever, it's best to keep going. I find relaxing my shoulders and imagining the smell of Beth helps to trigger a second let down. The second let down is much smaller and has usually stopped by 20 minutes or so. If the milk was still coming I would continue pumping until it stopped.

    I can not get a let down at all if I am being rushed or feel stressed in anyway or start thinking about someone or something I dislike.

    I use compression to squeeze every last drop out. As you are coming to the end of the flow squeeze parts of the boob to really empty the ducts. I have big boobs so need both hands do this which isn't easy with a dual pump! I think I need to engineer a bra to keep the shields in place so I can go hands free! It can be a little uncomfortable (hopefully I am not doing myself any damage) but it has increased the amount I get from each session.

    I have one super boob and one shit one! Together I usually average around 4ozs per session but sometimes more, sometimes less. I have been taking Fenugreek for just over a day now so am hoping that will kick in soon.

    :)
     

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