Increasing Breastmilk supply?

  1. I've been breastfeeding exclusively for a couple of months now, and I'm wondering how you would go about increasing your milk supply? I've heard fenugreek and oatmeal helps. Anyone ever try these tricks? How did it go?

    Also, when he was first born and had to stay in the NICU for a couple of weeks, I'd pump bottles and bottles of milk for him each day, and the nurses commented on what a great supply I had. Now, when I try to pump milk for him I get probably an ounce - total. So, I'm wondering why is it so difficult for me to pump?

    Any advice is welcome! Thanks! :tup:
  2. Go to the health food store and buy some Mother's Milk Tea. The brand I use is by Traditional Medicinals. Most health food stores carry it and it will help you produce lots of good healthy milk. I noticed a difference within 2 days. Drink 3 cups a day for a few days and you will definitely see and feel a difference. I just gave my cousin a few boxes as part of her baby shower gift.

    Hope that helps!

    ETA: What type of pump are you using? Is it a hospital grade pump?
  3. yes, try the herbal tea supplements, but it could be that your let down is more tied to the baby now than it was previously.

    Are you working or a stay at home mom? if you are working, when you are home with baby, try to pump on the opposite side the baby is nursing. Don't worry, you aren't stealing from the baby! When the baby gets the milk down, pump from the other side for a natural let down "catch". Then, you can see how much you are producing.

    Also, if it does seem like your milk supply is dwindling, encourage baby to nurse more frequently and longer - no pacifiers.

    Lastly, if it seems your milk supply is fine (baby seems satisfied, pumping while breastfeeding results in a good amount, then see how you can change HOW you pump... the machine, the settings, where you sit, what you think about, how long you do it etc.

    I know for me (in my VERY limited pumping experience) it took MUCH longer with a machine to get the milk to let down than it did for baby to get it to come down, it's just not the same!

    Good luck!
  4. Yes, I've been using the Medela Symphony which use to work very well! But now its the opposite.

    Oh, I've heard of that brand "Traditional Medicinals", I've tried the cran-aid one for those nasty UTIs. I'll definitely have to try Mother's Milk Tea!!! Thanks for the info!!! :yes:

  5. That is a great idea!! To have the baby help with the let down reflex, and to pump the other side! I'll give that a try. Thank you!
  6. I can't find the website link, but there are online recipes for Chinese food recipes to increase breastmilk supply. They sound weird, but don't taste all that bad (but then again, that's coming from a Chinese person LOL).

    One is the fish/papaya soup...
    Boil chicken broth in water (like a 1:4 ratio)
    Separately, pan fry a fillet of whitefish (tilapia, cod, halibut, snapper) in garlic and olive oil.
    Add the fish to the broth.
    Add one chopped papaya (yes, the fruit with red flesh and black seeds) into the broth.
    Add 1 handful of raw peanuts (raw is a must, can buy at a Chinese market) to the broth.
    Add 2-3 slices of ginger (as much as you can handle) into the soup.
    Boil, then simmer for a couple of hours.

    Before you call me crazy (and feel free to), I made this A LOT during my first couple of months. By the time I went back to work, I was pumping 5-10oz from each breast at a time. When I was at home at night, pumping on the opposite breast of DS feeding was a REQUIREMENT, since he always got a full meal from just one breast. My average pump was about 16 oz (total) with a record max of 22 oz. And I was a bra size 34A prepregnancy LOL. So you can imagine my freezer...:wtf:

    Good luck. PM me if you want more recipes.
  7. JC Jen--Thanks for starting this thread. I went back to work today and started pumping. First one was only 4 ounces and 2 hours later 2 ounces. Very worried about my milk supply!

    bonniec--Whoah, that's a lot of milk!!!!! My MIL is Chinese and my mom is Filipino so they're pretty high on soups and things to give me milk. I had some green papaya chicken soup last night. I guess I need more of it!
  8. hmmm.... I just finished the reproductive unit, and my prof said "it's a myth that mother's milk supply will decrease! everything's based on supply and demand, therefore the MORE the baby sucks-->more oxytocin and prolactin-->more milk ejection and production" It's called the Milk Ejection Reflex which is sensory-neuro-hormonal all at the same time. THis reflex can be classically conditionned however.
    I think it's good to start with increasing skin-to-skin contact between your breast and the baby's mouth+hands which allow for a "good latch" to stimulate the reflex again...
  9. I have "heard" that the key ingredients are chicken and papaya, dunno why. Maybe it's supposed to be the green papayas... oops. Well, the red one worked anyway. I'll have to find the link to this website with a bunch of Chinese recipes... I tried two of them, the rest were way to funky (like boiled eggs in black vinegar :throwup:).

    Cecilia, while what you say is partially true, I know MANY moms who's kids fed on both breasts, were good eaters, who didn't make nearly as much milk as I did. There are many factors involved, not just the sucking mechanism... It's not as simple (NOR as easy) as just a kid wanting to eat and being able to suck. If we knew how to make it work for everyone, then we would. I'm an OB-Gyn doc and didn't appreciate how hard it was until I did it myself LOL.

    Oh, and jen, I would recommend NOT losing weight too quickly. A good percentage of breastmilk is fat. The weight will drop off with breastfeeding. A lot of people/patients I know made less milk when they did the celebrity thing and dropped like 25lb in 6 wks.
  10. it's just from my experience.......

    white rice (japanese kind) and drinking lots of water helped me alot when my daughter was still a tiny baby.... i was like fountains!!!!

    now i could only wish to stop breast feeding my big baby who's already 2yrs old......<sigh>
  11. wow you know my name!!!? LOL!! that's amazing!

    ya, I don't know a thing about pregnancy when it comes to things in real life, just the bare theoretical stuff :p
    Oh ya, Chie--> my prof also said every month of breast feeding decreases the mother's chance of getting breast cancer by 2%.... I dunno how reliable that is, but she was like "it's a proven fact", well at least it's a POSITIVE outcome lol!!! (so then it gets me thinking that if you breast feed the child for a lil more than 4 years, doesn't that mean you have 100% protection against breast cancer?1???!! lol)
  12. That is one thing I'm always curious about - how much milk was I producing? I bet it was HUGE amounts. First, my son was born at 11 pounds and 14 ounces and 22 inches long and while he was chubby, the neonatalogist said even without the GD (and I was SOOOOOOO good and was able to control sugars with diet alone) he would have been about 10.5 lbs or more (my first was 10 lbs ozs, 22 inches with no GD and I was tested three times). Second, they STAYED big. They were heavy, HUGELY built and long. My youngest didn't eat ANYTHING other than breastmilk until he was 11 months old and then not really more than a taste of things until he was 13 months old. He was 26 lbs 12 ozs at 12 months and something like 32 inches tall. He nursed like every 1.5 hours to 2 hours around the clock from one side only at a time (never wanted to take the other side whereas my older child always took both sides and was not quite as huge as #2).

    However, I only pumped a handful of times since I was a stay at home mom - only for when I was getting my gall bladder out when the baby was 11 weeks old... it's AMAZING what the body can do!
  13. You know, I've been dropping weight like crazy with this pregnancy w/out trying and haven't been as hydrated as I should, not enough sleep....I wonder if that has anything to do with my low supply? Believe me, baby is constantly sucking.
  14. :wtf:Wow:nuts:!!!

  15. The absolute best thing you can do to increase your breastmilk supply is to nurse! Let the baby nurse on demand. Most people are not aware but breastmilk is metabolized much faster then formula. Sometimes a baby fed at noon can be hungry again at 1pm. Breastmilk can be metabolized within 45 minutes in somecases. Feeding on demand is really how breastfeeding works. Formula feeding is totally different and alot of moms think they need to keep babies on a schedule. If you hold your baby and they "root" to nurse then they want to eat. Babies will NOT overfeed. So nurse nurse nurse!!!!