Breastfeeding Question - Houston, TX

Updated on January 09, 2016
B.M. asks from Houston, TX
11 answers

I am a new mother to 3 month old twins and I have been trying to exclusively breastfeed them but don't seem to be producing enough breast milk. My question is how much breast milk I should expect to produce each day. I feed the kids and pumping ever 3 hours but still have to supplement with formula. I've tried only pumping for several days and seem to make about 20 - 24 ounces a day. This seems on the low side to me, but don't really know what is this normal. Any guidance is appreciated. Thanks

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answers from Odessa on

Hi Sara! Congratulations on your new babies! And I am so happy to hear that you are breastfeeding....twins even! U r mommy , hear you roar, right? That's awesome! Let me tell you what worked miracles for me. I have four kids, 3 boys and the last was a girl. I was never able to nurse the boys (without supplementing) because all three times I never really had much milk. Like you, I tried to pump, but even with that it did not work. WHen my daughter came along, she was losing weight at a week old, so I had to start supplementing again. At the same time my friend came along and told me to drink these protein drinks from Herbalife. (what could it hurt at this point, right?) At exactly 5 1/2 days later my daughter was refusing her supplemental bottle because she did not need it! From that point on, we had a beautiful nursing experience! ( i always thought my other friends were nuts when they said that because i had never experienced it myself) My milk came in and I'm pretty confident that I put Elsy the Cow out of business! I have the stretch marks to prove it! ;)
Since then, my daughter has had an excellent immune system and rarely gets sick. If she does it is never for as long as anyone else, and her teeth are perfect! I believe that it has everything to do with having an excellent start with good nutrition!

Hope this helps! Let me know what you think!

C. P



answers from Austin on

I struggled with low supply as well - heartbreaking every time we had to supplement. I focused on quality v. quantity and this helped me tremendously when all else failed. I didn't give up but as my LC said to me "be happy with what you have". I added fish oils and other nutritional items to my diet and used a book titled Mother Food that is so has insight on ways to increase supply (what foods help and which can dry you up) and how to improve quantity. The Whole Foods market on 183 has wonderful people in the nature path section that can tell you about tinctures that work wonderfully - I used goats rue tincture added to my Mother's Milk tea and this increased volume very well...LMK if you need more info....



answers from Houston on

The more the child ask to eat the more you will produce. Drink and eat enough yourself too. DO NOT get stressed, that will lessen your supply!! I started losing my supply at about 4-5 months. I was told to drink a half a can of beer.... it engorged me!! I did it for a few weeks every two to three days. Light Beer.... no liquor!! They told me something about the yeast? It worked for me....I breastfed both my children (they are 16 months apart) for a year each. ONLY doing this when it was absolutely necessary. They are very smart, and both speak very clearly and comprehend well. They are 3yrs & 4yrs now!!

My doctor also told me to put the child on one breast and burp and then put on the same breast. Pump the opposite breast. Next feeding put child on the previously pumped breast and burp, then put back on that breast, pump the other. It worked as well.



answers from Houston on

I've read the other 4 (so far) suggestions and I have to agree with all of them (yes, even the beer. It won't affect your children, but will increase your supply).

There's another website that helped me when I was pumping exclusively...

You should try to directly breastfeed them more often, though. You can pump until you're dry, but as soon as you put a child to your breast, she'll be able to get milk. Every time you supplement, you're gonna dry up a little.

You are never gonna pump as much milk as the kids will actually pull from you. They are far more efficient at it than any man-made machine. If they don't have sufficient diaper output or are fussy a lot, I would try feeding them (directly) more often and for longer time. If they are losing weight or their diaper output does not improve, then supplementing is necessary.



answers from Austin on

LLL has awesome leaders that can help.
If you go to their website, you can find phone numbers to contact your local leaders. You do not need to wait for a meeting to talk to them. I know they do phone consults and I know some leaders who do house calls on a regular basis. Their services are free.

Pumping: My recom. for a pump would be a dbl-electric made by a company that does not make formula (kind of a conflict of interests, right). Instead of pumping after you nurse, pump while nursing. Put your wee babe on one side and the pump on the other side. This will take advantage of the letdown that happens for your babe and help you get more pumped out. Don't be concerned if you only get a half ounce pumped. Relaxing can help, but even then some bodies just don't do well with pumps! I am one of those bodies that refuses to let down for a pump (1/2oz per pumping). I used the technique described above and was able to get 4-5oz each time.
Also, over a long period of time if you *just* pump, your milk supply will decrease. Your body is made to let down for your babies, not for this strange plastic horn thing with unnatural suction. The best way to increase your supply is to let your babies nurse whenever they want.

Also for milk supply:
-Water! Make sure you're getting enough!
-Traditional Medicinal makes a "Mother's Milk" herbal tea - it's really great for boosting supply. You have to drink '3 cups' or more a day. Since I'm not a hot tea drinker, I made a half gallon pitcher of it and drank it cold with a little xylitol/sugar in it.
-Nurse on demand if/whenever possible.
-Stay close to your babes.
-Wear them, if you can. Do you have a sling? If not, I would recommend getting one. If you were in the Austin area, I'd loan you one... There are a few on craigslist in Houston right now. My recom is a ring sling with no padding (or just in the shoulder), with a 'fan tail' (not tapered). You can also find some on e-bay using "ring sling" in the search.

Your local LLL chapter should be able to help you learn how to wear him comfortably. I recom. against the bjourns - they spread little baby hips unnaturally and can cause damage.
-Co-sleep if it's safe for you to do so - you can nurse him more, thus increasing your supply.
-All this 'staying close' -- helps your body hormonally to produce more milk.

- What was said about your body adjusting and making the right amount of milk is right on. Depending on how much formula you're using, you might need to slowly wean off the formula.
Also, has some good articles and helpful advice

I know this was kind of long, but I hope that you find some of it helpful! And please contact your local LLL leader! This is the kind of thing they are there for!

K. H, mama to
Catherine Anne, 4yrs (nursed for 2.5yrs)
Samuel Anthony, 1yr (still going strong!)



answers from San Antonio on

If they are growing, you are producing plenty of milk. Around 2-3 months milk production levels out so that you are not engorged and many women mistakenly think that their supply is low. As long as your babies are thriving, there is nothing to worry about. I commend you for your efforts to give them the best possible start in life! Keep up the great work!

Remember that their little tummies are not much bigger than their fists, so 24 ozs per day might be plenty for them. Also, you will produce more milk if you do not supplement. There is chemical magic that happens between mommies and babies that we don't yet understand, but it works. Your body is an expert at providing for your babies, even if your mind can't tell for sure. If you are truly worried, ask for a lot of help from your partner or any one you can, then take 24 hours to spend as naked as you feel comfortable in bed with your babies as naked as you can keep them. Drink a ton of water for those 24 hours and nurse as much as they want, touching bodies as much as possible. I guarantee you your milk production will increase!

I have never been able to pump more than 12 ounces in a day and both my kids were exclusively bf'd. I think they suck more than I can pump, which makes sense. They know just what to do in order to trigger the milk let-down response. A pump isn't as effective. If you have to pump, do you use a hospital grade pump? That would produce much better results than anything else. You could call your local La Leche League to see where you can rent one.

I have studied to become a lactation councelor, though I am not certified yet. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

Good luck!



answers from Houston on

Pumping is actually a poor way to judge what type of milk supply you have because the babies are much more efficient at extracting the milk than a pump ever will be. Judge your supply on your babies. Are they having enough wet diapers each day? Are they gaining weight?

Drinking plenty of fluids, eating oatmeal, using suppliments like Mother's Milk Tea, Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle will help as well. Don't worry so much about putting the babies on a schedule (unless you REALLY have to) and let them feed on demand. The more they feed, the more supply you will have.

IF...however, the babies are not having enough wet diapers and are NOT gaining weight, I would suggest making an appointment with a lactation consultant. Breastfeeding a singleton is work enough, let alone your stellar job (kudos to you) of nursing twins. The last thing you need to do is stress over your supply. A good lactation consultant will work with you and the babies. She will weigh the baby before feeding, let you feed on one side and then weigh baby again. This will determin the true amount that you are producing.

You may be perfectly fine and then again, you may have some issues. I was never great with mine. 13 days of nursing the first, 2nd took 5 weeks to gain back birth weight (found muscular problem in his lower lip and needed to pump) but stayed with it for 7-1/2 months and 3rd was great from the start and went 13 months. I had infertility problems with mine and it killed my milk supply. I did well with the combo of fenugreek and blessed thistle but did best on Motilium. It's not sold in the U.S. any longer but is still approved by the APA, unlike the commonly used Reglan. I purchased mine online from New Zealand and it TOTALLY worked. When I went off to wean my daughter, within a week, she had nothing left to drink and lost interest.



answers from Odessa on

I also had this problem my dr told me to lay around one day and let the babies feed and suck as much as they wanted and during this time drink alot of water and jucies, it did infact help the more they suck the more u will make. And drink lots of fluids. I started this and i was making bottles and bottles of milk so much i was freezing it. Just plan on one day to lay around with the babies dont do any exercise that day and you will see results i promise and remeber the more they suck the more you will produce....good luck



answers from College Station on

I am a mother of twins, too! I nursed my first two children for a year and thought when I had the twins, I was an "expert"; however, born premature and having to stay in the N.I.C.U. for several weeks being fed by a feeding tube, made it a rocky start for us. Once home, I had to teach one to nurse because he preferred the bottle by then and I had to suppliment both because they were not gaining adequate weight. Despite everyone doubting me and discouraging me from nursing the twins, I hung in there and am proud that the boys are healthy and strong and still nursing at 1!

I recommend more than anything you find support to encourage you. You are probably making enough milk; your babies are just hungry. I can remember feeling like I was never going to leave the couch! One thing that really helped was a twin nursing pillow. It is similar to the boppy but it is more rectangular like. I do not remember the company I bought it from but I found it online. I searched nursing pillow for twins. I would not get the "blow up" kind. Mine was soft and had several foam layers in which you could add or take away to fit your body. Using this nursing pillow allowed by hands to be free to touch the both babies and adjust my breasts and their mouth positions as needed. One feeding for 20 minutes made a world of difference instead of feeding one a time all day long. It is well worth the money!

20-30 minutes is also another key. If they are staying on longer than that, they are just using you as a pacifier.

Talk to your pediatrician and voice your concerns but always go with YOUR motherly instict. I found it to rarely be wrong! A friend of mine, who did not produce enough milk on her own, got medicine from her doctor that is supposed to increase milk production. I cannot remember the name but ask the doctor about it...

Also, when I supplimented (what seemed like forever), I bought this "contraption" made by Medela. It is a bottle you fill with formula or fortified breastmilk that you hang around your neck. It has two tubes that connect to the bottle that you tape on your areola, so when the twins nurse, they get both your milk and the suppliment in one feeding. The tubing is small enough that they don't really notice it while they nurse. I found it at our local Medela distributor/medical supply store. It is a pain and a whole lot of work, but we made it work for as long as we needed to!

Good luck and hang in there! You are a super mom for nursing your twins. I know it is tough, but once you get over the "hump", it is the BEST! Feel free to email me for support or any further questions about this or anything else!



answers from Austin on

My practitioner told me to pump after you breastfeed on both sides for about 10 min and you should start producing more milk. I did it and within a week I was producing double what I was originaly producing. Good luck!



answers from Springfield on

I was facing the same problem, though the baby was single, but my breastmilk was extremely low after a few weeks of child's birth. I started healthy nursing tea by secrets of tea and since then my milk flow is boosted.


I was facing the same problem, though the baby was single, but my breastmilk was extremely low after a few weeks of child's birth. I started healthy nursing tea by secrets of tea and since then my milk flow is boosted.

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