Increasing Milk Production - Dayton,OH

Updated on January 09, 2016
T.S. asks from Dayton, OH
16 answers

Hi moms! I could use some advice. I am a new mom with a one week old baby. I had to start supplementing formula because my daughter dropped a pound from her birth weight which is more than the maximum 10%. My milk came in the next day, but my production is low. She is not satisfied after breastfeeding and we have to give her a bottle. She usually drinks around 2 oz from the bottle and then will sleep for around 2 hours. Any suggestions on increasing my production? I have been trying to pump to work on increasing it. Has anyone tried any supplements or been given a medication from their doctor? Thanks for any suggestions that you might have.
To daughter was born weighing 8lbs 2oz and dropped to 7lbs 2oz at her dr appoinment on Friday (she was born on a Tuesday). She was born 3 days after her due date. We had to go to the dr right away due to her billiruben (sp?) being up. I am now noticing that even after she has nursed for a while (such as around 35-40 minutes total), she is basically about to sleep. As soon as I lay her down, she wakes up. Could it be that she is not satisfied with just breastmilk? I have checked my breasts the past few times that she has nursed today and during the night and there is still milk coming out. Any updated advice on this? It appears that my production is better, but some reason is not filling her up like it should. Her latch looks good. FYI...I did talk to a lactation consult yesterday from Miami Valley Hospital and she recommended continuing to nurse as long as she would and then if need be, go ahead and supplement with 1 oz of formula. I am also increasing the amount of pumping so that I pump after she feeds.

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answers from Cincinnati on

I am by no means a breastfeeding expert! But with my first son I struggled to get enough for him for 11 months so I think I tried just about everything! I can only pump because of shingles underneath my breasts so everybody said that is why I did not make enough milk but now with my second son I have too much and I still just pump. First of all you need to relax! Stress can totally affect your milk production. Then there are other things you can try I drink Mothers Milk tea. You can get it at GNC or I prefer the taste of Yogi brand that you can get at Meijer. Then you can pump more for example if you are pumping every 3 hours try every two. Then there is a suuplement called Fenugreek but you have to take more than the bottle recommends. I think I started at like 10 capsules a day. There are medications that the Dr can give you I took Reglan but it has side effects and the longer you are on it the worse the side effects get so I would use that as a last resort. Drink lots of fluids being dry can decrease supply gatorade and water! But remember to relax! Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

You HAVE to stop the supplements. She won't starve, I promise. Her stomach is TINY right now - about the size of a cherry. Can you imagine what 2 ounces is doing to that space? It's a fallacy that so many women aren't making enough for a days-old infant. YOU'RE FINE! The only reason she sleeps better with the formula is because it's not as digestible, so it sits in her stomach making her body think she's full:(
So, what do you do? First, nurse her every time she cries. It doesn't matter if you just finished nursing her 20 minutes ago. She's only a week old, that's her job - to eat! The more you nurse, the more you'll produce. Pumping doesn't work as well, babies are MUCH more efficient at getting milk to come out.
Second, stop worrying. She doesn't need much to fill her stomach, so you are, most likely producing a sufficient amount. Most infants eat every 1-2 hours for the first few weeks, it doesn't mean they aren't getting enough.
Third, find a support group so you are only getting pro-breastfeeding info instead of the doctors who claim that the baby can't loose "too much weight". Babies lose weight in the hospital and as long as they aren't becoming sick, dehydrated, or extra sleepy, there's no reason to supplement before your milk comes in - it's only detrimental to your milk supply:( Ask if your local hospitals have support groups either led by peers or by LC's. And go here: to find a La Leche League chapter nearest you. You can call a leader ANY TIME if you need immediate help. They can talk to you on the phone, or visit you depending on what your issues are.

I wrote this to help someone else a while through it, there are some more helpful answers. Start with the natural things like foods and then if it doesn't help in a week or so, start with the fenugreek.

First, as I'm sure you are aware, it's a supply and demand thing. So, every bottle you give is more liquid your baby's tummy is getting used to getting but your body isn't producing. It usually leads to a snowball effect until you don't produce anything and you are only using formula. What makes you think you aren't producing enough? Is she not peeing and pooping? This is the best indicator of milk production. Is she gaining weight? Have you ever weighed her right before and right after feeding? If you take her to the Dr.'s office and ask them to let you weight her in just a dry diaper, then nurse her, then weigh her again (don't change her even if she poops), you will know exactly how much she's getting. 2-4 ounces is normal.
Do you have any other kids? If not, just climb in bed for the weekend, get rest, drink plenty of water and nurse on demand every time she cries. Even if it's every 1/2 hour, the more you nurse, the more milk you produce and the less often she will need to nurse. If you can get by with every couple hours, then pump right after you nurse to tell your body to produce more each session.
If you do that for a couple days, no formula, and it doesn't help, then you can try fenugreek and blessed thistle. they work better together and you can get a combo pill from places like Wild Oats. 3-4 capsules at each meal. Your sweat and/or urine should smell a bit sweet like maple syrup if you are using enough (I know...weird...) If it doesn't help in 3-5 days, it won't, so don't bother taking it longer than that. If it does help, you don't need to keep taking it.
If Fenugreek doesn't help, you can ask your doc about a prescription. It starts with an R, but I don't remember the name right now. (Reglan?) Another is domperidon, but you have to order it from Australia!
Other easy things to try for the next few days...
~Beer. One won't hurt the baby and the brewers yeast helps milk production and alcohol relaxes you so you aren't so worried about making enough. The worst thing for production is stress.
~Oatmeal for breakfast. Not the instant oat meal, but quick oats in the canister or (better) old-fashioned rolled oats. They take forever to cook, but work the best.
~Google "Lactation Cookie Recipe". They are yummy and have all kinds of good stuff in them.
I know this was long...I hope you find it helpful!

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answers from Indianapolis on

I agree with contacting a local Lactation Consultant to check the babies latch. That is important. You didn't mention how big your duaghter was at birth, but unless she was over 10 pounds, then her losing a pound is huge! You also didn't mention if she was born early. While many responses are well-meaning, sometimes it is necessary to supplement a baby with a bottle. This can be a bottle of pumped breastmilk, but if a baby can't sustain a good latch, for whatever reason, it might be necessary to feed a bottle. My suggestion, until you see an LC would be to pump your breasts after she has eaten to make sure she is emptying them. Also, make sure she empties the first breath before switching to the second. It is important she get that hind milk. If you nurse at both breasts for 10 minutes each, she may be missing the hindmilk. Again, it is supply and demand. That way you can feed her a bottle of pumped milk. Losing so much weight is a big deal, and you don't want it to continue. If a baby is losing weight, it's because they aren't getting enough fluid in and they are getting dehydrated. It can cause her to have yellow jaundice that gets too high and can cause damage.
By the way, Peds look at 5% weight loss for formula fed babies, and 10% for breastfed babies, so they don't have the same expectations for formula and breast fed babies.
Good luck to you! Keep at it. Any breastmilk for your baby is better than none. If she has to have formula supplement, so be it. Just continue with the breastmilk. And see a Lactation Consultant. She should be able to help you with good advice.

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answers from Dayton on

Ok before I tell you this.I know what I'm about to tell you is going to sound weird but it REALLY works. Drink 1 beer a day.Yes 1 beer!!! Drink it right after you breastfeed your daughter.That way it will be out of the system by the time you need to breastfeed again. It won't hurt the baby but it is a natural thing to try without needing a prescription. Hope things work out for you and your lil' one.

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answers from Hartford on

I used a rented Symphony pump and an Easy Expressions hands-free bustier so that I could pump frequently while caring for a newborn. I took a lot of Fenugreek - up to 21 caps of 600mg a day (this only worked during relactation and failed to work later on). Make sure that your iron and fluid intake is at a healthy level (I eat oatmeal and molasses for breakfast for iron). Every time the child fusses, put him to breast - abstain from using a pacifier - let the child use you as a pacifier. Encourage night nursing since that is when your prolactin levels are highest and remember that whenever your breasts are overly engorged, it sends signals to your body to produce less milk - so nurse or pump frequently.

When my baby was a newborn, I was worried about how much he was getting (due to weight loss) I pumped for several days in a row - making sure that he was getting at least 18oz a day and then let him take over from there. Domperidone will not help within the first several weeks, but is very helpful after that. It may take a lot of persistence, but your milk supply will improve if you keep at it - It took me a month and a half to improve my supply, but probably would not take as long knowing what I know now.

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answers from Madison on

I am sure you will have a lot of good suggestions here, and you can also make a search to read the replies to similar questions asked before.

I think the best thing to increase milk production is to get rest, drink plenty of water, and do not stress about it.

You can gently massage your breasts and even put a warm wash cloth to help with emptying the breast. It is a demand-supply process, so if you empty the breasts and keep pumping for a few minutes after they are empty, this should send the signal to the brain that more milk is needed :-)

Congratulations on your new baby and wish you all the best with breastfeeding! Enjoy!

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answers from Indianapolis on

The best and really only way to increase production is to drink plenty of liquids and to nurse as often as possible (as much as the baby wants to nurse). Since your baby is only 1 week old, it has not had time to establish its needs with you. I think if you were to spend 3 days just concentrated on nursing and drinking your liquids (and no supplements) that you could better establish your milk supply for your baby. And check with a lactation consultant or La Leche League on the internet.
As someone who successfully nursed 6 children, It is definitely worth all the effort.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I would keep her on the breast constantly. At this point, formula supplementation can really damage your production because it is all driven by demand. The pump is not as effective as baby but it's a good start. Drink LOTS of water, eat oatmeal, have a beer after you're done nursing, look into Fenugreek (I think that's what it's called) and Mother's Milk - both of these are supplements that are supposed to help with supply. Bu ultimately, just keep her at the breast. There could be a variety of issues - have you seen a lactation consultant? Also, try only feeding on one side to make sure she gets everything on that side. Pump the other side when she is done. Good luck, I hope it works out for you. Remember that breastfeeding, while natural, is NOT easy - it took my daughter a solid month before she could latch on her own. Frustrating but well worth it in the end.

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answers from Dayton on

Wow, you have had lots of responses. I want you to know that you are not alone. Most people think that everyone can produce enough but that is not the case. I never did with my first and am again not with my 5 week old. He lost 15% of his body weight (he was born the day before his due date at 8 lbs 10 oz and day 4 was 7 lbs 6 oz) and was showing signs of dehydration and jaundice by day 4. The doctor was rather scared for him which led to supplementing. I started taking Fenugreek by the recommendation of a LC and pumping every 2 hours for atleast 20 minutes. I am lucky to produce 8 ounces all day. This is such a dissappointment to me. I tried everything, even asking for blood work just to make sure I was well. I continue to pump and I just mix it with his formula. Give yourself a break, you are doing the best that you can.

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answers from Cleveland on

Stop supplementing with formula now. Nurse more frequently. Breastmilk production is a supply and demand situation. This early it is easy to make more milk by nursing more often. I don't think you should be worrying "low production", your body is trying to figure how much to make so tell it by nursing often. With my three babies I tried to make sure to feed every two hours even if I had to wake them up from naps in the beginning.
Every ounce of formula you give is an ounce your body doesn't think it needs to produce.

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answers from Dayton on

Have a lactation consultant or a La Leche League leader check your latch. If your baby isn't latching on correctly then she won't be satisfied. It is supply and demand, but if she isn't latching properly, then your body won't know to make more.



answers from Dayton on

I had the exact same issue like you. I would stress and feel guilty that I was not able to make enough for my daughter. Also my daughter would not latch on, so I was exclusively pumping. This was after a long period of trying to get her to latch on. I would pump every two hours round the clock for 20-30 minutes everytime and tried everything other than medication but my supply did not go up. I still managed to keep up the pumping for about 5-6 months with a full time job ( I would not do that as frequently at work) but it really took a toll on me emotionally and physicaly since I was so wanting to not supplement ( which I had to to keep up her demand). Now that I look back I am glad that my daughter got the breast milk but it really really stressed me out. If I were to do it again I would not have made such a big deal out of it.

I think breast milk is the best food for baby but the mother's stress levels are more important since she needs to take care of the baby. Breast feeding is relatively easier for some people but for me my body just did not co-operate. If I were to do it again I would have stopped pumping after 3 months and enjoyed all the time I spent pumping and stressing out with my baby.

I encourage you to breastfeed as long as you can but I would advice that you not stress out and look at the big picture.



answers from Columbus on

A friend of mine had suggested Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle when I was having issues with production. I liked this idea because I wanted to go with something herbal vs medication. So - I bought the Fenugreek, unfortunately - this was not good for me - I guess I had an underacting thyroid, and the Fenugreek ended up making it worse - now I have to take a pill everyday to get my thyroid to work - on the other hand, I found out what was wrong with me and am healthier because of it. So - my suggestion - yes these herbs can work - but if your family has a history of thyroid issues, be wary....... best of luck to you - breastmilk is the best thing for baby.



answers from Youngstown on

don't supplement... the more you nurse, the more you produce... I was told to NOT even SUPPLEMTENT with water!

a great book for you is The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding... I borrowed it from the library then bought one for myself cause I was using it a lot and couldn't renew it anymore!



answers from Springfield on

Try to use Healthy Nursing Tea by secrets of tea..



answers from Indianapolis on

Might think about an HERBAL vs. meds. I KNOW they exhist. Talk to someone at your local health food store.

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