Increasing Milk Supply - Forest Ranch, CA

Updated on December 02, 2015
M.J. asks from Forest Ranch, CA
80 answers

Just wondering about healthy ways to increase my milk supply. My daughter is 6 months old and I just returned to work fulltime. I would like to hear other moms suggestions on how to maintain my milk supply as it seems to be waining a bit. My plan is to nurse until she is a year old. Currently, I drink a lot of water throughout the day, drink a cup of Organic Mother's Milk tea once a day, and I pump every four hours. However, I am noticing that I get less and less each time I pump. Any suggestions that may help are welcome!

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So What Happened?

I also wanted to say thank you for all the encouragement to keep going and not give up. As nursing moms you all know and understand the value or nursing, so thanks you for giving me such wonderful support!

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S.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Up the Mother's Milk to 3/4 times a day. Don't go overboard with the supply enhancing herbs. You want to avoid plugged ducts and mastitis.

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S.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.,
after you breastfeed try a beer - thats what my neighbors told me. The yeast in the beer is suppose to help with the milk production

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H.A.

answers from San Francisco on

I was going to suggest pumping, but seeing as how you are already doing that, I wanted to ask you are you eating well? That affected my milk supply when I was breastfeeding. I found a website that discusses this, here it is:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html

H. it helps.

H.

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C.B.

answers from Sacramento on

Here are some tips from www.babycenter.com bullentin board.

*drink lots of water
*oatmeal (2-4 servings a day)
*fenugreek (you can get this at The Vitamin Store in Elk Grove. Take 2 pills at each meal for a few days and you will notice an increase - well I did.)
*blessed thistle
*alfalfa
*pump every 2 hours
*pump after nursing
*10-10-10 method (pump 10, rest 10, pump 10)
*nurse on demand when with baby
*nurse more often, allow comfort nursing
*domperidone (by prescription or online order)
*add 1 or 2 additional pump sessions

1 mom found this helpful
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S.P.

answers from Sacramento on

I would explore what kind of pump you are using and as a mom that had to pump in some awkward places at work, how relaxed are you able to be? pumps that mimic the suckling action of the baby are great. i also had to find time and space to learn how to double pump. in time i found that i was able to express more into the container when i had 'both jugs being tapped at once'. any outside interference, including perceived pressure to be done and back into the work mode ment just getting a few ounces at a time. the times i produced the most was when i was hydrated and able to sit back and imagine holding my baby in my arms and feeding her a good meal. it came down to insisting that my lactation breaks were my right, not just a little mommy want. good luck.

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L.M.

answers from Sacramento on

Is your employer respectful of your need to pump?
Do you have a comfortable place? Knowledge is power, so know that by California law, employers MUST provide you with enough time and a comfortable place to pump, and it can't be a toilet stall.

You may have to pump more often. Add a couple more times of pumping each day, even if you do it for a shorter amount of time. The body knows that it's not the baby and so sometimes you have to pump more. Do you have a good double electric pump? The best is the Ameda Purely Yours... it's cheaper than the Medela and works great.

There's a really helpful book called Nursing Mother, Working Mother by Gayle Pryor. http://www.amazon.com/Nursing-Mother-Working-Essential-Br...
One point I remember from the book is that you are at a strong advantage having stayed with your baby for so long before returning to work. Your body does produce more milk because of that.

Other good sites are:
www.lactationconnection.com
www.motherlove.com
MotherLove sells herbal blends to help you produce more milk. You can order them online or find them at co-ops or healthfood stores.

Best wishes. You have created something really special with your daughter. You deserve every opportunity to enjoy it for as long as you wish.

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R.W.

answers from San Francisco on

I am not sure of what combination of what I am about to suggest works, but here are the things that my doctor suggested....

Feugreek herbs (You can get the capsules from Whole Foods. Just ask one of the employees to help you!). I take 3 capsules twice a day.

Soup with clear broths (chicken noodle, vegetable, etc.) I try to have a cup each day.

Pepper. I put a little pepper on everything.

Mother's Milk Tea. I have a cup of this twice a day.

Also, I would recommend more frequent pumping (i.e. every 2-3 hours rather than every 4 hours).

I suspect that part of the supply issue has to do with the stress of going back to work. Just relax and try what I have described above. It worked like a charm for me when I was trying to increase my milk supply shortly after my daughter was born.

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L.P.

answers from San Francisco on

I was having the same problem and I drank mothers milk tea and it worked for a bit then it stopped working. I then started taking fenugreek pills and it has been working for me along with pumping. I have a friend that makes papaya soup and she says it helps in producing milk. I think she just boils papaya in water and eats and drinks it. She says it helps alot. Another thing is, you may want to check the breast shield on your pump to make sure you don't need a bigger one. It will help in getting more milk out instead of a smaller one that squeezes your whole nipple into the shield. Hope this helps.

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J.F.

answers from San Francisco on

I had this same issue when I was working and pumping. My lactation specialist recommended that I pump more often and start taking Fenugreek 3 times a day. Not sure if you are a beer drinker, but she also recommended that I drink a dark beer a day (like Boont Amber Ale). It's pretty yummy!

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P.H.

answers from San Francisco on

you could drink more tea, pump or nurse frequently to increase your supply, drink LOTS of water & cut back/out caffeine. you could also take fenugreek capsules or mothers milk capsules to improve your supply. have you just started your period for the first time since the pregnancy? it can dip supply for a couple weeks. remember the pump can't imitate the efficiency of nursing so the output is not an indicator of what your child is getting when nursing.

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M.G.

answers from Sacramento on

My flow slowed down a bit when I returned to work. It took a few days of pumping every 2 hours to increase. Then I was able to go back to every 3 hours. Everytime I felt a slow down in production I just pumped more often. It would take a day or two but eventually I would start producing more. For me, water made a big difference.

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K.R.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi there. Been there, done that. I can't remember what they were because it's been too long, but there are herbs you can take and specialist to help you. I went to one of the Motherhood shops, or the places where they have nursing things and they had names of people to help. I wanted to make iy a year too, and I did, with their help. I was working as a flight attendant so it wasn't easy. Hope that helps and good luck. Also, I'm sure you know this, but make sure you are eating enough. My best friend just had her 2nd and her nursing is not going great, but she does not eat enough !!! Take care, K.

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A.N.

answers from San Francisco on

The traditional Chinese way is to make and drink soup broth of papaya (ripe), fish and peanuts. The resulting soup is milky white (fish) and is believed to be beneficial to new lactating mothers.

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S.F.

answers from San Francisco on

Not sure if some replied with this but I heard if you drink up to 3 to 5 cups of Mothers Milk tea helps.

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L.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I seem to recall that a nurse had told me about this supplement you could take that would help with Milk Supply. For the life of me...I can't think of it. I never took it but thought about it.

Having said that...it is inevitable that when you go back to work...you start losing your milk supply. It happened to me and I was warned about it from a variety of friends. Your body reflects your mind...which has shifted from a single minded focus of baby baby baby...to a multi focus of baby/work/baby...and so it goes.

Good luck!

L.

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B.J.

answers from San Francisco on

Try "More Milk Plus" (drops NOT the tea) - available at Whole Foods.

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A.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi!
Every four hour is not enough, you probably should do it every second hour...but that is a lot I guess when you work!
Hang in there!

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D.E.

answers from San Francisco on

I just spoke to a lactation specialist yesterday b/c I am going back to work in a month and want to start to "mentally" prepare. You might want to pump more often, say every 3 hours and get lots of rest if you can. It seems like others have given you good advice too. Good luck!

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E.2.

answers from Providence on

Healthy Nursing Tea by secrets of tea is my answer.You can get enough milk supply quickly.

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L.E.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.,

I've read that if you pump one breast while breastfeeding that might increase production. Can't think of anything else off the top of my head. Good luck!
L.

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D.D.

answers from San Francisco on

I liked the Nursing Ticture from Herb Lore (www.herblore.com). High water intake was helpful for me, and breastfeeding as much as possible when you are with your baby. That's about all I know of to do, and it got my through almost sixteen months. At the end, I was pumping only an ounce or two at a time, and just decided to wean my daughter. I also took fenugreek religiously, and between that and the tincture, I think I did pretty well for 40-year-old! Good luck!

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S.T.

answers from San Francisco on

I too used the Mother's Milk and it was awesoem. Just drink as much as you can during the day. Make sure she nurses plenty when you are home, even if that means more nightime sessions for a while. Also, I've heard oatmeal can help lots too....

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R.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.,

Try to have more of Catfish. I found that very helpful in increasing the milk supply. I could see the difference within 2 hours after i had the catfish.

The other thing is Fenugreek.

I used the Fenugreek powder directly instead of the capsules.

Take fenugreek powder 3 times a day, you can see the difference within a week.

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Rameeza

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J.J.

answers from Sacramento on

M.,

I have a 3 month old and have been back to work for a month now. I've noticed that if I eat at least something two hours before along with drinking plenty of fluids that my milk supply is up. Some days you will find that stress will play a role in your milk supply or at least it does for me. It's hard leaving your baby when you have been with them every day for that long. On top of that trying to balance work, home and the baby is 3 full time jobs in one. Monitor yourself and see what things have been going on in the day if you are not producing as much milk and find ways to work arond it.

Good luck!

J.

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S.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Try Fenugreek. It's a natural herb that really works.

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N.H.

answers from San Francisco on

pump pump pump! when your child is over a certain age, you need to increase supply by emptying more frequently (like every 20 minutes, just to get things started!).

Also, try upping the mother's milk to 3 cups or more/day and find some sort of pattern for relaxation. returning to work can be stressful... give yourself a break.

good luck!

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S.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Had the same problem, here are natural lactation boosts that I know of. I use a combination of them.

Oatmeal (great for breakfast - sprinkle in some flax for extra Omega3)
Brewers Yeast (it's the "magic" ingredient in the beer, but you can get it at a health food store and sprinkle it into other foods, like popcorn and salads)
Goats Rue (amazing herb - really boosts your production, check out motherlove.com)
Fenugreek/Mothers Milk supplements (these need to be taken much more than once a day - at least 3x)

Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of water - sounds like you are already doing this.

Good Luck!

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S.J.

answers from Sacramento on

I took fenugreek in addition to Mother's milk and it worked for me. Good Luck.

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T.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Lots of fabulous advice here! I can only add that Oatmeal increases supply, not the instant... eat it everyday for breakfast.

I am so glad that Kristie explained the difference between the pump and nursing, most women don't know that and start freaking that their baby couldn't possibly be getting enough when nursing.

Good Luck :)

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A.K.

answers from San Francisco on

I just got mine up (from 12 to 16 oz during my work day) through massage. You have to have a hands free pumping bra (I just got a zip front sports bra and cut some holes in it rather than buying one of those expensive bustiers from the lactation store.) Anyway, while you're pumping use smooth firm pressure to work the milk toward you nipple. There are all these little hidden pockets of milk that you'll find. And once you start triggering them to let down they'll start producing more milk. It can take a little time but now I'm starting to put extra milk away in the freezer every week.

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T.J.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M., when I went back to work my supply decreased a bit too temporarily. I took some supplements called More Milk Plus (I got it at Day One) and that worked very noticeably right away. I took the capsules for a few days, and that was that. Fenugreek capsules are also supposed to work well too -- the More Milk Plus supplement has that. I also think that my continuing nursing at night when he wanted to helped maintain my supply. The more your little daughter can stimulate milk production, the better, since the pump isn't as efficient as she is.

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A.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Try pumping a few minutes beyond the point where no milk comes out. Also, try compressing each breast a little bit toward the end of the pumping session to get out that last little bit (this is easier to do if you are using one of those "handless pumping" bra devices. I've found that a little massage of the breast can bring out a lot more milk. Whatever you do, don't give up! I admire your commitment to the full year while working full time. The breast seems to be an amazingly adjustable organ. I'll bet your milk supply will return if you keep sending your body the signals. Good luck!

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B.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Lots of good advice. I'd only add that I used the More Milk Plus capsules (or liquid) along with Goat's Rue capsules and later discovered MotherLove also makes a More Milk Special Blend which includes the Goat's Rue. It definitely helped. Not cheap, but it did the trick for me whereas the tea didn't appear to do anything. Good luck. It's not easy to keep up the pumping at work

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L.T.

answers from Fresno on

Hi M.,

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter. I am a working mom of a now two-year-old boy. I went back to work full-time when he was 4 months old and breastfed until he was one year. My milk supply also seemed to go down a bit when I went back to work. I found that pumping more frequently (say every 3 hours instead of 4) gave my body the signal that the demand was higher and I found that the supply quickly increased. It could also be that if your daughter is eating more solid food she doesn't need as much breast milk at before.

We were fortunate that we never had to use any formula with our son. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it was just our preference not to. At one year he switched pretty easily from breast milk to cows milk and sometimes soy milk.

Other than the frequency suggetions, it sounds like you're doing all the right things. I wish you all the best.

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D.M.

answers from Merced on

Recently I took a probiotic w/ some herbs in it and the herbs decreased my milk supply. Before that I had plenty of milk for my 10 month old son. I drank some Earth Mama Angel Baby Milkmaid Tea (www.EarthMamaAngelBaby.com) and it worked well, but I found it a difficult for me to follow the instructions properly to get the full effect (soaking for 15 minutes and drinking several times/ day). Plus when I didn't drink the tea my milk supply went right back down. So I went to Pharmaca and they recommended WishGarden Herbs Milk Enrichment Lactation Aid(www.WishGardenHerbs.com). It works great! and it worked quickly. It's very easy to take, just put 2-3 dropperfuls into some water a few times/ day. It works really well. I did have to use it for about 10 days straight to get my milk supply to stay consistant and now if I have a low day then I take some and I'm full again soon. It works great! Hope this helps in addition to the pumping and water drinking. Good luck.

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L.O.

answers from Redding on

Hi M.!
This WORKS and it's all natural
Raspberry Leave tea....you can find it at any natural food store, just make sure it's fresh...drink several cups a day!
LO

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E.P.

answers from San Francisco on

FYI I am a certified La Leche League Leader and nursed my own son for many years. The more the baby nurses the more the body will respond -- realizing "Hey--this baby is growing I better produce more to meet the demand." Sleeping with your baby and nursing at night as often as possible will allow the nursing time missed while you are work during the day. In combination with pumping and storing baby will be able to tell your body what it needs. If you have introduced solids, always nurse before offering solid food so it is the 2nd option after the breast milk.

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S.J.

answers from Chico on

Hi there M.! I had the same problem with my milk supply. My lactation lady told me to take fenugreek (or alphalfa tablets (slightly cheaper)). I also have a shake recipe that helps to boost the supply. Like anything, the more you use it the more you make, so regular pumping and breastfeeding when you can is the best way to go. Your baby is the best pump you could have, but pump when you can to keep the supply up. Good luck, and if you'd like the shake recipe please email me at [email protected]____.com a good one, S.

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D.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Look up foods that will help. I know oatmeal helps as do certain herbal teas. All this info should be accessible on the net, perhaps through Dr. Weil's website.

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A.S.

answers from Sacramento on

I took a liquid herbal supplement - More Milk Plus made by Mother Love and this helped me. I bought it at Sunrise Natural Foods, but you can buy it at Motherlove.com also. I took it for about a month and noticed an increase in supply. Towards the end of themonth I did notice my son starting to have tummy upset though. Good luck!

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J.H.

answers from San Francisco on

As some of the earlier posts have mentioned, try pumping more often. If possible you should be pumping more often than you would be nursing baby since the pump is less efficient. Be careful about missing pump sessions - I know this happened to me on more days than I could count (I eventually had to schedule the sessions on my calendar and make it clear I was busy at those times!). And another great gem of advice: relax. At the times I was pumping, I found that if I was reading a magazine or just closing my eyes and "zoning out", I would always get a good deal more milk. I'm lucky enough to be home with my daughter full-time now so pumping is no longer an issue, but I've shed too many tears and lost too much sleep over the same fears you're dealing with now. Best wishes to you, it will all work out!

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H.H.

answers from San Francisco on

I had a lot of trouble keeping my milk supply up too. First of all, go to www.mobimotherhood.org. This is an invaluable resource for mothers overcoming breastfeeding issues (mobi). Since you're returning to work it may be just as simple as you're not pumping all the milk out often enough. Make sure you pump every 3 to 3.5 hours and that you compress the breast to make sure that you get all of the milk out. Once your milk stops coming pump for another 5 or so minutes to see if you can get another letdown. The breast pump is not as efficient as the baby for getting milk out so that's why you need to make sure you're getting all of the milk out each time. You may check to see if your pump is good enough and if not you can rent a hospital grade pump from the hospital. During the weekend when you're with your baby use that time to breast feed her which should help keep your production up. The other things that helped me are herbs - Fennugreek and Blessed Thistle. Talk to your lactation consultant but I took them and talked to my doctor and everyone agreed that they are safe to take during pregnancy. Start with 2 3x a day for a few days and see if it works. If not, increase up to 5 3x a day. I ultimitely ended up taking Domperidone to increase and keep my production up which you can get from a compounding pharmacy but this is a last resort so try the others first. I've made it to 11.5 months doing this so it can be done. Good Luck!!!

One more thing, don't get obsessed with this! It's okay if it gets to be too much. It's okay to give your baby a bottle of formula every once in a while if you need to. Once I realized that my baby was going to be fine if I gave her a bottle of formula when I didn't have enough milk it was a huge relief. Stress will also cause your milk production to go down so stay relaxed and know everything will be fine.

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S.N.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.,
I pumped for 6 months when I had to go back to work full time. I have a few suggestions, because I was really successful at keeping my supply up (like a Jersey Brown cow).
Make sure you are TOTALLY emptied. Pumping every four hours is great, but make sure when you do it you don't have a drop left in you. This is what will stimulate your breasts to make more, and signal the demand is up.
Also, I turned my pump way up. Some of the other moms didn't use as high a suction.
hope this is helpful.

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L.K.

answers from Fresno on

Be very cautious with Fenugreek! Many have suggested using the herb. It did me very wrong - it's not for everyone. The lactation consultant suggested I take 3 pills for my first dose. Luckily I only took 1 on my instincts. Even the one made my heart race. As I stepped out of the shower in the morning I suddenly felt like I was going to pass out and vomit and my heart was beating out of my chest. I had to sit down suddenly so I wouldn't hurt myself while passing out. I guess the flip-side is that both of my breasts suddenly started oozing milk! So, it did kinda work, but I'll never do that to myself again. I have a full bottle of it in the cabinet - I might as well toss it :o) I called the lactation nurse and explained what had happened and she simply said, "Oh yeah, you can't take that." It just wasn't right for my body. So, lesson is even herbs that are "natural" can be hamrful. Good luck - sorry I don't have other advice other than try to relax. Stress and being overwhelmed with my schedule slowed down my supply.

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S.M.

answers from Bakersfield on

I have one really quick response. Have you tried pumping while your nursing? It can be tricky but you'll get the milk that has already let down plus as baby is nursing, your supply will continue through supply and demand. I did that when my 3rd baby was 3 months old and I went back to work part-time. It really seemed to help. I didn't feel as pressured to produce when I was away from baby. Good luck. And hats off to you for doing everything you can to continue nursing.

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B.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I am still nursing my 17-month-old and pump once a day. What I have found worked to get more milk is to move the pump around on my breast so that it has better access to the various milk ducts. This has almost doubled the amount that I get. I also have really worked at trying to relax while I'm doing it and allowing time for the milk to let down. Hope that helps some.

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C.W.

answers from Bakersfield on

I had success with taking Fenugreek. It's an inexpensive herb. It is in that tea, but probably not enough to be effective. Make sure you get enough calories and try to minimize your stress. I think stress is a big one. Good luck and good for you for persisting in breastfeeding!

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L.D.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.,
Aside from the Mother's Milk tea, I did some acupressure points, which you should be able to find pretty easily in a book called Acupressures Potent Points by Michael Reed Gach. I have also heard that keeping a regular schedule is important as your system will produce in accordance to the demand. The other thing I remember reading for returning to work moms was to solely breastfeed on the weekends keep the production up (from Nursing Mother, Working Mother by Gale Pryor). Perhaps, see an acupuncturist/ herbalist? Good luck.
L. D.

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T.S.

answers from Stockton on

Are you eating enough calories? I know that with my son, I tried to lessen my caloric intake too early and it affected my mild supply. Also you might try pumping every 2-3 hours. Good Luck!

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J.P.

answers from San Francisco on

Try pumping more often and maybe for a little longer. Pumps aren't as effective as the baby so you have to do it more.

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A.H.

answers from Modesto on

I have used "More Milk Plus" from the health food store, which seemed to help. You may consider that. I really struggled with my milk supply going up and down. My baby was weaned naturally at 11-1/2 months. If I had realized what little milk she was getting while nursing those final few months I probably would have weaned her sooner. It was a struggle as I pumped and got sores and tried to get my milk supply up. If the pumping and the More Milk Plus doesn't help - I really don't have any additional advice. I finally went to Formula, which she stayed on until she was about 14 months old. Good luck!

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T.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.!

Sounds like you are doing all the right things! It could be that you are getting less and less at each pump because you are stressing it. I know that was always the case with me. Worried about milk supply and it dwindles... Worry about work, milk supply dwindles...you get the picture.

You might also want to try Fenugreek supplements, it's natural (you can get organic too), makes you smell like maple syrup (mmmm, waffles!) and certainly wouldn't hurt anything!

Good luck!
T.

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L.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.,

I had my seventh baby 2 months ago and worked fulltime with my first 4. I understand your fear. I would just continue doing what you are doing. Drink tons of water maybe try fenucreek vitamins. Remember your baby is more efficient at sucking than the highest grade pump. Plus your baby is probably eating cereal at this point so therefore won't need as much milk from you. I so far have breadtfed all six for 16 months plus for each. One baby I breastfed through an entire pregnacy.

I hope that helps!

mom of 7

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H.C.

answers from Sacramento on

Oatmeal and an herbal supplement: Fenugreek. Cut out allergy medicines or any medicines that are great for drying out your sinuses (they dry out your breasts, too). Check out the laleche league site.

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C.M.

answers from Salinas on

Electric pump... my best thing to suggest is medela. I had the rental one first (lactina) and then i bought my own... the PIS advance.

Also...is there a way you can pump every two hours? How long is your work day? If it's 8 hours, and you're only pummping every four, does that mean you only pump on your lunch break? You should try to get pumping during your 15 min breaks and your employer is required to give you some extra time (within reason) for that pumping on paid breaks... at least they are in the state of CA.

Have your baby nurse as much as possible when you are not at work. also... there's a great article on kellymom.com about "wakeful four month olds" that might explain why sometimes it appears your supply is lowering but it actually isn't. the idea is that your baby is nursing more through the night or other times of the day because baby prefers milk from the source and not from the bottle so you might be able to make your baby's bottles smaller in ounces because the baby is nursing enough during your off work hours to get the ounces he/she needs.

Another food item to try is oatmeal. Don't get the quick oats either. Buy regular oatmeal and make oatmeal for breakfast. I hated oatmeal for breakfast so I would constantly be making oatmeal cookies when I pumped. I'd also ask my MIL (who likes to bake) to make me oatmeal cookies when she was getting an urge to bake something.

I've read that fengugreek is most helpful when taken with blessed thistle;however, i've also read that it's more helpful to take in the beginning (first 30-60 days?). But I don't see how trying it would hurt anything.

Hang in there... has your baby started solids? That could be another possible issue. Check out kellymom.com for their message boards and articles....they have a board dedicated totally to pumping moms and that site saved me so many times especially when my baby was 4 months old and suddenly i was seeing all these changes.

you can do it!

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W.M.

answers from Sacramento on

M.,
Breast milk is based on supply and demand, as you know,
so when I was working I would leave the pump on a little
longer to get the supply increased. Are you remembering to release the pump pressure with the air valves? I did not know you were supposed to do this with the first pump I had, and burned the motor out.

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A.P.

answers from Sacramento on

I had the same thing happen around 6 months. I rented a hospital grade pump for 2 weeks and pumped like MAD. I also ate lots of oatmeal and took fenugreek & blessed thistle. My milk supply increased and I nursed my DD until she was 13 months.

Good Luck!

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M.D.

answers from Sacramento on

Have you tried fenugreek? It was recommended to me along with a couple of other herbal supplements that I cant remember right now by a lactation consultant. With my one year old I had trouble keeping up my supply because of the medication I take. I found this one online that I am going to purchase before I have my baby in April the link is http://gotbreastpump.com/store/More_Milk_Plus_Vegetarian_...

Or you can go to GNC or another vitamin store and they have fenugreek and something "thistle" I dont remember the beginning of it tho.

Hope that helps!!!!
M.

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A.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.,

I am a mom of two small kids and a Dietitian and Lactation Specialist. So, I hope my info helps ;)
I used fenegreek tablets on top of the tea(which I drank all day long). Also, proteins such as chicken and beef will really help boost supply. The key is to pump as much and as often as you can. It is about supply and demand. There is also a tincture you can get at Whole Foods that is in a dropper and glass bottle ( my mom brain is not allowing me to remember the name) it is a bit expensive and tastes icky but it works really well too. Avoid cabbage, it decreases supply.
The pumping will take a couple weeks to settle in. If you keep at it, the amount you get will improve. It may never give you as much as you want but it will improve. I was never a good "pumper" but having the best possible double pump you can afford is helpful. used pumps lose their suction over one or two kids. I also got blocked ducts while pumping so watch out for that.
You are an awesome mom for pumping and nursing, remember that. Don't get down on yourself if you have to end up supplementing a few ounces a day. Since baby is 6 months, you can really start introducing solids to take thte place of some of the bottles during the day :) Good luck and good job!!!!

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A.A.

answers from San Francisco on

I had the same problem when I returned to work when my son was 6 months. What really helped was investing in a really good pump, I would recommend a Medela. Also find out if your employer owns a pump; I know that sounds weird, but the company I worked for had not only a "pump room" but also had a hospital grade pump. I just bought the necessary tubes and accessories (which came to about $20), and used theirs when I was at work.
You can get a Medela at most baby stores now, and I found some really great deals on-line for them.
Good Luck!

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L.F.

answers from San Francisco on

I had trouble with my milk supply when my son was born and tried everything from pumping after he nursed to taking herbal supplements. On advice from a lactation consultant, I tried a drug called domperidone. Of course it was a last resort and the catch is that it isn't approved by the FDA. You can order it online. It really worked! Sounds sketchy, but was totally fine for the baby and doesn't have all of the bad side effects that the U.S. drug Raglin does. Good Luck! Nursing can be very challenging.

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E.S.

answers from San Francisco on

M., I would pump more frequently while at work. Take a picture of your daughter to look at and you will get more milk. Also, have her nurse as soon as you pick her up, to help stimulate the milk supply. If you are due to pick her up, have the caregiver try to wait to feed her. On the weekends, try not to give her a bottle. It's really great to have the moments after a day at work! Keep working at it!

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C.L.

answers from San Francisco on

I am a nursing mom of a 6 month old too and my supply started to go down about a month ago. However, between talking to my doctor and every where I read, it's always the same anwer... there is nothing you can eat or drink to make your milk supply increase, it is ALL a demand thing. So the more you nurse the more your baby is telling your body that it needs more milk and the more you will make. I read that even if your baby wants to nurse just for comfort than let her because that will just increase your supply. And although pumping helps increase the supply, it's not the same as nursing your baby. Needless to say I started doing that (nursing more) and my milk supply increased again. So my advice to you is... NURSE, NURSE, NURSE, and NURSE some more! :)

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C.A.

answers from San Francisco on

A friend of mine, her dr told her a beer a day. I don't know if it had to be alcoholic beer. I assumed it was the yeast that helped with the increase of milk.

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S.M.

answers from San Francisco on

If you want to increase milk supply then pump more often at work, instead of every 4 hours try every 2. In my experience, I thought that if I pumped longer my milk supply would increase but now I'm sure it's the frequency that increases the supply. I stayed home for a week solely nursing my daughter and the first time I went back to work I pumped an extra ounce. After nursing on demand during the weekend, the supply usually picks up. If your desperate for a few more ounces then pump at night during a missed feeding. Good luck!

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S.M.

answers from Salinas on

I nursed 3 babies, for 1 yr. each, after going back to work at about 4 months. I had a pretty hard time keeping my supply up, even when I was home full-time, nursing. I didn't know about the special teas or foods ... I wish I'd known about this website then. :} Anyway, I worked really hard to get my supply up as high as I could & then gave myself permission to supplement with formula about one feeding per day, if I had to, without feeling guilty about it.

When I went back to work, I continued to nurse as often as I could. I nursed before going to work & of course, in the evening. I was also lucky enough to be able to go to my baby's daycare & nurse over my lunch hour. Each time I nursed, I let my baby nurse as long as he/she wanted to, then after he/she finished nursing, I pumped for an additional 5 minutes, to try to stimulate increased production.

When I was pumping at work, I made sure I pumped as frequently as the baby would be eating & I let the pump go a full 20 min's (I had a dual pump, so that was 20 min's per breast) each time. I was very lucky to have an office with a door, though, so I was able to continue working (I was able to rig my pump to be hands free) while I pumped, which meant I could pump more frequently & longer than I might've been able to do if I had to take time off & go to a break room or the bathroom. Anyway, when I was pumping, the milk would stop flowing at a certain point, but then, after another minute or so, it would start up again.

I think the best answer, though, is to do everything you can to increase your production as much as you can, so that you can be at peace, knowing you're doing the best you can. After that, don't beat yourself up if you can't keep up with your daughter. Whatever you can provide her is a great benefit. :)

Good luck! -S. M.

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A.C.

answers from Yuba City on

Hi -

It sounds like you are doing all you can, the only other thing I can say is try pumping every two hours. Breastmilk works on a supply and demand basis so if you pump more often you are tricking your body into thinking you need more milk thus you may get more. Although working full time and pumping every 2 hours is no easy task :)! Good Luck!!

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R.H.

answers from Salinas on

Your milk production is based on supply and demand and simply put you are not demanding enough. Pump every 2-3 hours and you should be fine. Be patient as it may take a wee bit to build back up again but it will. Mother nature has a very good plan.
Good luck,
R. Houx RN MSW ACSW

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K.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.!
You will get less and less milk on a breast pump..i found that out too.. Your body knows the difference from the baby and the pump..and releases different hormones accordingly.. try to get in as many "natural" breastfeedings as possible.

Are you using the Mandela pump??

Good Luck!!
K.

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S.F.

answers from San Francisco on

If you are using the Medela pump you should get your nipples sized at a place that sells them (like Natural Resources in San Francisco or Day One). You may be using too small or too large a breast shield.

Also, supply tends to drop around the time of menstruation.

http://www.workandpump.com has some great ideas too!

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J.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.,
I've been told by lactation consultants that the best thing to do is to nurse as often as you are able. I made the mistake of not nursing as much when we started giving my son solid foods at 6 months. If I were to do it again I would offer him the breast before and after I fed him solids. Keep on pumping at work if you can to stimulate production. I would also have a bunch of photos of my son around when I was pumping to look at. Rest, water, decreased stress are helpful as well as Mother's Milk (I drank it 3 times/day) and Fenugreek (I took 2 capsules, 3 times/day)-check with your m.d.

Good luck!
J.

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V.R.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi M.,

I returned to work a few weeks ago. My daughter is 4 months old, and I too would like to continue to nurse until she is a year. I have been told to double pump - it supposedly increases prolactin, the hormone that produces milk. I bought the easy expression bustier, which allows me to double pump hands free, so I can read the paper or do whatever while pumping. That has been great. I am also going home on my lunch breaks and nursing a few days a week. I don't know if that is an option for you, but it is nice, especially because I really miss my baby while I'm at work. Best of luck to you.

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A.B.

answers from Stockton on

Hi M.,
It looks like you got tons of great responses. I don't think I could add much more than what everyone else has written. I just wanted to add -- don't give up! My breastmilk supply seemed to dwindle and it was so frustrating to take all kinds of breaks to pump just to get a couple ounces here and there. I thought my milk was simply drying up and that would be that. However, my son is now 19 months old and I'm still producing milk. I'm not producing a TON of milk like when he was exclusively breastfed, but there is milk there for him to access at bedtime. Keep at it!

What helped me most was drinking AT MINIMUM 64 oz. of water per day (4 16 oz. water bottles) and eating nutritious meals regularly. I avoid all caffeine (coffee, soda, chocolate) and because I'm diabetic, I'm forced to avoid junk food and eat nutritious food. I also tried to drink at least 3 cups of fenugreek mother's milk tea per day. Also, when I was pumping, I visualized holding my baby and even having a picture of him while I pumped helped. Also, it's important to RELAX as much as you can. If you are upset about the little amount of milk you are getting out, competing with yourself for how much you got at the last pumping, worried about someone walking in on you, etc. it seems that you don't get as much milk.

Best of luck to you!

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C.L.

answers from Fresno on

Fenugreek- you can buy it at the health/vitamin store.

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A.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Probably easier said then done but also making sure you're getting enough rest and calories is important too. My ped recommended fenugreek over the Mother's Milk tea.

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N.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi. I had a similar issue. Pumping right after nursing helps, as it makes your body think you need to feed another baby. Also, i would drink the tea about 5 times a day. I would put it in with a bag of chai, or herbal tea to give it a nice flavor, and that was also relaxing for me which increases milk flow. Good luck!

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A.L.

answers from San Francisco on

I think you need to do the tea more than 1x a day in order to see benefits from it. that is what i was told. also, i hear Fenugreek works.

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L.G.

answers from San Francisco on

My son is a BIG eater and my supply went down significantly when I returned to work. I use More Milk Plus (the extract, not the capsules) which has more than just Fenugreek in it. Generally, it works within 24 hours. My first time it took 4 days to kick in. It tastes terrible, but it work wonderfully. So, nasty taste is a small price to pay for the reward - MORE MILK FOR YOUR BABY. This is an Herbal Supplement, considered "vegeterian". You can buy it a Whole Foods or even off of Amazon.com. It comes in a 2oz, 4oz, or 8oz bottle. I polished off the 2 oz., so I bought an 8 oz. and refill the 2oz. dropper bottle. Here is a link:
http://www.amazon.com/Motherlove-More-Milk-Plus-2oz/dp/B0...

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L.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M., I am going to slaughter the spelling... I believe it's phenogreek. Got it from WholeFoods and boy, does it work!

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J.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I had the same problem. I would try to pump more often, on the days you are off (every 3 hrs max) and you can try the supplement Fenugreek (you can find it at Whole Foods). It worked for me, so hopefully it will work for you as well. I was told the tea doesn't give much of the supplement needed to increase your milk supply.

Good luck,

Jen

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