Losing milk supply, any tips to increase?

SpiderSpider Registered Users Posts: 3,381 Curl Neophyte
I know your body is supposed to respond, but mine isn't, and now that I've returned to work, more pumping/nursing is going to be difficult. I'm trying the Organic Mother's Milk Tea and oatmeal everyday, but no luck so far.

A coworker had the same problem and told me she got a prescription to help her supply increase, but she didn't remember what it was.

We're only at 11 weeks post delivery, and though I'm supplementing with formula ( and still pumping after those bottle feedings) I want to keep it going for a least a few more months.

Any tips?
Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
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Comments

  • heavengirl410heavengirl410 Registered Users Posts: 821
    FENNEGREEK is a natural supplement to help with milk supply. Keep pumping and pumping and pumping or feeding, very often. The Doc should know the name of the prescription drug to boost the supply, just ask, I took that as well.
  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Registered Users Posts: 2,671 Curl Neophyte
    Heavengirl, are you talking about Dompindrime or something with a similar name? US docs won't prescribe that anymore.

    Spider, oatmeal really upped my production. It doesn't work for some women but others, like me, have a huge reaction to it. I had to stop eating it entirely. Here are Kelly Mom tips on increasing supply. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html Maybe a weekend nursing vacation would help you.
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  • SpiderSpider Registered Users Posts: 3,381 Curl Neophyte
    DarkAngel wrote:
    Heavengirl, are you talking about Dompindrime or something with a similar name? US docs won't prescribe that anymore.

    Spider, oatmeal really upped my production. It doesn't work for some women but others, like me, have a huge reaction to it. I had to stop eating it entirely. Here are Kelly Mom tips on increasing supply. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html Maybe a weekend nursing vacation would help you.

    Does instant Quaker count? I can eat that at work, and make the real stuff at home.
    Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Banned Users Posts: 24,963 Curl Neophyte
    Nothing seemed to work for me.
    I figured what the little one was able to get was great nonetheless...dunno
  • heavengirl410heavengirl410 Registered Users Posts: 821
    To be honest I really don't remember the name of the prescription, it was 2 years ago. I fed both my kids for 3 months. I couldn't do it any longer, but at least I did what I could. I looked at that website and there is info on fenugreek as well, that is a great site, I wish I knew about it when I was nursing.
  • sarah42sarah42 Registered Users Posts: 4,034
    Ditto for fenugreek. I'm working full-time now and pumping at work, and I've been having trouble pumping enough for DS's bottles during the day. I can definitely tell a difference since taking the fenugreek! I believe it's an ingredient in the mother's milk tea.

    My OB mentioned a drug called Reglan (available in the States) that can improve milk supply. I don't have any experience with it, but it might be worth checking into. If you have access to a lactation consultant, that might be worthwhile too.
    ehLB.jpg
  • AmnerisAmneris Registered Users Posts: 15,117
    Wouldn't supplementing with formula perhaps be part of the reason your supply is decreasing?
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  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Banned Users Posts: 24,963 Curl Neophyte
    I think it can be a vicious cycle, but when the little one isn't getting satisfied, what else can one do? :shrug: Some women just don't produce enough for whatever reason...
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    We're only at 11 weeks post delivery, and though I'm supplementing with formula ( and still pumping after those bottle feedings) I want to keep it going for a least a few more months.


    The more you supplement with formula, the worse it's going to get. It's a quick downward spiral. If you really want to keep your supply going, you should do all feedings at the breast when you are home, and only pump when at work. I wouldn't supplement with formula at all when at home. None. Getting a fussy hungry baby on the breast is the best booster of milk supply. Formula should only be used if you have a shortfall of pumped milk for the babysitter.

    Beer always had a nice affect on my milk supply. Non-alcoholic beer has the same ingredient that helps increase breastmilk if you're worried about alcohol. You could try drinking a NA beer every evening and see if that helps.
  • SpiderSpider Registered Users Posts: 3,381 Curl Neophyte
    Because DS was in NICU for the first five weeks, and part of that he was on a special pre-digested formula for his chylothorax, I was still pumping and freezing the milk- I had a freezer full!

    Once I was able to nurse him, I did, but there were also times (DH would help feed him in the middle of the night) he was bottle fed, and he's going to be bottle fed as I'm returning to work. Because I wanted to extend the breastmilk supply ( and he'd already been on formula) we started giving him formula at night , or if we were going to be out. Once he got home, I was pumping less amounts and now when I nurse or pump (the fequency never changed) I get less. I even pump serveral minutes more past the empty point, as the pediatrician recommended so my body would make more for the demand but it hasn't happened.

    Fennel is in the mother's milk tea, along with some other things. Wile, it's not the end of the world if I dry up, but honestly, finances and not having to buy expensive formula is a big part of my motivation. :wink:
    Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
  • Oregano  (formerly babywavy)Oregano (formerly babywavy) Registered Users Posts: 5,297 Curl Neophyte
    The baby should be building up your milk supply if you're feeding on demand. If you don't feel like your baby is getting enough, and supplement with formula, then your body isn't producing during that time that the baby is getting the body, and won't produce for that particular feeding next time.

    Although it CAN be exhausting when they're trying to build up your supply. I felt a neverending stress at times b/c B would want to nurse every hour and a half!
    ~ the artist formerly known as babywavy ~

    Please excuse any typos. For the time being, we are blaming it on my computer.
  • geminigemini Registered Users Posts: 3,325
    Is there any way you can add in 1-2 more pumping sessions? Or try a different pump? Or even hand express after you've pumped (I discovered I could get another 1-2 oz this way after using my Medela PIS).

    Maybe you could nurse him at night and when you're out? The only thing that helped me keep up supply was actually nursing. Pumping wasn't the same and long breaks without nursing also seemed to affect my supply almost immediately.
  • marielle448marielle448 Registered Users Posts: 1,823
    you mentioned you haven't changed the frequency of your pumpings but baby does change the frequency of his feedings depending on growth spurts, etc. I also agree with RCW that I would only pump when away from baby.

    Also, when DH was feeding the baby a bottle you were pumping at the same time correct? If you weren't then that would definitely contribute to your lessened supply. If you have a wholefoods nearby I would try Blessed Thistle or alfalfa. If you're going to take the fenugreek you basically have to do super doses until you reek of maple syrup (you'll know believe me LOL).

    If you'd really like to try to bring it back, take a nursing retreat within the next couple of days while you're home. Stay in bed with the baby, grab a jug of water, portable snacks and some books or the remote. Nurse, eat, sleep, watch TV/read, repeat. Keep your top off to let the baby smell your scent and root on his own. Do it for 2-3 days while at home enough to boost and reestablish your supply a bit then continue only to nurse while at home. While formula feeding and bottle feeding EBM are not bad, for establishing a milk supply they are a hindrance.
  • SpiderSpider Registered Users Posts: 3,381 Curl Neophyte
    Thanks for all the help gals. Since I know I'm not going to have enough each feeding I don't want either baby or me to go through the frustration of getting 1 oz, when he needs 4oz, so that's why I'm pumping more than actually trying to only nurse him.

    I guess I don't get how to get the less frequent feedings/pumping but get more milk out, as you would do when the infant is older. Ie, older infants may feed every 3-4 hours but require 6 oz. So why is my body not being "tricked" into that yet?
    Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
  • cosmicflycosmicfly Registered Users Posts: 1,814
    Possibly because the baby is more efficient than the pump, so he's probably getting more when nursing than you're getting when you're pumping. I don't know what kind of pump you're using, but I used an Avent Isis with my son, and a PIS for my daughter, and for whatever reason, I got more milk with the Isis, which is a hand pump. I was away from my son more, too. I never had any success hand expressing..

    Maybe try a good hand pump like the Isis at the end of a pumping session- you might get another ounce or 2.
  • M2LRM2LR Registered Users Posts: 8,630 Curl Connoisseur
    Personally, I think that there are a few factors that aren't helping - the formula supplements are one. Another might be that if your DH gets up and feeds him some EBM and you aren't pumping at night, then there goes some that your body doesn't have to produce.

    The Mother's Milk tea helps for some, but you have to drink a lot of it. The Fenugreek by itself in capsule form worked for me, and you have to take enough to where your urine smells like maple syrup. I also tried this other stuff that had more in it than fenugreek, and it worked okay for me. I thought that I had low supply issues as well when I returned to work, but I didn't.

    The pump will not drain your breast as thoroughly as the baby, either, so I would pump more often. When I returned to work, I pumped every three hours, when she was really only eating every 4 or 5.

    This link really helped me:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html

    http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/milksupply/fenugreek.html

    These are the herbs I took:

    http://www.motherlove.com/
    :rambo:
  • SpiderSpider Registered Users Posts: 3,381 Curl Neophyte
    I was renting the Medela Symphony, now I have the more portable PIS.

    I called my OB, he doesn't belive in the prescription. Can I get fenugreek at the drugstore?

    Baby is also having some tummy issues and the pediatrician said to only give him milk the next few days and no formula, to see if that helps him, and I'm hoping that will help me as well.

    M2LR- maple syrup isn't a bad smell to have! :lol:
    Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
  • geminigemini Registered Users Posts: 3,325
    cosmicfly wrote:
    Possibly because the baby is more efficient than the pump, so he's probably getting more when nursing than you're getting when you're pumping. I don't know what kind of pump you're using, but I used an Avent Isis with my son, and a PIS for my daughter, and for whatever reason, I got more milk with the Isis, which is a hand pump. I was away from my son more, too. I never had any success hand expressing..

    Maybe try a good hand pump like the Isis at the end of a pumping session- you might get another ounce or 2.

    Yes, the Isis is a great pump. I used PIS at work, but alternated with the Isis whenever I pumped at home (and I liked that it was faster easier to clean compared to the parts for the PIS). And hand expression worked after my PIS ran dry when I pumped at work.

    How do you know your son is not consuming enough at a feeding? Is he not satisfied after he nurses?
  • geekygeeky Registered Users Posts: 4,995
    I will ditto the above. You should try to minimize the formula supplementation. If your husband wants to help at night, he can get up, change the baby, bring him to you to nurse, then put him back down. So all you have to really do is lie there and maybe hold your boob, which you can do without really waking up. Also ditto the nursing weekend. Just do nothing but lie around with baby and nurse nurse nurse. Do it every 45 minutes if he is willing.

    You can also try pumping for 5 or so minutes after you nurse. It's a hassle, but the extra stimulation will help. Or, if you can manage it, nurse on 1 side and pump on the other.

    And if you must supplement, consider getting a supplemental nurser system - instead of a bottle, the supplemental stuff comes through a wee tube next to your nipple. That way, your breast is getting stimulated and the baby is getting practice on the boob while getting the supplementation. A lactation consultant or La Leche League should be able to help you get one.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • M2LRM2LR Registered Users Posts: 8,630 Curl Connoisseur
    Spider wrote:
    I was renting the Medela Symphony, now I have the more portable PIS.

    I called my OB, he doesn't belive in the prescription. Can I get fenugreek at the drugstore?

    Baby is also having some tummy issues and the pediatrician said to only give him milk the next few days and no formula, to see if that helps him, and I'm hoping that will help me as well.

    M2LR- maple syrup isn't a bad smell to have! :lol:

    You should be able to find fenugreek at a drug store, IF they have an herbs section. I think that I saw it at Raley's at one point, too. A natural food store works best, though, and you might be able to find the Mother Love herbs there, too. I think I found them at Elliots.
    :rambo:
  • geminigemini Registered Users Posts: 3,325
    GNC sells fenugreek supplements as well.

    ITA with the ladies here. Their advice was always very helpful whenever I had supply issues with my daughter!
  • heavengirl410heavengirl410 Registered Users Posts: 821
    I found Fenugreek at a health food store. Good luck!!
  • geekygeeky Registered Users Posts: 4,995
    Don't forget to get as much rest (ha ha, I know), food and liquids as you can.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • SpiderSpider Registered Users Posts: 3,381 Curl Neophyte
    I'm such a bad mom :( but I mean well. After your suggestions and reading the links, there's a lot of things I'm not doing ( or doing) that I can see now. Like being too active (working on outdoor projects while I was home) not eating more/better than I normally do, and because DS had a bit of the nipple confusion, I usually use a shield, just because I don't want to upset him trying to latch, but now I see that can cause some problems for me.

    And good question about him getting enough! I don't know that he isn't but I'm assuming the amount of milk I pump is the same as what he gets, and it may not be. He gets impatient at first when I try to nurse, he feed for about 10 minutes and then he falls asleep, so my assumption is that he's not getting as much, but maybe he is.

    I will strap him to my chest, put my feet up and eat bon bons in bed all weekend!!
    Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
  • marielle448marielle448 Registered Users Posts: 1,823
    not to be trite but let go of the guilt - we mommies have enough of that built in already LOL. Just remember "when you know better, you do better". Just move forward with some suggestions and remember, your baby is still quite young, and the MOST important things right now are to take care of you, baby and the family. Everything else is not a must do and you can live in survival mode for about a year after baby arrives with no shame whatsoever. :wink:

    I know it's hard to imagine that the simple things like relaxation, rest, plenty of fluids and slowing down affect milk supply but they do. I'm sure God designed it that way to make sure that mom had her well deserved rest too. You had a hectic time PP after he was born and shuttling yourself back and forth to the hospital. You deserve your rest and time to bond with baby now.
  • geekygeeky Registered Users Posts: 4,995
    I came across this article a while back. It describes how to bottle feed a baby to minimize/eliminate nipple confusion. Can't vouch for it personally but the author seems to have good credentials.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • geminigemini Registered Users Posts: 3,325
    Nope, you're not a bad mom, obviously you are concerned enough to come here and ask!

    I asked about the amount because a lot of people who bottle feed don't feel confident that the baby gets enough when nursing because you can't quantify exactly what he's receiving! Falling asleep sounds like a good sign--sometimes when the baby reaches teh end of a nursing session and has made it down to the fatty hind milk, they get drowsy. That happened with my daughter too often to count.

    Oh--definitely drink lots of water--I forgot that one.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    Since I know I'm not going to have enough each feeding I don't want either baby or me to go through the frustration of getting 1 oz, when he needs 4oz, so that's why I'm pumping more than actually trying to only nurse him.


    Unfortunately, that frustration is what is necessary to keep a milk supply adequate. Let the baby be frustrated. He'll root and suck like a maniac. That's what will build your supply. You're sabotaging your supply every time you supplement.

    Ditch the nipple shields too. They're notorious for decreasing supply. They should only be used sparingly when moms have extreme cracked nipples, and even then only a day or two.

    Take heart though. This is only a small bump in the breastfeeding road. It can definitely be overcome. Many moms and babies who've had supply issues early on can go on to have long-term nursing relationships, even while working/pumping.
  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Registered Users Posts: 2,954 Curl Connoisseur
    Spider, be sure you are drinking a ton of water. I notice a huge dip in my milk supply if I don't get enough water.

    Remember you baby can get more milk out of you than a pump ever will. I have never been able to pump more than 6 ounces but Chas eats 8 ounces of milk in a bottle. Whenever he breastfeeds...he is satisfied...so he must be getting 8 ounces out of me. Just relax...your baby will let you know she is still hungry after nursing.

    Good Luck!!!
  • itsjustmeghanitsjustmeghan Registered Users Posts: 652
    If you'd really like to try to bring it back, take a nursing retreat within the next couple of days while you're home. Stay in bed with the baby, grab a jug of water, portable snacks and some books or the remote. Nurse, eat, sleep, watch TV/read, repeat. Keep your top off to let the baby smell your scent and root on his own. Do it for 2-3 days while at home enough to boost and reestablish your supply a bit then continue only to nurse while at home. While formula feeding and bottle feeding EBM are not bad, for establishing a milk supply they are a hindrance.

    best advice you'll get. LOTS of skin on skin time. owen and i would have nudie days. him in a diaper. me in my underwear with a good movie in teh dvd player and us snuggled up in bed.
    at work, i'd bring clothes he wore and would smell them while pumping, look at pictures, etc and that helped a ton. another big thing was playing around with the pump settings to make it more like your baby. that will definately help. the less supplementing you can do the better. even if it means the occasional night feeding. i think i read somehwere you need to stimulate the breast 8 times a day to increase supply, so if i was worried about it, i'd even wake up baby to have him nurse, or wake up at night to pump to get that extra session in. it sucked, but after a week, much better!
    i ate natural oatmeal every morning for breakfast (just add hot water and let it sit so it can soak up all the water) and sipping coffee or ice cold water also helped me let down more. beer worked some towards the end of my pumping times.

    the money you save is definately worth the trouble! and you get a healthier little baby! :D
    3A Once again on the quest for BSL healthy curly hair....

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