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  1. #1
    Expert Forum User Tannaleigh's Avatar
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    Default Help with BM supply

    Hiya girls, I don't have much time to search and read through to find what I am looking for, so I am wondering if there is any advice about how to increase my breastmilk supply naturally. I am expressing for yale and right now am BARELY meeting his needs, even with it fortified.

    I have arranged a consult with a Lactation Consultant for my next clinic visit at Sick Kids, but thats not for another two weeks. I know there is prescription help, but before I go that route was thinking someone here has to have some ideas.

    i get that breast milk is supply and demand. as it stands I pump about every three hours with a double breast pump (lansinoh) and only once during the night.

    TIA for any helpful hints you might have!
    Yale 4yr old
    Kane 1yr old
    and baby makes 3!!! Errr... 4!


  2. #2
    Junior Member LeslieG's Avatar
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    You might need to increase pumping frequency. When you say once during the night...what does that mean? I wouldn't go any longer than 4-5 hours at night. I haven't used it myself but a bunch of moms were singing the praises of fenugreek as well....hopefully someone will chime in on that.

    Is the pump electric? Does it have a strong suction?



  3. #3
    Expert Forum User Tannaleigh's Avatar
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    Thanks Leslie
    Once during the night jsut means after Yale's feed... its about a 4 hour stretch.
    The pump is electric and is great, has about the same amount of suction as the hospital ones I pump with while at Sick Kids.

    is fenugreek something I can buy OTC?
    Yale 4yr old
    Kane 1yr old
    and baby makes 3!!! Errr... 4!


  4. #4
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    Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle worked wonders for me. Drinking LOTS of fluid! I found that helped lots for me too.

    I did find that I needed to increase the amounts of these herbal supplements as time went on and my body got used to them. I suppose it depends on the person since others I know did not.

    Is the pump "hospital grade"? I found that if you are exclusively pumping, an electic hospital grade pump worked best.

    Good luck!
    ~LBG

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannaleigh View Post
    is fenugreek something I can buy OTC?
    YES! You can get it (and the Blessed Thistle) at any herbal store, I think I even got it once at superstore. You can take both at the same time. If you do end up getting Donperidone, you can take all three at once.
    ~LBG

  6. #6
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom! mamabear's Avatar
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    It's also possible that it's a pumping issue rather than a supply issue. No pump can be as good as a nursing baby and sometimes it's hard to have pump enough milk even when you're supply is good if that makes sense. Have you found that you have problems letting down at all?

  7. #7
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    I lost my milk when I had to pump exclusively for my DD. And I have supply issues in general (with both girls). What helps me the most is lots of water (honestly, this means constant drinking) and oatmeal-to-go bars. I don't know why but they work better than regular oatmeal. I used donperidone with #1 and think it's great you are trying to avoid that if possible. I too have heard great things about fenugreek and blessed thistle. Good luck. Yale sure is a looker... I agree with his T-shirt! I'll be keeping him away from my ladies!

  8. #8
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    If it wasn't for Fenugreek & Blessed Thistle & the occassional dark beer (right after feeding), I would NEVER have produced enough. They work wonders & I swear by them.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pumpkinery-Creations/220912411314225

  9. #9
    Expert Forum User Tannaleigh's Avatar
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    I let down well...its just that i only get milk for about the first five minutes of pumping. So to me its a supply issue. Like I said, my pump is fantastic...it works just as well as the ones at Sick Kids...(they are the super electric medela ones)

    Thanks for the info, where can I get some fenugreek? I will try to up my fluid intake and start to take some fenugreek and see if I see any improvement before I go the donperidone route.
    Yale 4yr old
    Kane 1yr old
    and baby makes 3!!! Errr... 4!


  10. #10
    girlsmum
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    Weleda makes a tea specifically for nursing mothers to increase milk supply...............when I said I was determined to nurse this time around for my girls I did try everything so each morning I had this nursing tea and it did help a little. But mamabear is right!...............unless you can get Yale to nurse at least a few times a day, or even once your milk supply may still dry up, mine did as neither twin would latch, not enough sucking ability. So I pumped with both a manual and electric pump. After 3 months it was very painful and despite everything my supply did dry up. But I also knew that I am not a good supplier for breast milk. Are you able to get Yale to nurse at all when he's not in procedure or at home?? I'm not sure if you mentioned that you did..................it's very important to do natural nursing as well as pumping, this info I ran across during my studies.

    Keep us posted as to how the nursing is going!!

  11. #11
    girlsmum
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    Oh, Weleda tea should be available at any health food store and do drink a big glass of water several times a day, a bit more from my studies, lots of rest and water!!

  12. #12
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom!
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    Drink lots, like ridiculous amounts They say you typically need 8 glasses of water a day and way more when nursing, so you'll feel like your floating away at first. I know this has been mentioned, but many people don't drink enough water to start with, so even when they increase it, it isn't enough. You need enough water in your body to make enough milk, obviously

    I know a lot of people have very good luck with oatmeal. Oatmeal for breakfast, or as was suggested the oatmeal to go bars seem popular. This is a great one because it is definitely natural.

    If you're having supply issues, you probably need to bump up the frequency. I would try doing every three hours around the clock (at least for a bit) and see if that helps. I presume you're pumping for awhile after you are 'empty' too? As I mentioned, my sister works in a NICU and many moms there are pumping every two hours around the clock, especially with young babies. That is really often, but perhaps just bouncing up the pumping over night might help. Once your supply is up, it might be easier to drop down the frequency at night again.

    Is Yale able to latch at all? I don't know if I saw the outcome of this. Sounds like you are fortifying, but I don't know if he could latch, even just to suck more for the sake of sucking. It stimulates the breast better than a pump and if you can pump at the same time it works real well. Perhaps that isn't an option though...

    Do you compress your breasts while pumping? Someone else might know better than me, but this is effective for getting more BM into a nursing baby. I compress my breast while pumping and when I'm getting almost nothing, it does bounce up the flow rate. It also helps to really get closer to empty, which helps increase supply. I'm not as sure about how this works with exclusively pumping, but this is one of the big things for low supply/baby not getting enough from breastfeeding.

    Take care of yourself too! You can produce enough if you're stressed and worn out - okay, easy to say, I know, I have a one year old and still get no sleep, so it sounds crazy. But if you can nap more, take vitamins, just keep yourself in good shape it helps.

    Please keep us updated! We're thinking of you!

  13. #13
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    I definitely agree with everyone that says that fenugreek and blessed thistle are wonders! Also, the nursing tea is a fantastic thing as well.

    I've also heard that ice cream is good for milk production, as are things like avocado and flax oil, due to the high levels of healthy fats in them.

    Drink lots of water, and even a nice beer every once in a while, or take brewer's yeast.

    Do you have to be pumping? I nursed my dd for 2 years and never could pump more than an ounce. I never had supply issues, but just couldn't convince my breasts that a pump was a baby. lol! This time around I haven't even bothered with trying to pump because it's such a problem for me. But, I have heard that increasing pumping sessions can really help.
    Stacey, Mommy to Alida & Ronan


  14. #14
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    As a self proclaimed Lactivist...

    I just wanted to say, IMO, you're a Super Mama! I really imagined you'd be FF with all the things Yale is going through... The fact that you are pumping and meeting his needs (even if it's only just) truly brought tears to my eyes. That's a wonderful gift you are giving him and what a commitment You should be very proud of all your hard work.

    The other ladies here have offered tons of wonderful advice. I have some nursing tea here (but I;m in NS), that I'd be happy to pop in the mail for you. It's just over half a box. If you have any trouble locating the Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle LMK and I'd be happy to pick some up for you and FedEx it to you. You have to take 3 capsules of both herbs 3 times daily (so 9 caps of each).

    Drink so much water you think your bladder will explode (or at least so much that you think you just can't drink any more)

    Oatmeal - In the order of most effective to least effective... Steel cut (Irish Oats), Rolled (I think Oatmeal-to-go bars are this),and finally Instant. A bowl first thing in the morning will really help boost your supply for the day.

    Pumping - I would pump more often since a BF baby would likely be feeding every 2-3 hours that's how often you should be pumping. I think you are supposed to pump for 2-3 mins after the last drop to be sure you are emptying the breast as much as possible. Breast compressions will help empty the breast more thoroughly.

    Growth spurts generally occur in or around the 3 week, 6 week, 3 month, 6 month times.

    During a growth spurt, don't be surprised if baby drinks more expressed milk than usual, making it harder for mom to provide enough expressed milk. Growth spurts are temporary - try increasing nursing and adding a pumping session or two at home until the growth spurt is over.

    Here are a few links for you:

    Expressing milk @ kellymom
    Breast Compression by Jack Newman
    I'm not expressing enough milk. What can I do? @ kellymom
    Links: Exclusive pumping

    I know there's a lot of info and tons of reading. Perhaps you could borrow a copy of Jack Newman's "Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding" from a friend or the library. It would be well worth reading as much of this info can be found in there.

    HTH

    Best of luck and again, you are doing an AMAZING job!!!

    MM
    *sigh*



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  15. #15
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom!
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    You have had a ton of great advice and I would second most of it. As far as getting Fenugreek or Blessed Thistle - any natural health store will carry these. Try Lyn-Dys, Quartermaster, there is a store in the market that would probably carry it or if you have a local health food store close by they would most likely carry it.
    Mom of 2 girls, unschooler, feminist, runner and just general lover of life.

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