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The most important thing to do when you're trying to increase your supply is to nurse as often as possible. Don't go longer than 2 hours without nursing during the day, and no longer than 4 hours at night. If you can then read this topic and try to do it. For those of you that don't have any choice but to supplement, you can this read post and if at all possible try those products. The supplemental nurser would be your best bet because it allows the baby to stimulate your breast while getting the extra milk they need. If you can't get these products you can try a medicine dropper to give your baby the milk, just be sure not to put too much in your baby's mouth at once. Try to find a local lactation consultant, they are so much help. Not only can they give great advice and help you figure out what is going on but they have many resources and can often get the things you need to continue breastfeeding for free. (Such as a supplemental nurser.) When you supplement you need to be pumping. It increases the prolactin your body produces which is the hormone that produces milk. Try to pump after your baby eats as well, even if you are not getting any milk, it's telling your body that you need to produce more. You can also try Fenugreek. Here is a link that explains how to use it. Blessed Thistle is another herb that works, its a bit harder to find and I'm not sure how it's used but I'll find out and edit this post. Oatmeal works for some people, its recomended that you use old fashioned oats instead of instant. You should eat 1-2 bowls a day or you can try oatmeal cookies. Here's a recipie for the cookies. Try wearing your baby in a sling, this will encourage him/her to nurse more often. Also try skin to skin contact as much as possible, maybe even take a bath together. Use a pacifier as little as possible, not using one at all would be ideal. If your baby is hungry they will sometimes self-soothe with the pacificer and that is time they could be spending at your breast!
There are some medications you can take, although this is generally used as a last resort. But if you feel that its something you need, make an appointment and talk with your doctor about it. Once of the medications I know of is Reglan, although it can have some unpleasant side effects. The other one is Domperidone, this one can be difficult to get prescribed but I know in other countries they prescribe it regularly. If you do start thinking about taking a prescription medication to increase your supply make sure you do your research, and lots of thinking before making a decision!
Here is a list I have compiled about ways to increase supply:
Eat oatmeal for breakfast
Pump more often in the morning
Pump at home - don't limit to only at work pumping sessions
Pump at the same time every day
Pump after showering (if this helps your milk letdown)
Take fenugreek supplements
Drink Mother's Milk Tea
Take other nursing supplements (like More Milk from Motherlove)
Record your son's hungry cry and play it before pumping
Take your son's outfit from yesterday/the night before with you (something that smells like him)
Take a photo of your son to look at while pumping
Take a photo of your son nursing to look at while pumping
Make sure your pump is working well, there are no cracks and the pressure is being maintained well
Change the valves/membranes in your pump
Try a different size shield when pumping
Take alfalfa supplements
Practice relaxation techniques before you pump
Drink plenty of water
Eat enough calories - make your diet high in protein
Nurse more often when you are with your baby
Cluster pump when you're with baby - nurse & pump every half hour for a few hours
Take a nursing vacation (where all you do is eat, sleep, and feed baby), but include pumping after many nursing sessions
Continue pumping 2-5 minutes after milk stops flowing
Pump for at least 15 minutes
Increase the time you pump each session
Pump after baby nurses or on one side while baby is nursing on the other
Try the Marmet Technique of massage and assisting the ejection reflex (http://www.lactationinstitute.org/MANUALEX.html)
Use compression when pumping
Support breasts while pumping
Lean forward while pumping
Sit straight up while pumping
Switch to a soft shield if you're using a hard shield
Grease up the shields with vegetable oil before pumping (wipe off after finished pumping)
Use the Marmet Technique's three "pumps" in one session with a smaller shield on the middle section
Try larger shields
Nurse right before you leave and right when you get home
Try to get baby to reverse cycle - where baby takes more milk when mom is home and less when mom is away (means staying up more at night, when attempting reverse cycling it might be easier to be in the same room at night)
Avoid stress, caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, cold, pain, embarrassment, anxiety and medications that prevent or slow letdown
Drink water while pumping
Watch the amount you are pumping while you are pumping
Do not watch how much you are pumping
Use visualization techniques - imagine milk trucks spilling everywhere, milk waterfalls, think of a faucet in your breast being turned and milk coming out
Repeat to yourself that you are pumping for your child and that any milk is good
Think of your child while you are pumping
Distract yourself - don't think about pumping or why you're pumping while you're pumping
Use a heating pad on your shoulders/back while you are pumping
Have someone massage your shoulders/back while you are pumping
Put warm wash cloths on your breasts before pumping
__________________ Joanna wife, mother, blogger, support group leader, perpetually behind on laundry
Lactation cookies – these are super yummy and help boost your milk supply! The recommended ‘dose’ is 4 cookies per day (good luck limiting yourself to that many). This recipe makes a lot – about 60-70 cookies - so it can be halved if necessary.
1 C butter
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
4 T water
2 T flaxseed meal (no subs)
2 Lg eggs
1 t vanilla
2 C flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
3 C Thick cut oats
1 C Chocolate chips
2 T Brewers Yeast (no substitutions)
Preheat oven at 375.
Mix 2 T of flaxseed meal and water, set aside 3-5 minutes.
Cream butter and sugar.
Stir flaxseed mix into butter mix and add vanilla.
Beat until well blended.
Sift: dry ingredients, except oats and choc chips.
Add butter mix to dry ingredients.
Stir in the oats and then the choc chips.
Drop on baking sheet.
Bake 8-12 minutes.
Samuel Francisco (11/24/08, 8lbs2oz, 21in) Elijah Spencer (10/28/12, 8lbs11oz, 20.5in) TTC #3 in April 2014