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Foods to Increase Breast Milk Supply?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My milk supply is a little low, my baby is a slow gainer and when I pump, the most I can get at one time is 1-2.5 ounces. I just started drinking Organic Milkmaid Tea yesterday but so far have drank almost 8 cups. Are there any foods/other drinks I can consume to increase my supply?
post #2 of 12
I drank Traditionals (i think that is the brand) Mama Milk tea and that helped. Also, a gigantic bowl of oatmeal or a few oatmeal cookies. I know there are some good oatmeal cookie recipes out there specifically for this purpose. I don't know it off the top of my head, maybe someone else will.
post #3 of 12
Google "lactation cookies." Also, if you're fond of eating oatmeal, get steel cut. They're not very good for making cookies, but they are great for eating and are better for you. Also, taking fenugreek capsules-- a max of 9 a day generally, though women like me who have had breast surgery take up to 12 a day-- can help a lot. Blessed thistle, marshmallow root, fennel (cycled 4 days on 3 days off), and nettle are all galactagogues as well.
post #4 of 12
You're talking about pumping extra milk, after feeding your baby, right? I mean, you're not exclusively pumping & feeding EBM in a bottle?

I certainly understand the need to increase supply if baby is a slow gainer, but don't let the amount of milk you can pump get you worried. It's TOTALLY different than what your baby's getting. DS is a great gainer (almost 4 pounds in 10 weeks) and in the 95th percentile for both height and weight and the only time I've ever gotten more than 1 oz at a time pumping is when he's had a great night of sleep and I wake up before him with a full breast. Pumping extra milk above and beyond what baby is eating is HARD, especially the younger they are (at least in my experience).

Also, if you're not already, the best way to increase supply at that age is nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse. The oatmeal will help, as will lots of water, but the more you can get that baby to nurse the more milk you'll have.

Just my two cents... best of luck to you mama.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
To add more info... baby was 5lbs15oz at birth and at 1 month appt was 6lb10oz so she's only gained 11 oz. Is that bad??? Her dr wants her to gain at least an ounce a day which I think is outrageous considering me and DH are both small (I'm 4'10, DH is 5'2). She was in the 25th percentile for weight at her 1 month appt, which I didn't think was bad.
A few times I have gone to BF support groups and did a before and after weigh and I had only transferred between 0.5-1.2 oz. I try to feed her 8-11 times a day, nowadays she is waking up to eat, but if she goes longer than 3-4 hours, we wake her up but noticed she doesn't eat as well when waken (she falls back asleep, even though we undress her, rub her palms, feet, etc.).
I BF but DH gives her the bottle of my pumped milked 1-3x a day so I can get more rest since I have been so exhausted/frustrated from worrying about her weight gain. I try to pump while he feeds her or before/after/between feedings.

I will try the remedies mentioned, thanks!!!
post #6 of 12
I took fenugreek and alfalfa, I could pump 4oz per breast at my highest point.

I think that you pumping 1-2.5 oz with a 5wk old baby is great. I pumped about that much at that time.

How much of her birthweight did she lose? I mean that has to be taken into consideration also.
post #7 of 12
Yes to the PP's... OATMEAL!!! It works!
post #8 of 12
I didn't see this mentioned but wanted to add that your milk making hormone is the highest from about 1am-5am I know its a hard time of day to want to be awake and nursing but if you could nurse 2x at least during that time it could also help. Eating healthy and keeping your body nourished is the key for alot of women, drinking at least half and a quater of your body weight in oz of water a day. So if you weigh 100lbs drink 75oz of water a day....
I also mean this in the gentlest way possible, alot of times pumping doesn't help increase your supply in the same way that nursing your baby does. Is it possible for you to spend 1-3 days resting either in bed or on the couch and just concentrating on holding baby skin to skin, cuddling, snuggling, nursing baby and just letting hubby help by changing diapers/burping and keeping the house tidy and making you healthy meals. I know a women personally whos supply would do a downward spiral if she was stressed at all. (her baby was small as well even though she like you was a tiny women the docs made her feel awful.) She found just taking a few days to really relax and take care of herself and just worry about nursing would really help her supply.
post #9 of 12
I'm nursing twins, and for me the biggest things in increasing and maintaining supply have been, in no particular order:

Alfalfa capsules
Flax seed oil - both in capsules and toasted seeds sprinkled on foods.
Lactation cookes
Oatmeal
WATER - like a gallon a day. Seriously. I know some say don't force the water, only drink to thirst, but I have to force it, or I won't drink at all and my supply drops.
Cal-Mag (3000 calcium/1500 magnesium) when my fertility returned. It seems to minimize the drop in supply around my period each month.

Besides foods, I have also found simply making sure I am getting enough food and rest is crucial. Not overdoing in anything is important, or my body shuts off the faucet.
post #10 of 12
Gatorade.

And pumping/bottle feeding even a few times a day is MUCH harder to maintain supply than just straight nursing. I had to start pumping really early to go back to work and had to do a lot of extra work to keep my supply where it would have been easily if I were only nursing. If you need to bottle feed in the future and want to keep her happy with bottles, I'd aim to only do 1-2 bottles a week, yet pump one time consistently every day and freezer stash the rest. If you aren't going back to work any time soon, you can ditch the pumping it may be just making you more stressed out in the long run.
post #11 of 12
moving to breastfeeding... good luck!
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by chattyprincess View Post
I didn't see this mentioned but wanted to add that your milk making hormone is the highest from about 1am-5am I know its a hard time of day to want to be awake and nursing but if you could nurse 2x at least during that time it could also help. Eating healthy and keeping your body nourished is the key for alot of women, drinking at least half and a quater of your body weight in oz of water a day. So if you weigh 100lbs drink 75oz of water a day....
I also mean this in the gentlest way possible, alot of times pumping doesn't help increase your supply in the same way that nursing your baby does. Is it possible for you to spend 1-3 days resting either in bed or on the couch and just concentrating on holding baby skin to skin, cuddling, snuggling, nursing baby and just letting hubby help by changing diapers/burping and keeping the house tidy and making you healthy meals. I know a women personally whos supply would do a downward spiral if she was stressed at all. (her baby was small as well even though she like you was a tiny women the docs made her feel awful.) She found just taking a few days to really relax and take care of herself and just worry about nursing would really help her supply.
I agree with the bolded part completely. When DS was young, we would take a 'nursing vacation' and just cuddle, nurse, eat/drink, sleep. It did make a huge difference in my supply, and the moments spent bonding with my new bundle of love...priceless.

Hope you are doing well!!
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