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anything I can do now to promote milk supply after db is born?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey, wise mamas. I had milk supply issues the first time around. My daughter lost weight at 4 months and no matter what I did, I could never make enough milk after that. Believe me, i did it all - fenugreek, extra hydration, pumping, extra protein and what all else i can hardly recall - to the point where I was miserably isolated becuase i would breastfeed in a quiet dark room and pump between feedings, leaving me no time to be with other new mamas. I knew I wasn't getting enough sleep (don't you love it when LCs tell you to sleep more!?). I managed to bf exclusively for 4 months, and then partly until 9/9.5 months. I know people say breast size doesn't matter (pre-pregnancy 34-AA), but perhaps that is not quiet true???

Well, I am 4 months pregnant now and wondering what I might do to get off on the right footing and not get caught offguard again. Any advice appreciated.
post #2 of 10
one thing that makes a huge difference - and it seems like no one in the medical field will ever tell anybody this - is making sure you are eating enough. the body does not know the difference btwn starvation and dieting, or just not getting enough to eat. i actually gained weight when i nursed my first, and i firmly believe that my body was in starvation mode trying to make milk and me not eating enough really even for me, much less for a nursing infant too.

try to eat a well-balanced diet with water, vegetable, grain, protein and fruit at every meal, and snack every couple of hours on vegetables in between meals... don't go more than two hours without eating at least a serving of veggies, and be sure to drink plenty of water, too.

there's a great book called Lean and Free 2000 Plus by Dana Thornock - you can get it on amazon.com marketplace for around $7 incl shipping... she's a nutritionist and has been able to stay lean and trim and very healthy eating not less than 2000 calories per day, and she also nursed her babies while eating on her plan. it's VERY easy and very healthful, and so cheap it's easy to afford to take a look at it.

if you're making sure your body is getting enough nourishment now, really getting the calories and nutrients it needs, and you keep that up after baby is born (so hard because we're so busy and sleep deprived!) it really ought to help.

good luck!

post #3 of 10
i have mini boobs pre preg and am small person, i totally agree on eat to appetite, i sometimes get too busy and forget to eat, remind yourself to snack. and the first few weeks nurse the baby 10-12 times a day, 8 is the minimum, frequent nursing in the early period is how you establish the ability to make enough milk for the long haul, and get weight checks if you are concerned.
post #4 of 10
Get that baby on the boob as much as possible in the critical early days it will help you establish a strong supply. Eat and drink to thirst, have snacks handy where you can reach them easily. Oatmeal is great for supply! If baby isn't hungry and you are starting to feel kinda full, don't be afraid to pump it off. Hope this helps!
post #5 of 10
did your breasts increase in size when during pregnancy? if not, you may have the problem i have - IGT

http://www.007b.com/breast_size_breastfeeding.php - scroll down to the section on tubular breasts
post #6 of 10
Even though I had no supply issues until I got pregnant with #2 and was still trying to nurse #1, this has been a concern to me too. I was rather ill during my first and most of my second trimester, and when my weight was checked around 23-24wks gestation, I weighed a measly 120 lbs. Not only was I concerned about the baby, but I was concerned about my future milk supply too! So I boosted my fat intake like craaaaazy. Eating a lot of high-fat things, lots of whole grains, fruits, veggies, healthy things to counteract all the fat I was consuming. I also started drinking whole milk mmmmmm Well I am almost 38 weeks now, and my weight has gone from 120 to around 143, and my breasts have been swollen, sore, and I've even had a plugged duct to deal with even though I'm not nursing!!! Now obviously I cannot tell you that my change in diet is what made these things happen, but I like to believe it did

**my own little disclaimer about the whole milk- NO you don't have to drink milk to make milk. But the added fat and calories helps! However, if you are prone to having extra large babies, I've heard that drinking too much milk can make the babies even bigger.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks, mommies! It is so interesting to me to hear everyone talk about food and nutrition. I was recently blasted by another mom for daring to suggest that a woman with low supply should be sure to take care of herself and eat plenty. I don't want to get into the sordid details of the whole argument, but she also blasted me for supplementing and not pumping enough to at least supplement with my own breastmilk. Boy, did it get ugly without her ever bothering to inquire for any details of my particular situtation. And, incidentally, I did try to give my daughter milk that I had stored quite well in the freezer, but my little gourmand would only drink the fresh stuff.

Thanks for all your support and kind words!
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
well, my breasts sort of increased a bit, but not much. I'm a 34AA normally. I guess I could wear a 34A this time around, but I don't recall having to change my bra size when I was pregnant with my first. I don't have the visual differences shown in the website you posted, but I suppose glandular tissue could be a problem. When my daughter was about 4 months old and I encountered supply issues, I went to an LC-led support group. They weighed my baby before and after breastfeeding (both times naked) and there was only a 4 ouncde difference. Part of me did think that perhaps insufficient glandular tissue was possible. But I just tried to offer my baby the breast more frequently (she was never one to cry for a feeding) and tried pumping between feedings (i was lucky if i got 1/2 ounce between both breasts even after doing this for 2 weeks!) and supplemented with fenugreek capsules and ate oatmeal every day. I also drank to thirst and ate regularly. well, hopefully the second time will be easier, but I have the name of an LC on hand just in case.

Originally Posted by appifanie
did your breasts increase in size when during pregnancy? if not, you may have the problem i have - IGT

http://www.007b.com/breast_size_breastfeeding.php - scroll down to the section on tubular breasts
post #9 of 10

increasing supply

A great way to increase your milk supply quickly is to switch nurse. That means start nursing on one side until baby seems satisfied then switch to the other side and nurse until baby falls asleep or loses interest and then wake baby up and encourage him/her to nurse on the first side again. If you feel like it you can nurse on the second side a second time (not to confusing I hope) so that you've stimulated both breast twice in one feeding session. This tells your body that it needs to make more milk and you could try it at every feeding. It's the same idea as pumping but your baby is much more effective at increasing supply than a pump. If the baby is sleepy and uninterested you could try wake up techniques like rubbing the crown of his/her head briskly or undressing baby so that it's not so cozy.
Good luck.
For more info try La leche league.
Catherine LLLC leader in BC Canada.
post #10 of 10
There is a wonderful book called Mother Food that discusses general nutrition for nursing mothers as well as galactogenic (milk-increasing) foods. It's a really excellent book!

I wish you a happy, healthy pregnancy and lots of yummy milk for your new baby.
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