Inducing lactation - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 05-31-2009, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My younger sister lives with me, and has a now 9 week old daughter. She has difficulty producing enough milk, and we would be interested in finding out tips for helping her to produce more. We have been supplementing with formula, though she would prefer to have her on just breastmilk.

Secondly, if we cannot increase her flow we have been wondering if it is possible for a woman that is not pregnant to produce milk. I would love to be able to help my sister with her daughter if could lactate, but I have no idea how to even go about beginning.
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#2 of 8 Old 05-31-2009, 01:52 PM
 
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Congrats to your sister (and you for being so supportive). Kellymom.com has so much helpful information on increasing supply.

I have done the mother's milk tea and that has been helpful, as well as oatmeal, and tons of water. I have heard that increasing protein can help with supply.

I think the most important thing is to try and nurse as much as possible. If there is a higher demand, the supply will increase too.

As for inducing lactation in yourself, it is possible.
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/adoptivebf.html
This page has info on adoptive nursing. It should be able to point you in the right direction.

Good luck!

SAHM to Chloe«- 6/2008 (10 lbs, 5 oz), Hannah- 9/2010 (9 lbs, 12 oz), Liam- 2/2013 (9 lbs, 6 oz)

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#3 of 8 Old 05-31-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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The one herb that I've found to really increase milk supply is alfalfa. It's often the main ingredient in teas for nursing moms.
Using formula is a trap- it will continue to decrease the supply. To make up for it, you have to pump often. By often, I mean how a newborn should nurse- 20 minutes out of every hour night and day. If instead of pumping, you spend this time nursing, the milk supply should be abundant.
To nurse your sister's baby, I'd first suggest a health screening, with strep, staph, hep and hiv tests. It is possible to induce lactation- adoptive moms sometimes do it. It involves a lot of breast & nipple stimulation, ie pumping, and usually a hormone therapy to kick-start things.
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#4 of 8 Old 06-02-2009, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the suggestions. I will schedule a health screening soon, but I have a couple more questions.

I think this is the case, but I just want to clarify that you mean letting her baby suckle when you say nipple stimulation, or perhaps using the breast pump.

Also, can I get the hormones over the counter, or do I need to get a prescription for them?

Additionally, How common for is it for breasts to increase in size while breastfeeding, my sister has gone up almost a cup size. Is that normal?
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#5 of 8 Old 06-02-2009, 07:48 PM
 
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Nipple and breast stimulation can include suckling a baby, pumping, massage, or hand expression.
The hormones required to induce lactation are prescription-only in the US. It's usually a series of several injections. They really do work- even men on these drugs will produce milk.
And about cup size- good heavens, yes that's normal! The breasts usually increase in size quite dramatically during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. One, two, even four cup sizes is not unusual! Some women go from an A to a DD!
Bestfeeding is the best book about breastfeeding out there, get a copy ASAP. Also, la leche league's the womanly art of breastfeeding.
And again, I want to point out that using formula is going to work against breastfeeding. Supplementing with formula almost always leads to full formula feeding. Bottled breastmilk is also going to be counter-productive. A pump just can't extract the milk like a baby can, so the pump will not get enough to fill the baby. Then, as the baby uses the bottle, his desire to feed at the breast diminishes.
When pumping to increase supply, you have to just dump the milk. Feed baby all he wants, then pump a good 20 minutes. Next time baby wants to nurse, offer the breast again.
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#6 of 8 Old 06-02-2009, 08:52 PM
 
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Laying in bed skin on skin with baby for 24 hours often helps. Momma just relaxes and nurses for 24 hours straight. Momma needs a helper to bring healthy foods and teas as she should hydrate and rest for the time.
Oatmeal
yogurt
fenugreek
chamomile
are all good for helping with milk supply too!
Good luck.

Wife to my wonderful Pablo, mum to Roo 8/10/01, Vin 1/10/07, Bug 6/3/07, Butterbean 12/12/09
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#7 of 8 Old 06-05-2009, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really appreciate everyones, help, we went to get that book yesterday from Barnes and Noble. Thank you all so very much.

Another thought, once I get the prescription to help me start to lactate, should I get off birth control? Does anyone know of any side effects that could occur?
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#8 of 8 Old 06-05-2009, 06:46 PM
 
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You usually can't use regular birth control pills, depo-provera, or norplant while nursing. There is a birth control pill available for use during breastfeeding, I'd ask your provider about switching. My midwives recommended using VCF spermicide film while I'm nursing, and I have to say, it's awesome!

I think I gave some bad info before. Pumping 20 minutes per hour is probably not necessary. This was from a recommendation for women trying to bottle feed breastmilk to adopted, HIV+ infants.
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