I feel like my supply is low. I work full time and while I am at work I usually pump 3 times but if it's a super busy day I may only get 2 pumpings in. I nurse her before we leave to go to daycare, pump at work, then nurse 2-3 times at home after work. At 2 months of age we had to supplement with formula because she wasn't gaining as much as she needed to. Sometimes when i pump I get 2 ounces combined and sometimes I only get 1 ounce combined. Because of work I am not able to solely nurse and it kills me. I hate that I am not able to give her only breastmilk.. I have tried fenugreek and couldn't tell a difference. I am now trying more milk plus. Any other suggestions at all would be most certainly appreciated. My goal is to breastfeed until a year at least and I prefer longer.
Re: Low supply
I'm only able to make 12-16 oz a day. Needless to say, I must supplement. I was only making 4-6 oz a day at one point and the more milk special blend tincture did wonders. I order it in 8 oz bottles from lucky vitamin because its cheapest there, though still expensive. I have also started trying nettle and hops and just got saw palmetto... ill be ordering shatavari too...sound bizarre? Tell me about it....I feel like a homeopathic hippy.
Another thing that got great results fast was mothers milk tea. You need to drink 5 cups a day which is nuts...just make a tea pot full and drink 20-30 min. before every feeding/ pumping. Its very effective.
also...buy the book making more milk...its the biggest help and so supportive. I read the le lecher league book and it made me feel awful and like a bad mother for supplementing. This book, making more milk, helped me come to terms and accept myself for what I can produce.
Also. Pump more at work or do more night feedings (called reverse cycling) to switch your schedule completely. If you reverse cycle, you will be nursing for more feedings. I pump and also feed at least 10 times a day and to get my supply up I was pumping 12-14 times a day and using it all supplementing it at the breast with a medela sns. It was insane but I wanted to be able to say I did everything I could.
Fyi, I just found out the hard way that for some situations galactagogues need to be used throughout nursing...so expect to shell out for that motherlove stuff. Experiment with higher doses and really...read that book I mentioned...it had made all the difference.
Don't hate yourself for having to supplement or for not being able to nurse all your feedings...every mother faces different challenges...and some of us face a multitude more than others...
Re: Low supply
When a mom is struggling with supply, supplements are nice, but the absolute best thing she can do is to increase the frequency and intensity of milk removal from the breast. This means either a) nursing more, or b) pumping more, or c) a combination of the two. Sometimes this means pumping after feedings when you are home with your baby.
Many pumping moms try to get the job done with inadequate pumps. I would make sure that you have the right pump (high-quality double electric), that it is in tip-top working order, and that you have the correct size of breast shields; poor-fitting shields can reduce pumping effectiveness. If you already have a good pump in good working order, it may be necessary to take a step up to an even better machine, like a hospital-grade rental.
Re: Low supply
Agree with everything mommal said re: making sure you are using a good pump and that it's working properly. Also, make sure you are doing breast compressions every time you pump--for me, I find this makes a huge difference in my pump output. There's a video from Stanford on 'hands-on pumping' with techniques they teach mothers of NICU babies to help them maximize their pumping output; you may find it helpful. Basically they recommend adding breast compressions plus hand expression at the end of every pumping session. You do have to register to access the video but I think it's worth it. Here's the link: