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Thread: Can you increase milk after 2 months?

  1. #1

    Default Can you increase milk after 2 months?

    Hello all!
    I am a new mother with a 2 month old. I tried to breastfeed in the hospital and the beginning of my little ones birth but between his strong suck, my sore nipples, and him having to regain his birth weight, we had to supplement his food with formula. To make a long story short, I still pump (with a rented hospital pump that I have to return tomorrow) but get no more than 1/2 an oz during pumps. And that is ususally with the first pump, other pumps during the day produce nothing. I have been taking fenugreek, blessed thisle, and drinking Mother's Tea with no increased results. Is there any way to increase the milk at this point or is this all the milk I will be producing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,753

    Default Re: Can you increase milk after 2 months?

    Pumping for two months is quite an accomplishment. Studies are very clear that ANY breastmilk is preferable to exclusive formula feeding. So your efforts, while undoubtedly frustrating, have made a difference.

    But no one here can possibly answer your specific question. The short answer is, increasing your milk production and/or bringing your baby to the breast (if you want) will take work and there are no guarantees. But the fact is, many mothers have increased milk production or even re-lactated at this age or later, many have even induced lactation, having never given birth. On the other hand, while it is pretty rare, there are pre-existing conditions that prevent some mothers from ever producing enough milk to exclusively nurse their babies. The good news for these moms is that any breastmilk art all is better than exclusive formula feeding from a health standpoint.

    So you may want to think about how you would feel if you made another big effort and still could not exclusively nurse or exclusively pump for your baby, but maybe upped production some or even got baby nursing some of the time.

    Have you ever met with a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) or otherwise tried to figure out why your production and/or pump output (they are not necessarily exactly the same thing) is so low?
    Was your pump output better earlier on, and has decreased, or has it always been about the same, or increasing?

    Why do you have to return your pump? Is it a financial issue?

    I suggest: the book Making More Milk. If you have already read it, read it again.

    Getting your pump checked out. Yes even hospital; grade pumps malfunction. Also, flange size is an important consideration.

    Seeing an IBCLC, or seeing one again, if it’s been awhile.

    Depending on where you live and your insurance and hcp, there may be free or low cost pump or lactation assistance programs. So look into that if you have not already. Also what is available as far as prescription medicines for increasing milk production may differ depending on where one lives.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can you increase milk after 2 months?

    I met with a lacatation consultant in the hospital and not since then. My insurance will not pay for a consultant - my little ones will, but the consultant is through our hospital and it will be billed outpatient and I will have to cover the cost.

    The rental was only for the month - I did talk with a consultant from where I rented the pump. She told me that in her opinion, using this pump would increase the supply because I was using a hand held one and was getting maybe 1 oz or a little more but I only had one so pumping was taking a long time. I didn't want to rent again for another month because the pump was a hospital grade and will be too big to carry to work when I return and by the time I spend to rent again, I probably could have invested in a good personal pump.

    I still put my little one to the breast... not every day. I usually do this after I feed him from the bottle because when he was going to the breast only he would get very upset when the breastmilk was not coming out fast enough.

    I was willing to purchase my own pump - I will be returning to work in January and have some flexible spending account money that I need to use before the end of the month. However, if my supply is going to stay at this point, I would do better with the handheld one I already have and use the money towards something else.

    I did have a better supply in the beginning....

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can you increase milk after 2 months?

    And I would love to know about the assitance programs... :-)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,753

    Default Re: Can you increase milk after 2 months?

    Some WIC programs (if you are in the US) have lactation assistance and pump loan programs, as do SOME breastfeeding coalitions. But I don't know what is available where you are, or even where you are! Of course if there is a local LLL anywhere near you, give them a call, as they may know what is around, and speaking with a volunteer Leader is always free and may be helpful.

    The advice you were given initially about pumps was correct, and it's not really opinion, it is pretty much accepted among lactation specialists that, assuming the pump is in good working order and the flanges the proper size for the individual mother, and mom is pumping around as often as a newborn nurses (10 or more times a day,) a mother whose baby will not nurse will typically have much more success building and maintaining milk production with a hospital grade pump than a personal use electric, and a personal use electric is going to work better than a hand held. But there are exceptions of course, some mothers find a particular 'lesser' pump more effective at milk extraction, but then there is the problem of the pump being used beyond it's capabilities and it wearing out, or, in the case of a manual, the mom's arm getting tired! If you were NEVER able to pump more than an ounce at a time, and you were pumping daily, that seems very unusual to me.

    If your baby's insurance covers it, I don't understand why you cannot see one and have it billed under your baby(?) That is how it works at my hcp to, when I had to see an IBCLC earlier this year with my (then) newborn, the appointment that of course we both went to was officially for my baby, not for me.

    If your insurance will not pay, what is the actual outlay of cash, have you looked into it? It's actually a very new thing for lactation consultants to be covered at all. Generally in the US, a 90 minute session with a private practice IBCLC runs from around $50-$200. Pump rental varies, but if you can get your baby nursing effectively, it may not be needed...

    But again, if you are looking for some guarantees that, if you try longer and lay out more cash, you will definitely be able to nurse your baby, that is impossible. No one can give you that, though I wish I could!

    Have you read Making More Milk? You can get that at the library or get it for about $10 online and you may be able to figure out more about your own situation and chances on your own using that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,266

    Default Re: Can you increase milk after 2 months?

    Let's talk about your pump schedule. How often do you pump in a 24 hour period, and for how long each time? A lot of moms make the mistake of not pumping often enough- which, as LLLMeg pointed out, is going to be around 10 times a day, at least.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7

    Default Re: Can you increase milk after 2 months?

    I took the pump back today and the consultant said I would have to pump at least 8-10 times a day and nurse and continue with the herbal supplements that I was currently taking. I will.be going back to work on January 2 and there is no way I can keep up that type.of.schedule 5 days a week with my job. I left very disappointed but I am going to have to stop. With my little ones insurance, it would have to be billed as in office and when I talked with them, they would have to bill outpatient which would be out of pocket expense that we can't afford right now. I was trying to pump after my little ate, but that was not always possible. Thanks to.everyone for the advise. If I have another child, I will know better what to.ask.and maybe be able to.better supply my little one with breastmilk exclusively...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,266

    Default Re: Can you increase milk after 2 months?

    I'm sorry you don't have more time to figure this out.

    Any chance of keeping the pump? Yes, pumping 8-10 times a day is ideal but it's not necessarily practical for a working mom. A good pump could make it easier for you keep some amount of milk supply going- and the nice thing about breastfeeding is that it does not have to be all or nothing. A lot of moms nurse part-time or supply a few bottles of breastmilk per day, and use formula the rest of the time. Breastmilk has health benefits for the baby even in small quantities, and producing it is good for your health, too.

    If you need support going forward, let us know!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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