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Thread: What can I do before birth so I'll have a good milk supply?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default What can I do before birth so I'll have a good milk supply?

    I am 36 weeks pregnant with my second child. My first baby had some heath issues so I was unable to get a good milk supply from the beginning and did not have a good experience with breastfeeding (because of several different issues). I unfortunately had to quit sooner than I wanted to. What can I do before this baby is born to ensure I have a good supply from the beginning? Would taking fenugreek and Mother's Milk Tea now help?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: What can I do before birth so I'll have a good milk supp

    The best thing to do is nurse, nurse, nurse after baby is born. A lot of moms (including myself) have no idea that breastfeeding a newborn is literally a round-the-clock, do-nothing-else endeavor. So the best thing you can do before birth is to prepare for that. Line up help to go to the store and fix meals, or fix meals in advance and stick them in the freezer. Arrange for help taking care of your older child. Make sure that your support team understands that your job in those early weeks is to nurse your baby. Get a stack of magazines, books, netflix shows or whatever entertains you while nursing ready, and be prepared to spend many hours on the couch with baby at the breast. Get the name and number of a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, so that if you are having any problems - for example, painful latch, baby not making enough wet diapers, etc - you have someone knowledgeable to call. And come here to the forums with questions, or if you just need a bunch of mamas who have been through it to encourage you and tell you you can do it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: What can I do before birth so I'll have a good milk supp

    Right. There is nothing to do BEFORE except prepare for the idea that to be successful at you have to be willing and prepared to do it all day every day for the 1st 6-12weeks at least. It's not something you do part time. That is ESPECIALLY true in the beginning. When your supply is being established. So don't bring home any formula from the hospital. Don't give your baby any artificial nipples (bottles or paci's) for the 1st 4-6weeks. Don't ASSUME things WILL go wrong. Assume they will go the way nature intended. Count diapers. If it goes in it comes out. And DO NOT PANIC if your baby loses weight right away (NORMAL) or if your milk doesn't come in right away. Your baby can live just fine on colostrum alone for a LONG LONG TIME. I had a c-section. My baby didn't eat AT ALL for the 1st 24hours. My nurses said this was normal for c-section babies. That they were generally very tired. He weighed 8.2 when he was born He got all the way down to 7.9. My milk didn't come in for 5 days. My nurses didn't try to force me to use formula. I had it written in my birth plan that he was not to receive any formula. That I wanted to room in with him. They never panicked and neither did I. I never supplemented. He was fine. A baby drinking colostrum is NOT starving. It's normal for a child to lose up to 10% of their birth weight. (More if the mother is pumped full of fluids during labor. And if a child is still passing meconium poop, the baby is actually still living off of food from in utero. So seriously, do not panic. Selb doubt coupled with "Just in case" formula in the house is a breastfeeding mother's WORST enemy. So do NOT allow that combination to exist in your world. Good luck!

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: What can I do before birth so I'll have a good milk supp

    with the PPs. Teas and herbal supplements aren't going to do anything for you now. What you need to succeed at breastfeeding doesn't come from a bottle. Determination, education, support from family, friends, and medical professionals- can't get those at the store!

    Here's my list of things you can do to get breastfeeding off on the right foot:
    - Have the best possible birth. Breastfeeding goes best when mom and baby are both healthy and strong after birth.
    - Avoid induction of labor and other birth interventions for non-medical reasons (like convenience, doctor preference, post-dates but otherwise healthy, etc.). All interventions carry additional risks, often necessitating more interventions and, in some cases, leading to interventions like c-section or episiotomy that can make breastfeeding more difficult.
    - Choose pain relief options with care. In particular, narcotic pain relievers can cross the placenta and cause babies to be born sleepy and unwilling to nurse. But even epidurals can complicate breastfeeding! This is not to say that you must hae an all-natural birth in order to succeed at breastfeeding- nothing could be farther from the truth!- just that it makes sense to know your options and choose carefully amongst them.
    - Assuming your baby is born healthy, have him/her delivered immediately onto your bare chest. Babies warm up best skin-to-skin with mom, and many will nurse within an hour or two of birth. Getting an immediate chance to nurse not only gives baby his/her first dose of immunity-rich colostrum, but also helps stabilize the baby's blood sugar.
    - All routine newborn procedures (footprints, ID bracelet, weighing, measuring, eye ointment, bath, etc.) can be delayed until mom and baby have had a chance to nurse and bond.
    - If your baby is born larger than average, or if you had gestational diabetes, you may be pressured to supplement with sugar water or formula, even after nursing. This intervention should only be carried out if the baby is exhibiting signs of low blood sugar, and in almost all cases low blood sugar should be confirmed with a blood test before supplementation is carried out.
    - A healthy newborn does not need to spend time in the nursery. Babies who room in wth their moms nurse better and more often, and moms who room in learn their babies' cues more rapidly. Babies who spend a lot of time in the nursery often become frantic with hunger before they get to mom, and that can make it more difficult to latch them on. Also, babies who stay in the nursery often get bottles and pacifiers slipped to them by "helpful" nurses who are just trying to let mom rest.
    - If you do send your baby to the nursery, make a sign for his/her bassinet that says "I am a breastfed baby. No bottles or pacifiers, please. Bring me to my mom as soon as I fuss or cry, or every 2 hours if I don't."
    - Don't supplement with formula "Just until your milk comes in." Colostrum is all your baby needs for the first 2-5 days after birth, and milk supply is created by demand. Every time you offer a bottle or pacifier, and your baby misses an opportunity to nurse, you delay the onset of milk production.
    - Avoid bottles and pacifiers until nursing is well-established (typically 4-6 weeks) unless there is a medical necessity to use them. Spacing out feedings interferes with the supply = dmand equation, and babies latch onto artificial nipples diffently from the breast, and you don't want to mess up a newborn's latch!
    - If you run into trouble, call a professional. Many hospitals have lactation consultants on staff, but these may simply be nurses with a small amount of supplemental training. If you're having real difficulties, call an IBCLC- and now is a good time to get in contact with one, just in case you need her.
    - If you're having a boy and are choosing to circumcise him, consider waiting until he is at least a week or more old. Pain from a circumcision can interfere with breastfeeding, so it makes sense to allow baby some time to get the hang of nursing before having the procedure performed.
    - Choose a supportive pediatrician. A good pediatrician is aware that breastfed babies may lose up to 10% of birthweight, knows that babies don't require routine formula supplements, is aware that breastfed babies grow differently from formula-fed ones, doesn't suggest spacing feedings outto some artificial interval, and doesn't suggest the introduction of solids until the baby is 6 months old.
    - Surround yourself with supportive people. They should be cleaning your toilets, making your meals, doing your laundry, caring for your older child, and telling you what a great job you're doing nursing the baby.

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