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Thread: Increasing Supply? New to LLL

  1. #1

    Default Increasing Supply? New to LLL

    Hello everyone - I am brand new to the forum and looking for some help. A little background, my YDS is now 5.5 months old. He is the only kiddo I have nursed, my older two were formula fed. So far it hasn't been too tough for me being new to this nursing thing, however, I am now running into some issues with supply. I work 3 days a week and pump those days, 4 times, 7:30am, 9:30am, 12:30pm, and 2:30 pm... I nurse all other feedings during the days I work and nurse on demand on the days that I do not work. I am drinking 80-100 oz of water a day, and am eating everything with oatmeal I can eat. On the days that I pump I am getting less and less with each passing week, and I believe that on the days I am nursing I am not producing as much either. While my son is chubby and happy, is has started waking at night to eat A LOT, and I am surmising that he isn't getting enough during the day so he is compensating at night.

    Here is my question:

    I want to start fenugreek to try and boost supply, how much do I take? The reccomended dosage on the bottle or more? I have heard 4 capsules 4 times a day, but that is way over the amount that is reccomended on the bottle.

    I bought stuff to make lactation cookies, I am going to try that.

    Is there something better I can do to boost supply?

    I start work full time in September and I am stressing that if I can't keep up with my sons demand pumping 3 days a week, it won't last long at all when I have to do 5 times a week, and I really want to keep nursing as long as possible.

    Sorry this is so long. I just am new to nursing and have so much I don't know. Thank you for your responses!!

    Allison

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,214

    Default Re: Increasing Supply? New to LLL

    Hi Allison, welcome to the forum!

    I don't know about fenugreek, hopefully someone else can answer that. Oatmeal is supposed to work too, so that's a good idea.

    Whenever there are pump problems, always good to think about whether the pump itself could be the culprit. An easy thing to do is to change out the easily replaceable parts, such as valves and membranes. Also, you want to make sure you're using a good pump.

    Anything else new, such as hormonal birth control, return of your period (although less likely if this has been going on for several weeks), pregnancy, new medication including over the counters?

    How long are you pumping for? Moms vary a lot in terms of how much they need to pump in order to maintain supply. 4 times during the workday is usually enough, but there are mothers who need to pump outside working hours as well.

    In terms of the nighttime waking, there could be different explanations for that. One is that baby is more distractible during the day (common as babies get older and more interested in the world around them), nurses less during the day, and makes up for it at night. Another possibility is that baby is teething, also common at this age. Either way, that nighttime nursing is great for supply!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Increasing Supply? New to LLL

    Thank you for the quick reply -

    I am renting a hospital grade Medela pump, and I have replaced the white membranes a couple of times, maybe I need to replace some more parts...

    I am on the pill, but have been since 6 weeks pp, and have had a period every month since starting... No other new meds, and am not pregnant again.

    I pump for 15 mins each time, and that is usually enought to get 2 letdowns and the milk has stopped by then.

    I thought the nighttime feeds would help increase supply, but it doesn't seem to be helping out, or maybe it is and if he wasn't nursing durning the night I would have lost even more of my supply.

    I know stress isn't good for nursing, but I can't help but stress a little about it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    NY
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Increasing Supply? New to LLL

    How much is baby taking per bottle feeding? Any chance of overfeeding or anything like that while you are at work?

    You might want to try lengthening your pumping sessions to 20 minutes if you can manage. Pumping "dry" is communicating to your body to make more milk. I have to pump 20 minutes, 4 times a work day to keep up!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Increasing Supply? New to LLL

    He is taking 4 oz per bottle, max 16-18 oz while I am at work I leave at 6:45 and get home at 5:45

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,214

    Default Re: Increasing Supply? New to LLL

    That's a touch on the high side - rule of thumb is 1 - 1.5 ounces per hour, so that would be between 11 and 16.5 oz for you. You could consider experimenting with some 3 oz bottles, even saving a couple ounces a day can help you keep up! And the less your LO drinks at daycare, the more he will take from you, which also helps stimulate your supply. I agree with sonogirl, you could also try experimenting with slightly longer pumping sessions and see if that helps. 15 minutes is average, definitely not on the long side - some moms need half and hour or more for their pumping sessions, so you might find you get a boost going from 15 to 20 minutes. And yes, if you can distract yourself while pumping - reading, music, meditating, pictures of baby (or not - some moms feels that actually just makes them miss baby) - thinking about pump output is definitely detrimental to pump output!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,595

    Default Re: Increasing Supply? New to LLL

    If you are on an estrogen containing bc, would you be able to discuss with your doctor changing to something else?

    The thing is, just being back at work and pumping part time instead of nursing full time can harm milk production over time. BC especially estrogen harms production in many moms. Each may have been ok individually but can cause poor production put together.

    Re: nightime feeds. They are helping even if you can't 'see it' in pump output. The more you can nurse your baby when together the better. But I would not assume the more frequent waking at night means baby is not getting enough milk during the day. For one thing, night sleep patterns vary and change, it is normal. Also, Babies nurse for closeness, comfort and connection, and so it is very typical for night nursings to increase after mom goes back to work.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Increasing Supply? New to LLL

    I tried pumping for 20 mins at a time today and am SUPER sore. Hopefully it will help though, and I will stick with it. How can I add a pumping session at home? Everytime I sit down to pump (right after he eats) he gets hungry right away, or wants to comfort nurse and gets antsy/frustrated when there isn't anything coming out for him. I have asked my Dr about the birth control issue several times. I am trying again. She is of the mindset that it is fine, and doesn't like the mini pill at all. So frustrating. Does anyone have experiance with Fenugreek that could help me out with amounts to take? I do have a super hungry baby, so I know that he is eating a lot, I just want to be able to keep nursing. When I go back to work full time and he goes to an actual daycare center vs now when he is with my mom maybe he will be more distracted and want to want to eat less.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Increasing Supply? New to LLL

    Hi,

    For your last question on fenugreek ... Google "kellymom.com and fenugreek"

    My DS2 is 5 months old too and I just started taking it to get a boost....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,214

    Default Re: Increasing Supply? New to LLL

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*allisonbeth View Post
    I tried pumping for 20 mins at a time today and am SUPER sore. Hopefully it will help though, and I will stick with it. How can I add a pumping session at home? Everytime I sit down to pump (right after he eats) he gets hungry right away, or wants to comfort nurse and gets antsy/frustrated when there isn't anything coming out for him. I have asked my Dr about the birth control issue several times. I am trying again. She is of the mindset that it is fine, and doesn't like the mini pill at all. So frustrating.
    Pumping, like nursing, should be pain free. Maybe try turning down the suction, for the whole time or the last few minutes? Pain will inhibit letdown too...

    Adding a pumping session: keep in mind that the breast is never empty, even if you've just pumped and it feels that way! But, baby may have to work a little harder to get the milk if you've just pumped, and since evening hours are often fussy for many babies anyway, that might not be the best moment. Some mothers find they can squeeze a session in right before they go to bed, after putting baby to bed when there might be a slightly longer stretch until the next feeding; others find that pumping as soon as they wake up, in the morning when they have the most milk, gets them a good couple ounces.

    Birth control: why is up to your doctor what method of birth control you use? Yes, it's your doctor's responsibility to make sure you are not prescribed a form of birth control that is contraindicated if you have a particular health history or risk factor. But a doctor certainly can't MAKE you take birth control pills! Have you considered non-hormonal forms of birth control? Barrier methods like condoms or a diaphragm, copper IUD, fertility awareness methods?

    Baby eating a lot during the day: what do the days look like with your mom and baby? Could you suggest some ideas for getting out of the house a bit, if that's possible? Out for a walk, to the park for a swing, splashing around in a kiddie pool, to the mall? It's true that sometimes an older baby will eat out of boredom, and if that's a factor in baby being overfed, perhaps getting out and about can help?

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