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Thread: Drinking milk to make milk

  1. #1
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    Feb 2006
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    Exclamation Drinking milk to make milk

    I am sure that someone is going to think I am stupid for asking this question, but does not drinking enough milk hurt your milk supply? I was always told and believed that the amount of milk you drank had nothing to so with the milk you produced but, recently it was suggested that I eliminate dairy from my diet. I have been an advid (5 gallons a week) milk drinker but have very serious problems with endometriosis and lots of adhesions from it and 2 c-sections and a tubal ligation. I was told by my ob/gyn that cow's milk contained hormones and that even though I was exculsively bf and my cycle had not yet returned that the hormones in the cow's milk were causing my excess edomine tissues to act as if I were having my cycle and causing more scarring and thus more adhesions. I am only 23 and have two beautiful babies and even though I don't desire any more children the though of having my utuerus pulled out freaks me out (that is the next step if the adhesions keep growing). But, since I have stopped drinking my 5 gallons of milk each week, my milk supply has dropped. I was pumping enough for 3- 4oz bottles, now I only get 3-3 to 3 1/2oz bottles and my dauhter now wants 5 oz to be satisfied at daycare. So far I borrow ebm from my sister to fill my daughters bottles but I would prefer to increase my supply. Any ideas or advise?
    Amanda Mom to James (2/25/04) and nursling Alice (8/24/05)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Drinking milk to make milk

    You don't need to drink milk to have a good milk supply. Drinking water even juice will help maintain a milk suppy. Just drink to thirst. You never said if you put dc to the breast. If you do on the days off from daycare do you just put dc to breast? That's the best way to increase milk supply. You could also try adding another pumping session before bed or first thing in the morning if your not already doing that. Hope that helps

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Drinking milk to make milk

    Drinking milk is definitely not required to produce breastmilk. There are many cultures where breastfeeding is the norm but dairy is not part of anybody's diet. It is possible, however, that cutting out the 5 gallons/wk of milk without replacing it with other liquids could reduce your supply. How much water are you drinking every day? How is the rest of your diet? Are you currently trying to lose weight, for example?

    Breastmilk production is ultimately a question of supply and demand. Assuming that a mom is adequately nourished and hydrated, if she wants to make more breastmilk, then her breasts need more emptying and more stimulation. See if you can nurse and/or pump more frequently. If you tell us more about your nursing and pumping patterns, we can help you figure out a good approach.

    Working and pumping is a lot of work and a wonderful thing to do for your daughter. She's very lucky to have a mom who is so committed to providing her with the best food available!

    --Rebecca

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Drinking milk to make milk

    Another thought -- I don't know anything about the role of dairy in endometriosis, but what if you drank organic milk -- it doesn't have the added hormones that are standard in the U.S. Talk with your doctor about it.

    --Rebecca

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Drinking milk to make milk

    No question is a dumb question I do not drink any milk BC of ds's allergy's. I would suggest to just drink more of something to replace the amount of milk that you were drinking

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Drinking milk to make milk

    Quote Originally Posted by quakerm0mma
    Another thought -- I don't know anything about the role of dairy in endometriosis, but what if you drank organic milk -- it doesn't have the added hormones that are standard in the U.S. Talk with your doctor about it.

    --Rebecca
    I had never heard about it either but my dr recommended I read "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" by Christiane Northrup, MD, I haven't yet but he said it had a section about edometriosis and talked about cow's milk. And I have seen a significate drop in my pain. He actually said that in California they were doing studies about cow's milk vs human milk in cancer patients and other diseases (endometriosis was one of the others). My WIC counslor gave me some articles about it, it was very interesting. Too bad I don't have enough produce enough milk to replace my normal dairy intake.
    Amanda Mom to James (2/25/04) and nursling Alice (8/24/05)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Drinking milk to make milk

    Quote Originally Posted by quakerm0mma
    It is possible, however, that cutting out the 5 gallons/wk of milk without replacing it with other liquids could reduce your supply. How much water are you drinking every day? How is the rest of your diet? Are you currently trying to lose weight, for example?

    Breastmilk production is ultimately a question of supply and demand. Assuming that a mom is adequately nourished and hydrated, if she wants to make more breastmilk, then her breasts need more emptying and more stimulation. See if you can nurse and/or pump more frequently. If you tell us more about your nursing and pumping patterns, we can help you figure out a good approach.

    --Rebecca
    I am pretty sure that I am not replacing the full 5 gallons, I have to force myself to drink water, I don't know why but I hate water. I have started drinking decaffinated tea, though not as much as the milk I used to drink. It is very hard to find something to replace it. It was way easier for me to quit smoking than to quit drinking milk. No diets, I figured that I need at least and extra 800 calories/day to produce the amount of milk dd drinks (WIC told me to figure 20 cal/oz, @ 5 oz 6 times a day), and I won't eat anything I wouldn't feed to my toddler. DD nurses on demand while we are home together (about every 2 1/2 to 3 hours) and stays latched on all night (we co-sleep and I am her pacifier at night), I just wake up every 3 hours to switch sides. At work I pump every 3 hours for 15-20 min with a Ameda Purely Yours dual pump. I am going to try pumping 4 times at work, too bad I can't run around with an IV for fluids though (during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy I had a cathedar to hook an IV into because I got so dehydrated all the time) but I will try to drink more. Is Root Beer okay to drink? I have avoided sodas but it is caffeine free and I actually like it. Thanks for the help.
    Amanda Mom to James (2/25/04) and nursling Alice (8/24/05)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Drinking milk to make milk

    It's great that your daughter is nursing frequently when you are with her. The night nursing especially is probably providing a significant chunk of her calories, even if it seems like mostly comfort nursing.

    I read your first message more closely and see that you are pumping 3 to 3.5 oz per pumping session. That is a better than average output from what I have heard -- and not a very dramatic decrease in supply compared to the 4 oz./session you were getting previously. If you can add an extra pumping session at work every day, plus maybe one pumping session on the days you are home, I bet you'll catch up with her demand.

    Personally, I would stay away from root beer in large quantities, because of all the sugar -- it's just plain bad for your health. But one or two servings a day is probably fine, if that variety would help. Would water taste better to you with a little juice added to it for flavor, or perhaps with a squeeze of lemon or lime? Also, have you tried an alternative milk like rice, soy, or oat? Again, I wouldn't advise 5 gallons a week of the stuff, as most of them have added sugar, but the variety might help you drink a little more. Some moms also drink Mother's Milk Tea or eat oatmeal to increase their supply -- but YMMV with such products, and in the end it really comes down to nursing and pumping.

    Now that your daughter is six months old, is she ready for any solids? I'm wondering if solids while she's at daycare would help stretch your EBM while your supply is catching up. I wouldn't suggest this if she wasn't nursing so much at night and on days you are home with her.

    Sorry if my thoughts are scattered -- I'm trying write this while watching my boys play Katamari -- strangely distracting, this videogame! LOL.

    --Rebecca

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