How can I produce more milk?
by diana154, Mar 12, 2008
I just gave birth to a set of twins 25 days ago. They were born very early so they are in the NICU. This means that I have no other option but to pump. When I pump, I am only getting 7-8 ounces a day. I have tried an herb called fenugreek and the mother's milk tea. I drink more then enough water and eat like I should. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I do have a hospital grade breast pump and am pumping every 2-3 hours.
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Member Comments (11)
by jenstam, Mar 12, 2008
Are you getting enough sleep? Are the shields the right size for you? Keep at it, your supply should increase, but I would expect more than 7-8 ounces by now. Tiredbuthappy would be a good person to PM. She is a pumping pro. I too, had to pump while my son was in the NICU, but I was getting more than 7-8 ounces within days after his birth, so I am not sure what more to suggest. Have you spoken with a lactation consultant? I had many questions for mine early on!
by jenstam, Mar 12, 2008 is a wonderful resource for questions on breastfeeding also. Check it out!
by mum2beagainBlank, Mar 12, 2008
Are you pumping day and night?? Are you using a double pump??
I would pump every 2 hours during the day getting 6 to 8 pumps in and then let yourself get 4 hours rest then pump then another 4 hours rest before you pump again at night.
Check your expressing kits. Jenshim made a good point about the sheilds, also check the valve, tiny tears in that ever so delicate piece of rubber can prevent the pump from functioning well. Also do you feel a let down when you pump (kind of a tingling sensation, may even be a little painful)? When you have your let down the amount of milk you express should suddenly start to spray more forcefully than before. If you are not getting let down try the pump on a lower suction but quite fast to start with until you feel the let down of milk, also try hot wash cloths on your breast and have pictures of you babies near by, perhaps even an item of clothing or a blanket that has been against them that you could smell, or even a tape recording of their crying ( it all sounds weird I know but it does help honestly). Once you get let down slow the pump down a bit but increase the suction. Changing the settings on the pump this way at different times during the pumping session helps mimic how a baby feeds. Once your breasts are empty and no more milk is flowing continue to pump for another 10 minutes or so, this will help stimualte your body to produce more milk. You could also pump one side at a time at this point to, massaging your breast towards the nipple with your hand (I'm sure will have some info on this, it is called BREAST COMPRESSIONS), I found that by alternanting breasts and doing breast compressions when I though they were empty could sometimes yeild a few more drops of that precious milk.

Hope some of this helps. Best wishes to you and your babies.
by jenstam, Mar 13, 2008
I actually squeeze gently with my hands on the outside of each breast, bringing them closer together when the flow slows down when I'm pumping. It makes more milk come out and faster also. I don't know how much of a difference it makes in the long run, but I think it helps. I also notice that if I wait for a while after I think the milk is gone I can get another small let down at about 15 minutes. That yields another ounce or two.
by shesherm, Mar 13, 2008
I would have expected you to get more my now also but keep it up...the more you pump the more you will get.  Your milk is also more plentyful in the AM.
I had to bottle feed for a while and I pumped  every 2 hours and sometimes for 5-10 mins after I pumped last....kinda like jenshim doing it 15 mins later milk supply did go up after a few days of this.  Good luck and congrats on the twins
by Tennesseegirl, Mar 13, 2008
have a picture of you babies there while you pump... It will put you in a relax state and maybe that will help you relax. the more you can get that... goosebump filling or that butterfly in your belly filling  the easyer it flows. good luck... hope it works for you.
by girlybuff, Mar 18, 2008
You can get natural herbs at any vitamin store or online.  Get Fenugreek and Brewers Yeast.  When I started taking it, I actually had to stop because I was almost engorged if I didn't nurse every 45 minutes.
by chinesebones, Mar 18, 2008
I took fenugreek and another herb called blessed thistle together, plus lecithin to help with letdown.  My friend recommended B-complex so I added that to the mix.  I ate oatmeal often too.  Make sure you're drinking lots of water and eat protein with every meal.  Rest when you can, pump as often as possible and keep pumping for a few minutes (at least) after your milk stops- this signals your body to produce more.  Kudos to you for breastfeeding as much as you can- every little bit helps.  Congratulations on your twins!
by Michele, Katy, TXBlank, Mar 18, 2008
I didn't read all the responses but I asked my doctor.  He put me on a medicine called Reglan.  The purpose for this medicine is not for milk production, but that is a side effect.  It has really helped me a lot.  May want to talk to your OB about this.

Congrats on the twins!!!