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Low Milk Supply
Does anyone have some tips on how to increase your milk supply?  Right now, I am only getting between 1 - 2 ounces (cumulative) every 3 hours, and I don't see the lactation consultants tomorrow.  I have my DS on a bottle right now, but my frozen milk supply is dwindling and I can't keep up.  I've been pumping often... don't know what else I can do  :S
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93532 tn?1349374050
He doesn't nurse directly at all yet?That is the best way to bump up that supply. Are you using a hospital grade pump? If not, you need to get your hands on one ASAP. That is the only pump that really comes close to mimicking the nursing patterns of a baby. Some pumps on the market are pretty good at it, but hospital grade is the best. How often are you pumping? My boys would nurse every hour or so,literally, so I would suggest pumping at least that often for 15 minutes each breast to ensure you are draining it, stimulating the supply, and extracting the hind milk.
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Well, he was in NICU, but he has been losing weight and only nursing on my nipples and kind of biting, so it REALLY hurts and he wasn't getting milk like I thought he was.  Lactation consultants told me it was fine- I guess it wasn't.  Now I am trying to get my supply back.  From reading stuff online, I don't think he latches correctly.  I think I have a hospital one- its the Medela Lactina Select I think... I rent it from WIC.
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93532 tn?1349374050
Perfect, the Lactina is my personal fav. Just keep pushing, pump frequently and make sure you are pumping long enough. Remember that ounces mean almost nothing this early. The stomachs are very small and they may only eat an ounce or two at a time and eat more frequently.

Latches can be tough, especially when they have had to be on a bottle from the start. It is much easier to draw from an artificial nipple than the ones we were given : ) Keep working with him on the latch. Perhaps you could satiate his hunger a bit by giving him a small amount of breast milk from the bottle and then switch to the breast and let him work on it. they also have trainers that you could try that hang around your neck with a thin catheter tubing) that you tape to your breast so he is able to eat while working on his latch.

After three kids and nursing for as long as I have, with each one I still had sore nipples for the first week or two, even bleeding and cracking. And even now at 12 months of nursing Cj when he has a growth spurt, they get sore all over again.

Keep plugging away, you'll find your groove.
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Some people take herbal suppliments to boost the milk supply (in addition to regular nursing/pumping).  It did nothing for me but some swear by it.  I can't recall the name of the pills you can take, but you can look them up online.  Good luck.  Take care of it now before it's too late.  I lost my milk supply b/c I was inconsistent with pumping and would let my breasts engorge.  Wish I did many things differently.
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176135 tn?1314756238
I have also had issues with milk supply.  Pumping with the Lactina helped: I pumped both breasts at once (that supposedly increases the supply better) after each feeding.  I also fed her every two hours around the clock for a week... exhausting but effective.  I took fenugreek pills- three pills two or three times a day.  They can cause an allergic reaction so just take one at first and see if you have a reaction.  As for the effective dose, if they make your armpits smell like maple syrup you're taking enough (no, seriously!)  They really seem to help me.   Be sure to drink lots of water- I notice a drop in milk production if I don't drink enough.  Grape juice supposedly is good too.  If you go to Jack Newman dot com (not sure if you can post web addresses on this board) there are some good instructional videos about latching etc.  Between the pump, the fenugreek and working on the latch, I've had some good success, although every growth spurt is a new challenge.  Best of luck, and kudos for trying so hard to keep breastfeeding.
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195145 tn?1255640047
3 blessed thistle (not milk thistle) and 4 fenugreek - three times a day - my milk supply quadrupled within a week! P.S. Once your milk supply is up, you can quit the supplements
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I was a little worried about my supply too because my DD was wining a bit after let down. I can't say she doesn't still do that (she does on my right breast). But I upped my nursing schedule by doing so every 2-2.5 hrs and drank lots of water and got lots of rest. I only pump in the morning when I get up and full. Good luck!
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Well, my DS is actually almost a month and a half old... but we've only been nursing for a little over a week because he was in NICU.  They told me I could cut back to pumping 4-5 times a day, which I was, but then all of the sudden they wanted me to nurse on demand and he wasn't doing it right- we just found this out.  Anyway, thanks so much for the advice!  I will take a few days to dedicate to pumping consistently to get my supply up.  I looked up some "how-to" guides for latching and gave it a try- it seemed to really help with the pain, though I have no idea how much milk, if any, that he got.. at least he seemed to be properly latched on.  Guess I'll find out tomorrow.  Thanks again!
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tmv
BearHitch, keep up the good work. It will pay off. With the latch-on, make sure to get as much of the areola into his mouth. It is good to massage the milk glands as well as produce less pain than the lower end of the nipple area. Keep it up and best wishes!
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171768 tn?1324233699
many people say oatmeal boosts their supply. i think it's not the instant kind though. i'm surprised they told you to cut back on your pumping so early. was that before you started nursing or after? if it was before, it was way too soon. the general rule for pumping is that you have to pump frequently for the first 12 weeks. that's when your supply is considered established. 8-10 times a day is optimal in that time period. you can go a little longer for the sake of getting some sleep, but make sure you pump at least once between 1 and 5 am since that is when there's higher prolactin levels.  i cut down to 6 pumps/day at 8 weeks pp, and did ok, but many people don't that early. i really hope you work out your problems and i'm glad to hear you're working with a LC. i assume the LC checked to make sure you're using the right sized shield while pumping? the wrong size can inhibit production. like the others said, hydration and rest were the biggerst boosters for me. Good luck and don't give up on the nursing!!!
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Chinesebones gave you the exact advice I would have given you about pumping and fenugreek.
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167 tn?1374177417
BearHitch, I second most of the advice here. The Lactina was what I had when Brody was in the NICU. I only needed it for a month, then the nursing and the Medela I had did the trick after my supply was established. The sore nipples and questions and even doubting your supply and technique is normal early on. Pump often, introduce the breast over and over again and try to get away from the bottles. When I was going through the early stages I considered giving up several times, but now I look back and it was a short period of time to get through and it is so rewarding now. Not to mention EASY (: Pat yourself of the back for sticking with it this long. Sounds like you are trying everything and it will work out soon. Have faith. **hugs**
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Where can I get the Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek?  I am also having trouble with milk supply.
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