Solutions for Breastfeeding with Low Milk Pro

If you are only nursing every 3 hours or so, then that may be the reason for your low milk production. The average baby needs to nurse at least 10-12 times in 24 hours – and that's before you increase your milk supply. If you're not nursing that often, it is very likely that you will never have enough milk. The first thing to do to increase your milk production is to nurse more often. If it's been 2 hours since the beginning of the previous feeding, start to nurse the baby again, even if you have to wake her/him. You can also try offering approximately ½ to 1 ounce less formula per feeding as well as nursing more often like this for the next 3-4 days. If the baby is still having the same number of wet and dirty diapers, offer a little less again milk again and continue to nurse every 2 hours. By doing this, you should be able to eventually eliminate the formula entirely. A local La Leche League Leader will be able to give you free ongoing help and support (keep in mind that LLL Leaders are all volunteers working from their own homes therefore, donations to the organization are accepted). If you can’t get through to one leader, you may either try another Leader or call back at a later time.

You do not need to drink “a lot” of water. It will not help; in fact, one study showed that forcing liquids actually decreases milk production. It is important to keep this in mind and maintain your regular drinking habits.

Do not use "Mother's Milk Tea" or any other herbal blend that is intended to increase your milk supply. If you need medical help, you can use fenugreek or another prescription medication. Although herbal blends are all based on fenugreek, the extra herbs can cause various problems (such as: side effects and/or allergies). In addition, most of them contain fennel – an herb that causes an increase milk supply for some mothers, but a decrease milk supply for others. This is risky and could cause more medical complications therefore, be sure to speak with a health care professional.

Do not pump if you can nurse because no pump is as effective as a nursing baby. Only pump if your baby refuses to nurse. In such a case, the best pump is a hospital-grade rental pump (preferably one that pumps both breasts simultaneously). Next is pump powered by battery or wall current. The least effective pump is the manual pump. Never use a pump made by Gerber, First Years, Evenflo, or one operated by a rubber bulb. They could damage the breast and ending your breastfeeding career – at least for this baby.

A “galactogogue” is something that increases milk production. If you want to try a galactagogue, the only herb with scientific evidence of effectiveness is fenugreek. Take 1 capsule 3 times a day for 3-4 days, then increase to 2 capsules 3 times a day for a few more days. Keep a steady increase until you are taking an effective dose for your individual needs (typically 2-4 capsules per dose). You will know that you have reached your individual need when your sweat and urine smell like maple syrup. Keep taking this amount until you have produced enough milk. Then, gradually decrease in the same way that you increased. Fenugreek is not recommended for mothers with asthma or diabetes. If you or your baby have an allergic reaction, discontinue immediately. If you prefer a prescription galactagogue, there are 2 options to choose from. Most women use metoclopramide (Reglan) because it is more readily available in the US. However, domperidone (Motilium) has fewer side effects. Metoclopramide can cause stomach upsets and depression. Neither drug has been shown to give the baby any side effects.

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