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Advice re. how to increase milk supply

(2 Posts)
AliAmble Thu 24-Jan-13 23:30:46

Hi. I just had to post this piece of advice I received re. increasing my milk supply as it was an absolute god-send for me.
I had no problem with milk supply but then after a bout of mastitis my supply of milk was not the same. I needed to supplement DD1's feeds with one bottle of formula each day. Medical advice to just breastfeed more to increase supply didn't work as my poor DD1 was going hungry. I felt I was trapped in a vicious circle. But then a friend of mine who is a vet gave me some wonderful advice (apparently it's how they treat bitches with large litters of puppies....!!)
She asked "were you eating a lot before the mastitis? Were you always hungry?"
I said "absolutely! I was eating 4 meals a day" [DD1 was around 2 months at time of mastitis]
She asked "what's your appetite like now? The same? Or less?"
I replied "less - it's back to normal"
She told me to eat a high calcium high protein diet as my body needed that energy to produce enough milk. I tried it and it was amazing. My full milk supply came back really quickly. I've told the story to all my midwife and doctor friends since - just in case they pass on the same advice to one of their patients. I had been beginning to resign myself to never getting my full milk supply back so I can't recommend too highly trying this out! It can't do any harm - just remember that you still need all your veggies and fruit, carbs etc too!!!

tiktok Thu 24-Jan-13 23:59:01

Ali, good news your supply got back to normal.

The advice your friend gave you is totally non-evidence based, and I hope none of the people you passed it on to take it as something useful for the majority of humans.

Yes, it can do harm - women are told something that doesn't help, instead of being told something that does help. And that's harmful.

The only thing that has ever been shown to increase milk supply is frequent, effective removal of milk from the breasts.

In order to show your intervention of the high calcium/high protein diet was effective we'd have to know a number of things:

* your daughter was hungry (this would be shown in physical ways ie loss of weight - your dd being tearful and miserable and hard to settle would not be evidence of this, as there are other explanations of being tearful etc)

* that the formula was not having an effect on supply ( and it might have....)

* that the measures you had already taken to increase supply were not working (and they may have worked....but you just happened to notice the effect at the same time as you changed your diet ie coincidence

* that a high calcium/protein diet is consistently linked with increased milk supply in other women (and it is not)

Sorry to sound negative about this, and of course it's great you feel you're back feeding normally, but your one single experience is not evidence of anything at all sad

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