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How can I boost my milk supply?

(13 Posts)
onedayimightforget Thu 19-Jan-17 19:09:18

I've got a cold and generally a bit run down and my milk supply has taken a bit of a hit - DD is still having wet nappies but not as wet as usual and she's been hungry all day, I also don't feel as full as usual. I already take fenugreek, is there anything else I can take to boost my supply? DD is 7 months.

Writemove Thu 19-Jan-17 19:10:47

I used to use fenugreek supplement. It makes your sweat smell like maple syrup (!) but really made a difference to my supply. It's from Holland and Barrett.

YoureMyWifeNowDave Thu 19-Jan-17 19:16:07

I take brewers yeast tablets when my supply dips or during a growth spurt, not sure how much it helps but it makes me feel like I'm doing something! I got my periods back when DS was 3 months old and my supply drops every time I'm on hmm

greeeen Thu 19-Jan-17 19:23:38

I took fenugreek, ate as many oats as I could take and pumped after feeding as many times as I could be bothered. Not sure which worked but my supply improved loads after a few days.

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 19-Jan-17 19:28:46

At seven months, I sincerely doubt you're having 'low supply'. Change in frequency of feeding is not an indication of supply - just a change in feeding behaviour which, in itself, will adjust your supply as needed. She has wet nappies, but is also getting older, and presumably taking in some solids, so will be getting nutrients from solids as well as liquids, which may reduce her amount of wee.

If you like taking fenugreek and eating oats, that's fine, but trusting that your boobs and baby know what they're doing after more than half a year of breastfeeding will serve you far better.

onedayimightforget Thu 19-Jan-17 19:33:58

Thanks for the suggestions.

She isn't yet taking solids - she was premature and although we have tried weaning she's not taken to it. Her weight gain has been slow but she has had lots of little illnesses so I think it's more down to that. I do genuinely think I'm having a bit of a dip in supply at the moment, probably down to being run down and a bit stressed. On occasion recently I have checked for milk and nothing's come out. I've also never had a huge supply - it's tough having to establish your supply from pumping alone and then getting your baby from NG feeds to bottle feeds and eventually to full breastfeeds.

ChocolateHelps Thu 19-Jan-17 19:45:07

Cold and flu remedies are mucus suppressants. Your milk supply is considered a mucus producer by your body. Therefore taking cold and flu remedies can directly reduce milk supply

onedayimightforget Thu 19-Jan-17 19:55:44

I'm not taking anything for the cold. I didn't know the reason behind it but I knew cold remedies weren't recommended when bfing so I've steered clear.

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 19-Jan-17 20:17:35

Your body would need to literally be in famine conditions or experiencing severe illness - far more than a cold - for it to affect your milk supply. Honestly, you don't need to worry.

Very well done for establishing your supply against all the odds, but trust that it is established. Your early experiences have possibly made you over-think milk supply a bit. How much you can express - by hand or pump - only indicates how much you can express. It is not an indicator of supply at all. Many women can express exactly nothing, but successfully feed a baby for months/years without supplementation - your body responds very differently to a baby on the breast than a squeezed nipple or a plastic breast shield. Just allow her free access to the breast. That's all you need to do. Oats, fenugreek, etc have no evidence to show they do anything, unlike allowing your baby unfettered access to the breast which is the only proven way to influence your supply.

eurochick Thu 19-Jan-17 20:22:39

Are you eating and drinking enough? I was expressing (for a premmie who wouldn't latch) and could see a distinct drop in supply if I wasn't. Has the cold made you a bit off you food/ not bothering to drink enough?

adagio Thu 19-Jan-17 20:41:10

Well done on getting so far, you are doing great grin. And as pp said, expressing is totally different and not always a good indicator of supply (nappies and weight gain tell you more).

I'm going to go against elphaba a bit here.

Suggestions to boost supply my lactation consultant (with my first) include oats (flapjack, porridge etc), becks blue non alcoholic beer, drink lots and lots (water, squash if you prefer) to be really well hydrated, doesn't in itself make more milk but helps put your body into 'ideal' situation to make it. I've also heard of the fenugreek thing but didn't try it myself so won't comment. Have a look at the la leche league or Kelly mom websites too for other ideas and articles.

Your pro lactin surge comes between about 2am and 5am, so offer plenty in the night (not fun, but the point is don't bottle feed or supplement particularly at this time). Prolactin being the hormone that prompts milk production.
Lots of skin to skin and available breast will also help (includes lazy dozing on the breast - it still stimulates supply a bit), so bathe together, go to bed for 24 hours together if you can and just cuddle/feed/cuddle/feed etc. Ideally with Netflix smile

Hope it all goes ok for you x flowers

onedayimightforget Thu 19-Jan-17 20:56:01

Thank you all for the helpful and supportive comments.

You are right that I question supply so much because when you're pumping from day one you see exactly how much you're making, it means you see it all in millilitres rather than judging by the baby because you don't have that direct relationship. Supply and demand isn't how you start off and so it's difficult to be in that mindset. (And thank god it didn't because DD1 started on 0.5ml every hour - that would have severely affected my supply!) I also never fully breasted DD1 but expressed for 7 months and saw the output get less and less. I've only just realised the connection - maybe subconsciously I expect my body to give up producing milk again now that we're at 7 months.

Unfortunately feeds between 2 and 5am are still very frequent so no problem there! She does still feed a lot but I imagine she is more effective now which I may also perceive as feeding less, however it's probably just that she doesn't need to feed for as long as she did when she was tiny.

As for eating and drinking, I've been eating a bit less but I've been ridiculously thirsty so drinking more.

I think I'm just a bit run down and maybe my mind is playing tricks on me about my supply. That said, there's no harm in having some Becks Blue and some flapjack!

PostTruthEra Thu 19-Jan-17 20:57:38

Have you taken any flu cold remedies for your cold? Some medicines can inhibit milk production.

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