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Anyone had any luck increasing supply?

(13 Posts)
BE18mum Wed 13-Jun-18 16:57:13

I started off BF but advised to top up with formula after an emergency hospital visit (low weight, no dirty nappies) where we realised she wasn’t getting enough from me.

So far I’ve been attending a BF group at my local children’s centre who have advised pumping regularly, breast compressions, switch feeding and lots of skin to skin. I’ve followed their tips as much as I can but don’t feel my supply is improving, if anything it feels like it’s reducing. Admittedly I don’t do everything I should with night feeds as it takes about 90 mins to feed her and I just want sleep, but I spend a lot of my day feeding or pumping. DD is also starting to have nipple confusion which is frustrating.

Has anyone had any success in recovering from a similar situation? Health visitor is suggesting taking away some of her formula but I’m reluctant as I don’t want to go back to her being hungry and not gaining weight - if anything I’d be tempted to just bottle feed.

DD is three weeks and three days old at the mo.

RidingMyBike Wed 13-Jun-18 22:49:44

Yes, I upped my supply - milk was very delayed coming in so DD was almost entirely formula fed from five days old (when we were admitted to SCBU) to eight weeks when my milk suddenly appeared! I increased supply up to 50/50 at that point but refused to go beyond that as I preferred bottle feeding.

The things that made a difference to my supply were:
- stopping expressing. It was stressing me out as there was no time to do anything but feed and express.
- get plenty of rest (supply increased hugely after baby started sleeping six hours straight)
- eat plenty of healthy food and drink lots of water (big glass with every feed - position all around the house so there's always one handy!).
- had some time to myself so got someone else to take the baby for a bit

You can combi feed if you want to - we did this for a year, after which I dropped the bottles and still BFing a 2.5 yr old now

BE18mum Wed 13-Jun-18 23:52:43

Interesting that you stopped expressing, will have to see if that helps! Thanks x

INeedNewShoes Thu 14-Jun-18 00:06:01

I increased my supply (it was never massive but definitely ended up enough).

Drink lots of water

Get plenty of rest (DD is 13 months now and there is a noticeable difference in how full my boobs are in the morning if I've had plenty of sleep).

Eat well (my GP advised me to eat an extra 500 calories to try to improve the fattiness of my milk). Eat oats every day. Avoid known supply reducers like peppermint, rhubarb etc.

Try not to get stressed about feeding!

I'd limit expressing to a couple of times a day. I was expressing 7 times and it just obliterated time when I should have been resting or cuddling DD. When you do express have baby next to you or look at photos of them (I couldn't believe how much more milk I got in a session if looking at photos of DD!)

The formula top ups will not help your supply. So as soon as it's safe to do so you will need to reduce them (obviously checking signs like nappies, restlessness etc.)

The night feeds are the most important for your supply. Our body releases a hormone between something like 1am and 5am and if baby feeds during that time it sends a message to the supply centre to produce more milk. So don't be tempted to shorten the night feeds.

Sending you positive thoughts! I remember clear as day the stress of DD's early weeks with feeding and weight gain issues. We got there in the end and by week 5 had stopped top ups altogether.

itsgoingtoofast Thu 14-Jun-18 00:08:33

The night feeds are the things that I find make the biggest difference to my supply tbh... I know it's hard but I think that's when prolactin levels are higher so it does make a big difference to me. Could you try and nap in the day instead?

I would be careful about stopping expressing without speaking to someone first as it's obviously supply and demand based so could make it worse depending..... Kellymom website has some good advice on increasing supply over short space of time using a pump.

Would it be worth getting baby's latch checked too/checked for tongue tie in case that is affecting supply? If baby not removing enough despite feeding lots your supply will drop.

Other things that I found helped were taking fenugreek supplements from Holland and Barrett, lots of oats (chocolate oat milk is lovely!) and a non alcoholic beer at night!

I also got a great book from amazon called making more milk which I found really helpful in terms of understanding the process and giving me some more confidence!

I'm not sure if any of this will work for you, but just thought sharing my experience may be helpful. Obviously everyone is different! Hopefully you will turn the corner soon, it's hard work at this stage I know. Good luck!

TuTru Thu 14-Jun-18 00:09:46

I upped mine. But the night feeding was absolutely crucial to that. I even bf the expressed the other breast some nights, once the supply is up all that calms down.
But it did work xx

TuTru Thu 14-Jun-18 00:10:27

And drink a lot of fluids yourself too 😉

DrCoconut Thu 14-Jun-18 00:23:30

I found that oats (in the form of porridge) increased my supply.

1nina Thu 14-Jun-18 00:27:18

Someone suggested Fenugreek to me with DS1 when I wanted to up my milk supply. It's a natural herb that you can buy in capsules in H&B. I took a smaller then suggested dose (just one tablet twice a day) along with plenty of water and 100% increased my milk supply!!
DS2 4 weeks old now snd will definitely take this again if I need to increase my milk supply, If was brilliant! Hope this helps?!

INeedNewShoes Thu 14-Jun-18 00:27:29

Oh and be careful about what bra you wear. I bought 4 nursing bras and two of them had elastic over the boob which I'm convinced wasn't good for the boob. And although they feel like they need support I do wonder whether it's better to sleep braless for upping supply (leaking was never a problem for me though).

HalfStar Thu 14-Jun-18 11:36:50

Fenugreek does work v well.

BE18mum Wed 20-Jun-18 21:35:49

Bit delayed but thank you for all the feedback... I find the night feeds easier so will make sure they stay priority. Will try the Fenugreek and keeping up with drinking plenty, too. I have my breastfeeding health worker calling on Friday, too, so will see what she thinks about how much to express.

InFrance2014 Thu 21-Jun-18 16:23:15

You don;t say why you had trouble in the first place, but babies are, all things equal, more efficient than pumps. You should certainly be using the pump if the baby can't feed properly, or to squeeze in an extra draining of boobs.
BUT if your baby can latch and feed fine now, just feed them direct very very often. At 3 weeks old your milk supply is still very much getting established. Just keep offering it like every 30 minutes, offer both sides each feed. If they wake up, offer again, its fine you cannot overfeed a BF baby.
Then the baby is doing the work that the pump was, and they should get enough nutrition from the milk rather than formula.

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