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How to increase your breast milk.

  1. #9
    YTV
    YTV is offline Registered User
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    Hi LLL_Sarah,
    "But a word of caution. Doing this when it isn't required can easily lead to an over supply. The problems of over supply are actually harder to solve than the problems of under supply."

    What would the problem be for over supplying?
    I've been trying to reduce my milk supply lately because I just have too much. So what I did was to pump less and just let my baby feed on my breast, by doing this I found when I do pump, my milk is a few oz less.

    Ps my baby is a little bit chubby :)
    seeing the Doctor next week to discuss about his weight.

  2. #10
    aliciaooi is offline Registered User
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    I should have read this earlier. I was really under-supply... But I would try if I do plan for a 2nd child. Very good thread.

  3. #11
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Problems of over supply

    The problems of over supply are mainly because the milk comes out too fast for the baby to cope with. (This is a problem that time solves because as the baby gets bigger he can cope.) This can cause the baby to cough and splutter at the breast. Mothers often describe this as choking. But it isn't the sort of choking that happens when someone gets something stuck in their throat, more like something going down the wrong tube. In these cases the baby is usually happier with a more upright position -the best position is usually the mother lying reclined on her back and the baby lying on top of her. In fact these laid back positions are generally the best position for all breastfeeding problems - it is now thought to be the most natural way to feed.

    Sometimes the babies will only feed for a few minutes and then pull off. Then they want to go back again shortly afterwards. This behaviour can make the mothers think they don't have enough milk when in fact the problem is the opposite - too much milk.

    Another problem of over supply, although much rarer, is that the baby can find he gets a lot of lactose when feeding. This can result in a lot of wind and some times the stools are green. If this doesn't upset the baby then it isn't a problem. If it does then block feeding can be a solution. With block feeding the mother feeds the baby on one side (no matter how many times the baby asks to nurse) for a set number of hours. Then swaps for the next block of hours to the other side. This works in the opposite way to switch nursing and helps to reduce the supply until it is more in line with what the baby wants.

    Another problem of over supply is that the mother is much more likely to get plugged ducts and mastitis. As the ducts are kept full of milk for too long.

    Best wishes,
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader
    www.lllhk.org

  4. #12
    Koan is offline Registered User
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    I had oversupply. My baby pulled off all the time, spat up a lot, was gassy and fussy. And my boobs hurt all the time.

    Oversupply is not fun at all. I would be very careful when pumping to increase your milk supply.

  5. #13
    Little bird is offline Registered User
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    LLL Sarah and YTV,

    I wonder how is it possible to feed a baby on an empty breast? My baby gets grumpy as soon as the milk supply drops. With an empty breast maybe he will pull off 5 seconds after he attempt to suck. Or are other babies different?

    He will turn 1 month old this Friday, and my pump best record is only 1.5 oz in total. I top up with formula and now it's like I can never catch up with his need cos on a formula only session he drinks 4 oz. Will there be a way to increase the supply?

  6. #14
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Dear Little Bird,

    You don't mention it but I'm guessing that your baby has had bottles. Babies get used to the fast flow from the bottle and often won't continue sucking at the breast when the flow begins to slow. If they have never had a bottle they think it is normal that the flow slows and are usually willing to work harder to get more milk from the breast.

    I find that using a lactation aid is the best way to overcome the problem. With a lactation aid the baby gets the supplemented milk but at the breast. This retrains him to suck longer at the breast and your body is stimulated more and so the speed of your flow increases.

    To see how to use a lactation aid look at the video under the heading of At-Breast Supplementer on the web site Breastfeeding Articles by Dr. Jack Newman - Breastfeeding Online.
    Or from the video with the heading Inserting a Lactation Aid at Newman Breastfeeding Clinic Videos

    This method has the advantage that the baby is sucking at your breast and increasing your supply without the need for you to pump (or not to pump as much). But it tends to be a bit fiddly. It is helpful to get someone with experience to show you how to use it. I can help with this if you can visit me. I live in Mid-levels but I'm leaving for London on Thursday night - so call me as soon as you can - 2548-7636.

    You can also buy a device from Medela called a Supplemental Nursing System from CELKI Medical Company
    which does the same thing but costs more!

    Best wishes,
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader
    www.lllhk.org

  7. #15
    cutebear is offline Registered User
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    I actually have a question on night feed. My baby sleeps about 7 hours then feed and then sleeps another 4 hours during the night. But he only takes one breast during the night feed before he goes back to sleep. I always have to pump the other breast which wakes me up completely after all these are done and can't go back to sleep for another hour. I pump because 1. it's uncomfortable after 7hours and I know I have to wait for another 4 hours before the next fee. 2. I am afraid if I don't pump, my milk supply will go down during the day.
    Am I right about the supply? Is there a easier way for the night feed? ie no pumping?

  8. #16
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Dear Cutebear,

    You don't mention how old your baby is. If he is under six weeks then you will need to be more careful about your supply as your body still needs a lot of prolactin. But if your baby is over six weeks then you don't need to worry about your supply because you are in the demand and supply section of breastfeeding - i.e. your body replaces the milk taken out. The baby takes more out in the day so you replace more in the day and he takes less out at night so you replace less at night.

    The problem you need to worry about is the fact that by pumping you have told your body that you need more milk than you actually do. Care needs to be taken as you reduce this supply as plugged ducts and mastitis are a possibility. Generally we suggest expressing until you feel comfortable. I usually suggest hand expressing rather than pumping. It is easy to continue and take too much milk out with a pump but because hand expressing is a chore I find mothers usually stop as soon as they are comfortable.

    You are aiming to leave your breast full of milk as this will signal your body to stop making the milk but be comfortable at the same time.

    There are instructions about hand expression at How to Manually Express Breastmilk - The Marmet Technique - Medela

    It will take longer to reduce your supply than it would to increase your supply. So it could take around a week before you notice an improvement but you may be lucky and notice one earlier.

    Best wishes
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader
    www.lllhk.org

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