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Increase of milk supply

  1. #1
    brightcindy is offline Registered User
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    Increase of milk supply

    I am trying to increase my milk supply in anticipation of my baby boy (now 4 weeks old)'s increase in milk demand. Apart from frequent feeding, would frequent pumping (eg every 2-3 hours) help? I found that basically my milk supply in the afternoon is not sufficient to satisfy his hunger.

  2. #2
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    I used to pump after some feeds in the early days - that increased my supply signifcantly and enabled me to build upa good freezer stash for my return to work. My baby only tended to feed from one side, so I would pump the other. If he only had a light feed, I would pump that breast for a few minutes as well.

  3. #3
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Why do you think you don't have enough milk in the afternoons?
    What is the baby's weight gain like?
    How many wet nappies does the baby have each day (in 24 hours)?
    How many dirty nappies does the baby have each day (in 24 hours)?

    Have you tried switch nursing?
    Switch nursing is changing to the other side when the baby no longer seems interested. Usually when we start feeding the baby is very interested to suck, as the baby slows down we start the breast compression and when the baby slows down with the breast compression we change and get the baby to have the other side. On the other side after the baby starts to slow down we again use the breast compression and when he slows down again swap back to the first side again. We can continue swapping sides as much as we like and for as long as the baby is willing to continue to suck. It is fine to swap sides 8, 9 or 10 times in one feed.

    Remember that the baby drinks the same amount of milk each day at one month as six months. So if you have enough milk now you don't have to increase your milk supply but rather just keep it. The easiest way to keep your supply is to directly feed your baby whenever he want to be feed.

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

  4. #4
    curiousmummy is offline Registered User
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    i use Fenugreek

  5. #5
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    Your supply will naturally increase with your baby`s. If he`s already 4 weeks old and of good weight and getting enough wet diapers, I don`t think you have to worry so much.
    The late afternoon is a natural time to be a bit `low` in milk, as you are tired and the baby`s been feeding all day. Apparently though `low` this milk often contains the hindmilk. But your baby might enjoy to cluster feed at this time anyway, so he can go a bit longer in between feeds in the evening.
    When my son was first born and I was also worried about my milk supply, I just pumped a lot. But I ended up building up too much of a supply and I had some oversupply issues that lasted a while and made difficulties with feeding my baby.
    I think natural is best, what you are already doing, feeding on demand.

  6. #6
    yonge is offline Registered User
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    My second was such a a clingy feeder that I always thought I didn't have enough milk for him. I ended up taking fenugreek and metachlopromide for over five months. BIG MISTAKE, as I ended up getting blocked ducts just as I was returning to work, which are so painful and difficult to remove. Fortunately, I didn't go back to work long, stopped the medication and made him nurse those blocks away, but I would get blocks on and off for a couple of months. Just switch breasts and nurse until he's satisfied to increase your milk supply naturally.

  7. #7
    brightcindy is offline Registered User
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    Thanks everyone for the response. Yes my son is getting enough wet/dirty diapers per day and the weight gain is satisfactory - and I need to admit that there is one meal (at midnight) which I supplement with formula. The reason I know my afternoon supply decreases is because (1) the volume from pumping drops significantly and/or (2) my son cluster feeds really frequently during those hours. And yes I am especially tired in the afternoon. After reading everyone's reply I guess it's not really a concern, but I do want to build up a more solid supply of milk (I look forward to the day when I have so much "extra" milk that I can actually store them up for future use) before I get back to work - I still have a month's leave though. Apart from that midnight feed, I do try to feed my son directly as much as possible but he really dozes on and off (and sometimes any method to awaken him is futile -he'd sometimes even pull himself away from me). I am also taking More Milk Plus and Goat's Rue supplements to increase my supply. Just wondering if I am on the right track.

  8. #8
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Dear Brightcindy,

    You do not have a milk supply problem.

    It is very common for babies to cluster feed in the afternoons - this has nothing to do with milk supply and everything to do with normal baby behaviour.

    Also I wouldn't expect you to be able to pump much out while you are also breastfeeding. It will be much easier to pump the milk and get larger volumes when you are pumping instead of feeding rather than pumping as well as feeding.

    To build up a supply for when you return to work take all the small quantities you are getting at the moment and add them together. It may take you five or six pumping sessions to make one feed for when you return to work don't worry about this - this is normal.

    Remember that having an oversupply can lead to problems with plugged ducts and mastitis. It is actually better to have just the right amount of milk than an over or under supply.

    La Leche League in Hong Kong has a yahoo email group for mothers who are working and breastfeeding, lalecheleaguehongkong-working : LLL-HK Working Mothers Support. You may find it useful for asking questions about pumping, leaving the baby, etc.

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

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