How can I increase supply? Please help! — The Bump
Breastfeeding

How can I increase supply? Please help!

I'm a FTM trying to BF. DS latch is so painful that I can't BF so I've been pumping. My supply is really low and most sessions I don't get more than 2 oz.

Yesterday I was traveling all day and didn't get a chance to express any milk. Then today when I tried to pump I couldn't get even a 1/2 oz from both breast combined.

I'm kind of freaking out because I really wanted to just BF, then when that didn't work out I got used to the idea of supplementing with formula and now I'm worried that I'll only be able to do formula. I feel like I'm failing. 

Anyway, is there a way to increase my supply? If I keep pumping will it pick back up again? 

 Thank you very much for any advice you can give me. I need it!

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Re: How can I increase supply? Please help!

  • I'm a second time mom and i am having low supply issues, too.  Never had this problem with DS.  I just looked at this site, but also met with a lactation consultant yesterday. 

    when you traveled yesterday, did you you breastfeed?  I do know that you have to stay on top of this...if not, you'll never recoup. 

     

    GL

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  • 2 oz is normal (total) to pump. You may have to do it several times to get a good feeding.
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  • image mssm2012:

    I don't have any experience (yet!), but from books I've read that it's really important to keep at it with regular nursing/pumping sessions. If you aren't breastfeeding, you should pump every time the baby eats in order to establish a good supply and "train" your body how much milk to produce. By going an entire day without pumping, you're basically telling your body that the baby doesn't need your milk. 

    My suggestion would be to pump at least every 2-3 hours for at least the next several weeks, if you want to continue.  It's a HUGE time commitment, and definitely requires some sacrifice and extra planning when you're out of the house! Good luck! 

    All of this.  I have heard women on here say eating oatmeal can help.  I drank mothers milk tea to help increase mine.

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  • Start eating a bowl of oatmeal every morning, take fenugreek with every meal, drink as much water as you can, eat full meals, pump every 2-3 hrs. I find that it's easier to pump when you are doing other things. I have the medela freestyle so I'm pretty mobile. I even pump in car otw home from work. I average 24-28 oz total with my first morning pump yielding 7-8 oz total for both breasts. HTH. Please let us know how you are doing and try as long as you can. Any bm you can get out to give to your lo is a great accomplishment.
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  • I agree with PP. I am 5 months in and have EBF my daughter the entire time. I eat oatmeal everyday and anytime that I've missed a day of oatmeal, I could tell a difference in my supply. Also, drink as much water as you can. I try to drink a glass or bottle of water each time I pump or BF. Fenugreek and blessed thistle (herbs) helped to boost my supply when I experienced a lull. You HAVE to pump as often as your child eats in order to maintain your supply. It might be a good idea to invest in a hands-free pumping bra and a car adapter so you can pump in the car. It has been a great help to me when work prevented me from pumping. 

    Also, your prolactin levels are highest in the morning so you should get a greater output in the morning when you pump. I can get 8 ounces from one side when I pump at 5 am (after going all night without feeding on that side). It is definitely possible to build your supply but you are going to have to stick with it. Don't give up!  

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  • lanboblanbob member
    For the first month or so you little one doesn't eat large quantities but they Do eat a lot of times. The amount will increase and the frequency will decrease as LO gets older. I know when I'm on the go all day I don't drink as much water. Oatmeal,anise seed boiled and drank as a tea, have both helped me and water.
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  • lanboblanbob member
    Also one day won't screw your supply up. If you continue to skip pumping and/or nursing sessions a few days in a row this will mess up your supply.
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  • Drink to thirst, oatmeal is a great galactalogue and pump regularly. Don't skip pumping sessions, and pump at least until the milk stops flowing. You can also try doing breast compressions, I notice a big difference in my pumping sessions when I do them.
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  • image mssm2012:

    I don't have any experience (yet!), but from books I've read that it's really important to keep at it with regular nursing/pumping sessions. If you aren't breastfeeding, you should pump every time the baby eats in order to establish a good supply and "train" your body how much milk to produce. By going an entire day without pumping, you're basically telling your body that the baby doesn't need your milk. 

    My suggestion would be to pump at least every 2-3 hours for at least the next several weeks, if you want to continue.  It's a HUGE time commitment, and definitely requires some sacrifice and extra planning when you're out of the house! Good luck! 

    This. I EP and I pump every 3 hours, except at night(STTN) Your milk is supply and demand.. If you don't demand it, the body won't supply it. I only get about 5 oz total each session(except my AM session) which seems a little low but I keep up with her needs during the day and have a small freezer stash.

  • I agree with nurse or pump as much as you can. I had latch trouble with dd for a couple weeks and it was rough. It can also take a couple weeks of added pump/ nurse to notice a supply change
  • Everything PPs said.  I wanted to add that More Milk Plus works crazy well and fast for me.  I take a partial dose in the mornings and by my lunchtime pump I've been getting around 4-5 oz.  I did an experiment the other day and took a partial dose before bed and I woke up somewhat engorged after 5 hours.  I pumped and got 7.5 oz, then when on the way to work I pumped another 3.  I won't be taking the evening dose anymore, but it helped prove to me that it does work.


  • have you been to a LC for the latch issue?  exclusively pumping is hard work, as I am sure many moms can attest to.  pumping in your car is easier than it sounds....bf-ing cover, car adapter, hands-free bra and good pump and you are set! keep at it, b/c at 3 weeks your supply is just starting to get going and will start to regulate in the next few weeks.  Good luck.  It gets easier. 
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