Breastfeeding: Dealing With Low Milk Supply

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Before Edith arrived I stocked up on breast pads, natural nipple butter, a manual breastpump, breast pump sterilize bags, milk storage bags, bottles, boppy and a nursing cover. I was prepared for it all. I had taken a course, done my reading and was ready to start nursing as soon as Edith arrived. What I didn’t prepare for was low milk production.

Edith arrived into the world ready to eat and she latched easily and spent the first day nursing constantly. She was determined to get my milk flowing and into her belly. My milk came in within 48-72 hours after Edith’s arrival into the world. At first I felt pretty full but I never experienced much engorgement and I only found myself leaking about a handful of times in the early days when Edith had a few long sleep stretches.

I envied women who had more than enough milk. I longed to be one of those women that constantly had to wear breast pads or one of those women who could still pump a full bottle even after just nursing. I wanted to have an overabundance of milk for my baby but that never happened.

So I have turned to other natural methods to try increase my milk supply. I have used:

  • Mother Love More Milk

  • Mother Love More Milk Plus

  • Feenugreek

  • Alfalfa

  • Goat’s Rue

  • Blessed Thistle

  • Some indian herb

  • Liquid herb mix

  • Nursing on Demand – even now.

  • Co-Sleeping

  • More Milk Tea

  • Eat Oats

  • Eat Sprouts

I can count myself lucky however because Edith has always stayed on her growth curve, has had plenty of soiled diapers and met her milestones. She also loves nursing and even at 16 months she still nursing 6-8 times per day. I know part of that is because she needs to nurse more frequently because my milk production is low but now at 16 months I would say it’s mostly for comfort; what can I say this girl loves nursing!

Although it has been a challenge and nursing constantly is exhausting at times it has been worth it. I should note that some things work better than others for increasing supply and for me it has been the Mother Love More Milk Plus, co-sleeping, and nursing on demand. How has your nursing experience been? Have you had to deal with a low milk supply?

3 thoughts on “Breastfeeding: Dealing With Low Milk Supply

  1. kim @ vegan mama

    I think you know most of my breastfeeding/low supply journey, but yeah, I was totally not prepared for having low milk supply! My best guess is that Alma had an undiagnosed upper lip tie (which was later confirmed), but it could also be that I was/am dealing with IGT. In any case, I tried all of those things you posted at one point or another. The things that worked best for me were a custom herbal tincture made by my LC, domperidone, and brewer’s yeast (blech!).

    I’m pretty sure my supply is ridiculously low now at 21 months, and I had grand hopes of Alma only drinking breastmilk for two years, but I had to give myself a break and give her hemp/coconut milk (which we started in very small quantities sometime after she started solids). We’re still nursing about 5x a day, though I can’t imagine she is getting very much!

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  2. Sarah

    I thought I was prepared too but I so was not! I had all the supplies and had read a few things but our hospital classes covered breastfeeding in about 30 minutes, which I don’t think was enough. I thought after Ace was born, he would latch on and we’d be on our way. When he was born, he was screaming and inconsolable, even by me, it made me so sad. He would not latch and they took him to the newborn nursery to be checked out since he could not calm down. I eventually had to use a shield and we struggled to get my milk to come in, further complicated by an unexpected return visit to the hospital (for me) when he was three days old. My milk did eventually come in and then I had to work like heck to get my supply caught up with his demand. If it wasn’t for my awesome lactation consultants and my husband, I don’t know that I would have kept going. I think what worked for me was nursing on demand, then pumping in between feedings and eating lots of oatmeal with flax and making some cookies with brewer’s yeast. I drank Mother’s Milk tea too but not consistently. I also drank some electrolyte beverages in addition to water. I know so many moms are still struggling, so I’m thankful that my supply has been more than sufficient since about 2 months in. I’ve even been able to donate to some other moms and a milk bank.

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  3. Helen

    Good for you for making it work! It sounds like we have had similar experiences. I am fortunate to live in an incredible town that encourages breastfeeding (through strict guidelines at the hospital and numerous organizations throughout town that offer support and guidance). I was able to successfully nurse my now almost-15 month old daughter. And even with all of my struggles and a very demanding work schedule that had me traveling all over the country, we overcame milk shortages, I pumped like crazy and was able to donate over 400 ounces to a local family recently.

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