Fine Tune Your Technique And Then The Galactogogue
It's Greek... Fenugreek
I have consulted with many, many mothers who believed that they had an insufficient milk supply. Perceived or actual low milk supply is one of the most common reasons I hear for discontinuing breastfeeding, second to nipple pain. ‘Perceived’ is the key word here because most of these moms had adequate milk but didn’t know how to improve their production. They said the baby wasn’t settling at breast or sleeping long enough in between feedings or gaining enough weight per the pediatrician’s growth chart. (Check to be sure it’s not for formula fed babies)
Unless you have an underlying medical condition you can be confident that you have enough milk for your growing baby. An unsettled baby, a baby who seems to be on the breast continuously or the behavior of a non-sleeper should not be attributed to a low milk supply until a lactation expert performs a thorough evaluation of the entire feeding process.
- Holding your baby skin-to-skin as much as possible?
- Watching for feeding cues and feeding frequently?
- Performing self-breast massage in order to improve your milk ejection reflex?
- Experiencing nipple pain?
- Expressing milk after the baby has finished at breast?
Your breasts are never completely empty of milk. If your milk is not moved out regularly and thoroughly, milk production will decline. More frequent and thorough drainage of the breasts will result in an increased rate of milk production.
Consider Power Pumping
Pump both breasts simultaneously, more often or for longer periods of time.
The idea behind power pumping is to stimulate your body into producing more milk by rapidly emptying the breasts. To power pump, find an hour in the early morning, after a period of sleep - when you will likely have the most milk.
- Pump for 20 minutes, rest for 10 minutes
- Pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10 minutes
- Pump for 10 minutes.
Throughout the rest of the day, pump as you would normally. Most moms reported that they needed to power pump for 2-3 mornings before they saw a result.
Perhaps your latch is less than optimal resulting in nipple pain foremost and then all that follows an inadequate feeding… restlessness, hunger and sleeping for less than an hour between feedings. A lactation consultant will be able to adjust a painful latch, improve alignment and help you to achieve enjoyable and satisfying breastfeeding sessions.
A galactogogue can be chosen to increase your milk supply as a complement to your normal breastfeeding, pumping and power pumping routines. FENUGREEK is considered to be one of the most effective plant based galactogogues. If you consistently take fenugreek and continue with thorough breastfeeding and pumping sessions you can expect to see and feel an increase in your production in 24 to 72 hours after starting the herb. Stick with it for 2 weeks to see if you respond.
Fenugreek Seed is available in an easy to swallow capsule at Mommy Knows Best. The Lactation Formula Supplement promotes natural milk production along with Blessed Thistle Herb, Fennel Seeds and DHA, (an omega-3 fatty acid found in breastmilk) an important building block for your baby's brain and eyes.
Be sure to check with your health care providers before starting any herbal supplements.