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What to Do about a Low Breast Milk Supply

Learn what to do about a low milk supply from lactation consultant Melissa K. Nagin in this Howcast video.


Many mothers run into an issue of low milk supply. It's very, very common. It's also very easy to build back up. Just because you have low milk supply does not mean that you have to stop breastfeeding. Or that your body is trying to tell you something.

In order to just bring it right back up. There are many reasons for it to begin with. It could be that you're going to work. It's very common during that time because of the stress of going back to work. Something else stressful might be happening in your life as well.

It could be that your baby is starting to drop a few feedings. Your body thinks it's not supposed to be producing as much anymore. There are many different reasons.

Getting it up is very, very easy. Number one just make sure you're drinking enough water. At least 64 ounces a day of water or clear fluid is very important.

Eating oatmeal is a great option as well. Or something to add into the menu there.

Tea, such as Mother's Milk tea which is an herbal tea. There's no caffeine. A couple cups of that a day can really help as well.

If you are not diabetic or asthmatic then a great option would be to take fenugreek caps. It's really just fennel in capsule form. It is an herbal supplement. Again very, very safe to use.

You're going to need to mega dose on it. You need to take three caps, three times a day for ten days. Then we can drop it to two caps, three times a day for ten days. Then we can drop it to one cap, three times a day for ten days. And see where you are.

The one side effect to fenugreek is that you might smell like maple syrup. Your pores will be exuding maple syrup smell. You'll probably be the only one sensitive to that.

If all else fails and you do not see an improvement over 72 hours you might want to talk to your lactation consultant about Domperidone which is a medication. We like the natural remedies first. Domperidone is a medication very, very benign and seen by the American Academy of Pediatrics for use in breastfeeding mothers as the ideal milk enhancer. Or galactagogue. So in cases like that it is foolproof. We like to see how the natural remedies work first.

In some cases an option for low milk supply, if the baby's frustrated at the breast, is using a supplemental nursing system, or a SNS. Which is a bottle that we hold around our neck. That attaches around our neck with tubing that comes out and around and attaches to the nipple. So that the baby is nursing and stimulating supply at the same time that they're receiving the milk from the bottle. There's a lot less frustration. Yet, we're still getting that stimulation to the breast where eventually we can just take off that tubing and the baby is there without it.

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