Join Date: Dec 2009
Re: Increasing milk production
Sassybottoms, I'd caution you to stay away from the galactogogue herbs until you know for sure you need them. Sipping on a nursing tea once or twice a day from the beginning probably won't hurt (I like the Yogi brand, FWIW), but I wouldn't start popping the full dose of Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle down as a precautionary measure. The reason why, is you might create an oversupply of milk, which sounds heavenly, but in reality is just as troublesome as a low supply. I know this firsthand, because I am just now getting my self/herb-induced oversupply under control. Chances are you never had supply issues with your first two to begin with, it's relatively rare. If there are problems immediately after birth it's usually latch issues, or milk that is slow to come in (beyond 3 days). So have #3 checked for tongue tie/lip tie immediately after birth, especially if you note any nipple pain with the first latches. Even if you don't have pain have your NB checked for ties, as I nursed DS2 relatively pain free for six weeks without realizing his tongue tie. Once it was snipped at 6.5 weeks, he suddenly went from nursing every 1.5-2 hours to every 2-3 hours. If it's a boy you are expecting, re-think having him circumcised as this can cause him to be very sleepy at the breast while he is dealing with the pain of it healing. Do not listen to the hospital's "feed every 2-3 hour rule", especially if your NB is a sleeper. You actually want your NB at the breast more like every 1-1.5 hours, and if this is impossible ask for a syringe to express your colostrum into, so that you can feed it to your LO. Request a pump to hasten your milk coming in, if this was a problem with your other two LOs. The point is to feed-feed-feed on demand. Accept that your life will revolve around nursing the first 6 weeks. Cook and freeze dinners beforehand, let the house go, and find a comfortable spot to BF. Learn the art of side-lying nursing, so that you can sleep. Be prepared for the h*ll days of initial growth spurts (@ week 1, 3 weeks, and 6 weeks) - your baby will nurse round the clock for ~48 hours, they will flail at your breasts, tug your nipples like a puppy playing with a chew toy, scream with frustration and completely convince you that they can't get enough milk, and that you are the most inadequate person on the planet. During this time, you will only be able to get up to go to the bathroom, and walk around just enough to get the blood flowing again in your lower extremities. Muster through it, because by the 3rd day you will feel like a train wreck, but your LO will be sleeping like an angel, and you'll be constantly checking to see if he/she is still alive. He/she will only wake every 3-4 hours to bother you for a drink... enjoy it, this lasts a day or two before they feed more often again. Your little boob monster has just increased your supply, naturally. Don't get the bright idea, like I did, to try and get ahead of the next growth spurt by popping galactogue herbs all day. You'll quickly get ahead of your LO, and he/she will be filling up on too much lactose rich foremilk and not getting the fatty hindmilk that comes later in a feed. You'll suddenly notice that the healthy yellow EBF poops, suddenly turn a frothy algae green. Then the gas will kick in, and you'll have a very frustrated, fussy baby on your hands, that suddenly starts nursing more often. He/she might keep you up all night, nursing for comfort, while running in place at your breast, trying to get all the gas out from that day's lactose overload. This can last for weeks (2.5 in my case), until they grow enough to catch up with your oversupply and start getting enough of the fatty hindmilk again. In my case, oversupply, was much more miserable than dealing with a two day growth spurt, and I learned that too much of a good thing is just as bad as not enough. Trust in your body. The first 6-8 weeks of a successful BFing relationship are the hardest thing you'll ever go through in your life, but once you get past it, it's easy peasy!
I am now convinced that most Moms that claim "low supply"/"milk dried up" self diagnose this during a growth spurt and turn to formula (I know I did with DS1).... because that is exactly what a growth spurt "feels" like. It would be so nice if our boobs had ounce markers on them, but you really have to trust in diaper output.