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Old 02-18-2011, 08:35 PM   #1
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due in May and preparing to BF - need advice

I've been a stalker on DS for a couple years, but rarely post. I am usually looking up cd'ing stuff, but now I'm wanting to see if there is anything I can do pre-delivery to increase my chances of BF'ing success. I have not been successful with my other 3 children. The primary issue has been very low milk production. I had the most success w/ my 3rd, who I managed to bf for 6 weeks, but I found it necessary to suppliment - a lot. I would keep her on each breast for about 20 min. - I determined that I was only producing about 1 oz total at each feeding, which is why she would be ticked off after a 40 min bf session. And she was my best latcher of the 3 of them. I never experienced "let down" or any kind of breast discomfort or feeling of fullness in the breast (nipple pain/discomfort, yes).

So I pose this question: is there anything I could be doing now, such as dietary changes, suppliments, etc. that could maybe activate things. I am so curious why my breasts don't perform.

Thanks in advance for any advice or info you may have!

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Old 02-18-2011, 08:54 PM   #2
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Re: due in May and preparing to BF - need advice

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Old 02-18-2011, 09:15 PM   #3
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You can start pumping before you give birth, the milk isn't worth storing but it will help your production. Massaging will also stimulate your milk glands - add some lanolin if you've had problems with nipple pain. Religious nursing and pumping (every two hours minimum 24hours/day) is the most reliable way to build your supply.

Fenugreek is widely accepted as a milk booster, though you really have to down alot of it (till you smell like syrup) to get a benefit. There are many milk teas on the market, I use Mothers Milk to get through AF low supply days. Oatmeal, almonds, and plenty of water are all good bets, but they are day-of solutions, not really something you can benefit from ahead of birth.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:21 PM   #4
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Also, I highly recommend getting a referral to a lactation consultant for more help. I had a terrible time at first: thrush, low supply, latch issues, lengthy feeds. The first month was Awful, then the LC came to my house and got me on track. Now successfully BFing 10mos and counting.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:16 PM   #5
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Re: due in May and preparing to BF - need advice

Let the baby just keep nursing as much as you can stand and have her/his weight checked but don't measure the amount you pump - that will be a small amount in the first couple months no matter if you are producing enough or not and will only make you worry. See if your doc can help with a prescription as well. Keep nursing before you supplement, if you have to do that again. I had a tough time getting my supply up for twins and sometimes nursed for 45 min at a time per baby, but after 3 months I have enough for the freezer! Good luck to you!
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:29 PM   #6
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Re: due in May and preparing to BF - need advice

Find an IBCLC in your area!

http://www.ilca.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:07 PM   #7
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Re: due in May and preparing to BF - need advice

First off, I wouldn't recomend pumping before giving birth.... it can cause uterine contractions and increase the chances of going into preterm labor.

I would go to a few La Leche League meetings. The leaders are highly trained, and many of the women who attend have had more than one successful breast feeding relationship and can be full of advice on what worked for them.

Find a Board Certified Lactatioin Consultant in your area. If the LC from the hospital comes into your room after the baby is born, and she doesn't seem very supportive, take her with a grain of salt. What I have learned is that frquently in hospitals, a "lactation consultant" is NOT certified through the IBCLC.

If you qualify for WIC, you can speak to their Lactation Consultant or Breastfeeding Counselor. I have had VERY good results from speaking to them. Some of the offices have an LC (like the one I went to when my second was born) and some have counselors (like the one I go to now) but the counselors are well trained. And the office I went to with my second son, had the counselor as well as the LC and she was just as a good as the LC there.

I would talk to other breastfeeding moms they can be a huge support to you.

Another key to being successful (in my opinion), is to be educated. Be aware that the first few weeks will probably be a little painful (they are for many). Be aware that a newbie may want to nurse (what feels like) ALL-THE-TIME. It's the baby's way of stimulating your breasts. Keep in mind that as baby goes through a growth spurt, he will go back to wanting to nurse all the time. He needs to do that to encourage you to make more milk.

If you think your little one isn't getting enough milk, rent a scale. Weigh baby before nursing, then nurse, then weigh baby again. If you do this for 48 hours, it will give you a good average of how much he's getting... and then decide if extra steps need to be taken.

Be sure to drink TONS of water. Eat oatmeal once a day (the old fashioned kind, NOT quick oats),eat/drink a soy product once a day, and drink Mothers Milk Tea. Make a batch of lactation cookies every once in a while.

Be sure to continue taking your pre-natal vitamins after the baby is born, and take them the whole time you are breastfeeding.

Use comfortable nursing pads.. I love the ones that DS mama Gem_Cloth makes. Let your nippples air dry after nursing, and put breast milk on cracked nipples. Keep some lanolin on hand and use frequently to sooth nipples.

Have alot of skin-to-skin contact with your baby. I used to like to let the baby be naked or just in a diaper, and have his naked skin in direct contact with my naked skin while nursing. I don't exactly why it works, but bio-physically it promotes our bodies to make more milk as well.

That's all I can think of right now. Please don't think that I see myself as a "know it all," because I'm not. I do feel very knowledgable, having successfully nursed 3 little boys. Each of my children had a different nursing issue that I had to get help resolving, so I'm just sharing information that I have glaned from midwives, breast feeding counselors, IBLC Lactation Consultants and other experienced moms.

And as always, we'll be here to help too

God bless!
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:00 PM   #8
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Re: due in May and preparing to BF - need advice

I agree with pp but would add, check out Drjacknewman.com
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:46 PM   #9
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Re: due in May and preparing to BF - need advice

I agree with all of the above that talking to a board certified lactation consultant is a great start. The more support, the better!

In addition to the prenatal vitamins (with DHA) that need to be taken during breastfeeding, my is to also take brewers yeast every day. I love the stuff, and anecdotally it seems to increase breastmilk production. Don't get me wrong, it tastes awful, but I mix in 2 heaping tablespoons in about 4 oz of pomegranate juice. The strong juice flavor helps minimize the strong brewers yeast flavor. It is great for B vitamins (which also helps with energy and mood) and is a easily absorbed food source rather than a less easily absorbed supplement. Good while pregnant, too! Like I said, just my .
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:28 PM   #10
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Re: due in May and preparing to BF - need advice

I agree with all the suggestions above and would also recommend reading Making More Milk by Diana West and Lisa Marasco for additional ideas.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS.../chrisficti-20

I don't know of many supplements that can be taken while still pregnant, but one that is recommended is Alfalfa. If I remember correctly, it helps build the breast tissue.
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