Operation: Increase Supply!

I am so mad at myself. Like really, really, really mad at myself.

As a first-time-momma with Jax, I gave up after 2 months, telling myself that I wasn’t producing enough milk and he was always hungry and it seemed like I could never keep him satisfied, not to mention the rest ofย  life you have to pay attention to besides nursing, and so, the bottle became a good friend.

I told myself that with Adelaide things would be different. This time around I knew better. I knew it was going to be hard and it was going to be time consuming, but I thought that since I stayed at home now, maybe it would be easier. WRONG. So very wrong. Nothing, I repeat, nothing is easier when you have two kids.

At first, I fought hard, I really did, but then Blue had a heart murmur, and a bad case of jaundice and she wasn’t gaining weight and so I fell to the pressure and I began to supplement. I supplemented for about 2 months when I finally decided that I wanted to try and EBF again. And I did for 7 weeks. It was nothing but me sustaining my little girl and I was so proud of myself, but still, she wasn’t gaining a ton of weight and the doctors put pressure back on me to supplement. The husband encouraged me. Everyone encouraged me to supplement. And when I thought about my daughter and the slight chance that she was still hungry and never satisfied, well, I began to see the upside to supplementing, and so I did, again.

At first, I only supplemented when I was unable to nurse, i.e. the car or when grandma and grandpa watched her and I couldn’t pump enough to make sure they weren’t left high and dry. But it seemed as time passed, she got more and more bottles. I wasn’t worried about it though. She was still nursing frequently and all through the night, I had nothing to worry about.

It wasn’t until last week when we went out to dinner on Tuesday that I noticed a problem.

I am a huge fan of pumping in the car and then giving the pumped bottle to Adelaide to tie her over for the car ride. (she loathes riding in the car.) So I began to pump. Nothing was unusual. I felt the same, looked the same, pumped the same. Everything was the same. But when I got done pumping after 15 minutes, I only had about an ounce. Crap. My supply was decreasing.

I’m not ready to stop breastfeeding yet. I am not ready to commit to formula/bottle feeding full time yet. There is something so perfect about nursing your newborn baby and I’m determined to keep going for as long as I can. (Fingers crossed we make it to 1 year!) So now I am in “Get My Supply Back” mode. I am trying anything and everything I can to build my supply back up with the hopes that I will, once again, be able to get rid of formula/bottles completely.

First, I began taking Fenugreek again. I am taking roughly 4500mgs a day, I’ve had good success in the past with Fenugreek, so here’s hoping! I am also beginning to take Brewer’s Yeast and Flaxseed Oil supplements. I’ve read and researched that both aid in increasing milk supply.

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Then I made myself some lactation cookies. I plan on doing an entire blog about lactation cookies because A) I really love baking and B) I really love sweet things and C) I love it when you can fix problems with cookies. However, I plan on doing more than just cookies. I want to make lactation cakes, lactation muffins, lactation cupcakes. Perhaps, if I get good enough with creating lactation treats then I will have my own lactation bakery and I will call it “The Lactation Station” (I will copyright this if it’s not already taken as of today!) But I made my first batch of Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and they are delicious!

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And what doesn’t go great with cookies, but some Mother’s Milk Tea. I used to hate this stuff, but with enough honey or sugar, it has actually become something that I look forward too. I drink about 3 cups a day with 2 teabags in each cup.

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When I’m not eating sweets, I’ve decided to increase, and by increase I mean, start, eating rolled oats. Oats in the morning. Oats in the afternoon. Oats late at night. I figure that between the oats and the cookies that I should be increasing my calorie intake by 700 calories or so which will also help with my milk supply!

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Next, since I am without a car and can’t really do anything I am having all day/all week/all weekend nursing sessions better known as nursing vacations. She gets it whenever she wants it. Jaxsyn has been very patient with me and my nursing times so I am blessed, but I want to let her know that it’s hers whenever she wants. I also make sure to offer it to her after she eats her other food so she knows it’s available.

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I am only drinking water. Lots and lots of water. For those who know me, you know how important this must be to me for me to give up my coke, but water it is.

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And finally, I keep Adelaide with me or by me as much as possible. Meaning? I wear her everywhere. I wear her when I’m writing a blog, when I’m cleaning the house, when I’m hanging the laundry on the line. I wear her when I eat lunch sometimes. If I’m not wearing her, I’m holding her, I’m laying with her. We have skin to skin time as often as we can. Our bodies are pretty spectacular and so I want my body to remember that I have a baby who is a hungry girl!

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I’ve only been doing these things for a couple days now and while I’m not rushing to any conclusions, I do notice that I have decreased the number of bottles for Adelaide. I am not trying to pump right now because I want my body to know to make milk for my baby, but I already think we are moving in the right direction and I’m excited to see what happens in the next week/month!

How about you guys? Any nursing mama’s out there who have some advice to share!? What about recipes for lactation cookies? I’m all ears!

4 thoughts on “Operation: Increase Supply!

  1. Hey Lauren!
    I’ve been dealing with the EXACT same situation for the past 2 weeks….getting my milk supply back! A few weeks ago we noticed Tucker was getting thinner, so we took him to the pediatrician, and sure enough, he had lost weight :( they ran blood tests to rule out any underlying problems, but in the end we decided it was because he wasn’t getting any milk from me, and was essentially starving :(
    The first person I went to see was the lactation consultant at the hospital (no charge either) she helped more than anybody else! Is there any service like that around you? She suggested pumping 5-6 times a day…and I even got a brand new pump through Charlie’s insurance. She also recommended drinking 32oz of Gatorade a day(on top of all that water!) and keeping my calorie intake at 1800-2000 calories a day. Fenugreek can be “hit or miss” so if you don’t feel like it’s working, I wouldn’t waste any more time or money on them. The consultant immediately took me off the birth control I was on too, Sprintec apparently depletes your milk supply, and she had me out on the Mirena. I have a TON of recipes from the consultant, and ones I put together myself…cookies, mug cakes, rice pudding, etc. Let me know if you would like any of them! It sounds like you’re doing a wonderful job already :)

    1. Awesome! Thank you for the encouraging words! I think there is a lactation consultant at the hospital I can go talk to if I need too! But I had forgotten all about that! And send me whatever recipes you can! I can’t wait to try new things! Keep me posted on your progress!

  2. My suggestion would be nurse as often as possible. The more she stimulates you, the more you’ll produce. Even if it’s not time and you know you won’t have much or any milk, nurse her anyway. Slowly it should come back up.

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