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  1. #1

    Enough amount of breastmilk

    Good day! I have been breastfeeding my baby for 7 months now. However, I am not sure if he's getting enough amount of milk from me. This is a concern for me because he has not gained his weight for two months now. How would I know if he's getting enough milk? Can you suggest any tip to increase my milk? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Hi Venus,

    The recommendation by the World Health Organisation and other healthcare professionals is to exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first six months (i.e. give them nothing but breast milk) and then to start to introduce solid food once they are six months old (and developmentally ready for this).

    Can I ask if you have started to introduce solid food yet? Did you exclusively breastfeed for 6 months? Do you still breastfeed on demand (ie. whenever your baby wants milk - in the day and night)? Breast milk is produced on a supply and demand basis so you need to put your baby on the breast whenever they want milk in order for your body to keep producing enough milk.

    You can always additionally express milk (with a breast pump) in order to increase your milk supply. Also, eating certain foods such as oats can increase milk supply.

    We need to get to the bottom of why your baby is not putting on weight. Are you using baby led weaning or spoon fed weaning? With baby led weaning it is recommended that up to 12 months of age your baby is not hungry when they are offered food so you could offer him food around an hour after he has been breastfed. At 7 months of age your baby should be able to get over 95% of his nutrients from the breast milk as long as you are feeding on demand.

    Do let me know the answers to these questions so we can help support you further.

    Best wishes,

    LJ
    Last edited by ljmarsden; 10th September 2012 at 10:48 PM.

  3. #3
    Hi Venus,

    LJ has some very good information for you. If your child is eating a lot of food or water other than breastmilk he may not be getting enough fat. You could take him off of all food and just offer him the breast throughout the day for a couple of days to increase your milk supply. Also, if you are under a lot of stress, this can actually change the consistency and fat content of your milk, so be sure you are doing what you can to stay relaxed and happy.

    Are you feeding your baby every 2 to 3 hours? If you go any longer than that, he may not be getting enough milk. Is your baby happy after a feed or does he act hungry, like he wants more?

    Hoping to hear back from you so we can support you and help your son gain, if he needs to .

    Warm Regards,

    Kate

  4. #4
    I am very grateful to read your answers, LJ and Kate!

    We already started introducing solids to my son. I breastfed him exclusively for 6 months. I went back to work when my baby was only 2 months old, but I express the milk and keep them in the fridge so he won't run out of milk to drink when I am away. I also pump every 2 hours or when I feel that my breasts are beginning to be tender. I get exactly 4 ounces of milk whenever I pump.

    I eat lots of food which were rumored to increase milk production, such as Moringa oleifera, shellfishes, leafy vegetables, oats and green papaya. I also take supplements daily.

    I should consider taking a rest as well. It is something that I have been taking for granted. I didn't know that it could greatly affect my responsibility as a mother. I really appreciate your responses. Hope to hrea more from this great site!

  5. #5
    Hi Venus,

    Thanks for the follow-up information. Now that I know you are working a lot, only getting 4-5 hours of sleep a day, and only producing 4 ounces of milk each time you pump, I have some suggestions to make.

    1. Be sure you are drinking PLENTY of pure water throughout the day. Breastmilk is 88% water, and it takes water to make milk. Often times mums are so busy that they don't realize the they are thirsty. This is when the body starts to become dehydrated. Did you know that you are actually mildly dehydrated when you realize your thirst? If you are drinking enough throughout the day, you will never get thirsty.

    I would suggest that you drink at LEAST twice your body weight in ounces. If you are 100 lbs., that would be 50 oz. of water per day (minimum). I actually recommend this for women who are not breastfeeding, so you could most likely drink even more water while breastfeeding. Just remember that the first time you notice thirst you should definitely drink.

    One way to get more water is to places glass jars of water anywhere you spend time. At your desk, on the kitchen counter, on the bathroom sink, next to the couch, next to your bed, etc. The more often you see the jars of water the more likely you will be to reach for it.

    Also, you can measure out your water at the beginning of the day, and drink 4 ounces every half hour until it's gone (and, of course, if you get thirsty, drink more).

    I believe that if you increase your water intake, you will also increase your milk production - but you'll also have to be sure that you're pumping often enough and putting baby to the breast often enough to stimulate milk production. When my baby was in the hospital, I pumped every 2 hours, and I had plenty of milk. Try to pump every 2 hours, even if your breasts don't feel tender. You want to increase that milk supply right now so your son can have more and can gain more weight.

    When you are home with your son, put him to the breast often. Each time he fusses, offer him the breast. Offer him the breast at night (co-sleeping or "the family bed" can be very helpful in helping him get milk and helping you get enough sleep). Co-sleeping was truly a lifesaver for me, which allowed me to latch baby on and go right back to sleep.

    It sounds like you are eating healthy. Be sure you're not eating sugary treats, and that you're getting enough deep leafy greens in your diet. Green smoothies can be great for this.

    Here's a good thread that you may want to read on how to increase breastmilk.

    Warm Regards,

    Kate

  6. #6
    It's been a week since I read your response here and I followed every single detail. Because I am around 150 lbs, I started drinking 4 oz. of water every half an hour, everyday (sometimes I exceed more than that). To keep me reminded of it, I put water in 5 different large mugs and placed them in different places where I usually stay. I pumped around every 2 hours, even while at work. I brought my nursing shawl with me whenever I go to the office. I have been co-sleeping since my son was born, so there was no trouble with that. Luckily, one of my Korean friends sent me tons of dried seaweed packs which were said to be helpful in increasing breast milk as well. Any improvement? I totally consider 6-7 oz as an achievement. I will continue doing this and will let you know about the updates. Thanks!

  7. #7
    Wow - that really is an achievement. Well done on your dedication and commitment to breastfeeding and increasing your milk supply.

    I've not heard of the benefit of seaweed before - thank you for sharing that tip! And what a good way to make sure you are drinking enough water!

    Well done again,

    Best wishes,

    LJ

  8. #8
    Hi Venus,

    Thanks for the update! You have done very well to increase your milk supply so much. Excellent work (and it IS work, I know). Your baby should be happier now with more milk in his tummy, and should also be gaining now.

    Seaweed is full of iodine which can benefit Adrenal function and Thyroid function. This should also help in giving you more energy, if your thyroid function was sluggish (which is common after giving birth).

    Thyroid function is critical in creating breast milk, and because many mothers have sluggish thyroid function after giving birth, it can be a reason why the body creates only a small amount of breast milk. Seaweed will feed the thyroid the iodine it needs and will support thyroid function.

    Seaweed is a wonderful natural source of iodine and can be very beneficial to mothers after giving birth. Here's a good article that explains more about the connection between thyroid function, depression and low breastmilk production.

    Warm Regards,

    Kate

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