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How can I increase my breastmilk supply for my 4mo old?

I have been breastfeeding and supplementing with formula since my daughter was born. She was a month early and was in the NICU for 10 days. She was hypoglycemic at birth and my milk did not come in for the first four days so the NICU has me give her formula after breastfeeding each time. Now at 4 months we still haven't been able to get rid of the bottle and her demand has increased to 6oz/feeding. The max I am producing is 4oz and it takes longer between feedings to produce enough for the next feeding.


Asked by mrsandisharp at 5:13 PM on May. 27, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (20)
  • If you nurse her, and then an hour later she is hungry, nurse her again! If you keep doing this your supply will increase. Nurse on one side until she gets frustrated, or lets go, then switch her to the other side. After the 2nd breast switch her BACK to the first breast, then the second again. Try and get her to nurse every hour during the day, and top off with formula as needed. Great info at Weaning From Formula Suplements


    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 7:58 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • best way to increase your supply is have her nurse at the breast whe she is hungry first!

    Answer by Owl_Feather at 5:21 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • the more she is on the breast the more milk you will make & make sure you are drinking alot of water to stay hydrated... Cut out the bottle as much as possible!
    Good Luck! :)

    Answer by MommaTasha1003 at 5:27 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • Why do you say you only produce 4 oz? Did a pump tell you that? Pumps LIE. They tell you how much you can pump not how much the baby gets. How much formula do you supplement daily? The best fix for supply (if there is truly a supply problem) is to nurse on demand. Babies fussing at the breast is what helps boost supply. If you supplement a lot, I'd slowly decrease the amount of formula given until done. If only a little, I might just cut it completely out.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 5:30 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • I assume you are exclusively pumping since your daughter was in the NICU for so long. It will be very difficult for you to keep up with her pumping alone. Try holding her while you pump. You could even talk to a consultant about trying to teach her to latch now. It's alot harder when they can't latch, it sounds like you're doing a great job.


    Answer by MAUREEN55 at 6:36 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • Don't believe what the pump tells you. Not everyone is able to get a lot out of their pump, no matter how good of a pump it is. I always found Mother' Milk tea to be helpful. I also increased the number of times my daughter nursed, because supply equals demand. Make sure that you are drinking enough water; maybe drink a glass right before you nurse or pump.

    Answer by evwsquared at 6:48 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • son was in NICU almost as long as the OP's child, and he was exclusively nursed ever since he came home.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 6:59 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • Thank you all for your responses. I am nursing, not pumping and she latches very well. It just seems like I don't have enough milk to make her satisfied between feedings. For example, the past few days I have nursed her and then an hour later she'll take another 6oz from the bottle. And I don't have enough milk supply every hour to feed her that much. I am going to try drinking more water and putting her to the breast every time she's hungry - I just wish I could limit how much she gets from formula. She only gets 2 bottles a day, but the past week or so, it seems like she needs more. I would rather she have breast milk. How do you know how much milk she is getting if they pump isn't accurate? Geez, I have lots of questions. Thanks.

    Answer by mrsandisharp at 7:03 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • If you nurse her, and an hour later, she seems hungry, nurse again. That is how supply is built =). She probably takes 6oz from the bottle, because it is there. If this were me in your situation, I would stop the bottles altogether. Just nurse on demand. Once you stop supplementing, you will know if she is getting enough based on the dirty/wet diapers. An EBF baby should have 6 or so diapers a day, dirty or wet. When babies are EBF, they can also go up to 10 days without a poop, so if her poop habits change it's ok. Please, don't think I am telling you what to do, I'm just telling you what I would do. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask :)

    Answer by Krysta622 at 7:13 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • Oh, if I may ask, why do YOU think she needs more? If its purely because she seems fussy, I wanted to reassure you that fussiness doesn't mean hungry. And if it does, and you put her to breast, it signals your body "make more milk!!!". Hope I helped.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 7:15 PM on May. 27, 2009