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    how can i increase my milk supply....
    tabby_joey posted:
    just recently had my son on the 10th of nov. i was only 26 weeks and 2 days when i had him,and he is not able to have any food yet seeing that hes still on a vent. and i use a pump to express my milk so he will have it when he able to start eating...the only problem is that when i do i barley get enough out to cover the bottom of the container....does anybody have any ideas that i could do to help increase my milk supply when i pump b/c im about ready to give up...thanks
    phoenix31674 responded:
    Does your hospital have a lactation consultant? If not you might want to seek one out through La Leche League. is also a great resource.

    There are some foods and herbs that help some women with increasing supply - such as oatmeal, fenugreek and mother's milk tea.

    One of the big things to do would be to relax - very difficult when your baby is in the NICU. Perhaps purchasing a baby sized doll with some heft that you can hold while pumping would help. Close your eyes and imagine you are feeding your baby. You might also want to see if you can find some sort of mp3 file of a baby crying in hunger that you could play before you nurse since that will stimulate your body to produce milk. I don't know if such a thing exists or if you have a friend with a baby who could help you out with this.

    Also when you do pump, keep the pump running several minutes after it looks like the last milk is out. This will signal your body that it needs to produce more milk.

    It's great you want to nurse since once your little one is taking food breastmilk will be the best thing that you can give him. Don't be afraid to seek professional help. As a last resort there are drugs out there that can help stimulate milk production.

    Best of luck to you.
    mathgypsy2 responded:
    I'm sorry your lo is in the nicu. It's hard to pump, but you can do it. First remember that you might not get much milk at each pumping think 1/2 an ounce total. Every bit of breast milk will help you baby. Eat Oatmeal, I like granola bars because there easy. You can try herbs, most will work in about 3 days. I timed my pumping to make sure I was pumping at least 15 min. It felt like forever. If it takes longer to get all the milk out pump for 5 min. after the milk stops. Pump 8 times a day or more. Find a comfy place to pump, a hands free pumping bra can be helpful. Massage can help. A warm compress just before you pump. Take your vitamins and drink lots of water. Rest as much as you can.(not that you can with a baby in the nicu) Hope it helps
    Joanco replied to mathgypsy2's response:
    Any updates? Did you manage to increase your milk supply? I'm a new mother and I also have issues with that - my milk supply is so low that doctors are now looking for any adverse conditions that are hiding and might be 'causing' this. Another doctor that I spoke to however, told me that I should simply improve my overall health and eat better to improve it.
    Kate32114 responded:
    I'm so sorry your infant was in the NICU. I am a mommy of a nursing toddler and I have nursed her since she was born. If you pump every 2 hours for 30 minutes this will increase your supply. Also note that nursing is a mental thing. Meaning that when you are actually nursing your baby you get more milk because it is a touch and bonding thing and more relaxing than a machine. No matter how good of a pump you have, it is still that, a machine. Make sure you get a least 64oz of water a day also. This is the biggest thing to encourage milk supply, other than the baby of course. Pumping at night around 2 in the morning also stimulates milk production for the day. When you pump at this time it will set up your day for an adequate supply of milk for the baby. Don't give up. Nursing and pumping takes practice and time. It is worth all the effort though so work through the challenges. See about going to a nursing meeting with a La Leche League leader at your local library to get the support you need to continue your efforts. Get in touch with your local La Leche League for the support you need. Look it up online. My daughter nurses about 12-15 times a day and has always nursed that much. She has built up a good supply from doing all that nursing, plus I get to slow down and relax and enjoy the bonding moments with her. I hope things are going better for you these days. Keep at it, you can do it!! With my son I only got to nurse him for 4 months until I dried up. I was hospitalized 29 days after he was born for 1 week and my milk supply was seriously hurt by that extended break from nursing. I was too sick to remember to pump and didn't have enough support. This time I have been very successful with my daughter and I often call her my "booby baby" because she loves to nurse almost as much as I love to nurse her. Good luck and I hope your nursing experience has improved since your post.
    Kate32114 replied to Joanco's response:
    Hello Joanco;

    See my post below yours -- Kate32114 -- for some useful advice on what to do. Increasing your water intake will dramatically improve your supply as will pumping or nursing at 2:00am every day. Good luck!!

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