Saturday, September 18, 2010

Breast Milk Supply

Your body makes milk on a supply and demand basis. We don't need ounce markers on the side of our breasts, to know the baby is getting enough. When your baby is first born, his wet diapers should increase daily. On day one, he should have at least one, day two, he should have two, up until day six. After six days of age, they have six to eight pale wet diapers daily and three to four "cottage cheese and mustard" stools. Other ways we can tell the baby is getting enough milk is that he makes quiet swallowing sounds at the breast. The breast feel full before the feeding and softer afterward. The baby seems satisfied after twenty minutes of swallowing. Babies may loose 7-10% of their birth weight, but begin regaining at day 6 and gain 5-7 ounces per week on the average until 6 months of age. The stools can change at 4-6 weeks of age. Make sure you are drinking to thirst and still taking your prenatal vitamins. If you want a boost increasing milk supply, Fenugreek is safe and effective. It increases milk supply in about 48 hours, but make sure you are taking a quality herb in the appropriate dosage.  LactationConnection.com offers Fenugreek in glass bottles to retain potency.  If you are an average size mom, you should take three 600-626 mg capsules, three times daily so 9 per day.  Plus size moms can take up to 5 per dosage for a total of 15 per day.  Make sure you are not getting loose stools and check milk supply after 3 days by nursing the first session in the morning and then double pumping with a good quality double pump like the Ameda Purely Yours for 15 minutes.  You should be yielding 2.5 oz per lb of baby's body weight per day.  To calculate if you are making the appropriate amount take your baby's weight for example 8 lb multiply by 2.5 which in this case would equal 20 oz per day.  Then devide by 8 times per day for a baby under 6 months.  This means from both breasts you should be making 2.5 oz for an 8 lb baby.  Here is a link to a page where you will find to an easy to read milk intake feeding supply chart.


The following are excellent articles to read on Fenugreek.
Fenugreek: One Remedy for Milk Production by Kathleen Huggins, RN, MS
Fenugreek: Overlooked but not Forgotten by Rima Jensen, MD

Happy Nursing,
Tanya

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