Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Pump Room Top 10 List of Milk-Supply Boosters

The baby is feeling better today! He woke up (after sleeping all night long, I might add) looking all cute and stuff. Whoever thought I’d be daydreaming at work about my little baby? Goodness, did my mom daydream about my brother and me? Oh, yeah, she stayed home. She probably daydreamed about sending us away so she could get something done. LOL!

From the pump room
A couple months ago I was reading something on the Internet regarding baby / mommy fads and one made me nearly pee my pants laughing – breast warmers. I’m not making this up! There are honest to goodness breast warmers out there. Google it. Who on Earth would try such a thing?

Ah-hem… not long ago I decided to throw a burp cloth in the microwave and rest it on my boobs as I pumped. I was desperate. I needed that trick that might really increase production, and I recalled the bit about breast warmers and improvised. While my breasts had that fresh-out-of-the-dryer feeling, my milk supply remained the same. The breast warmer might work wonders at soothing engorgement and mastitis, but it failed me as a supply booster.

Here are some other things that I have heard of and some that I have tried to increase production. Please laugh with me and not at me!

1. Visualization
Chant with me, girls:
I must, I must, I must boost my supply
I can! I can! or I think that I shall die…

I believe in visualization, I really do. During labor (before my epi) I concentrated on being in my special place and breathed right through contractions. It made them manageable; however, the effort exhausted me more than the actual pain. I’ve spent considerable time (okay about 10 minutes) trying to picture warm milky rivers flowing from my bosoms, but I end up giggling. It just doesn’t work for me.

2. Herbs and drugs
I’ve tried Fenugreek, More Milk Plus and Reglan. Fenugreek didn’t work at all for me, though many have success with it. It never even made me smell like syrup – a side effect of taking 3 capsules twice a day. More Milk Plus (fenugreek seed, blessed thistle, nettle leaf, fennel seed, de-ionized water, grain alcohol) seemed to work a little. I’m talking an increase of about half and ounce per pump… but that’s extra 2-3 ounces a day. Since The Baby is eating more solids and less milk these days I didn’t reorder (www.motherlove.com). Reglan is an acid reflux medicine that boosts prolactin, which ups your milk supply. I was unsure of taking it due to my already weird reaction to prolactin, but – aside from giving me temporary restless leg syndrome – it didn’t do much for me. At least no more than the More Milk Plus.

3. Oatmeal
Some swear by this. I eat oatmeal a lot and my supply is a smidge lower than almost acceptable. How bad would it be if I didn’t eat oatmeal? Who knows!?

4. Half a beer a day (and water)
I think it’s just supposed to relax you, which aids in let down. A pumper at my work swears by drinking lots of water and a half beer a night. When I came back to work, she brought me a bottle of beer from a local brewery. How sweet is that? Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me. Water, on the other hand, seems to help things slightly.

5. Massage and Jiggle
My husband has offered up his services for this one. I tried it (myself – haha), didn’t do a thing except annoy me. I’ve also read, and tried, jiggling the girls at the end of a pump session. It made me feel ridiculous.

6. Bending forward
The idea here is to get gravity on your side. If you lean over, your milk will flow. At the end of a pump session, I think that this might actually help keep things flowing for an extra 10 seconds or so.

7. Compression
This actually helps me. If I put slight pressure on different areas of my breast while pumping I am able to pump a little more.

8. Posture
If I sit up straight with my shoulders back and my chest sticking out, I can pump more. I swear!

9. Shower first
I guess it’s supposed to relax you and the heat is supposed to help. Meh… did nothing for me.

10. Cup and lift
Okay, maybe this goes along with compression, but if I cup and lift at the end of my session, I usually am good for another minute.


Anonymous said...

Love your blog.. I feel you..
Keep going.. Thanks for sharing.

Nadia, Exclusive Pumper, 7.5 months

Anonymous said...

You should add that Reglan can cause SEVERE depression and/or anxiety. It was great for me for milk production but the side-effects of that were SO not worth it!

I like your site, though! Very good! Keep at it!

Former exclusive pumper for 4 months.