Friday, December 2, 2011

BreastMilk supply and Supplementing

For the past 2 weeks my milk supply had been decreasing. This really scared me because I would rather not have to supplement. I knew one of the reasons why it had be decreasing is because I was stressed out over the move and other family issues taking place lately. If that was the only issue then I would have just tried harder to keep myself not stressed. Unfortunately that wasn't the only reason for the low supply. Noah has been sleeping longer through the night, occasionally skipping the midnight feeding and going from 9pm to 6pm stretch of sleep. This has been great for Sean and mine sleep but not good on my milk supply. Breast milk works on supply and demand. The more often the baby eats the more milk is produced. Since he doesn't eat at night very much anymore he has been eating more during the day. The issue is that my body is not aware of the demand increase during the day since I am at work while Noah is home eating the pumped milk in bottles.  How do I increase my milk supply? I tried pumping at work longer but that didn't do anything but make me sore. The pump is effective but its just not the same as the baby. Thinking of Noah helped some but not enough. Finally my sister told me about an herbal supplement that she had taken that increased her supply almost instantly. I am very happy to report that it had the same affect on me! :) Oh happy day. After taking the capsules for 2 days I have already started to produce 2 bottles more a day, that's 4 to 5ounces. Yay! I'm hoping that soon it will be even more so that Noah will have enough milk supply to his hearts content.

So you may be wondering
What is this magical capsule?!
 Its called Motherlove more milk plus.
Motherlove's best-selling more milk plus alcohol free liquid concentrate in vegetarian capsules. A safe and effective herbal formula designed to quickly increase breast milk for breastfeeding mothers.
Not for use during pregnancy.

I found that its much more expensive if you buy it through their website. The cheapest I found it was through  They had a bottle of 120 capsules (1 month supply, 4 a day) for $27.65  It contain herbs that are traditionally and effectively used worldwide to increase and enrich breast milk. Ingredients are: fenugreek seed, blessed thistle herb, nettle herb, fennel seed, non-GMO soy lecithin, modified vegetable cellulose, coconut oil)
All Herbs Certified Organic
Since the FDA does not require scientific studies on natural herb remedies or supplements there is no research supporting that this works. However, there are anecdotal evidence that it does in fact help the milk supply increase. I for one am living proof it works. I hope that none of you have this issue but if you do there is an answer!

In other information. A friend of mine said she was not producing enough milk either and that she was supplementing with goats milk. I thought I had heard something about that before and remembered that it was not good but didn't remember why. I had heard that only breastmilk or formula should be used if your baby is less than six months old. So I did some research. Here is what I found on the subject.

Goat's Milk
Using goat's milk before 6 months or regular use between 6 and 12 months is not recommended. Goat's milk is no more appropriate to give baby than cow's milk. If you need to supplement and breastmilk is not available, formulas are a more nutritionally complete product. There are several comparisons of goat vs. cow vs. human milk in the links below. Using this information, goat milk is much closer in composition to cow milk than human milk. Goat's milk is high in sodium (like cow's milk) and is very high in chloride and potassium, which makes the renal solute load too high for babies. This can cause gastrointestinal bleeding and can result in anemia and poor growth (these problems are usually undetected until months later). Goat milk is also deficient in folic acid, which can lead to megaloblastic anemia. Also, infants who are allergic to cow's milk protein are often allergic to goat's milk too.
While it's true that whole goats milk (and whole cow's milk) was commonly used prior to the advent of infant formulas it is also true that the infant mortality and morbidity rate during the times of such substitutions was very high.

Cow's Milk
Use of cow's milk before a year is controversial among experts. You might want to get your baby's doctor's opinion on this.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends NO cow's milk until after the first birthday.
Cow's milk is more specific to a baby cow than a baby human. Cow's milk formula is based on cow's milk but has been engineered to be closer to human milk (still a ways off, but closer). Many infants still have problems with cow's milk formula (allergies, GI problems, etc.). Babies who are exposed to cow's milk before their first birthday are more likely to be anemic, have diarrhea or vomiting, and/or experience an allergic reaction (the proteins in milk are more numerous than those in other milk products, such as the yogurt). The excessive protein load in cow's milk can also overload a baby's kidneys. It is deficient in vitamins C, E, and copper. It is harder to digest as well, often causing intestinal blood loss. A number of studies have also indicated that early introduction of cow's milk may contribute to the development of Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus.
Others see no problem with starting cow's milk toward the end of the first year unless there is a family history of allergy to it. Dr. Jack Newman, a renowned expert in the lactation field, is one of these. See the "Breastmilk, cow's milk, formula, outside work and bottles" section of his article Breastfeeding and Other Foods. Notice that he qualifies this advice with the importance of the baby being well-established on a variety of solids and continuing to be breastfed (both of which should help make up for what cow's milk can't offer at this age). He also suggests that supplemental milk of any kind is not all that necessary if the baby is allowed to nurse frequently when with mom. He suggests offering the baby solid foods with some water or small amounts of juice instead.

Here is another website that has helpful information on goats milk. One reason parents sometimes use goats milk is because their babies have an allergy to regular formula. Here is what Dr Sears has to say about it.

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