Again, please keep in mind that I’m not an expert and that everything I’m saying is based on my own experience breastfeeding. If you need expert assistance, find a lactation consultant – I found mine (eventually) through my son’s pediatrician.
It took about 3 weeks for my milk supply to fully meet my son’s demands. During that time, I followed the regimen below:
1. Nurse every 2 to 2 1/2 hours during the day and at least every 4 hours at night (minimum of 8 times a day).
2. Pump for 10 minutes after nursing.
3. Drink a lot of water.
4. Try to rest as much as possible.
After I nursed Alex, my husband would give him a bottle of formula while I pumped. The amount of formula depended on how much breastmilk Alex had just had (which is when the baby scale came in handy) and how much he was supposed to eat in a 24-hour period according to a chart.
If you want to try this, be forewarned: it’s exhausting. By the time you’ve nursed, pumped, and washed the pumping equipment, it’s almost time to start the whole cycle over. (And I had help! I have tremendous respect and admiration for women who manage this regimen alone.)
Finally, I also took herbal supplements. The most common supplement used to increase supply is fenugreek (caution – it’s not recommended for diabetics because it can reduce blood sugar). However, fenugreek alone did nothing for me. My lactation consultant recommended a product called More Milk Special Blend, and I can’t recommend it enough myself.
Tomorrow I’ll post about the other problems I had, which were minor compared to the supply problem.