There are so many reasons that women can struggle with low milk supply, whether it be due to hormone issues or issues with the baby’s latch. The amount you pump is NOT a good indicator of whether you have a low supply, so I would recommend working with a lactation consultant to determine if it is truly low supply or something else. Ultimately, after I did everything I could (lots of water, frequent nursing, high fat + protein diet, etc) to increase my supply while working with an LC, it was clear I did not produce enough.
There were two things that helped tremendously to boost my supply and make it possible for me to nurse without supplementing.
First – pumping at 4 am. Thanks to hormones, our bodies typically produce the most milk between midnight and 4 am. It is probably why newborns wake up a thousand times during those hours. It was literally the WORST, especially when my baby started sleeping through those hours, but it worked. I got up to pump every night at 4 am for 8 months. At 4 am I could pump like 6-10 oz!! If I waited til 5 or 6am, it would only be 3oz. If you are struggling to get enough milk for bottles during the day, I would absolutely (find a great show on Netflix and) try this.
Second – I eventually needed some extra help and tried supplements. I tried the classic Fenugreek tea first with little difference until I learned that fenugreek can also hurt supply in some and have other side effects, so I decided to steer clear. I then tried Moringa, which helped for a few weeks, but then abruptly stopped. Finally, I found a local company- Legendairy Milk– that made organic lactation supplements. A friend let me try some she had leftover and I started to see a boost in supply, so I ordered it myself and continued to use until I weaned.
They use a variety of ingredients like shatavari, moringa, milk thistle, goat’s rue, fennel, black seed, anise and alfalfa. You can read more about the historical use of these herbs and science behind them here.
Legendairy Milk makes several different lactation blends, each with a different mix of ingredients. Herbs work differently for different people and they don’t always agree with everyone (for example, a couple of them lower blood sugar), so you can read the descriptions and see what may be best for you. Overwhelmed by the options, I decided to try the Bestseller’s Bundle and was thankful I did.
For the rest of the months that I nursed, I switched between Pump Princess, Liquid Gold and Milkapalooza. As I got to the end of each bottle, it would become less effective; then when I switched, it would work again. All that to say- don’t get discouraged if it works great at first then starts to decline; try another blend and go back to it in a few months.
I used the recommended dosage- 2 pills, 3 times a day- and that worked well for me. I didn’t experience any side effects and there was no bad taste in my mouth from the pills. They were easy on the stomach too!
Thank you, Legendairy Milk (P.S. This post is not sponsored.), for helping maintain my milk supply and allow me to continue breastfeeding. I am so very grateful.