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Breast Feeding

Reduction in breastmilk

01/08/2007

Question:

My friend delivered a baby girl last month,the baby underwent a surgery due to which she wasnt allowed milk for over a week.After which she started but again had to stop.she has been expressing using the pump and had good flow.But now her breasts are empty for hours and very soon she will be feeding her baby again.Will her body start making milk again like before.what can she do.

Answer:

She can start pumping with a good electric pump, both breasts simultaneously, every 3 hours in the daytime and every 4 at night.

She should drink at least 64 ounces of electrolyte-containing beverages such as Gatorade or propel or juices daily. She should avoid underwire bras and try to nap for 1 hour every afternoon.

She should warm her breasts with warm, moist compresses for 5 minutes before each pumping (or breastfeeding) session.

If at all possible, she should put the baby to the breast several times per day, and pump afterwards.

Finally, she could try taking Fenugreek capsules, 610 mg each and take 2 capsules 4 times per day for at least 2 weeks or for as long as needed. This may cause a maple odor to the urine and loosen the stools, which are benign, but if a rash or headache occurs, she should stop the Fenugreek and consider Reglan, which is a prescription medication.

Good Luck.

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Response by:

Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM
Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati