Read how to increase breastmilk supply for newborn twins, including supplements, pumping advice, and what to eat and drink to increase supply.
A new MoM recently asked:
My twins were born last week at 32 weeks 6 days via emergency C-Section due to preeclampsia. They have been in the NICU for a week now and my breastmilk production isn’t climbing high enough to support both babies. Is there anything I can do to increase it or am I going to have to supplement with formula?
Here’s what our Twiniversity fans had to say!
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– Keep working at it. We supplemented the first few weeks with our fraternal girl/girl twins and then my milk supply caught up. I pumped for one and breastfed the other (we had latch issues). A lactation consultant was a huge help. Remember, a fed baby is the end goal. Whether formula, breast milk, or a hybrid of both.
– When trying to increase breastmilk supply, you need to be patient. I was there too. First off, let me say that breastfeeding would be great for the kids, or just simply breast milk. However, sometimes it just isn’t meant to be and thank goodness they have formula for babies. I pumped 8-10 times a day and it took 1 week before I could get more than 2oz at a time. I was also nursing before pumping. I had to supplement with formula for 3 weeks. Then my girls were able to solely be on breast milk. It was exhausting, and very hard work. I think if I had had other children or had to go back to work at some point in time before I did, I couldn’t have done it. After about 6 weeks, I had no problem producing milk anymore.
– My milk never came in, despite me doing everything the lactation consultants, doctors, and nurses told me to. My boys were born at 33+1 and were in the NICU for 30 days. They were exclusively formula-fed starting at 6 weeks (and they got very little breast milk before that due to my poor production). Today they are happy and very healthy 13-month boys. increase breastmilk supply
– Breast may be best, but formula is fine. Hang in there and don’t stress yourself about the breast milk. Try to be easy on yourself!
– I had to supplement when I had trouble with increase breastmilk supply. My milk came in but it didn’t stay steady. I tried everything, drinking more and more water, eating things that “help” milk supply (ie: teas). Nothing helped, my doctor even put me on a medication. But that didn’t help either. Two months later I started stressing a lot about it because I really was getting pushed from my family to breastfeed. They couldn’t understand how hard it was with twins so the stress made it decrease even more. So we supplemented and our boys started doing much better, gaining more weight like they should and such. Honestly in the end I always say do what’s going to be best for your babies. If that means formula then formula it is, and for my babies the formula was better for them.
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– I have found that it is important to pump 8-10 times a day (don’t miss the night pumpings) to increase breastmilk supply. Try pumping at the same times every day. Have you heard of power pumping? Pump 20-30 minutes, rest for 10 minutes, pump again for 10 minutes and pump again for 10 minutes. Try to do that a couple days in a row because it tells your body that baby is still hungry and to make more milk.
– Have you tried hand expression? I have found that one of my breasts did not respond to the pump very well so I hand expressed to get triple what the pump was expressing.
– I had preemies also and was pumping to supply the NICU. My supply was going down instead of increasing and I was told about the herbal supplement Fenugreek. It literally tripled my milk production! I bought mine from our local GNC store. increase breastmilk supply
– If you end up supplementing with formula just know you can always go back to 100% breastmilk once you’re able to hold and feed babies by yourself all the time. Skin to skin is essential for breastfeeding and that’s hard to do when the babies are in the NICU.
– Pump when they eat (I did every three hours like clockwork). Hand expressing really jacks up your supply for the long term. I hand expressed after every time I nursed (mine weren’t preemie, but I still pumped after every time I nursed for two weeks to jump-start my supply), and I think that helped a lot. You can massage your breasts while you pump, that helps stimulate. But honestly, I think the biggest help, along with drinking tons of water, is to relax. If you end up supplementing, just know that you are an awesome mom who is thriving during a VERY hard time, and your babies are getting what they need.
– I was the same way. My supply was low. I tried everything. We made it maybe 2 months with my supply. But that’s also after they used donor milk in the NICU. I know stress doesn’t help. Also, drink tons of water, more then you can even imagine. I wanted more than anything to nurse my boys. When they can’t latch immediately, it doesn’t help.
– I am a mother of 27-weekers. They came to my breasts when they were 2 months old. And even then, they were too weak to suck enough. I had to maintain my supply by pumping and expressing. What I found most helping was drinking, a lot of drinking (water, juice, milk, soup, anything, as long it was liquid) and being really consistent with pumping/expressing. Day and night, every 3 hours, no skipping. increase breastmilk supply
– Mothers milk tea can help increase breastmilk supply. It can be found in the natural organics area of the store. Perfectly safe for baby and you make it like any other hot tea. It helped me tremendously.
– Pump after every feeding, eat flax seed, there is also mothers milk tea you can drink. Talk to your lactation specialist. Also you can always ask about using donor milk. Most NICUs have access to donor milk but there are some criteria that has to be met.
– If you can hold babies before or while you pump it can help let your milk letdown. Try hand expressing to get started, then pump. Drink lots of fluids and make sure you are eating. Hang in there, may take a few more days for your milk to really come in.
– Fenugreek, milk of thistle and I ate oatmeal anytime my supply was down and it came up! If you have to supplement that is totally ok. Do what works for you and your family. Trust your gut instinct! increase breastmilk supply
– I wasn’t making enough for my boy/boy twins until I tried More Milk Plus supplement as per recommendation of lactation consultant and after two days I saw a significant increase. Now at two months I no longer need to take those supplements as my milk supply is now established.
– Mine were born at 32 weeks and were in the NICU for several weeks. My doctor suggested to drink a dark beer to help increase breastmilk supply.
– You can try donor breastmilk if formula isn’t your first choice.
– I also had severe pre-eclampsia. Some of the blood pressure medications cause low milk production, so don’t beat yourself up. I pumped religiously for 6 weeks and the most I ever produced was two ounces, and that was for the whole day. My twins are now home after a 10 week NICU stay and are 100% formula fed. A NICU stay is tough enough, let along dealing with your own health problems. They’ve gotten the good stuff already. Don’t sweat it and do the best you can. I recommend a book called Lactivism. increase breastmilk supply