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Gah...Breastfeeding mamas, do you have issues with low milk supply on Paleo?

by (13) Updated June 03, 2014 at 6:46 PM Created April 28, 2014 at 1:22 AM

So I was thinking that my milk this time around with baby #2 would be AWESOME. I mean what can be better than a Paleo fed baby right? I did placenta encapsulation, I've been drinking mother's milk tea, taking fenugreek, blessed thistle, and brewers yeast daily...I've been eating a lot of carrots and coconut oil and just added in bone broth, and I know this isn't Paleo, but I've been drinking about a quart of milk per day per Weston A. Prices suggest for nursing mothers. Yet my supply is just enough to feed our little one. There is no extra to pump out afterwards to save up for days when I have to return to work.

What gives? Because when we have a "cheat day", my milk supply jumps up to where I will get about 5 extra ounces that day to freeze for future use. I just don't get it...I know the problem isn't calories because I eat more fat on Paleo then when not on Paleo. I thought it might be carbs but I drink so much milk and eat so much fruit throughout the day that I just didn't think that would be the problem either. Anyone else have this problem? It was suggested to me to try to soak steel cut oats and eat them daily to help out a bit, but I just don't want to add in grains if there really is no nutritional value to them.

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0 · June 03, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Motilium is an anti-constipation OTC med that increases milk supply for some women. Not sure I saw it mentioned, so I did. I see it on Amazon regularly.

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0 · June 03, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Any luck? I see it has been a few months. For me, intense exercise has always been a no-go while nursing. Oats, beer, brewers yeast... those are all known to increase milk supply. I don't know the science behind it, but I know I had a much greater milk supply with my babies I nursed while I could still handle grains, as opposed to my baby I am nursing now. If you feel well eating soaked oats, I say do it. The other option is taking Domperidone, though I would do oats before taking it. (Assuming your body handles oats okay.)

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13 · May 04, 2014 at 12:08 PM

***UPDATE: I still haven't figured it out, but I'm working on it and haven't lost my supply, so I guess that is still good. I checked my calories and on average I'm eating 2600 calories a day. My caloric intake while not breastfeeding is supposed to be 2200 so I'm about 100 calories short. I'm not sure if that would make a difference in production or not but I'm planning to up my calories this next week to see if there is a difference.

I have been drinking a lot more water and raw milk this week and that didn't seem to make a difference either. I also added in powdered fennel seed at 1/2 tsp 3 times a day. I ordered some fennel essential oil which should be her next week so I'm excited about that, but I still haven't seen any change with the powder. However, yesterday was my "cheat day" and once again, my milk production shot up last night as a result. It has to be either carbs or calories, I'm thinking.

What sucks though, is I'm trying to lose the rest of this baby weight. I can't eat non-paleo food if that is to happen and I don't want our baby drinking milk made from food that isn't at least somewhat nutrient dense. I'm not sure what to do. I'll add in a couple more tablespoons of coconut oil and other things this week to add 500 extra calories and see if it helps. I'm tired of this extra weight hanging around but baby comes first! Thanks for all the help ya'll!

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0 · May 02, 2014 at 2:55 AM

I nursed 5 children all for over a year and the first 6 months with no solids. None of my babies had bottles or any supplementation and no solids until 6 months old. Two of the babies were twins. My twins were full-term and weighed 7 lbs. each so they were big babies for being twins. I had no trouble having enough milk for them and nursed the twins totally until they were 6 months old with no solids or supplementation. I wasn't on paleo as this was many years ago but the key to a good milk supply was plenty of water. Every single time I sat down to nurse I brought water with me to drink. I found hydration was more important than calories. Water and rest were what kept my milk supply up. Try to rest whenever you can and drink water constantly.

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0 · May 02, 2014 at 2:07 AM

Have you tried white potato or sweet potato? When my daughter was a newborn I did a total elimination diet where I basically ate only lamb, sweet potato, zucchini, apples and coconut for weeks. I was eating up to 4 sweet potatoes a day. Not fun, but my supply was fine.

Try to cook all your fruit and veggies. A raw apple, for example, is pretty filling but if cooked it is quite easy to eat three or four of them. Less energy for your body to expend digesting it as well so hopefully more energy would go to milk making.

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13 · May 01, 2014 at 11:03 PM

How interesting. Worth a try!

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170 · May 01, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Update: a friend gave me a sample of essential oil fennel and some homemade lactation cookies last night. I woke up hurting I had so much milk. Not sure which one helped.

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0 · April 30, 2014 at 8:18 PM

For me, it was mostly about exercise. I just couldn't do it without my milk supply taking a major hit. When baby hit the 13-14 month mark, and was nursing only 2 or 3 times a day, I was able to exercise (not crossfitting yet). That aside, I felt that my carb intake did play a bit into it, but not as much as exercise. I think if you notice the increase on cheat days, perhaps try a reasonable cheat week and see what happens? Good luck!

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0 · April 30, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Hydrate. I nursed all three kids (currently nursing a 10-mnth-old who just started solids, first kid I nursed while paleo). Drinking lots of water is key, according to a La Leche woman I know. That, and nurse on demand. My 10-month-old is on the boob at least 6-8 times per day.

Wish I had more advice for you. I don't have supply problems, paleo or not.

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170 · April 28, 2014 at 2:39 AM

I am researching the same thing! Baby girl is 6 months and I am running dry. This is baby number 3 for us. I've ordered all the items you listed above the other day and was hoping that would work.

Babies 1 & 2: I was not paleo. Not crossfitting. younger. No issues with milk supply.

I'll be following this thread for insight. Good luck

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40652 · April 28, 2014 at 2:03 AM

How do you know it's not calories? Lactation is energy intensive, and unless you're counting, it's likely you're undereating.

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