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Bringing back full milk production depends on the age of your baby, the amount of time that has passed since weaning, and how forgiving your breasts are! Is your baby willing to latch on to your breast and suck for at least a couple of minutes? If so, then start by nursing her every two hours during the day and evening. Night nursing seems to have a strong influence on milk production, so consider sleeping next to your baby so that she will nurse often during the night. Of course, you will need to supplement with formula after most feedings until your milk supply gets back up to speed and is able to provide everything your baby needs. Offer her an ounce less formula than you typically do so she nurses often.
If your baby is no longer willing to latch on, consider renting a fully automatic electric pump with a double pump kit. See a lactation consultant about a nursing supplementer, which delivers formula to your baby through a soft tube while the baby is latched on to your breast, to help entice your baby to nurse.
Taking the herb fenugreek, which has been used for centuries for a variety of ailments including low milk production, can also bring your milk back up. If you use pancake syrup, you already are ingesting fenugreek (though probably not enough to boost milk production), since pancake syrup is nothing more than corn syrup and fenugreek. Fenugreek stimulates the sweat glands (you will notice an increase in sweating, and your sweat may have a maple aroma) — and the breast is a modified sweat gland, which may be why fenugreek is so effective. Mothers generally notice an increase in milk production 24 to 72 hours after first using the herb.
We generally recommend taking two or three capsules three times a day. Teas are a weak form of the herb. Fenugreek capsules can be purchased in most any health food store for around $7 to $9 for a bottle of 100 caps.
When you feel like you are beginning to produce milk again, it's important to monitor your baby's weight frequently. This will help you determine whether you should decrease or eliminate the formula supplements. If your baby is less than 4 months old, make sure that she is gaining at least an ounce a day before cutting back on the supplements. Cutting back a couple of ounces every 24 hours and then checking the baby's weight gain is a reasonable way of cutting back