Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Prelim - herbs not helpful

Please see previous post "Lactation Data orgy" for background.

It's not looking good for the herbs... or the chump who paid $25 for them.

Between 3/14 and 3/25 over 18 pumping sessions, I averaged 21.13 (+/- 6.9 SD) mL breast milk per hour, 20 minute pumping sessions.

I began taking More Milk Plus 4 times a day Sat 3/26. In addition, I have been drinking Mother's Milk Tea according to the directions. Over 5 pumping sessions including 2 today (3/30), I have averaged 23.8 (+/- 3.8 SD) mL/hr.

A two-tailed t-test assuming unequal variances shows a p value of <0.28.

But I continue gathering data and get a bigger sample size... I guess it could be possible that it takes more than 5 days to work.

Even if milk production improves slightly it will still be not enough to feed my baby without supplementation unless is nearly doubles.


  1. My baby (now almost 3) never really learned to breastfeed (long story involving some serious prematurity). I used a regular commercial pump (not hospital grade) for 18 months - you know the ones that come in a nice discrete black bag. I also traveled without my baby, quite a bit more than I really wanted to, and my milk supply was always reduced when I came back (those manual pumps in airport bathroom stalls just didn't cut it - I get a bit nauseous just thinking about it now). However, I found that my milk supply increased again fastest when I pumped everything dry, then kept pumping until I got a second let-down. Sometimes the amount I expressed almost doubled with this second let-down. I just sat there reading or doing email while the pump did its thing, preferably while the baby was asleep. Getting sore wasn't really an issue after a month or two. I probably just got lucky, but although odds were that I would lose my milk supply given the circumstances, I did not - there always was enough, even if just enough.

  2. LOL! I love. I'm sad to admit that I tell everyone that the More Milk Plus pills worked for me, although I have no data to show it. I really thought it helped, though, if that helps. Maybe the placebo effect could help some?

  3. I have a completely anecdotal experience which may or may not be of interest. When I first went back to work, I was trying to pump while doing class prep. Production was pretty much non-existent. I started organizing pictures of my daughter while pumping one day and bingo! I found that focusing on relaxing and looking at pictures of my daughter made a big difference. I was frustrated to loose that time to work, but at least I was producing milk.

  4. i watch hulu while i pump and get ~15 oz in 15 minutes over 2 pumping sessions. i tend to have less if i am working/stressed during pumping.
    lots of luck

  5. Are you pumping after you nurse as well? I use to nurse on one side and pump on the other. Or nurse both sides and then pump both sides for the second let down. Pictures of Little T and/watching her did help. Good luck with it.

  6. As an engineer, I used to dream of better pump and shield designs while pumping, but never collecting data like you!

    If you want to optimize:
    - try to pump 3 times so you don't go longer than 3 hours, or when you feel full. If you get and stay full, you'll start to send signals to decrease production
    - 3 Times is a good chunk of work time, so have and drink during and after -- reward yourself with 100 or 200 calories
    - Do something FUN while you pump - reward yourself!
    - stop when the flow slows down, no need to waste time with diminishing returns