I know all about having too much supply, not enough supply and just having enough. Feeding twins exclusively is one tough gig but when I get my supply right it is just like second nature and it's amazing ! I exclusively breastfed our first set of twins Henry and Theo for 18 months and I am currently exclusively breastfeeding Harlow and Noah our second set of twins, who are now four months old and we are finally in sync and my supply is abundant.
You need to eat and you need to eat a lot. My theory for this is that your body is working extra hard to produce milk and you need to feed and nourish you body with lots of calories in order for it to make lots of milk. When you first give birth this is so so important for your recovery and to get that milk supply in fast. My supply took three days to come in with Henry and Theo and with Harlow and Noah, it only took two because I was constantly expressing and feeding. I would eat a bowl of big muesli with full fat milk a yoghurt and peaches and four slices of toast with peanut butter and jam. I would also have a milo and some biscuits not long after and that was just breakfast! So do you get my drift? Eat lots! For me the more I eat the more milk I get. I have to be honest and say I eat lots and lots of junk because I swear SUGAR helps with my milk supply. About a month or so ago I did cut out sugar for 6 days and my milk supply dramatically dropped. I could barely express off 20mls from each boob and I could tell the babies were getting hungry. I was exercising as well and then Hubby said stuff this and bought me a packet of Mallowpuffs and Toffee Pops and I ate so many of them and expressed off 120mls from each boob! So that just proves my theory so your welcome!
You need to stay hydrated. Just like eating a lot you need to drink a lot. I try to drink 3L of water a day at the least. I just keep a drink bottle on me and keep filling it up throughout the day. Staying hydrated is so important for your milk supply.
Rest. Rest as much as you can when you can because as soon as you start getting run down your body becomes stressed and it affects your milk supply. I know how hard it can be to rest or take a nap especially with a newborn or other young children but that's when you need to ask for help. You don't need to do it all alone. You don't even have to sleep, just sitting down and doing nothing will help.
Exercise. When I exercise my supply always drops so for now I'm not doing any exercise. When you exercise you are burning calories, calories which you essentially need for your supply so if you aren't replacing them you might potentially see your supply drop. So if you are going to exercise remember your supply may drop and you need to supplement it some how.
Expressing. I express about three times a day straight after a feed so that I have a good let down. By expressing you are essentially telling your body you need extra milk so it produces it. I have a Unimom double electric pump and a Silicon Haakaa Pump. You can buy your own Haakaa Pump from www.haaka.co.nz using the code "blessed" for 15% off in the Mum section for tonight only. I usually just sit there until I have two full bottles sometimes it takes five minutes sometime it takes half an hour it really just depends. Make a snack and get a drink, grab a book or have your phone on you so you aren't bored and just relax. Don't look at how much you are expressing and don't worry about how long it takes. Try not to think of it as a chore just add it into your routine and it will be second nature! Think of all that extra milk you can store. I get my Milk storage bags and Weleda Nipple Cream from www.littleandloved.co.nz you can use the code "blessed" to get 20% store wide for the month of May. They also have lots of amazing breastfeeding products to increase supply.
Supplement feeding. This is something I have never done but I do know that when you are replacing a feed with formula you are telling your body to not produce milk so if you are doing that you need to express. For me I've never supplement fed, in saying that I have what I think is a good supply however I have also had times where my supply has been so low I questioned whether it was enough, but I pushed through it and you just have to feed, feed, feed!
I have tried a few supplements which I think work. I have tried Milk Mama Smoothie mixes and it only took one day to see an increase in my supply. You can buy yours from www.milkmama.com.au. I have also tried Fenugreek Tablets and Nursing Tea and I just think try it all. Try whatever you can to boost your supply because there's no harm in trying.
If you think your baby isn't feeding properly see a Lactation Consultant ASAP! Your baby could possibly have lip or tongue tie which can make a huge difference to your milk supply.
There are so many different reasons that some Women can't breastfeed and if you aren't able to or choose not to please do not beat yourself up. Everyone's journey is different and we as Mothers need to feel at peace with the decisions we make. Please remember I am not a medical professional this is just my personal experience and what has worked for me.
Happy feeding ladies!