If you are experiencing low milk supply, you may be worried that your baby is not getting enough to eat. Here are ways to increase your breastmilk supply naturally for your baby.
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“Drip, drip….” Watching your breast milk drip into the bottle as
It’s hard not to be obsessed with milk supply when you are a nursing mom. After all, it is pretty miraculous how your breastmilk contains protein, antibodies, and all the nutrition your baby needs to thrive. So naturally, if you feel like your precious milk supply is running a little low, you start to feel anxious.
I remember when my supply tanked when I got food poisoning and wasn’t able to keep food down for days. Despite the fact that I wanted to die every time I got up from the bed, I continued to nurse my baby and researched
1. INCREASE STIMULATION
The law of supply and demand may be derived from economics (yes, nerd mom here), but the postulation also applies to
Increase Feeding Frequency.
Feed the baby as often as you can during the day, preferably every 2 hours, if not more.
Point is, you want your baby to be sucking on you as frequently as possible so that your boobs think you have a ravenous baby and produce more milk! You want to trigger the let-down reflex as much as possible. Try nursing while holding your baby skin-to-skin to encourage even more milk production. Now, if your baby is back to his or her birth weight, you don’t need to wake up the baby every 2 hours for a nursing session at night. God knows you need all the rest you can get!
Pump after breastfeeding.
You want your breasts to think your baby needs more milk, but your baby has already drifted off to la-la land, full and drunk off your milk. You can’t force an already stuffed baby to drink more milk (unless you want to see the milk come out of your baby in reverse), so pump instead right after a feed to completely empty your breasts. Instead of telling your breasts your baby needs to feed more often, you are now telling your breasts that the baby needs more milk per feeding session. You don’t have to do this after every single feed but try to do as many as you can during the day; again, there is no need to stay up just to pump during the night.
Remember the evenings when your baby likes to cluster feed and you are stuck on the glider for hours at a time nursing your little one? Power pumping is similar in concept, but much easier because you are not dealing with a fussy baby and this only takes one hour a day. Here is how it works:
- Pick one hour each day (preferably in the mornings, when you produce the most milk).
- Pump for 20 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes.
- Pump for 10 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes.
- Pump for 10 minutes.
- Pump as usual the rest of the day.
The idea behind power pumping is stimulating your breasts frequently in quick succession. This should kick-start an increase in supply after 2-3 days. You can resume your normal pumping schedule after you see a result, but feel free to power pump again whenever you feel like giving your supply a boost.
2. USE BREAST COMPRESSIONS
Sometimes, your baby gets so comfortable while nursing that he or she starts falling asleep and stops sucking. While I feel like I have sleep-inducing
3. USE SUPPLEMENTS TO INCREASE MILK SUPPLY.
If you do some research, you will find a bunch of food that increases milk supply. The ones that work personally for me are:
Fenugreek is a common galactagogue (a substance that increases milk supply). I take these in capsule form and they work fairly fast – I usually can feel a difference within 48 hours.
Granola is one of my favorite snack items, so I have no issue with eating lots of oatmeal. Great for boosting milk supply. Not so great for my weight.
Organic Mother’s Milk.
Especially during the cold winters, I love drinking Mother’s Milk tea to help keep me warm as well as increase my supply. The tea is a combination of milk-boosting herbs such as fenugreek and blessed thistle. I find the Mother’s Milk tea quite pleasing to the taste buds with a little bit of bitterness and sweetness.
Eating delicious cookies while increasing milk supply? Yes, dreams do come true. There are tons of lactation cookies recipes out there, but make sure the essential milk-boosting ingredients such as oats, brewer’s yeast, and flax seed meal are part of the recipe. I know, I wish chocolate chips could help with milk supply too, but at least now you have an excuse to eat cookies.
4. EAT A WELL-BALANCED DIET
You have little factories in your breasts pumping out milk while you are nursing. Therefore, you need to eat 3 healthy meals and about 3 healthy snacks per day to replenish the calories necessary to keep the factories running.
5. DRINK MORE WATER
Don’t force yourself to drink an uncomfortable amount of water, but drink at least the recommended eight 8-
6. REST UP
Especially for mothers of newborns, it’s difficult to get enough sleep. However, mothers tend to produce more milk when they are rested and are not stressed. Therefore, nap when your baby naps. Seriously. Hire someone to help with the house chores or walk the dog. Ask your relatives for help. Order healthy take out instead of cooking for a week. Let go of some responsibilities so you can spend time cuddling and nursing the baby all day. Take a “nursing vacation” and spend 2-3 days with nothing to worry about except breastfeeding your baby, sleeping, and eating. You will be stressed about your kids the rest of your life – take 2-3 days out to do something that’s good for you and the baby.
7. GET HELP.
Sometimes, the source of low milk supply may be due to incorrect latching, hormonal problems, medication, etc. If nothing is working at home, seek help with a lactation consultant or attend a breastfeeding support group near you. You can also find a la leche league in your area for breastfeeding education and encouragement.
YOU CAN DO IT!
Breastfeeding is not an easy journey, but one so worth taking. Whether you are exclusively breastfeeding, exclusively pumping, or doing a combination of both, you are giving your baby the best nourishment he or she can get. Don’t panic if you start seeing a decrease in supply because there are many ways to get your milk going again. I hope these tips will help boost your milk supply naturally and you will be back to worrying about shooting your baby accidentally in the eye with a strong letdown in no time!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Always seek the advice of a pediatrician, breastfeeding consultant, or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
What way(s) of increasing breast milk supply worked for you?