How to increase milk supply breastfeeding is one of the most important knowledge that all mothers need to have. Never mind if you suspect that your milk supply is low for one reason or another. Breast milk nutrition is superior to any alternatives and there are so many easy things you can do to improve breast milk supply in the breasts.
Most if not all your questions or worries about breast milk production will be settled by these amazing tips on how to increase milk supply breastfeeding.
What Are Best Practices On How To Increase Milk Supply Breastfeeding?
Some of the factors that may lead to low milk supply for babies include poor eating habits, blood loss, diseases such as diabetes, previous breast surgeries, hormonal birth control, ovary syndrome, breast abnormalities, historical medical conditions, digestive issues, emotional factors, smoking, alcohol and many more.
Regardless of the cause in your case, the good news is that there are enough ways to increase milk supply and even achieve extra milk among breastfeeding mothers (in some cases). You will be surprised to learn that most of the ways that you can implement immediately are natural. This makes it easy to create a daily routine that will ensure you always have enough milk for your lovely baby. Here are 7 proven ways to get you started.
#1 Use lactation cookies
Well, research is still going on to officially establish that lactation cookies can increase milk supply to breastfed babies. In the meantime, the ingredients in the cookies have been highly linked to high milk supply. The ingredients including herbs and other foods have good amounts of galactagogues, a substance that is thought to improve lactation. Some of the ingredients used to make lactation cookies include wheat germ, whole oats, flaxseed meal, and brew yeast.
Can I make my own lactation cookies at home?
While you can buy ready-made lactation cookies online for example from Amazon, you can also make your own delicious lactation cookies at home through simple recipes and there are numerous resources online on lactation cookie recipes. You can also accompany lactation cookies with lactation teas. Give it a try.
#2 Diversify your food
Based on studies by the Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation, certain foods and especially herbs can help to increase milk supply among breastfeeding mothers. Get enough food options and try out different amounts of food at different times of the day. For example, relaxed feeding at night might help to increase milk supply.
There are strong indications that fenugreek, for example, can have a quick effect in a span of just as little as one week. Others include spirulina, blessed thistle, alfalfa, ga, garlic, fennel, and ginger among others.
Make a point of including these selections in your diet and please talk to your medical provider before trying something new that you have never consumed before. Even natural foods can have side effects and allergies depending on how they are likely to interact with your body.
#3 Breastfeed at least 10 times per day
Yes, you heard it right. If you have been looking for answers on how to increase milk supply breastfeeding, then the solution could be as easy as breastfeeding your baby more often. The more the baby suckles, the more the chances of increasing milk supply. This is because the hormones that trigger milk production are released every time the baby suckles the breast. So the more the baby stays there and suckles, the more these hormones will be released and the milk supply will start to increase and flow in abundance through the milk ducts.
Try as much as possible to ensure the baby breastfeeds a minimum of 10 times per day. You will soon notice a positive difference in terms of volume and content of breast milk . Remember to maintain close continuous contact during breastfeeding. Sustained skin contact with mom plays an equally valuable role in simulation.
#4 Let the baby suckle both breasts simultaneously
Allow your baby to feed from all the two breasts every time you are breastfeeding to achieve sequential breast expression which helps to prevent decrease in breast milk. Never finish a breastfeeding session with the same breast that you began with. Start with one breast, let the baby feed all the way until the milk flow from that breast begins to slow down gradually, then switch the baby to the other breast.
The simulation that is created out of breastfeeding both breasts all the time leads to an increase in milk production. When milk is pumped during a session from both breasts, it ignites the process of milk production. Additionally, this trick has been established to create an environment that provides for higher fat content in the milk, which is a great benefit for your growing baby’s health.
#5 Try a breast pump
Sometimes it happens that some babies may not be interested in suckling and this is where pumping can help immensely. Breastfeeding disinterest among babies can lead to low milk production because in the absence of suckling by the baby, then the release of the hormones that aid in milk production is slowed down.
If you notice that your baby doesn’t like to suckle as often, then you can stimulate the breasts with a breast pump to keep the milk production in good levels. Be sure to use a hospital-grade pump that allows double pumping , and pump about 10 times per day. There should be no pain in your breasts as you pump as you do it well with the right pump. Avoid pumping as soon as you notice a slow down of milk flow. Give yourself a breast massage as you pump the breasts.
How fast can I pump my breasts if I don’t have time?
The breast compressions from the pump need ample time, so please pump when you have sufficient time so that you don’t feel the pressure to pump quickly. This will water down the aim of pumping or even lead to issues such as breast trauma.
While breastfeeding in public is highly encouraged and mothers should do it often, it is also possible that you might not get sufficient time during the day due to work or other commitments. If this is the case, then make a routine to do most of the pumping at night, maybe a few hours at night. At least 1.5-2 hours if your schedule is tight or 3-4 hours on the nights you can manage.
#6 Use a breastfeeding specialist
Sometimes the help of an expert in lactation or simply a lactation consultant could be the easiest way on how to increase milk supply breastfeeding. A lactation consultant has the advantage of having dealt with so many mothers in addition to highly valuable knowledge that can quickly get the milk supply to good levels. You can easily find a qualified breastfeeding specialist or breastfeeding counselor in a breastfeeding clinic near you.
He or she will analyze your circumstances including the foods you use often, and take notes of your history down a couple of years and even your family details. This information will guide your lactation specialist into giving the best advice possible. There are high chances that their recommendations are likely to start working immediately and lead to an immediate increase in breastmilk. Be sure to use a board-certified lactation consultant.
#7 Use supplements
This should be the very last option if you have tried all the above and none seems to give good results. Some prescription medication has been found to increase milk supply and guarantee enough breastmilk intake for your baby through the breastfeeding journey.
Some of the prescription medications you can consider include motilium and Reglan (metoclopramide) which seems to increase milk supply up to about 70% in some cases but not all.
Mothers with a history of depression should refrain from supplements because this is one of the side effects you can expect among others such as fatigue and headache. The FDA is yet to approve motilium (domperidone) and so it’s not available in the United States.
Did you find this helpful? Ensuring that there is enough milk for your baby is the best way to get them started out in life and grow to be healthy. Follow the tips above on how to increase milk supply breastfeeding. These tips can help to solve most of the common breastfeeding issues just including them in your daily routine. Of course, remember to consult a doctor if nothing seems to work.
Give your thoughts in the comments and if you have found this article useful then please share the knowledge with fellow breastfeeding mothers across your social media handles.