In this post, you’ll find our 10 best tips on how to increase breast milk supply. One of the best ways to maintain a healthy milk supply is by starting early, breastfeeding regularly and making sure your little one latches correctly.
However, some women simply have low supply, especially during the first weeks of nursing.
Unfortunately, this is the primary reason why some women start weaning their babies or moving to formula feeding. Yet it rarely happens that a mother produces less milk than her baby needs.
Related article: 5 Things You Do That Can Cause Low Milk Supply
- How Do You Know If Your Baby is Getting Sufficient Milk?
- 10 Best Tips on How to Increase Breast Milk Supply
- 1. Get the Latch Right
- 2. Nurse on Demand
- 3. Try Power Pumping
- 4. Offer Both Breasts
- 5. Nurse or Pump Often
- 6. Drink Lots of Water
- 7. Try Breast Compressions
- 8. Rest When Your Baby Rests
- 9. Eat Foods That Boost Milk Supply
- 10. Hold Your Baby Skin-to- Skin
- A Note on Medical Conditions that Affect Milk Supply
- Final Thoughts
How Do You Know If Your Baby is Getting Sufficient Milk?
You must always look at the entire picture to ensure your baby’s development and growth is within normal limits. Your baby is getting enough milk if he or she:
- Goes through 6-8 wet nappies within a 24-hour period, including at least a few soiled nappies.
- Have 8-12 consecutive feeds within 24 hours.
- Gains an average of 150g or more weekly during the first three months.
- Passes soft, yellow stool.
- Wake up for feeds by themselves and feed vigorously.
- Settles and sleeps relatively well after most feeds.
- Is back to birth weight after two weeks.
10 Best Tips on How to Increase Breast Milk Supply
Here are our 10 best tips on how to increase breast milk supply.
1. Get the Latch Right
First and foremost, ensure your baby is latching correctly and is removing milk sufficiently from your breasts.
You can also massage your breasts before nursing to encourage milk letdown.
2. Nurse on Demand
Nurse regularly on demand – about 2-3 hours, at least eight times within a 24-hour period.
3. Try Power Pumping
Ensure your breasts are emptied sufficiently after a pumping session with a MomMed breast pump or nursing.
Power pumping, also referred to as cluster pumping, is useful for increasing milk supply. It is designed to mimic cluster feeding from infants (when a baby feeds continuously with few breaks).
When you express milk constantly for prolonged periods, your body will start generating more milk to keep up with demand, subsequently boosting milk supply.
4. Offer Both Breasts
Offer your breasts interchangeably with each feed – offering each breast twice.
5. Nurse or Pump Often
Avoid going longer than three hours before emptying your breasts – your baby’s suckling movements is still the most effective way of doing so.
You can also use a hand or electric breast pump.
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6. Drink Lots of Water
Make sure you drink plenty of fluids (preferably water), eat a balanced healthy diet, and avoid skipping meals.
7. Try Breast Compressions
Once your baby is nursing, compress your breast to enhance milk flow as this will also encourage efficient sucking.
8. Rest When Your Baby Rests
Make sure you are getting enough sleep and rest as possible in between whenever you can.
9. Eat Foods That Boost Milk Supply
Certain foods like papaya, oatmeal, sesame seeds, etc. and herbal remedies known as galactagogues can also go a long way in boosting milk supply.
10. Hold Your Baby Skin-to- Skin
Relax and remember to carry and hold your baby skin-to-skin as often as you possibly can. This is also known as Kangaroo Mother Care.
A Note on Medical Conditions that Affect Milk Supply
There are certain medical conditions that can affect milk supply.
Milk supply could be low due to medical issues like hypothyroidism, pre-diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or diabetes.
In some cases, if moms were taking contraceptives before they have been fertile, their milk supply could be affected.
And taking medications like flu or cold preparations or blood pressure meds can also affect one’s milk supply.
In some cultures, moms use herbs or foods to boost their breast milk supply but many of them are not scientifically proven to work.
The best way to increase milk supply is through nursing, expressing or pumping.
If you have tried the above-mentioned tips on how to increase your breast milk supply and you still have low milk supply, you can reach out to your physician or a lactation professional to see if they have other recommendations to resolve the issue.
MomMed sponsored this post. All opinions are ours.
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