According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 75% of new moms begin nursing their newborn babies, but many cease doing so within the first few months, either partially or fully. Concerns about insufficient milk production are one of the most prominent causes of this.
The supply of breast milk is completely fine for many moms. Many new mothers mistakenly believe they have a poor milk supply when nothing is wrong. Your supply should be fine if your baby is attentive, active, and filling and soaking diapers on a regular basis. Remember that your milk may take a few days to arrive after delivery. The first six weeks are also the time when you are developing a steady supply of breast milk for your baby. Meanwhile, you may know that your kid is receiving colostrum, which is a thick, nutrient-dense initial stage of your breast milk. If you really do need to boost your breast milk production, though there are a lot of ways, naturally too. Here are a few ways.
Here are a few ways to increase your breast milk supply:
- Your baby should latch on to your breast correctly
First, you must begin by making sure your infant is properly latching on to your breast. One of the most efficient techniques for improving and increasing your supply of milk is to latch your baby on to you properly. What you call a weak latch is almost frequently one of the main causes of a mom’s milk supply not being a lot. Your baby would not be able to get enough amount of milk from your breasts if you do not have a good latch.
When and if your baby is properly latched on and is drinking all the milk from your breasts, it also stimulates your body to make more. If you are not sure how to tell if your baby is latching on properly, make sure you consult a doctor or a lactation consultant.
- Breastfeed your child more frequently
Make sure you breastfeed your newborn more frequently and let your baby determine when it is full and the right time to stop. When your infant suckles your breast, some hormones are released that cause your breasts to create more milk. This is known as the let-down response. The let-down response usually does occur shortly after your infant begins breastfeeding when the muscles in your breasts contract and then transfer the milk through the ducts. Breastfeeding surely increases the amount of milk produced by your breasts.
If you increase the feeding, automatically the milk will follow by increasing. The longer you nurse, the more you are signaling your body that you need more breast milk if your infant latches on to your breast well.
Breastfeeding should be done every two to three hours around the clock in the first few weeks after your baby is born. If it has been more than three and a half hours since the last feeding, you should wake your infant and try to nurse. Even if you have an older kid who has been breastfeeding successfully for some time, you should be able to enhance your breast milk supply naturally by slowly increasing the number and length of breastfeeding sessions.
Breastfeeding your newborn 8 to 12 times a day can aid in milk production establishment and maintenance. This most definitely does not mean that having more or fewer feedings is a sign of a problem.
- You may use a supplemental nursing system
Even if there is not so much or enough amount of breast milk in your body, a supplemental nursing system can be easily utilized to encourage your infant to suck at your breasts. If you think your child is getting too frustrated because your milk flow has been slowed or halted, he or she may easily refuse to continue sucking at your breast.
You might be able to make your child suck longer at your breast by using a supplemental feeding system with previously produced breast milk or even a formula supplement. Additionally, increasing your breast stimulation is also a natural technique to boost the amount of breast milk produced by your body.
- In between feedings, try to pump
Pumping in between feedings might also really help you produce more milk. Warming your breasts before pumping can make you feel more relaxed, help in better pumping, and make you feel more comfortable.
Pump whenever you want to do it. You can also do it after a feeding (when you have milk leftover), when your infant has skipped a feeding, or when breast milk or formula is given to your baby in a bottle.
Use a breast compressor too. Breast compression is another technique for helping in assisting a breastfeeding baby in consuming more breast milk. When utilizing a breast pump, you can also use compression, it also means removing more breast milk from the breast.
If you think your infant is successfully breastfeeding, you will not need to try out the process of breast compression. Breast compression, on the other hand, helps in keeping your breast milk flowing and your baby drinking more if you have a sleepy infant or a newborn who is not one strong nurser.
It is always a great idea if you do want to learn how to express breast milk by your hand. Many mothers often prefer hand expression instead of using a breast pump because it is a lot more natural and inexpensive. Hand expression may seem to be more comfortable than using a breast pump during the first few days of nursing, and it may help in increasing the amount of breast milk. However, because it is a skill, it may take some time to master it well.
- Try your best to keep your baby awake
You know that during the first few weeks of being born, some of your newborn babies are a lot more drowsy and tend to sleep a lot. If you think you have a sleepy baby, not only should you make sure to wake him/ her up every three hours to breastfeed, but you also want to try and keep her awake and make her keep actively sucking while you are breastfeeding. By keeping your child awake and nursing, she will be able to get enough nourishment while providing your body with the stimulation you need to create a healthy supply of breast milk.
- Breastfeed on both sides
At each feeding, have your infant suckle his/ her milk from both breasts. Allow your baby to slowly feed on the first breast until they stop or slow down before moving on to the second. Breastfeeding both breasts can assist boost milk production by stimulating them. You just need to make sure that you change whichever breast you start nursing on each time you feed your baby because the first breast receives greater stimulation. If you start on the same side every time, that breast may produce more milk and grow larger than the other. You can continue to breastfeed from both sides or just one side at each feeding after the first few weeks when you are comfortable with the amount of breast milk you are making. Pumping milk from both breasts at the same time has also been found to boost milk production and fat content in the milk.
- You can also use Lactation Cookies
Lactation cookies are easily available in supermarkets and on Amazon, or you may also bake your own. While there is no specific research on lactation cookies, certain kinds of ingredients have been related to increased breast milk production. Galactagogues are found in these foods and herbs, and they may help with lactation. However, more research is required to prove anything. A few ingredients like whole oats, wheat germ, flax seeds, and brewer’s yeast are examples.
- Make a few changes in your lifestyle
Some of the activities you do on a daily basis may have an impact on your breast milk supply, even if you are not aware of it. Smoking, taking the combined birth control pill, stress, and weariness are all things that can affect your breast milk supply. Making a few tweaks to your daily routine may help you improve your breast milk production naturally.
After you have finished breastfeeding your infant, continue to stimulate your breasts with a breast pump or a manual expression technique. The increased stimulation will signal to your body that more breast milk is required.
Try getting more sleep: Sleep deprivation has a negative impact on milk production. Take some rest whenever you can. Reduce your other commitments outside and spend a couple of days doing nothing but relaxing with your baby, resting, eating, and breastfeeding.
Eat Well: if you are nursing, it is a good idea to try to eat a little better. Breastfeeding and producing breast milk need a lot of energy. Try to include your diet with well-balanced meals and consume nutritious snacks to build up a healthy milk supply for your baby.
Stress Reduction is needed: While stress does not stop you from producing milk, it can interfere with your let-down reflex (which releases milk into your milk ducts) and make it more difficult for your baby to absorb all the nutrients they require. Take care of yourself so you can give your best to your child. Request assistance from your partner, family, or friends with additional tasks. Tell overnight visitors to hold off for a few weeks so you can nurse in solitude and establish a great milk supply.
Drink a lot of water: You may already know that your breast milk is made up of a lot of water, so make sure you drink plenty of water every day. You must easily be able to keep staying hydrated by drinking at least 6 to 8 glasses of water every day or consuming other healthy liquids. Drink a lot more water if you feel thirsty.
Talk to your doctor
You do not have to be frightened or embarrassed to seek confirmation that everything is going well. Speaking with your doctor, a lactation consultant, or other mothers in a breastfeeding support group may be all you need to put your mind at ease and keep you on track to establishing a healthy supply of breast milk and successfully breastfeeding.
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