In which case, you should know that as long as you’re breastfeeding often and your child is showing the signs of getting enough breast milk, like weight loss, you’re doing just fine.
However, if you feel you do have a low breast milk supply, here are a few ways that might help:
1. Consume Enough Calories And Drink At Least 6 Glasses Of Fluids Daily
Unsurprisingly, what you consume has a big impact on the quality and quantity of the milk produced.
The exact number of calories varies by activity level, body mass index, and other factors, but for the goal of increasing breast milk supply, your body needs 400 to 500 extra calories per day as compared to your regular diet.
Here are some general guidelines for you to remember about diet and breast milk:
- Make fruits and vegetables a big part of your diet, as they are the food class packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Find good sources of calcium. Calcium-rich foods include dairy products leafy green vegetables, and certain fish like sardines and salmon.
- Opt for complex carbohydrates; as they are a healthier option, compared to than processed carbs. Complex carbs include such things as beans, brown rice, whole-grain pasta, and bread.
2. Limit The Use Of Pacifiers And Bottles
This makes sure all your baby’s sucking needs are met at the breast, enhancing stimulation for breast milk production.
As your baby gets older, it will be easier for her to go back and forth from breast to pacifier without you losing important breast stimulation.
If you are using bottles for supplementing, try to replace those with options not too similar to the nipple. A spoon is a good example.
3. Supplement Feedings With Pumping
Pumping is recommended for two reasons.
The first being that pumping allows you to store breast milk when your baby doesn’t need it, allowing you to amass and store more expressed milk.
Secondly, it is an activity that stimulates the production of more breast milk.
So, whether you are at home or at work, consider pumping for 15 minutes every couple of hours. That, or you pump for 5 to 10 minutes after nursing.
Pumping for approximately 8 times under a 24-hour period will help to quickly increase breast milk production.
If pumping immediately after nursing isn’t convenient for you, try to pump halfway in between feedings.
You may want to pump both breasts at the same time as doing so will give you twice as much breast milk twice as fast in addition to helping stimulate more production.
All you have to do is invest in a high-quality pump for the time being.
Stress can affect your ability to produce milk.
It might help to play some soothing music, look at throwback pictures that give you happiness, or have a comedy movie playing; anything to relax before pumping or breastfeeding.
You can also consider putting warm compresses on your breasts or massaging them for a short period right before you intend to pump or breastfeed.
5. Allow Your Baby To Nurse Frequently For As Long As She Wants
The more often your breasts are stimulated, the more milk it will produce.
At least 8 feedings in a 24-hour period or more if possible is the recommendation.
If before now you normally fed on a set schedule, allow them to feed on demand to increase your breast milk production.
6. Opt For A Nursing “Vacation”
For a weekend or a two-day period, go on a nursing bed rest with your baby and do nothing but breastfeed when the urge hits your little one.
Of course, you get to go to the kitchen and the bathroom and hit other motherly duties, but it will in the period, be nothing serious or time-consuming.
The vacation is all about you and your young one.
During this vacay, take advantage of nap-nursing i.e., sleeping with your baby ever-close to his favorite food source.
This exercise relaxes both mother and child, as well as increases the stimulation of milk-producing hormones.
7. Talk To Your Doctor About Using Herbal Or Prescription Supplements To Increase Breast Milk
Herbal supplements known to work include those with fenugreek, red raspberry, and blessed thistle.
The prescription drug metoclopramide on the other hand is oftentimes used as a last resort by doctors to treat low milk production in nursing mothers.
It’s believed that blessed thistle and fenugreek aid lactation by increasing the hormones prolactin and oxytocin, which are both necessary for milk production.
Find other resources on parenting here.