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Any new mother is worried that her breast milk supply is not sufficient for her baby. This is a common factor that causes moms to quit breastfeeding. Breast milk supply is positively and negatively affected by many physical and psychological factors.
Your baby’s satiation is not something you can guess. If your baby is not gaining weight normally, then he/she is not feeding enough. Another factor to consider is bowel habits. A newborn should have 6-8 wet diapers and 3 – 4 stools per day.
Before trying to increase your breast milk supply, check out medical conditions that contribute to decreasing milk supply like diabetes, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and breast surgery.
These are some useful tips that can help you increase your supply naturally. Always remember that you can consult a lactation consultant who can guide you through this new process. Rule number one is to never compare your supply or your baby’s weight as each mother and child is different. Don’t forget that your guide is medical advisors and references and not peer pressure.
Tips to increase your breast milk supply naturally:
- Switch between the two sides
- Massage your breasts
- Eat healthily
- Check your medicines
- Relax and rest
Although it sounds like a basic tip, it’s quite an important one. The more you breastfeed your baby, the more milk your breasts will produce. That’s because when your baby suckles, hormones that trigger milk production are released. Don’t follow a nursing schedule especially during the first weeks of breastfeeding, do it on demand whenever your baby is hungry to well establish the supply.
Switch between the 2 breasts
Mothers have always been advised to breastfeed from one side at each feeding. However, this has shown breastfeeding problems over time, specifically, low breast milk supply.
Alternate between breasts in each feed. Make sure that your baby finishes one side before you offer him/her the other. Your guide is noticing that your baby stopped sucking even with breast compression. Quickly move him/her to the other breast before he/she falls asleep.
Breast pumping is a golden technique in increasing breast milk supply. The frequency of pumping depends on your lifestyle and breastfeeding schedule. There is a technique called cluster pumping which requires the mother to pump every five minutes to repeatedly stimulate her breasts. However, this is totally unpractical for a working mom.
There is another technique called power pumping which means pumping one hour a day where you pump continuously for 10 minutes, then rest for 10 minutes. It is essential to add a pumping session to your usual routine. If you’re used to pumping twice a day, make it three times, and so on. There are some important points you have to consider to get the maximum results of pumping.
- Make sure to empty your breasts after each nursing session by pumping because when your breasts are full, they stop producing milk.
- Observe the time of the day when you have the most milk supply as it differs from one woman to another. Pump during this time.
- Relax while pumping and don’t distract yourself with any other activities during the session. You can listen to soft music to help you free your mind.
Massage your breasts
During breastfeeding and pumping, use your hands to help produce more milk. Watch the video above for full guidance.
What you ideally need to eat for breastfeeding is a well-balanced diet, rich in veggies, fruits, proteins, and whole grains. Don’t exclude fat as a breastfeeding diet should include healthy unsaturated fats like avocadoes, olive oil, coconut, nuts, and fish.
Avoid dehydration as it decreases milk supply. Drink a glass of water before and after each feed and include watery veggies and fruits in your diet. If you want to increase your supply, you can also try lactation cookies.
Check your medicines
There are some medications that – despite being safe for breastfeeding – decrease breast milk. These include sinus and allergy medications, some contraceptive pills, diuretics, antihistamines, decongestants, and some weight-loss medications.
Relax and rest
It might sound insane to ask a mom to rest during a new psychological and hormonal phase and a messed up sleeping routine. However, remember that breastfeeding doesn’t only require eating and drinking, anxiety and stress decrease breast milk supply as well. There are some simple techniques that can help you.
- Try to sleep when your baby is asleep to give your body the needed time to rest. This is easy if it is your first baby.
- Open up about your breastfeeding concerns and worries in a support group like Rahet Bally.
- Make skin-to-skin contact with your baby.
- Ask your family, friends, and hubby to help you.
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Source used in this article:
- 10 Ways to Increase Breast Milk Supply When Pumping – Healthline
- Pump It Up: 6 Tips for Increasing Breast Milk Production – UAB Medicine
- Breastfeeding: How to Increase Your Milk Supply – WebMD
- One SIDED FEEDINGS OR TWO? – International Breastfeeding Centre