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How to Increase Breast Milk Supply

Before learning how to increase breast milk supply, click here for easy ways to test your milk production.

If your milk supply is truly low, here is what you can do to increase milk production.

Remember, even an ounce of breast milk is of immense value to the newborn. Work your way to an adequate milk supply. Be patient, persistent and remember who you are doing it for.

  • Make sure your breasts are emptied completely at every feeding. If you feel that there is some milk left after nursing, pump and create your own milk bank for future.
  • Also try pumping for ten minutes after the nursing for additional stimulation. You won’t get much milk, but this is not the goal. Do it right after the feeding to allow enough time for milk production by the next feeding. Hospital-grade double electric pump works the best. More on pumping here.
  • Don’t let your baby stay on the breast for fun after the feeding is over. This will leave less time for milk to accumulate for the next feeding. It also makes you and your breasts exhausted and your nipples sore.
  • Massage your breasts while nursing. Use compressions when the milk flow slows down and your baby loses interest. Squeeze your breast areola firmly. Your baby will get a strong flow of milk and will start sucking intensively again. This is especially effective if your breast milk is hard to get. By squeezing the breast you will get the milk out of hard-to-reach areas.
  • Feed your baby more often. Try two –phase feedings. Breastfeed your baby as you normally do. Then burp and carry him/her for 15 minutes. Breastfeed again. Your body doesn’t know it has only been 15 minutes. This technique will give your body a signal that new milk is needed. Breast milk supply will increase.

  • Try switching your baby from one breast to the other frequently during one feeding. Once you feel the baby sucking slows down, burp your baby and switch to the other breast. Once the sucking slows down, switch again. Every time you switch your body gets the signal that new milk is needed and produces more.This method releases the hindmilk faster too. Your baby gets more of this thick, creamy, high-calorie milk.
  • If your doctor recommends supplementing your baby, go to your milk bank first. Your breast milk is still the best food for your baby, even if it doesn’t come straight from your breast. Don’t use bottles to prevent nipple confusion. For newborn a finger or spoon feeding can be used. For older babies use a supplemental nurser (also known as supplemental nursing system or infant feeding device). It consists of a container with your milk that hangs around your neck. Thin tube goes from the container into your baby’s mouth next to your nipple. The baby sucks on the nipple and gets additional milk from the nurser. This keeps positive encouragement and promotes breast sucking. The more the baby sucks, the more milk is produced.
  • Keep night feedings for as long as possible to increase breast milk. This doesn’t mean you need to wake up your baby for the feeding. This only means refraining from bottle-feeding at night. Skipping a breastfeeding session gives your body a signal that less milk is needed.
  • Talk to your OBGYN about your birth control. If you decide to get one while breastfeeding, make sure your doctor prescribes progesterone-only pills. Other pills can decrease your milk supply.
  • Relax during the feeding. Don’t let any stressful thoughts impede breastfeeding. Leave them outside of the nursery. For now there is just you and the baby. Nothing else matters.This mindset alone can increase breast milk supply.
  • Analyze your surroundings. Make sure you feel comfortable and secure in your own home. Make sure the people around you wish you and your baby the best.
  • Milk supply can be endangered by stress, sleep deprivation, unhealthy family atmosphere, and social instability. If you can, let that all go. Concentrate on your baby. Some things in life can wait. Breastfeeding is either done today or never.
  • Task someone with the household chores. Delegate shopping, cleaning, washing clothes to somebody else. Do what only you can do yourself – breastfeed!
  • Spend time with your baby. Cuddle, nap together. Undress your baby before the feeding. Skin contact is vital. Sleep when your baby sleeps. These little things matter big.
  • If you have someone helping you, task them with cooking. Good nutrition for mom means good nutrition for the baby. Eat healthy. Drink plenty of liquids. Your goal is half a gallon daily. More on mom’s diet here.

You may also try non-traditional methods I list here. They are my favorite.

If you tried all the measures to increase breast milk, but unsuccessfully, consult lactation specialist. The solution may be easy. It may just require some professional assistance.

There are many ways to show your love and devotion to your kids and to win their trust. Breastfeeding is the most natural one.



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