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
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.