Are you feeling stressed and want to increase breast milk supply? Is your baby gaining weight well on breast milk alone and has an adequate number of wet and dry diapers? If yes, then you don’t have to worry about your milk supply at all.
Please note that the behavior of your baby, the feel of the breast, the sensation of a let-down, the frequency of nursing, the amount you pump are not the valid ways to find out if you have enough milk for your baby.
If you are worried about your decreased milk supply, I would suggest you consult a trained breastfeeding counselor or a lactation consultant.
If your baby is not gaining weight or probably losing weight, stay in contact with the pediatrician. Supplementing might be required for the babies who are dropping weight. If medically required, the best thing to supplement your baby with is your own pumped milk.
Demand and supply process:
Milk production is always a demand and supply process. If you are interested in increasing your milk supply, you need to understand how milk is made. It will help you to do the right things to increase your milk supply. The key to increasing your milk supply is to remove more milk from the breast and to do it frequently. Now I will talk about the things which usually help with increasing milk supply.
Use a breast pump:
Focus on removing more milk from each breast. Make sure that your baby is removing milk efficiently. You will lose your milk supply if milk is not removed effectively. Learn about proper positioning and latch which helps baby to nurse efficiently. A sleepy baby who is unable to nurse appropriately is like trying to empty a swimming pool with a drinking straw. It will take forever to empty your breasts, resulting in your baby being hungry at all times and you giving frequent feeds but milk not transferring well. It helps baby to nurse efficiently.
You will have to use a breast pump and express your milk in order to maintain your supply. The whole idea of pumping is to basically empty the breasts so that more milk can be produced efficiently. Adding even a short pumping session is helpful.
Increase your fluid intake in the form of water, juices or smoothie. The daily requirement may vary from one person to another but STAY HYDRATED but do not force down fluids because drinking extra water doesn’t increase breast milk supply. Sleep well and relax and take good care of your health.
Have healthy nutritious meals:
It is very important to have a protein-rich diet that can be a source of energy such as oatmeal and flaxseeds, meat, bone broth, eggs, yogurt or a smoothie! Breastfeeding mothers require an additional of 500 calories to meet their own and baby’s needs.
Never miss your vitamins:
The AAP recommends Calcium, Vitamin D, Iron, and Folic Acid as important vitamins and minerals for breastfeeding moms. The content of your breast milk changes according to your diet.
Breastfeed your child frequently:
Breast milk is produced on demand and supply basis. So let the babies take the lead and feed whenever the child demands. It may not always be possible especially for a working mom but it may help if you are struggling to increase your supply. The more you empty your breasts, the more milk is produced therefore, feed often!
Avoid pacifiers and bottles when you can!
At each feeding, let the baby feed on both sides. When the baby finishes feeding on the first side, offer the other side. Use each side at least twice per feeding.
I would love to hear your experiences and how my blog helped you when you were stressed about your low milk supply. Please drop your valuable feedback in the comments section.