In the previous articles, I’ve discussed in great details about what cause low milk supply in breastfeeding.
Now, what can you do to prevent it from happening? Or even more important, what can you do to increase your milk supply in natural ways?
Listed below are some tips to increase milk supply that I’ve gathered specifically for you. Note that some of them may be pretty general, but I will link it to the more in-depth and detailed article if necessary.
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Table of Contents
- 1 #1. Give breastfeeding a head-start
- 2 #2. Nurse and nurse and nurse.
- 3 #3. Make sure to correctly latch your baby.
- 4 #4. Avoid bottle feeding in the early days, if possible
- 5 #5. Offer both sides and switch breast multiple times in each feeding.
- 6 #6. If you are away from baby during weekdays, consider a nursing boot camp on weekend.
- 7 #7. Increase your supply by pumping
- 8 #8. Take milk-booster food and supplements
- 9 #9. Take care of yourself
- 10 #10.Consult with medical professionals
#1. Give breastfeeding a head-start
If you read my article on how milk production works, you’ll know that the first 2 weeks after birth is important to establish your milk supply. And having a more-established supply at early phase will make it easier to increase you supply later when it drops.
Here are some tips to help you achieve a good milk supply in early-days that you can do even before you give birth:
- learn about breastfeeding as much as possible
- find a breastfeeding- friendly medical supports ( including hospitals, gynae, pediatrician, and lactation consultant)
- get correct support form spouse and family
- practice skin to skin contact and rooming in with baby after delivery
- have a baby moon in the early weeks and focus on your newborn
#2. Nurse and nurse and nurse.
This means nursing your baby on demand. Never allow a clock to control the way you nurse your baby, whether it is to determine the feeding interval, or to limit how long a baby should nurse in each session. Always remember that every baby and mother pair is unique, never ever compare to others regarding ‘time/ duration of feeding’.
#3. Make sure to correctly latch your baby.
One of the mostly cited reason of low milk supply is poor latch, as it hinders your baby to effectively remove milk from your breast. Always remember the golden rule of milk production:
If you are not sure whether your baby is latch correctly, check out Dr Newman’s videos on various type of latches. These videos are useful so that you will be able to differentiate the correct latch from the poor ones.
#4. Avoid bottle feeding in the early days, if possible
The way baby drinks from bottle is entirely different from the way baby nurses from breast.
Nursing from breast requires more efforts as baby needs to suck vigorously first to stimulate let down, and only then the milk starts flowing.
With bottle, even without effort, milk will easily drips from the teat hole, so very minimum effort is required. Hence, if the baby is so used to bottle feeding, she may refuse to nurse directly from breast due to extra effort she needs to make.
#5. Offer both sides and switch breast multiple times in each feeding.
This is especially useful when you deal with a sleepy newborn who tend to fall asleep at breast easily.
Once baby looks sleepy at breast (but you know she’s hungry), switch to the other breast which has faster milk flow while the other is catching up in producing more milk). You can do this multiple times during each feeding session.
#6. If you are away from baby during weekdays, consider a nursing boot camp on weekend.
That means you spend time cuddling and nursing with your baby for most of the day. When your baby is napping, try to sneak a few pumping sessions. Some mothers swears by power pumping ( where you pump for a few sessions within one hour with short breaks in between). Personally I like this post which explains how she made power pumping work for her.
#7. Increase your supply by pumping
Extra pumping in between feeding helps to increase your milk supply. The best time to pump is early in the morning after your baby’s first morning feed. If you need to, sneak extra pumping sessions during baby’s nap time.
Some mothers also pump while nurse, which is great since it is easier to get let down (since the baby does this for you!) and save a lot of time.
If you aim to increase your milk supply, aiming to pump 20 minutes per session is best. And don’t forget to use a good double electric breast pump (here’s the one that I recommend).
#8. Take milk-booster food and supplements
Eating a healthy and balanced diet will help to nourish yourself to make more milk for your baby. Additionally, you can try to incorporate milk-booster food or supplement into your daily diet. Rolled oat (not the instant one, please) has been acknowledged to help in milk production. Nowadays, there are a lot of recipes that call for oat, which is very easy and quick to make. Some of my favourites are overnight oat, lactation smoothie, and (if you feel more empowered), lactation cookie.
Some other herbs, which are less popular but has been quoted as milk-booster, includes blessed thistle, alfalfa, and goat’s rue. For more complete information on dosage, capabilities, and possible side effects of each of these herbs, I strongly recommend you to read ‘A Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk’ book. You can take a peek of the first few chapters here or read my detailed reviews here.
#9. Take care of yourself
This may not be easy to do, but you need to take care of yourself. This include getting enough rest and keep yourself well hydrated. I know exactly how busy being a mom can be such that we forgot to even drink water.
Other than managing your diet, try to keep yourself stress-free. Stress can affect your hormone (especially prolactin) and subsequently your milk production.
While it is easy to say, ‘Try to relax’, I know it is not easy at all. What works for me is to rely on God that He will help me to provide enough milk for my baby.
#10.Consult with medical professionals
Don’t do this alone. Speak to lactation consultant or doctor as soon as you sense problems. Sometimes, the problem may not be in breastfeeding management, but rather, from our body or baby’s anatomy. In these cases, medical intervention may be needed and medical professionals are your best friend.
So there you have it. Ten tips to increase your milk supply naturally.
I hope you can apply some of these tips and do let me know whether it works for you. As always, if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to help.
Have you been trying to increase your milk supply in the past? What is your favourite method to boost your milk production quickly?
If you enjoyed this post, please share! Let’s help breastfeeding mothers to continue nursing their babies by providing resources and encouragement. Thank you!