How to increase milk supply ? Perhaps the most challenging moment for breastfeeding mothers is when they realize that their milk supply to the baby is getting low and low as the days go by.
This situation is mostly common in breastfeeding mothers of twins. The consumption of breastfeed is obviously higher in twins as it would be compared to breastfeeding a single baby.
A common concern of many new mothers is whether or not they are producing enough breast milk for their baby.
In fact, concerns about having an inadequate amount of breast milk for their infant is one of the main reasons that women give for switching over to formula and early weaning.
Besides breastfeeding twins as a major cause of low supply of milk, this article will outline other causes of low milk supply and how to increase milk supply when a breastfeeding mother is exposed to such a situation.
How to increase milk supply ?
Before understanding how to increase milk supply, it is vital to be aware of its causes in order to take up preventive measures.
Low milk supply can be dangerous especially to very young babies who are yet to be introduced to baby foods like formula and cow milk.
In truth, it is actually quite rare for a woman to not produce enough breast milk for your baby.
Babies who are bottle fed will often increase their weight at a greater pace than those who are breastfeeding.
which may be part of the reason that some breastfeeding mothers fear they do not have enough milk.
In fact, in recent years doctors have worked to correct dated growth charts that were biased towards bottle fed babies .
(make sure your doctor is using the updated charts, particularly if you are breastfeeding. You can also find these charts on the CDC website).
In fact, bottle fed babies are often overfed and this may be the first step towards later problems with obesity in life.
So although your breastfed baby may not gain weight at the same pace as one fed using formula, keep in mind that your baby is still likely to be gaining weight at a healthy pace.
Still, if concerns about your breast milk supply persist, there are many steps you can take to improve your milk quantity and supply.
To start, keep in mind that stress and anxiety can play a huge role in milk production and breastfeeding success.
Stress and anxiety are, of course, common for new mothers to experience. Creating a calm space to breastfeed your baby can help a lot with milk delivery.
Having your partner, family and friends assist with child care, chores and to provide emotional support can help as well.
Remaining hydrated is also very important to ensuring an adequate amount of breast milk for your baby.
New mothers need to drink more fluids than normal, and having a glass of water readily available while breastfeeding will help you improve your hydration level.
Watch the color of your urine to see whether you are properly hydrated – ideally your urine will be nearly clear in color.
Supplementing breast milk for other foods is a major cause of low supply of milk.
While supplementing, a breastfeeding’s body reacts psychologically in response to the supplementation process and in turn produces low milk.
It is interesting to note that milk supply works just like the demand and supply theory in business.
The higher the demand of milk by the baby, the mother’s body will be stimulated to produce more milk.
Other causes of low milk supply include; Scheduling feedings, shortening the length of nursing, nipple shields and fusion and an over use of pacifiers among others.
Learning how to increase the milk supply is quite a natural process and every mother should be able to gate along with the methods without encountering any problem. Here is how to increase milk supply.
How to Increase Milk Supply with this 7 Natural Ways
– The most efficient way of monitoring and increasing your supply of milk is to watch your diet.
– The kind of food you eat is most likely to affect how your body responds toward producing milk.
– Eat well and most importantly drink a lot of water and fluids in general. Eight glasses of water in a single day will do you good in helping your body to increase its milk supply.
– When your breast feeding baby gains weight, he or she is going to increase the intake of milk.
– The breastfeeding technique you use to breastfeed your baby influences the intensity of your milk supply. Make sure the baby is positioned correctly in order to latch on the breast properly.
It is essential to avoid pacifiers and bottlers while introducing supplements to your baby. The baby’s sucking should only be used while sucking from your breasts. Sucking from bottles may make your baby feel tired prior to breastfeeding.
– It is advisable to massage your breast gently as the baby continues to breastfeed. This massaging actually stimulates the breasts and they may increase the supply of milk.
– In some traditions, there are herbal supplements that can be consumed by the mother to increase the supply of milk. Experts argue that these herbs are mostly safe and have no any side effects.
– There are other artificial ways of boosting the supply of milk. Acquiring a hospital pump can help to forcefully suck out the milk for the baby although this is only recommended when it is the last option.
Nursing frequently will increase milk production levels as well. Using a breast pump may help you increase your milk supply and also will allow you to freeze surplus milk for use when necessary.
Using a fairly powerful breast pump can really help with this process. Many home breast pumps are quite inferior in quality and power,
you may want to consider renting a professional breast pump from a hospital or similar source (since purchasing one can be quite expensive, with some models running in excess of $1000).
Keep in mind that breastfed babies generally need to be fed more often than those that are bottle fed. Aim for a minimum of eight feedings a day for your infant
even more if possible. If your baby has a tendency to fall asleep soon after starting nursing, you may need to nurse more often or even wake him during feedings.
Supplements and food to Increase milk supply
Keep in mind that the more nutritious, fat-rich hindmilk comes later in the nursing session and if a baby stops nursing to early, it will only get the foremilk.
There are some herbal teas and supplements that have historically been used to improve a mother’s breast milk supply.
These include such herbs as Fenugreek, Red Raspberry and Blessed Thistle. You can find boxes of these teas online or in your local health food store.
One popular one is “Mother’s Milk” tea by Traditional Medicinals. Keep in mind that the scientific backing of the efficacy of many of these teas is often scarce, although many of the plants and herbs have a long history of usage for this purpose.
There are also some prescription medications (Metroclopromide, frequently sold as Reglan, and Domperidone).
Keep in mind that both of these drugs also can have negative side effects, and for this reason alone you may want to try some of the other methods suggested first before switching over to prescription medication.
Finally, for the very small percentage of women who really cannot produce enough breast milk, supplementing your breast milk supply with formula is always an option as well. Keep in mind that even a small amount of breast milk confers a lifetime of health benefits.