One of a nursing moms biggest concerns is whether or not they are producing enough milk for their babies. Here, we have rounded up 10 tips to help increase your production of breastmilk.
This gallery does not replace medical advice and if you feel that something may be wrong please contact a lactation consultant as soon as possible because it’s always best to err on the side of caution with infants.
The more your baby nurses, the more milk your body will produce to meet their needs and when they’re going through a growth spurt its easy to fall into thinking that you don’t have enough supply because of how hungry they are- but in reality it’s an adjustment phase for both mommy and baby so mother can get ready for the bigger size after! The worst thing for your supply is to supplement with formula during a growth spurt.
2. Pump After Nursing
If you’re getting ready to head back to work, it’s important that you establish a pumping routine early on. This will make for an easier transition and give you more milk in the long run if needed when going out of town or taking some time off from nursing your baby. Even stay-at-home moms can pump after they nurse their little one. Do this every time until production levels drop down so significantly that there is no point anymore, which could be around six months postpartum depending on how often mom nurses her child throughout the day.
3. Check the Latch
For starters, when she has her tongue out and lips flared open over top your nipple while breastfeeding then this usually means that she’s doing a good job latching onto things (but don’t take our word for it – always check!). If you happen to notice that everything seems as though its going well at first glance-then never hurts!
If your baby is not latching correctly, use a pinky finger to break the seal and pop him off. Use some nipple tickling until he opens up wide enough for you put his mouth over it. Once latched on properly (using two hands), feed with one hand while massaging the breast that has just been fed from with the other hand in order to help milk flow more easily through ducts into this newly-latched side of your breast.
4. Switch Sides
Mothers should make sure their babies nurse from both breasts each feeding session. When the baby starts to suck comfortingly, loses interest, or is falling asleep during a breastfeed that’s your cue to switch sides and keep stimulating milk production in both boobs so they can fully empty out of all nutrients at hand.
5. Lose the Binky
Try and avoid your baby using their pacifier as this could be time spent helping stimulate your milk production. The early months can be difficult when it seems like you have become permanently attached to them, but its the best thing for both of you, so don’t give up!
6. Speak To a Lactation Consultant
Despite your best efforts, there’s always a chance that something isn’t quite right. A lactation consultant specializes in helping moms to establish a nursing relationship and in troubleshooting issues.
While not all medical professionals rely heavily on introducing formula to difficult cases, many, many do. As long as your newborn isn’t losing weight or failing to thrive, a lactation consultant is your best friend. Find a La Leche League consultant here.
7. Wear the Right Bra
How your breasts respond to a bra is just as important for breastfeeding moms. A tight or too-compressive bra can lead to plugged ducts which are often uncomfortable and mean that no milk will be produced from the area of the breast affected by this condition.
8. Eat Oatmeal
Oats are a miracle food that replenishes breast milk. Oatmeal is an excellent way to get the nutrient, but other options like granola or oatmeal cookies can also work equally as well for those who don’t enjoy eating traditional oats every day!
9. Avoid Hormonal Birth Control
The pills in hormonal birth control are known to have an adverse effect on milk supply which will make breastfeeding more difficult for both mother and child. If these types of oral contraceptives must be taken by mothers who are also breast-feeding then they should consult with their OBGYN about other contraceptive methods like mini pills as well as alternate medications
10. Go on Vacation!
A nursing vacation, that is.
When all else fails, spend the weekend in bed with your baby. If you have no interruptions and leave the rest of the world to itself, those hours of nursing will boost your supply like nothing else. The time spent together is pure joy for both mommy and baby alike!