Breastfeeding moms are always doing a good job in terms of feeding their baby with wholesome nutrients. Nothing comes close to breast milk and its nutrients, but not all moms have the same case of milk supply, which can be frustrating.
If you’re one of those moms who want to increase your breast milk supply quickly, read on to find out about our tips below.
What Causes a Low Breast Milk Supply?
A low breast milk supply can be caused by any of the following:
1. You’re frequently feeding them more on bottles than your own nipples
2. You may be using a nipple shield too much
3. Using milk formulas too often
4. Not nursing your baby efficiently and long enough
5. Your baby is too sleepy to be fed
6. Certain health problems (e.g. anatomical, hormonal, anemia, etc.)
How to Increase Breast Milk Supply
Here are some simple ways on how to increase your own milk supply:
1. Nurse your baby more frequently. If you do nurse your baby on a regular schedule, there is a higher chance that your breast milk will replenish itself regularly as well. Any breast milk that is left untouched by your baby will eventually rot and it could also be painful for your breasts. Therefore, if you nurse your baby more frequently, it can help to increase your overall milk supply, as your body will supply the demand for breast milk automatically.
2. Ensure that your baby gets the most out of your breastfeeding sessions. This means that they should be able to access your breast milk properly and they should be in the right position to do so. Breast milk supply decreases when your baby hasn’t finished all of your breast milk in one go, so make sure they get a lot of it.
Some tips to consider here would be reducing the use of nipple shields. Although nursing without nipple shields can be quite a pain for some moms, if you do get used to nursing without it then you can actually increase your milk supply for your baby.
Also, it helps if your baby is not fully sleepy, so that they can finish the breast milk in one go. Babies who are more awake than sleepy tend to finish their breastfeeding sessions more efficiently than those who feel like dozing off.
3. Consider switching sides. If your baby doesn’t latch onto your nipples that effectively, you may want to switch sides from time to time. Instead of feeding them through the left nipple, try the right one and vice-versa. You can also put intervals and switch to about 3 times on each feeding session. This will help your baby get used to sucking your own nipples and thereby catching all the breast milk efficiently.
4. Don’t give them bottles or pacifiers just yet. As we mentioned above, it’s important that your baby gets used to only your nipples. This is why giving them silicone bottles or pacifiers may not be that advisable if you are still breastfeeding your baby. These artificial suckers could only make your baby not that interested in drinking your breast milk due to the difference in the texture and shape.
5. Limit their formula to breast milk only. Along with getting used to the nipple shape of the natural breast, it is also important that your baby’s taste focuses only on breast milk so that they don’t easily refuse it. Babies who take both breast milk and infant formula could most likely move to milk formula right away, so if you aren’t done with breastfeeding just yet, keep them fed strictly with breast milk as much as possible.
6. Don’t forget to rest. As a nursing mom, it’s also important for your body to rest. Don’t take it too hard if you can’t increase your breast milk supply. This is why most companies that offer maternity leaves for moms allow them to stay even longer because of the breastfeeding sessions, which should be done with plenty of rest and time.
7. Try pumping your breast milk. Moms who pump their own milk also have a better chance of increasing their own supply, as you are also draining away from your breast milk even without the help of your baby. This is most likely the case if you are a working mom and you don’t have all the time in the world to breastfeed your baby due to the nature of your work.
8. Consider special herbs or meds for increasing milk supply. Also called galactagogue, certain herbs have the ability to increase milk supply due to their nutrients for the mom’s body. When in doubt, do ask your physician about this.
As a whole, nursing moms can really increase their breast milk supply, but it’s all in the technique and the way your baby feeds from you. Remember that there can be many factors that affect your breast milk supply depending on your baby’s behavior. We hope that you learned something from this article!