being a mom

Wondering How to Increase Breast Milk? Here’s What You Need to Know

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One of the most frustrating things for a new breastfeeding mom is having low breast milk supply. There’s a number of reasons why your supply is low. Supplementing with formula (when you haven’t established your milk supply yet) could cause your supply to decrease. Pacifiers, and lip or tongue ties can also affect a baby’s latch. Health issues with baby (especially if they’re in the NICU) or with mom (PCOS, retained placenta, using medications, insufficient glandular tissue, etc.) can also affect supply. Once you know what the issue is though, you’ll want to figure out how to increase breast milk.

According to the site KellyMom, the first plan of attack is to ensure that your little one is nursing “efficiently.” As stated above, if your little one isn’t able to get enough milk out, then you’ll always have a hard time establishing a heavier supply. Having your little one checked for ties (which can be removed) is one plan of attack. Additionally, you’ll want to see your OB/GYN and a lactation consultant to see if there’s anything you can do on your end, or any reasons why your body might not be producing as much.

More Tips on How to Increase Breast Milk

  • Nursing every 1.5 to 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours at night can help increase your supply.
  • If you’re able to, take a “nursing vacation” in which you spend a few days in bed resting and snuggling with baby, nursing on demand as often as possible.
  • Avoid giving your baby any pacifiers or bottles for a while. If you need to supplement, KellyMom has alternative feeding methods for this.
  • Make sure to offer baby both breasts while nursing. Once baby is done with one side, switch them to the other. Also, try and switch side multiple times during nursing to make sure baby doesn’t fall asleep too soon.
  • Feed baby only breast milk if possible. If your baby has started solids, consider decreasing the solids in order to increase supply. Make sure to stay hydrated, as well.
  • Some folks have luck using galactogogues. These are supplements that might help increase supply. Fenugreek, Mother’s Milk tea, oatmeal, and certain prescription medications have the potential to help.
  • Take care of yourself! Moms often forget (or are unable) to get enough rest and proper food. Don’t forget if you’re not caring for yourself, your supply will have a hard time increasing.

Good luck, mamas!

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(Image: Flickr / UNICEF Ukraine)