So many moms worry that they aren’t producing enough milk for their baby. The good news is that most moms are doing just fine! For those who are struggling with low milk supply, there are lots of strategies that will help you increase your milk supply. What you need to know is this:
The idea behind increasing your milk supply is super simple: Draining your breasts signals to your body that it needs to make more milk.
However, there are other things – such as skin to skin contact and the food you eat – that impact your supply. We will cover that below.
Skin to Skin Contact
Before you feed, start with Skin to Skin. Skin to Skin contact help stimulate the hormones that tell your body to make milk for baby.
It’s so simple: take baby into a warm room, take of your top and your baby’s clothes (leave the diaper on) and feed your sweet baby.
Why not have a movie day in bed with your baby, focusing on nursing around the clock, and watching all your favorites? Alternately, if it is cold, consider a warm soak in the bath with baby on your chest.
Ensure Baby is Well Positioned and You Are Both Comfortable When Feeding
Breastfeeding isn’t meant to hurt, and if it is, something is not quite right (find out why breastfeeding might be hurting here). Make sure baby is well positioned – to tell, look for baby’s chin pressing into your breast, and look for ear and jaw movement as your baby drinks.
Consider your own comfort – a lovely dark room, calming music, and back support will help.
Wake Up Baby When They Fall Asleep Feeding
The age old saying ‘Never wake a sleeping baby’ isn’t true when they’re nursing for a few minutes and then falling asleep at the breast… and some bubs just aren’t interested in being awake. Try changing their diaper midway through the feed, burping them, or wiping their face with a damp washer to encourage them to wake up to feed more.
Try Breast Compressions
When baby stops actively sucking (but is still attached) take the time to gently press your breast into your chest. It shouldn’t hurt, but you should feel a little pressure as you press into your milk glands. This stimulates milk production, and will encourage baby to drink more.
Let Baby Tell You When They Are Finished Feeding
Sometimes Moms take the baby off the breast before they are actually finished eating. Baby will tell you when they are done by falling asleep or moving away from the breast.
Feed Frequently, Offering Both Sides, and Extra ‘Snack’ Feeds.
Again, we’re back to the supply and demand equation. The more you feed, the more milk you make.
Ditch the Pacifier For A Little While
Sometimes, moms can miss hunger cues and the baby can spend too much time sucking their pacifier instead of sucking at the breast, resulting in nipple confusion. When your baby wants to suck, offer them a feed instead.
Take Care of Yourself: Stay Hydrated, Eat Well, and Get Some Sleep
This is so hard with a new baby, but it’s so important. I hear you laughing in the background. What even is sleep with a baby? Sleep helps increase your milk supply. Consider this permission to hand the baby to their Daddy and go for a well deserved nap!
Know When To Ask For Help
An Independent Board Certified Lactation consultant can take a thorough look at your milk supply and offer you 1:1 professional guidance. Additionally, seeing your doctor can be helpful as they can prescribe medication that will improve your milk supply.
Wait – don’t certain foods improve milk supply?
Lots of people try ‘boobie bickies’, or bliss balls to boost their supply. But do they actually work? Well, some foods have what we all ‘galactogogues’. Put simply, these foods (like oats, for example) can give a temporary boost to supply. This can be handy while you work on emptying your breasts to encourage more milk – but if you don’t empty your breasts, the supply boost from the foods you are eating won’t be sustained.