Breast milk supply can be a concern for many mums. Sometimes, your milk supply may seem low, but this might not be the case. Weight gain in babies and an adequate amount of wet and dirty nappies are indicators of a high milk supply.
However, if you want to increase your milk supply for any reason, several helpful tips can make the process easier. Mums with twins or working mums pressed for time can use these tips to meet the baby’s needs.
- Ensuring a correct latch - Breastfeeding is a skill, and it requires some time to learn. Babies can often struggle with latching onto the breast. If your bub seems to be finding it hard to latch on correctly and your nipples feel sore or cracked, visit a lactation consultant or your GP to get sound and practical medical advice on how to help. A poor latch by the baby results in your breasts remaining full with milk. It signals your body to stop making more. Produce more milk by making sure that your little one efficiently draws out the milk.
- Nurse on demand - Babies with a correct latch can more efficiently remove milk from your breasts. This tells your body to produce more. Nurse your baby on demand or every two to three hours. Draining the milk from your breasts in this way will increase your milk supply, keeping the bub happy and settled.
- Warm compress - For the easier and faster let-down of the milk, use a warm compress. Take a warm towel or some heating pads, and place them on your breasts before feeding the baby. You can also improve your milk flow further by coupling the warm compress with a breast massage.
- Switch sides - Mums should make sure that the baby is nursing from both sides. Switch the sides at least two to three times during each feed. If your baby stops feeding, use breast compression to stimulate the sucking response. Use one hand to firmly compress your breast by using the thumb on one side and your fingers on the other. Such movement prompts your baby to swallow and helps you complete a successful breastfeeding session.
- Do not use pacifiers or bottles - New mums are often quick to fall for the pacifier trick. However, small babies love pacifiers and take to milk bottles. Since these objects help the baby to feed quickly, the bub starts finding it hard to latch on and can reject the breast altogether. If you are trying to boost your supply, make sure that the baby only nurses from you. Comfort sucking or cluster-feeds will also stimulate your body to produce more milk.
- Take rest and eat well - Resting and eating well go a long way in helping with your supply. Make sure that you get a good sleep. Ask for help from your partner, friends, or family, if needed. A well-balanced diet and hydration will improve your health as well as your milk supply.
- Avoid formula milk - Some babies require additional supplementing to increase their weight. However, this supplementation can also be fulfilled by increasing breast milk supply. Efficiently do this by cutting out formula milk for babies younger than six months and letting your body work hard to meet the baby’s demands.
- Make lactation biscuits- Eat or bake some lactation biscuits for snacking throughout the day. These biscuits use some key ingredients that boost milk supply. These include wheat germ, flax seeds, brewer’s yeast, and whole oats.
- Consider taking medication - Consult a lactation consultant for some medicines or herbs that can help you increase the milk. Most consultants prescribe a galactagogue that works for you.
- Power pump - Breast pumps are great for new mums who want to establish the breast milk. They are also great to increase your breast milk supply. Pump for at least 10 to 20 minutes after your bub has finished feeding. Repeat it for two or three days in a row, and your body will start producing more milk.
- Replace pumping parts - If you are using a breast pump to increase the supply or to store milk, make sure to replace any valves and membranes every month or every six weeks. It helps you express the maximum amount of milk and empties your breasts to bring in more milk.