Breastfeeding rocks! Well….. At least that’s the attitude you want to go into this whole thing with, but it really is okay if sometimes you actually feel like it sucks. I pray that it is something that comes easily to all the mamas reading this, but the fact is many moms struggle big time with breastfeeding in the beginning stages. One of the most frustrating things can be trying to figure out how to increase milk supply. Low milk supply is totally normal because your body is trying to adjust and figure everything out, but it can feel like failure if your mindset is that breastfeeding is just something your body should know how to do. Stay away from these thoughts! You’ll get to a point where breastfeeding is a breeze and all the struggle will be worth it.
How to Increase Milk Supply [6 Simple Methods]
We’ve pulled together some of the best tips for increasing your milk supply all right here. Make sure to let us know what works best for you or any other tips! We’re all for moms helping moms around here.
Is Your Milk Supply Actually Low?
It is extremely common for moms to worry that their milk supply is low, but the fact is most of the time it turns out they are actually producing just fine. It’s just confusing to predict what breastfeeding will actually be like, and often times our expectations vary greatly from reality. Breast milk production is hormone driven and typically if you’re feeding your baby whenever they’re hungry, your body will begin to produce the right amount.
You shouldn’t worry too much about finding out how to to increase milk supply unless your baby is beginning to fall behind the target weight. Another way to figure out if your little one is getting enough milk is something you will be dealing a lot with during your first years of parenting; poop. A breastfed baby may poop up to 10 times a day for the first 2-3 months. The same goes for peeing. If your baby isn’t anywhere near this number of poops and pees, you should consult with your pediatrician to come up with a solution whether that be increasing milk supply or something else.
What Could be Causing Low Milk Supply?
You might not be totally to blame for your low milk supply. Many babies have a difficult time latching at first, and when they don’t get it right your body might not catch on that it needs to start producing. If they are having latching problems, breastfeeding will likely severely hurt and that’s your clue.
When you give birth to a preemie, the natural rhythm of things is thrown off a little bit. When they are too small or weak to feed in the beginning, you will have to try pumping to get things moving. It will probably just take a little time for your body to catch up with your baby’s early arrival.
Life happens. No matter what your original breastfeeding plans were, I completely understand if the bottle has now made an appearance. However, your body doesn’t understand how much it really needs to produce if your baby is being supplemented with a formula bottle, so consider throwing it back in the cupboard for a little bit if you’re concerned about milk supply.
A Lack of Feedings
A really common reason for not producing enough milk is actually not feeding enough. Some little ones are born just a tad lazy, so it’s not unusual for newborns to sleep right through feedings. These missed feedings can cause your milk supply to be lower. If they’re still gaining weight go ahead and let them sleep, and heck catch a little snooze yourself. If they’re starting to fall behind, go ahead and wake them up for regular feedings!
Various Medical Conditions
There are some medical conditions which will make it difficult to produce a sufficient amount of milk. If you have had thyroid issues or frequent hormonal imbalances, there’s a good chance these are affecting your breastfeeding journey. It also could be a gland issue or related to breast surgery in the past. Make sure to talk out everything you’re feeling with your doctor. They can help you rule out these things.
How to Increase Milk Supply
First, breathe and relax.
Your body has been through a whole lot and it won’t do any good to get overly frustrated with yourself. Ask for help and don’t be afraid to reach out to the loved ones available to you. Talk about got to increase milk supply! Don’t bottle up the issues you’re having with breastfeeding because you never know who might have the solution.
Pump, pump, pump
I know you have probably already been told this, but it really is the key. Pumping and feedings are what get things going. After you feed your baby, you can try to continue pumping for 10-20 minutes. Not only will this help with production, but it will help you to start storing some extra milk.
Try some new foods!
Some foods naturally have the power to help increase your milk supply. You can find different lists of food online to help with this, and it really doesn’t hurt to try anything and everything. Oatmeal is a big one and that’s easy to begin with.
Another super important thing to pay attention to while breastfeeding is your own fluid intake. You need to stay hydrated yourself to be able to produce a good milk supply. Water is your best bet here, but it doesn’t hurt to get some electrolytes in your system as well.
Try lactation snacks and drinks.
They are by no means a one stop solution, but that doesn’t mean they’re worthless. You can also make some yourself and in doing so include whatever ingredients you like best! There’s tons of recipes to be found online.
This one is up to you and your doctor of course, but just know there is medication available to help you increase milk supply. Domperidone is one of these. Medications like this don’t tend to have the best side effects though, and they can be especially harmful to new mamas.
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