Not Enough Breastmilk? Here Are Practical Ways to Increase Your Milk Supply
In some cases, a mother may not produce enough breast milk to satisfy her baby's insatiable appetite. The key to solving this little problem is to stimulate the chest. The more the baby sucks, the more milk the breast will produce. Peace and serenity are also factors that promote the production of breast milk.
According to specialists, the real shortcomings concerning the production of breast milk are few, and, in the majority of cases, mothers' concern has no severe basis. Before you panic and think you are not producing enough milk, make sure your baby is full and getting the amount of milk he needs. Here are some practical ways to increase breast milk supply.
Why am I making little breast milk?
The causes are usually too weak stimulation of the breast, which can be caused by discomfort or pain during breastfeeding. This moment of complicity with your baby then turns into a moment of pain; the breast decreases its production of breast milk.
On the other hand, the mother's psychological or physical disturbances due to stress, fatigue, or depression (the famous baby blues) can also be a cause of the decrease in breast milk.
It is also possible that the mother's breast milk production is quite correct and in sufficient quantity, but the baby is not latching on effectively and cannot suckle the amount of milk that he needs. In this specific case, the key improvement factor is obviously to help the infant to latch on correctly, for example, by calling on a midwife who will guide you in the best way to position the baby and your breast to allow you to have breastfed in the best conditions.
How to make more breast milk?
Despite everything, you are producing insufficient breast milk for the needs of your little one; here is a list of tips that can be of great help:
Stimulate your breast:
Sucking the baby is the best way to produce more milk. You can also use a breast pump to "stimulate" your breast to produce more breast milk. Alternatively, a pumping bra can be used. Momcozy’s pumping bra is the best hands-free pumping bra that you can use.
Feed your little one whenever he needs it:
Regardless of the time or frequency. If your baby is asking for a feed, it is because he feels the need to satisfy him. The more you feed him with breast milk, the more milk will be produced. On the other hand, if you alternate feedings with bottles of synthetic milk, you will decrease the stimulation of your breast by the same amount and, therefore, the milk produced.
Find the best position to breastfeed your baby:
If you and your baby are well settled for this feeding time, it will be even more enjoyable for both of you. Compress your breast lightly to increase the flow of breast milk significantly. When you think the milk flow is correct, continue then switch breasts and repeat it until your baby is full.
Some plants contain properties similar to female estrogen and thus promote the production of breast milk. We can cite sesame seeds.
Empty your breasts:
Milk is produced all the time, and the speed of production depends on how full the breast is. Milk collects in the mother's breasts between feedings, so the amount of milk stored in the breast between feeds is greater if more time has passed since the last feed. The more milk there is in the breast, the slower the milk production. This means that a mother who wishes to increase her lactation should strive to keep her breasts as empty as possible throughout the day.
To achieve this goal and increase your milk production:
- Emptying your breasts more frequently (by breastfeeding more often and/or adding sessions where you express your milk between breastfeeding sessions)
- Empty your breasts as much as possible each time you feed or “pump” milk with a breast pump
How to better empty your breasts:
- Make sure the baby is latching effectively
- Use breast massage and compression
- Offer both sides at each feeding: wait until the baby has finished with the first side before offering the second
- Express your milk after breastfeeding if the baby has not sufficiently emptied both breasts. If the baby empties the breasts well, then the pulling will be more effective between breastfeeding sessions (always to keep the breasts as empty as possible)
Take good rest and relax as often as possible.
Your milk secretion will increase faster if you are relaxed and rested. Plan to do as little as possible for a few days. Eliminate non-essential tasks. Don't hesitate to ask for help with housekeeping and meals. Take naps with the baby as often as possible. To relax, try a hot bath, soft music, yoga, or whatever works best for you. Try to spend at least a few minutes a day taking care of yourself.
Express your milk.
In some cases of very severe milk loss, it may be necessary to stimulate the breasts between feedings for a few days, by expressing milk. There are different ways to do this: by hand, with a manual or mini-electric breast pump and hand free pumping bra. Use the best Pumping Bra to express milk. A study showed that pumping milk simultaneously to both breasts increases milk secretion more than when breast milk is pumped alternately to one breast and then to the other.
Foods to increase breast milk supply
To promote milk production naturally, you must think about the contents of your plate. Your diet should be balanced. Here are the foods to eat as regularly as possible:
- Foods from each group: fruits, vegetables, cereals, dairy products, etc.
- Carbohydrates and, in particular, whole grains: bread, semolina, pulses, etc.
- Foods rich in omega 3, such as fatty fish (salmon, sardines, tuna)
- Foods rich in omega 6 (sunflower oil, soybean, nuts, seeds, etc.)
Do not hesitate to adopt the following reflexes:- Drink fresh carrot juice
- Take brewer's yeast
- Sprinkle your salads and yogurts with wheat germ
- Eat alfalfa and fenugreek sprouts
- Eat dried figs
- Drink 1.5 liters of water per day
If, despite all these tips, you think you are not producing enough milk, don't hesitate to get help from the breastfeeding consultant for a diagnosis if this may be due to a malfunction of the thyroid glands. She can help you correct position or sucking problems, and even restart breastfeeding if necessary. In any case, the number 1 remedy for reduced lactation remains the baby himself: more frequent and longer breastfeeds to stimulate good milk production!