Breastfeeding a baby is a full-time job where you are also required to bring all the necessary tools. What happens when you’re not producing enough breast milk for your hungry little one? Fortunately, you can try lots of tricks to help increase your supply.
1. Nurse Baby More Often
Supply and demand is real, and the more your baby demands milk, the more you should produce. Start nursing your baby more often to help increase your supply. Aim for every two hours during the day and at least four times at night. You will feel like all you do is breastfeed, but this is a great way to increase your supply.
If your baby isn’t nursing very long when you increase feedings, use a pump. Your body will know that it needs to produce more milk if it’s being asked for more regularly.
2. Drink More Water
You need to stay hydrated, and breastfeeding takes a lot out of you. Drink water regularly, and keep a water bottle near you while breastfeeding so you can sip on it.
3. Be Sure Baby Is Latching Correctly
An improper latch can ruin your breastfeeding attempts. Your baby has to be latched properly to bring your milk down and ensure that breastfeeding isn’t painful for you.
A lactation specialist can help you teach your baby how to latch properly. You can also find videos that show how to hold your baby’s head and lead him to the breast in a way that helps him latch fully.
4. Mother’s Milk Tea
A yummy way to increase your milk supply is by using your mother’s milk tea. This tea can be bought at almost any store, and it has herbs that make your milk supply increase. Drink it daily for the best results.
5. Pump After and Between Nursing Sessions
It’s a lot of work, but pumping after you nurse and between nursing sessions will increase your milk supply. It’s all about supply and demand. The more you demand milk through nursing or pumping, the more your supply should increase.
6. Breastfeed on Both Sides Each Time
Your baby may have a favorite side to nurse from, but he needs to breastfeed from both sides at every feeding. Switch sides when he is finished with one side or after 15 minutes, and then let him nurse off of the other for the same amount of time.
7. Allow Baby at Least 15 Minutes per Breast
Even if your baby tries to pull off early, have him nurse on each side for at least 15 minutes. This helps bring your milk down and ensures your baby gets the rich hindmilk that comes out toward the end of a feeding session.
8. Focus on Baby During Feedings
Breastfeeding can be tedious but resist the urge to scroll through your phone or get distracted by other things. Focus on your baby to activate the love-and-cuddle hormone, oxytocin, that will help your milk supply surge.
9. Snuggle Baby Skin to Skin During and After
Skin-to-skin contact helps your milk come down because it helps with oxytocin production. Many women will simply breastfeed topless to snuggle their baby against their bodies while feeding. This keeps the baby warm and helps to release your milk and increase your supply.
10. Massage Breasts and Breast Compression
Massaging your breasts while you nurse or pump can help your milk come down and increase your supply in the long run. You can massage your breasts before nursing or pumping and then continue during the feeding to help your baby access milk.
11. Lactation Cookies
Want a yummy way to increase your milk supply? Try lactation cookies! You can make these cookies yourself or buy them from a store, but you should ensure they have the ingredients that help with milk supply. Those ingredients include whole oats, brewer’s yeast, flaxseed meal, and wheat germ.
12. Natural Supplements
There are supplements that can help your milk supply go up, and you can often find these in capsules that you simply swallow daily. Some great natural supplements for milk supply are:
- Milk thistle
13. Breastfeed in a Relaxing Environment
Breastfeeding can be stressful, especially if your milk supply is an issue. However, you should try to nurse in a space that offers relaxation and calming effects. Create an area in your home where you and the baby are comfortable, and make sure it contains elements that relax all of your senses. This can make your milk let down easier.
14. Get Enough Rest
It may seem cruel to tell the mother of an infant to get rest, but it is essential if you are trying to increase your milk supply. While it’s difficult to rest well when you have to get up often to feed or pump, do everything you can to squeeze the most quality sleep out of the time you have. Have your partner help with non-food-related wake ups so you can sleep through those.
15. Maintain a Healthy Diet
What you eat matters when you are pregnant and when you are breastfeeding. You will likely be extremely hungry since you will be supporting yourself and a baby, so make good choices when you grab food.
Foods high in protein will boost your milk supply, and fruits and vegetables are always a good choice.
16. Don’t Supplement With Formula After Breastfeeding
There may come a time when you have to supplement if your supply won’t increase. However, don’t make this your first option. Continue to exclusively breastfeed to help your body understand that it needs to make more milk. Introducing formula and skipping feedings or pumping sessions will lower your supply.
17. Do Not Smoke or Drink Alcohol
Smoking or drinking alcohol while you are breastfeeding is unhealthy for you and your baby. The toxins in cigarettes and alcohol will pass from your breast milk to your baby. Besides being harmful to your baby, these toxins will also negatively impact your supply and make it difficult for your body to produce more milk.
Breastfeeding is work, but you can do it. Try a variety of methods to increase your supply and give your baby the nutrients he needs.