Tips to Increase Your Breastmilk SupplyArushi Agarwal
Certified Lactation Consultant, IBCLC
For new mothers, breastfeeding can be a learning process, but with support, it can also be a delightful and beautiful experience. In this post, we address concerns that new mothers may have about nursing. We discuss low milk supply, C-sections, and nursing, as well as the quantity, quality, storage, and insufficiency of breast milk.
Breastfeeding can seem difficult for a new mom. However, if you combine patience with superb technique and persistence, you will be able to accomplish your goals with ease.
Is low milk supply your actual concern?
The majority of women provide their babies with enough milk. When you are not producing enough breast milk to meet your baby’s needs for growth, your milk supply is deemed low.
At the beginning of breastfeeding, in particular, many mothers worry about their milk production. In reality, the most frequent reason given by women who have quit nursing is that they “didn’t have enough milk.” The majority of moms, however, do make adequate milk for their infants.
Typical explanations for why women may believe their supply of milk is insufficient.
- Baby feeds too frequently.
It’s common for babies to eat eight to twelve times in 24 hours, and in the beginning, this might make them very uneasy. The lack of milk is not indicated by this. In fact, frequent feedings are essential to building a strong supply of breast milk.
- My breasts are soft.
Your breasts might not feel as full as usual as your milk supply changes to meet your baby’s demands (this may occur anywhere between 3 to 12 weeks following birth). Your breasts will produce enough milk if your baby continues to feed regularly.
- My baby’s feedings have increased all of a sudden.
During a “growth spurt,” your baby may want to eat more frequently, but spreading out the extra feeding over a few days will help you raise your supply.
- My infant just takes a brief feeding.
As long as your baby is growing, there is no reason to be concerned about this. Your baby will spend less time at the breast after two or three months as they become more adept at eating.
(PS- These are just myths)
Another point that we hear often:
How can the quality of breast milk be checked?
Many mothers might say I’m too slim. I did not gain a lot of weight while I was pregnant. My milk might not be all that great. Nothing compares to good or terrible milk. It has been established that the mother’s diet has little to no impact on the type or amount of milk produced. Your reserve is the fat you gain throughout pregnancy. The melted fat will result in the production of milk.
It was discovered that the quality and quantity of milk produced by the mothers were comparable or had a similar composition when compared to mothers in industrialized nations and moms who were undernourished or had low BMI. You merely need to keep in mind that a nursing mother needs 550 more calories per day. To meet the requirements of your growing infant, the milk’s quality will be preserved. Make sure you drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet.
Actual Signs of Low Milk Supply
- Poor weight gain is one.
The weight loss that occurs after birth in babies is completely normal and anticipated!
In the first few days after delivery, they normally lose 5% to 7% of their birth weight; in exceptional cases, this loss might reach 10%. They should, however, start to reverse the weight loss after day 4, and by days 10 to 14, they should be restored to their birth weight. After that, they should grow an average of 4 to 7 ounces per week.
You should seek medical help right away if your baby loses more than 10% of its birth weight in the first few days, hasn’t started gaining weight by days 5 or 6 postpartum, or isn’t gaining enough weight each week.
- Lack of adequate amounts of dirty or wet diapers for their age.
Your baby may not be getting enough milk if they are not urinating or defecating at the appropriate rates for its age.
To keep track of their output, be sure to record how many times they urinate and defecate every 24 hours (particularly in the beginning).
- The infant is dehydrated.
Dry lips, irritability, dark urine, tearless sobbing, sunken eyes, and a fontanelle—the area between a baby’s still-developing skull’s bones—are all indicators of dehydration.
Call your doctor right away if your infant displays any signs of dehydration.
Tips to Increase Low Milk Supply
It takes effort to increase a poor milk supply. It requires dedication, effort, and time. It’s critical, to be honest with yourself about your objectives and the amount of time and effort you have to devote to achieving them. To focus on your baby and your milk production, it works best when you have a lot of both practical and emotional assistance. Keep in mind that this is a short-term investment with long-term potential returns; it won’t last forever. Set short-term objectives for yourself, such as 48–72 hours, and then assess your progress. You can still have a close, content-feeding connection with your kid even if you are unable to raise your milk supply as much as you would want or feel it is not realistic to attempt.
- The breasts must be stimulated and emptied frequently to increase milk production. This process could take some time, so you must get help from a lactation consultant, or another medical expert with experience in managing to breastfeed.
- Your infant is not extracting much milk if they are predominantly performing light, fluttery sucking with very little swallowing (three or more sucking’s each swallow). If your goal is to remove more milk from your breasts, you might choose to add pumping to your routine to remove milk as efficiently as possible. To increase your milk supply, you need to empty your breast for the milk to recoup as an empty breast fills in much faster.
- Hold your infant close to your body at the breast (baby dressed in a nappy only, so that there is direct skin contact between you and your baby). This will encourage the release of hormones necessary for breast milk production and keep your infant awake.
- Express your milk at regular intervals. Increase the number of expressions if your baby’s growth is still unsatisfactory. Aim for at least 8 times a day for the best results. To allow you ample time to express, this can entail temporarily decreasing the amount of time your baby spends at the breast.
- You can consider taking galactagogues (milk boosting foods) in your diet to boost your supply. Some of the common milk boosting foods are oats, caraway seeds, fenugreek seeds and fennel seeds.
- Keep your baby comfortable and at ease during their time at the breast, and try to finish feedings with them there as often as you can (if required, after giving them more milk at the beginning or amid the feed).
- Express after breastfeeding to give your breasts additional stimulation and to make sure they are thoroughly emptied. Your milk supply will be increased as a result.
- Night time pumping and night feeding are very crucial to boost your supply as your prolactin levels are boosted at this time. So, use this window wisely to boost your supply.
- It’s very important that the mother keeps a check on her stress levels. Stress is one of the biggest inhibiting factors to a good supply. Carve some self-care time through the day so that you can destress yourself.
You can still have a wonderful feeding relationship with your baby whether or not you are producing all the milk he or she requires. Even if your milk supply stays low, the breast can still be a wonderful way to soothe, relax, and comfort your baby. Your kid will benefit from drinking any amount of breast milk that you give them. No matter how much of your milk a baby consumes daily, certain of the immunological components concentrate to give them the same amount. We are here to help you, no matter how you and your baby choose to feed.