It’s true, mama. Some family lineages are blessed with an overflow of milk when breastfeeding. However, that doesn’t mean that your baby should starve if you do not have these genes.
In fact, use the challenge as a motivation to find ways of increase your breast milk flow to enable your baby enjoys this natural and nutritious food.
But how do you increase breastmilk supply?
There are a number of ways to help you increase your milk supply. This post will go through some of the best tips that have worked for many women struggling with low breastmilk supply, including me.
1. Embrace the power of motherly psychology
Your psychological state can affect your breastmilk production. One study suggests that women who continuously have a negative psychological state of mind after birth tend to produce low milk.
Having mode swings, anxiety, anger, fatigue, and confusion not only leads you to postpartum depression but can lower the quality and quantity of milk for your baby.
To attain the best state of mind, first, accept your newly acquired status. Try to perceive motherhood as a gift. After all, it is. Carrying life is not a joke.
Get going with relaxation techniques like yoga and light exercises. You can choose to take an evening walk to relieve yourself of stress.
Also, stop playing a superpower mom mentality. Always learn to seek help from family members or friends whenever you feel overwhelmed. This will give you enough resting time for re-energization.
You may also consider joining a community of like-minded mamas to share your ups and downs of motherhood.
2. Breastfeed on demand
Do you remember the law of demand and supply in business? Breastfeeding also works in a similar way. The more you breastfeed, the more milk your breast produces.
As a rule of thumb, always breastfeed whenever your baby feels like it. Some women have found that nursing at least 8 times in 24 hours significantly increases the flow of milk.
If your baby is not a good feeder, why don’t you try expressing and freezing for future use?
3. Double your water intake
Breast milk is about 90% water. Although research has not shown any relationship between water intake and breast milk production, I can confidently say as a mother that drinking a lot of water will increase your breast milk.
When you’re nursing, the milk duct system draws water from your body together with proteins, sugars, and fats to form milk. If you do not replenish the minerals and nutrients, there must be a deficit somewhere. The symptoms may manifest as fatigue and mild persistent headaches.
Intuitively, you also understand that your body is making food for two. And to avoid hydration, nutritionists recommend about 128 ounces of water per day.
4. Other essential drink
Apart from water, other drinks are also great for milk production. Lactating teas or Tea containing dark chocolate worked well for my milk production.
Other common drinks that have proved effective for nursing moms include millet porridge, coconut water, and hot soups.
Do not forget to add lots of juicy fruits like water melon on your menu. This too can contribute positively to your body’s fluid requirements.
5. Reduce alcohol and caffeine
Motherhood can be tiresome and, anything that looks like a relaxer can be a big welcome.
While alcohol or coffee can be relaxing for some moms, drinking alcohol can reduce the milk supply. This is even worse with moms who experience low supplies.
Try switching your coffee cup with lactation tea. Probably at first, you may experience difficulty, but as you persist, the body finally gets to understand and embrace the changes.
6. Breast milk friendly menu
Ideally, most foods can enhance breastmilk production. However, food and herbs rich in galactagogic have shown the ability to increase milk flow within a short period.
Try eating barley, garlic, oatmeal, Fenugreek, and fennel herbs.
Barley is a source of beta-glucan, a polysaccharide that increases milk production hormone known as prolactin. You may consider consuming it as a whole through soups, porridges, and salads.
Consequently, herbs like Fenugreek and funnels can increase your milk supply as soon as 48 hours after consumption. One study shows that Fenugreek contains galactagogic and, as such, can significantly increase your breastmilk production.
7. Ensure a proper latch
A good latch is essential for a painless breastfeeding session. It enables the proper positioning of the baby’s mouth on the breast, thus preventing pulling and damaging of nipples.
Proper latching also provides a comfortable breastfeeding position. This can encourage your baby to suckle longer, ensuring that your breasts are fully emptied.
The outcome is a strong milk supply due to increased demand. Additionally, you limit the chances of experiencing breast clogs or mastitis.
8. Practice breast massage
Breast massage is a way of stimulating your brain to send signals for milk production. Like any other body massages, lactation massages can help relax your milk duct, thus prompting an increase in supply.
One study suggests that breast massaging may increase milk output by up to 48%. This is a huge milestone compared to nothing. However, you should note that massaging alone may not increase the supply of milk directly. You need to employ other mechanisms that promote milk formation.
9. Check on contraceptives and medications
Women react differently to contraceptives. As such, be sure to inform your health provider about your breastfeeding status before using any birth control method.
This will ensure that you make an informed decision to save your breastmilk and your baby’s health.
Additionally, doctors do not advocate for a lactating mother to use over-the-counter drugs directly without proper medical examination and prescription from a specialist.
Kindly treat yourself as a pregnant woman. Whenever you feel sick, be sure to seek professional advice as some medication may affect your milk production or even harm your baby.
Breast milk is an essential element in promoting your baby’s growth. It helps in building immunity for healthy body protection. Additionally it’s the fastest way to bond with your new born. Why don’t you try some of these tips for an increase flow of breast milk? maybe it might save you some sleepless nights, ha!