Wondering how to increase breast milk? It's quite natural to question your milk flow when you have just started breastfeeding your newborn baby. The good news is: you can definitely improve the flow and quality of your breast milk.
Try doing all of these 8 points, or at least as much as you can. You will be amazed to feel the difference.
If you think your breastfeeding position is the best of the rest, think again.
Many newborn babies are unable to get the feed properly because of an improper latching position. This usually happens in case of first-time moms. You need to be in a comfortable posture when feeding, so use a pillow, cushion or whatever that supports you properly.
Remember if your back hurts during or after the feed, your position is incorrect. Check out the latching positions in the picture and try all 4 of them. Note which one feels more natural and comfy. You can also discuss with your doctor or nurse about various latching positions on how to breastfeed, and pick the one that suits you the most.
Ever heard of the concept of Demand/Supply? The more you breastfeed, the more will the milk be generated – it is as simple as that. When you do not breastfeed your baby, the breastmilk is stored in the breast and since there is already milk in the breast, the milk production stops for a while until the breast is emptied.
Remember, newborn babies have tiny tummies. You need to feed them every 2 hours, ideally. Read our article on the benefits of breastfeeding to keep you fully motivated.
When one breast is completely drained, it starts to produce more milk as compared to the breast that still has some milk left in it. Therefore, to increase the milk flow, breast feed your baby from one side till the breast becomes empty and then switch to the next one. How to know if your breast is empty? A full breast feels stiff upon touching and an empty breast will not feel hard if you gently massage it.
To increase breast milk production, you can empty the breasts by expressing the breastmilk and storing it safely by using the health guidelines mentioned in our Expressing and Storing Breast Milk article. Remember, a contaminated and poorly stored milk can be very harmful for your baby.
Drink a glass of water, juice or any hydrating fresh liquid right before sitting down to breastfeed your little one. You will notice the difference yourself.
We already know that massaging our body increases the blood flow and rejuvenates our body. The same principle applies here. Gently massage your breasts before starting the breastfeed process. This will improve the flow of the milk. If you are using a breast pump to express your milk, it is advised to massage each breast before starting to pump. Express milk for 10-15 minutes, then take a short break to massage that breast again and then continue for the next 15 minutes. Repeat this process for the other breast.
Home remedies go a long way to increase breast milk. Before you head to your local pharmacy for a medication to boost your milk production, always give home remedies a chance. They are easy to access, do not cost much, have almost zero side-effects and are really effective.
Give each remedy a couple of days to work before shunning it out. Click here to read our article on breastfeeding tips.
This sounds simple but works magic. Remember, whatever you eat will be reflected in your breast milk – not only by nutrients but also by taste. Also, if you are feeling that your baby is not enjoying prolong breast milk, it might be due to the taste. Try changing your diet. It may actually work.
Green leafy vegetables along with nuts are said to increase the supply of breast milk. Beetroots and Carrots are said to work magic in this regard. However, beetroot may change the flavor of your milk which your newborn may not like. Include carrots in salads and soups - whichever medium you prefer.
"Are you kidding me? Being a new mom and not stressing about it?" - that must be going on in your mind. All I can say is that stress is bad! I cannot stress enough on the fact that stress is bad (getting a little cheesy!)The more stress you take on not having enough breast milk for your baby, the more are you suppressing the milk production process.
Just relax. Breath in, breath out. Repeat. Sit in a soothing and calm environment with your baby, play with him/her for a while and then start to breastfeed. Do not think about a fight you had at work or how to clean that sofa stain or why your husband didn't tidy up the kitchen although he promised to – just relax and let your baby nourish himself/herself.
The advantages of breastmilk are enormous, to say the least. By following the above mentioned steps you can actually improve the quality and flow of your breastmilk many-folds. Give 'em a try!
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What did you do to fight your milk shortage? Was it constant feeding, drinking plenty of water, breast massage or something else? How about sharing it with fellow (struggling) moms?
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