Does frequent cry of your newborn make you feel that he his hungry? Do you feel you are not producing sufficient breast milk for your baby? Are you worried thinking that you are depriving your little one of his only source of food and vital nutrient? If you say “Yes” than just relax! Do not panic because you are not alone.
This self doubt relating to breastfeeding and breast milk production is very common; especially in new moms during first few months of lactation. If you are concerned and losing your sleep over this then this article is here to help. The sole focus of this article is to discover how to increase breast milk production both naturally and medically.
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How Do You Know If Your Breast Milk Production Is Low?
The good news is that in most of the cases moms produce good enough amount of breast milk for their babies. If your baby is gaining the desired weight and his urine output is fine then you are on the right track. However, if you are still concerned about low milk supply than continue reading.
How To Increase Breast Milk Production?
After you deliver, there are two new bodies that come to the world. Your newborn and your own new body. Witnessing so many changes in self and around can be overwhelming. Amongst so many ifs and buts a doubt concerning low breast milk production could be very stressful. Hence, it is imperative to look at some of the important ways to increase breast milk production:
1. Breastfeed Frequently To Produce More Milk
They say that an empty breast produces more milk. When the breast is full it produces less. So try frequent feeds and if you feel that the baby doesn't need more and you are still full; use breast pumps. You many consider breastfeeding every couple of hours or more. When the baby suckles the breast, hormones are triggered that help in increasing supply of breast milk. Encourage your baby to feed as they need. This would help you in increasing supply of your breast milk. Do not stress if your baby takes little less or more frequent feeds.
2. Use Both Sides To Breastfeed To Increase Breast Milk Supply
During each feed offer both breasts to your baby . Once your baby finishes first breast , offer the second breast and repeat. When both breasts are stimulated it would help increase milk production. Study has revealed that when milk is pumped from both breasts simultaneously, it results in increased supply of milk.
3. Pumping and Expressing By Hand Improves Breast Milk Production
This can be a plus if your baby is latching. A good pump will increase the supply of breast milk by thoroughly emptying the breast. Hand expressing after pumping to remove remaining milk from breast can improve breast milk supply.
4. Try To Feed Longer To Increase Breast Milk Production Naturally
Ideally breastfeed of 10 minutes on each side is good for your newborn. The more time baby feeds , the more stimulation the breast will receive for milk production. In case he falls asleep, wake him up gently for nursing. You can also try a technique called “Switch Nursing”. In this technique you can change or switch the breast to continue his interest or to wake him up.
5. Avoid Pacifiers
Feedback of pacifier is very different from a breast. They might confuse the baby and he may miss to give cues of hunger. A pacifier can also affect his suckling and latch skills.
6. Do Not Miss Feeds Or Replace Them With Formulas
If you skip breastfeeding or you replace it with formula; you are signaling your body that I have sufficient, do not produce more for me. This eventually would lead to reduced supply. You can choose to pump during missed breastfeeding session. However, the output with breastfeed is far better than pumps.
7. Skin-to-Skin Nursing To Boost Milk Supply
Also known as Kangaroo care, skin to skin nursing acts as milk booster. You can keep your baby in diaper and feed him bare chest. Cover both of you with a blanket. This practice encourages bonding, improves breathing and body temperature.
8. Eat Well To Make More Breast Milk
Eat a well balanced diet to improve supply of your breast milk. Adding certain food items (discussed below) to your daily diet can act as milk booster. Also, these food items are very effective way of increasing milk production naturally.
Fenugreek (Methi ) Seeds:
One of the very popular traditional remedy to increase breast milk production naturally is through fenugreek seeds. Try including them in poori, paratha or as curry.
Another traditional milk booster remedy is fennel or saunf seeds. Try drinking its water or tea.
Lentils and Pulses:
In addition to protein, pulses also increase breast milk production. Try adding masoor dal specifically to your daily diet. Various other seeds like Dill seeds, sesame, cumin along with green leafy vegetable, dry fruits etc help in increasing the production of breast milk naturally.
[You can read more on this here: 10 Foods To Increase Breast Milk]
9. Drink Fluid And Take Proper Rest
Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water should do the job. Do not forget to add juice, milk and other healthy liquids to keep you hydrated. Watch out for signs like dry mouth, dizziness or headache. They might indicate that you are not drinking enough liquid. Take breastfeed holidays in which only thing that you should do is to feed breast milk to your little one . In remaining time take care of yourself, take enough sleep and do things that can de stress you.
10. Galactagogues For Lactation Enhancements
Many moms are considering galactagogues to increase the production of breast milk. Galactagogues could be a herb or some food items like oatmeal or certain medicine like domperidone. It is always advised to seek medical consultation before trying them.
When To Seek Medical Help
If your baby is not gaining weight as expected or he is losing weight. When you are already trying things that are mentioned above and you are not seeing any increase in breast milk production within a few days. Do visit you doctor.
As a mother, we all understand the importance of breast milk for our baby. A sheer thought of not producing sufficient milk and depriving the newborn of his only food and source of nutrition can send us to a situation of extreme panic. So, it is important that we keep ourselves updated on how to increase breast milk production naturally. The same has been discussed in details in this article. Do visit your doctor if you do not see any improvement within a few days of implementation. Hope this article serves your purpose.