Breastfeeding and getting the right supply for baby have always varied from one mother to another. While some moms claim to have oversupply, others have had to go extra miles to get their babies the right amount of breast milk supply.
If you fall into the category of moms struggling to meet up with baby’s demand, here are 10 tips to help you increase your low milk supply:
1. Nurse/pump often
Nurse every 2 hours during the day and every 2 to 3 hours at night (at least 8 to 12 times on each breast in 24 hours). It is important to nurse every time your baby is hungry, this will help increase your low breast milk supply. In the early weeks, your baby will eat 8-12 times every 24 hours. It’s best to follow your baby’s hunger cues, don’t put your baby on a strict feeding schedule.
If you’re unable to breastfeed your baby or you can pump and nurse, ensure you use a good quality double electric breast pump to help you increase your low milk supply. Ensure you pump 10-12 times a day on each breast, even if nothing is coming out or little is coming out. The pumping will stimulate your nipples, which will help you increase your low milk supply and it will signal your body to produce more milk.
2. Make sure your baby is latching well
In order to help you increase your low milk supply while breastfeeding, your baby needs a good latch. No matter what position you use to feed your baby, it’s important to get a good latch.
Understanding how a good breastfeeding latch should be and feel can be a huge help in increasing your low breast milk supply. A poor breastfeeding latch can give you sore and cracked nipples. It may also mean your baby can’t drain your breast effectively, leading to low milk supply.
3. Offer your baby both breasts at each feeding
Let your baby finish the first side, then offer the other side. If your baby falls asleep after one breast, wake your baby gently and offer the second breast or pump the second breast to meet up.
Breastfeed your baby at least 10 minutes on each breast. Do not limit your breastfeeding time. Switch nursing or switching breasts several times during a feeding has been shown to help increase your low breast milk supply.
4. Empty your breasts at each feeding
The more milk your baby removes from your breasts, the more milk you will make even after breastfeeding hand express or pump to draw out all the milk.
Your beasts are never truly empty. Milk is produced nonstop, before, during, and after feeding, so there’s no need to wait between feedings for your breasts to refill. In fact, a long gap between feedings actually signals your breasts to make less, not more, milk.
5. Avoid bottles, formula and pacifiers in the early weeks
You want to establish breastfeeding as soon as you can after delivery, frequently feed your baby from your breast whenever you can.
For the first few weeks, avoid bottles, formula and pacifiers until your milk supply is well established (6-8 weeks, usually).
6. Get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy diet
Stress is the No. 1 killer when it comes to milk supply, especially in the first few weeks after delivery. Rising levels of certain hormones such as cortisol can dramatically reduce your milk supply.
Using relaxation techniques to reduce stress will help increase your low milk supply.
7. Power pump or express your milk
Pumping or expressing milk frequently between nursing sessions and consistently when you’re away from your baby can help build your milk supply. The theory is that power pumping simulates a baby’s behavior during a growth spurt when they feed more frequently.
Pump immediately after breastfeeding during the day. Rest at night. This is pumping in a series of 8-10 minute sessions – 10 minutes pumping, 10 minutes rest – in an hour, one session each day. This may help increase your low breast milk supply
8. Relax and massage
Relax, hold your baby skin-to-skin, and massage your breasts before feeding or during pumping to increase your low milk supply. Massaging your breasts while pumping can help you increase your low milk supply up to 50% more!
Research has shown that doing skin-to-skin helps to increase your low breast milk supply by increasing your levels of the milk-making hormone oxytocin. The hormone is responsible for milk ejection. You snuggle up skin-to-skin with your baby for about 20 minutes after feeding. This “kangaroo care” has been shown to increase low milk supply.
9. Drink enough water
As a nursing mother, you need about 3 liters of water per day, to compensate for the extra water that is used to make milk. The more water you drink, the better your milk supply will be.
Note: increasing your water intake won’t do anything to your milk supply unless you’re removing it.
10. Use the milk booster lactation products
We provide lactation cookies, granola, smoothie mix and chocolate drink which helps increase low milk supply. We created a lactation guide so you can easily decide which milk booster product is best for you.
Record how often your baby is breastfeeding, for how long, and on which sides. If you’re struggling with breastfeeding, don’t hesitate to call a Lactation consultant. They can talk to you about supply concerns and give you tips to increase your supply to meet your baby’s needs.