During the initial stages of breastfeeding your baby, it is common to wonder if you are producing enough breast milk for your child. With every cry or burp from your child, it is easy to assume that your baby has not had enough milk. All these feelings and thoughts are common in most mothers. If your child is gaining weight as expected, then there is no cause for alarm. Nonetheless, if you wish to increase your breast milk supply, there are several ways to attain it.
- Nurse on demand.
Your body will produce breast milk based on a supply and demand model. The amount of milk removed from your breast will influence the amount of milk produced in the future. In simple terms, the more you breastfeed your child, the more milk your breasts will produce.
- Breastfeed or pump from both breasts.
While implementing this technique, it is vital to alternate the first breast that is pumped or breastfed on because the first breast gets more stimulus to produce more milk than the other.
- Increase the length of time for each feeding.
Your child should feed for at least 10 minutes on both breasts. The longer your baby feeds, the more stimulation you will get to make more breast milk. If your baby falls asleep during feeding, gently wake the baby up and continue with nursing until the minimal time is attained.
- Breastfeed your child then pump.
In some instances, your breast may fail to empty after nursing your child completely. Therefore, a pumping session immediately after your child is satisfied will facilitate your breasts to produce more milk.
- Increase the number of times you empty your breasts during nursing or a pumping session.
Some mothers positively respond to adding an extra course during their day for either pumping or nursing the child. It is recommended that you empty your breasts eight times a day at a minimum. If you also pump milk for your child, double pumping will help you produce more milk.
- Increase fluid intake.
Breast milk is approximately 90% water. Hence, it is essential to meet the minimum daily requirement of fluid intake, almost up to 8 glasses of healthy fluids like water, tea, milk, or fruit juice. If you get thirsty during the day, it is essential to take proper fluids and stay hydrated.
- Maintain a healthy diet.
You can make breast milk for your child while being on a poor diet. However, maintaining a healthy diet will significantly increase the milk supply. Producing breast milk requires adequate energy, which mostly comes from well-balanced diets and extra healthy snacks to get the needed calories. You are also allowed to use foods that will boost your milk-supply levels like oatmeal, almonds, and dark green vegetables.
- Consult a lactation professional if your concerns extend for more extended periods.
The practitioner will aid in determining whether you require help with your current milk supply. Additionally, the lactation professional will propose suitable interventions to increase breast milk supply.
- Use lactation enhancements like galactagogues.
Before taking these supplements, it is vital to consult your doctor to ensure your child’s safety. There are naturally available lactation enhancements like cookies, tea, oats, and meals containing flaxseeds.
- Get enough rest.
It isn’t easy to find time to get enough rest while taking care of your newly born. Nonetheless, exhaustion and stress have adverse effects on your blood supply. Therefore, when your child is sleeping, it is advisable that you also take a nap. You can ask for help from family, friends, or baby sitters to care for your child as you rest. Your body will replenish its energy levels as you rest, which is for milk production.
Having worries during the initial stages of caring for your child is common among mothers. It is, therefore, crucial to ask to consult a specialist when in doubt.