Breastfeeding your baby is a beautiful experience for every new mom. However, most babies don’t get to feed well due to inadequate milk supply. Breastmilk is composed of proteins, fat, water and other necessary minerals and vitamins essential for your baby’s growth and development.
Of course, your baby needs the best supply of milk to grow well. However, this supply may be impaired by caffeine & alcohol consumption, stress and dietary changes.
In this article, you’d find 10 amazing ways to boost your breast milk supply and an extra tip on maintaining a good health while breastfeeding.
1. Drink Enough Water
Breastmilk is made up of about 90% water. Therefore, water should be a regular part of every mom’s diet. Although, the exact quantity of fluid requirements varies for each persoin, you should take at least 6-8 glasses of water daily.
You can also supplement with other healthy liquids such as fruit juice, milk, or tea.
Dizziness, slight headache or a dry mouth may be signs that you are not taking enough water.
2. Eat A Well-Balanced Diet
Breastfeeding consumes a lot of energy. As a result of this, every nursing mother requires an average extra calorie intake of 500g daily.
Thankfully, smoothies, yoghurt, eggs, fruits and veggies can help you meet this calorie demand and boost your breastmilk
Also, your vitamin and mineral intake need to be regular and balanced. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends Calcium, vitamin D, iron, folic acid as important minerals and vitamins needed by breastfeeding moms.
3. Feed On Demand
The trick is to feed as your baby demands.
Don’t schedule your feeding. Feed as often as your milk flows and as your baby demands. This means that you feed your baby as soon as they are hungry.
Although this may be difficult for most new moms, creating a workable plan would go a long way to help out. If you really want to boost your breastmilk supply, you need to feed based on demand.
4. Let Your Baby Feed Fully On Each Side
Feeding from both breasts during each feeding in the first few weeks after birth helps to build a stronger supply of breast milk. Always remember to alternate the breast you start feeding with each time. This is because the first breast usually gets more stimulation. Starting each feeding from the same breast will make that breast bigger and more productive than the other one.
Milk production functions like a demand and supply system such that the more you empty your breast, the more milk is produced. As a result of this, when your baby feeds often and empties both breasts, they are sure to get both the fore-milk and the fatty hind-milk which is great for their development.
5. Use A Breast Pump
Using a breast pump is a good way to maintain milk supply for your child while you’re away. Remember that the more you empty your breast, the more milk your body will provide.
You can also use the breast pump to stimulate your breast after even after you are done feeding or the milk has stopped flowing. This will signal to your body that you need more milk and more will be produced.
6. Use Breast Compression
The Breast compression technique is guaranteed to help your baby feed more during breastfeeding sessions. This technique also helps to remove more milk from your breast during feeding.
Always remember, the more milk is expelled; the more milk that will be produced.
You need to note that this technique works best if your child is not feeding well or sleeps off during feeding. If your child is feeding well, you don’t need breast compression.
7. Keep Breastfeeding
Remember the breastmilk demand and supply rule? Yes, it works.
When the demand for breastmilk increases, the supply will also increase. When you breastfeed more often, your body will receive the request to produce more milk and this will boost your breastmilk supply.
8. Breastfeed For Longer Periods
The more time your baby spends breastfeeding, the more stimulation you get to produce more breast milk. Your newborn should breastfeed at least 10 minutes on each side daily.
9. Don’t Skip Feedings
If you skip feeding or give your baby formula, you won’t allow your body to produce more milk. This is because when your baby feeds at the breast, you are sending signals to your body to produce more milk. Your supply will reduce if you fail to pump in place of that feeding. But this won’t produce as much result as breastfeeding.
10. Avoid Things That Decrease Milk Supply
Despite the fact that you’re doing all to make your breast to increase supply, some activities can decrease your breastmilk supply. Some of these include:
- Birth control pills
Birth control pills, especially a method that controls estrogen in the first six weeks after birth can make it difficult to produce breastmilk. This is because estrogen suppresses the production of breastmilk.
Taking too much caffeine can also reduce the supply of breastmilk. Smoking or drinking alcohol can also interfere with the supply of breastmilk.
Avoiding these substances while breastfeeding is a sure way to boost your breastmilk supply.
An Extra tip
Stress is one critical factor that can affect your supply of breastmilk. So it is important for you to rest well as much as possible. Try and take much nap, or sleep when your baby is sleeping so that you’ll recover and gain more strength.
- Jacqueline C Kent, Danielle K Prime and Catherine P Garbin (2011). Principles for Maintaining or Increasing Breast Milk Production. Journal of Obstetric Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing. Accessed on 5th February, 2021 from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51861308_Principles_for_Maintaining_or_Increasing_Breast_Milk_Production
- Zakari Ali, Mohammed Bukari, Anita Mwinisonaam, Abdul-Latif Abdul-Rahaman and Abdul-Razak Abizari (2020). Special foods and local herbs used to enhance breastmilk production in Ghana: rate of use and beliefs of efficacy. International Breastfeeding Journal. Accessed on 5th February, 2021 from https://internationalbreastfeedingjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13006-020-00339-z
- Ayyu Sandhi, Gabrielle T. Lee, Roselyn Chipojola, Mega Hasanul Huda and Shu-Yu Kuo (2020). The relationship between perceived milk supply and exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months postpartum: a cross-sectional study. International Breastfeeding Journal. Accessed on 5th February, 2021 from https://internationalbreastfeedingjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13006-020-00310-y