Are you concerned about your breast milk supply and whether you’re producing enough for your baby? Assuming your baby is growing and gaining weight steadily you probably have nothing to worry about, but if you’re still concerned or feel that it is an issue there are several ways that you can increase your supply:
- Feed as frequently as your baby wants
The more frequently you feed your baby and drain your breasts of milk, the more milk it will produce – so whenever your baby wants to feed you should let them. In some cases you may even want to preemptively feed them if it has been a while since their last session.
- Check that your baby is feeding efficiently
If your baby isn’t latching on properly to your breast then they may not be able to take in enough milk or empty it – which eventually will decrease your milk supply. Check to see that their mouth is open wide and the nipple is inserted fully inside, or consult your doctor at your next checkup if you’re concerned.
- Try to remain as stress-free as possible
Stress has been proven to affect the milk supply, particularly if there is already an existing condition. While it is difficult to remain stress-free when you’re coping with the needs of a baby and the demands that it places on you – be sure to attempt to relax periodically, and ensure that you’re getting enough sleep.
- Do not use pacifiers or bottles if possible
Using pacifiers or feeding from a bottle will be an interruption to the normal and natural process of breastfeeding. If you use either it is likely that you’ll miss opportunities to feed your baby and they may feel like feeding less frequently – both of which will affect your breast milk supply. Keep in mind though that this isn’t a hard and fast rule against bottles, and if your circumstances make it more convenient to use a bottle then you should do so.
- Pump in between feeds
Finding several occasion where you can pump between feeds could help to increase your milk supply as you’ll be emptying out your breast more frequently. Try to make sure that when you do pump you drain as much milk from your breasts as possible, and if you can keep pumping for a few minutes after the last few drops are extracted.
In addition to the methods listed above, there are other alternatives that you might want to consider. For example, herbal formulas such as Herbs of Gold Breastfeeding have been known to help increase milk supply in a natural way.
At the end of the day the first thing you should do if you feel you’re not producing enough breast milk or your baby isn’t feeding sufficiently is consult your doctor or lactation specialist. Once you do you can decide what measures would be best, and discuss it with them to make sure that you’re on the right track.