How to Produce More Breast Milk
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How to Produce More Breast Milk Naturally

By Teddyy 20 Sep 2023

As a new mother, one of the most rewarding experiences you can have is breastfeeding your baby. Breast milk is quite the superfood and breastfeeding provides plenty of benefits for both your little one and you.

However, many new mothers worry that they may not be producing enough breast milk for their baby’s growth and developmental needs, because after all, it’s not easy to track your milk production or your baby’s intake. Some mothers may want to increase their milk production if they’ve been using formula milk a lot and the production has decreased.

In situations such as these, there are several effective ways to increase your breast milk production. Keep reading to discover these tips and strategies and learn how to ensure your baby is getting enough milk.

What are The Reasons for Low Milk Production?

Before we explore the reasons, exactly when do you start producing milk? Amazingly, your body starts to prepare for breastfeeding as early as the third month of pregnancy and by the fourth to sixth month, your body is capable of breastfeeding!

Once your baby is born, a hormone called prolactin signals milk production. As your baby nurses, your prolactin levels increase and your breasts produce milk in a continuous ‘supply and demand’ cycle – each time milk is drained from your breasts, either through your baby feeding or through expressing (demand), your body responds by producing more milk (supply).

When your body doesn’t get enough demand for breast milk, then the production is naturally lowered. Here are the common reasons behind low milk production:

  • Introducing your baby to formula milk
  • Stretching out the time between feedings
  • Short feeding sessions (newborns must be nursed 10-15 minutes on each side)
  • Introducing pacifiers to your baby

There are also some medical conditions that may reduce the production of breastmilk, such as:

  • Too much blood loss during childbirth
  • Retained fragments of the placenta in the womb
  • High blood pressure and/or chronic stress
  • History of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), diabetes, or thyroid disorders
  • Obesity
  • Previous breast surgeries
  • Lack of sleep and nutrition

If any of these conditions apply to you, then see your doctor and they can redirect you to a lactation consultant or breastfeeding specialist.

How to Produce More Breast Milk?

Here are seven tips and home remedies to increase the production of breastmilk:

Breastfeed Often

The first step to achieving the healthiest breast milk supply is to increase breast stimulation. Try to breastfeed every 2-4 hours around the clock. The more frequently and for longer durations your baby feeds at your breasts, the more milk you’ll produce.

If you’re having trouble finding a breastfeeding position that works for you, you can read our blog on ‘Breastfeeding Positions You and Your Baby Will Love.’ Even experienced mothers can teach you proper breastfeeding techniques or you can a see lactation consultant.

Breastfeed from Both Sides

Offering both breasts at each feeding provides stimulation to both breasts and increases your chances of producing more breast milk.

Try Breast Compression

When the breast milk flow slows down and your baby isn’t getting breast milk as they suck, breast compression can help you get more milk out of the breast. This technique involves manually massaging and compressing your breast with your hands.

However, do not use this technique when your baby is actively feeding as you don’t want to express more milk that your baby can handle.

Avoid Artificial Nipples as Much as Possible

Items like bottles and pacifiers can cause nipple confusion, or difficulty in switching between a breast and a bottle easily. Time spent sucking on artificial nipples can also reduce the amount of time your baby spends sucking on the breasts.

Eat a Nutritious Diet

Your body requires proper nutrition to produce milk. When mothers go on rigorous dieting, depriving themselves of essential nutrients in an attempt to regain their pre-pregnancy body quicker, it can negatively affect their breast milk supply and postpartum recovery.

Instead, eat a balanced diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, whole grains; and foods rich in iron, omega-3s, and proteins.

Likewise, keep yourself well-hydrated; you can’t produce more breast milk if you’re dehydrated.

Use a Breast Pump

Pumping milk between feedings can increase your milk supply. Many mothers worry that doing so may not leave enough milk for their baby, but your body will simply produce more.

Try Herbal Remedies

While there aren’t many scientific backings behind these herbal remedies, many mothers report overwhelmingly positive results from using them. Some of the herbal remedies that are believed to increase milk supply include ingestion of the floowing items in some form:

  • Fenugreek
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Stinging nettle

Before starting any supplement or medication, be sure to let your doctor know and take their advice.

How do you know that your baby is getting enough milk?

Even though it’s difficult to keep track of your milk supply, there are a number of signs to look for to find out if your baby is getting enough breast milk.

  • Your baby poops at least 3 to 4 times a day by the time they’re 5 to 7 days old.
  • Your baby wets their diaper at least 6 times a day. Teddyy Diapers and a comfortable diaper changing mat can make this part of parenting more manageable.
  • Their pee is light yellow or colourless.
  • They look satisfied after feedings.
  • They are steadily gaining weight.

Breastfeeding is a unique experience for every mother and baby pair. If you ever have concerns about your milk supply or your baby’s nutrition, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider. Your journey as a breastfeeding mom is worth every effort, and you and your baby deserve all the care and support in the world.

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When does breast milk come in?

Breast milk production typically follows a specific timeline:

  • Colostrum: Immediately after childbirth, your body produces colostrum, a thick, yellowish, first milk rich in antibodies and nutrients.
  • Transitional milk: Around days 2 to 5 postpartum, your milk ‘transitions’ to become thinner and contains more water.
  • Mature milk: By the end of the first week, your body will produce mature milk which is tailored to meet your baby’s nutritional needs as they grow.
How can I increase my breast milk production?

To boost your breast milk production, consider nursing frequently to stimulate milk supply. Here are more tips:

  • Breastfeed from both sides
  • Experiment with breast compression
  • Avoid artificial nipples and pacifiers
  • Use a breast pump between feedings
  • Eat well and stay hydrated
  • Manage stress
What foods increase breast milk?

These foods are known to promote breast milk production:

  • Oats
  • Almonds
  • Barley
  • Coconut
  • Lentils
  • Mushrooms
  • Pumpkin
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
How can I increase my breast milk naturally?

To increase your breast milk production naturally, try:

  • Nursing every 2-4 hours
  • Offering both breasts during feedings
  • Compressing your breasts to express more milk when milk flow slows down.
  • Avoid artificial nipples and pacifiers as much as possible.
  • Eat hearty meals and stay hydrated.
  • Pump between feedings.
What causes low milk supply?

Low milk supply can be caused by:

  • Introducing formula milk
  • Stretching out time between feedings
  • Short feeding sessions
  • Introducing pacifiers and artificial nipples
  • Too much blood loss during childbirth
  • High blood pressure
  • PCOS and thyroid issues
  • Diabetes
Which fruit increases breast milk?

No fruit guarantees a huge increase in the breastmilk production, but fruits such as apricots, papaya, figs, and dates offer extra nutrients to support lactation when added to a well-rounded diet. However, overall diet of the mother and nursing frequency have more of an impact on the production of breastmilk.

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