Tricks for Increasing Breast Milk Production
Many mothers complain because they think their breast milk production isn’t enough to meet their baby’s needs.
During the breastfeeding period, women often resort to home remedies to try to increase their milk supply.
But these remedies are usually ineffective and the solution is actually much simpler than many realize.
If you want to have an abundant source of milk from the first day of your baby’s life, simply follow the advice below:
The first hours after your baby’s birth
Breast milk production begins during the first hours after your baby is born.
In this time period, it is extremely important that the mother is given the opportunity to offer her child her breast. This makes your baby’s first contact with lactation much easier. Your baby will be in an alert and calm state that allows for closeness between mother and child. This is an extremely intimate and special moment.
Once the first hours after your baby’s birth have passed, your child will go into a deep sleep to rest for a period of 6 to 12 hours. During this time, it will be difficult to get your baby to latch onto your breast.
However, with patience and delicacy, you will be able to feed your newborn.
The secret to increasing your breast milk production
Feed your baby day and night. This is the best recipe for making your breasts produce a sufficient milk supply.
So, for the first week of your baby’s life, your child should nurse at least 8-10 times every 24 hours. This means feeding around the clock, both during the day and night.
Now for some tricks
- Make sure your child is latching correctly.
Incorrect latching is related not only to inadequate milk production, but also other problems like the appearance of chapped nipples or milk retention. The first thing you need to do to assure a proper latching is to find the right position for your baby.
So what’s the right position? Your child’s neck should not be turned, and her mouth should be at the same level as your nipple.
- Set your baby on a breastfeeding pillow. This will allow you to rest your baby at the level of your nipple and obtain a correct attachment between mouth and breast.
Your child should take your entire nipple and most of the aureola in her mouth. Her lower lip should be turned outwards and you shouldn’t hear any clicking noises while she nurses.
- Allow your baby to finish the first breast before switching her to the other.
This is the only way to assure that the breast will empty correctly. This is important in order to assure a good milk production. It’s also the way to be sure that your little one is getting the most nutritious part of the milk supply.
At the beginning of each feeding, the milk that your baby suckles will be less concentrated and will help calm your baby’s thirst. As your baby continues to suckle the same breast, she will reach your breast’s hindmilk. This milk is richer in fat and vitamins to nourish your baby.
- Allow your baby to breastfeed any time she wants. Forget about your watch and let your child be your guide. Each child follows her own rhythm. Some babyies get hungry every two hours, while others want to feed at less regular intervals. Keep in mind as well that some babies empty each breast in 5 to 10 minutes while others need much more time.
Breastfeeding provides the emotional security at the beginning of life that is necessary for every human life.
- Baby formula, glucose solution, etc. Yes or no?
If breastfeeding is correctly established from the beginning, your breasts will produce enough milk to cover your baby’s nutritional needs. Any other source of nutrition is unnecessary unless prescribed by a doctor. Sometimes the use of formulas or glucose solutions actually achieves the opposite of what you are looking for. Your child drinks less and less breast milk, and your body takes this as a signal to produce less milk.
- Avoid using a pacifier.
You should avoid giving your baby a pacifier during the first 10 days of her life and until your breastfeeding is well established. That way, you will avoid confusing your baby. The way your baby suckles a pacifier is different from the way he suckles your nipple. If you give your baby a pacifier too soon, she may try to suckly your nipple as if it were a pacifier, and her technique will be ineffective.
- Nursing brings great benefits.
Among other things, suckling is calming for your baby. Therefore, keep in mind that your baby might not be hungry every time she looks to nurse. A few minutes of skin to skin contact might be enough to make her feel safe and calm..
- Rest and eat right.
Try to maintain a balanced diet of about 2,500 calories, depending on your body. Also, get all the rest you can in order to restore your energy levels. During the first few weeks of a new baby’s life, it’s normal for mothers (and fathers) to spend a great part of the night awake. Therefore, it’s vital that you get as much sleep as you can during the day, taking advantage of your newborn’s nap times.
- Ask for a massage.
Getting a massage is relaxing, and it’s also a good technique for making your milk flow easily. Ask your partner to massage your back in a circular motion around your spine and to repeat the motion moving upwards. You can sit while you receive this massage.
If you need help, just ask
You should be sure to reach out to your family, your pediatrician and your friends when you need it. They should be your support system in times of doubt or difficulty regarding breastfeeding and your milk supply.
Ask around for lactation support groups where you can participate if you desire. Let others help you and accompany you, and you’ll see that things get much easier.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Binns C., Lee MK., Low WY., The long term public health benefits of breastfeeding. Asia Pac J Public Healht, 2016. 28 (1): 7-14.
- Ciampo LA., Ciampo IR., Breastfeeding and the benefits of lactation for women’s health. Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet, 2018. 40 (6): 354-359.