Breastfeeding mamas often place a lot of emphasis on how much milk they are producing and tend to worry about whether it is enough for their baby. Keeping track of nursing sessions or pumped bottles can be stressful! However, it’s helpful to consider the quality of your milk in addition to your breast milk production quantity. In most cases, your body does a fantastic job of including all the nutrients your little one needs. This is assuming you are taking good care of your own health and body. Here are five suggestions for how to increase breast milk naturally at home.
These breastfeeding tips from one mom to another are meant to help your body perform its best. However, this article is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is important to speak a qualified doctor if you have any concerns about yourself or your baby’s health or weight. Furthermore, you may also find a professional lactation consultant helpful.
5 Breastfeeding Tips For Producing More Milk For Your Baby
We’ve rounded up a few helpful tips on how to produce more breast milk—hopefully putting your mind at ease and assisting you in having a long, successful breastfeeding journey!
If you have a breastfed baby, fed either by nursing or pumping, milk production is probably at the forefront of your mind. These easy-to-incorporate tips should help with both breastmilk amount and composition. It is a common concern for a new mom to worry about low milk supply. The good news is that there are natural ways to boost production of breast milk.
1. Increase Milk Removal.
The number one solution for how to produce more breast milk is increased milk removal. More milk removal can be done by nursing more often or pumping more often. Pumping can refer to an electric breast pump or a hand held breast pump.
Milk production is based on supply and demand. If you skip a pumping or nursing session and milk isn’t removed from your breasts, it signals to your body that it doesn’t need to produce as much. Similarly, your body is signaled to produce more if you increase removal! The key is to remember to achieve a “let down” with each removal. A letdown is the trigger your body needs to maintain or increase its supply.
Try offering a nursing session more often, or adding additional pumping sessions. You can find out more about how often you should nurse or pump for your child’s specific age by talking with baby’s doctor or lactation expert, and reviewing these guidelines.
2. Consider Power Pumping.
If your baby isn’t interested in breastfeeding more, you can always power pump or pump in between sessions. Power pumping typically follows a set of guidelines. They are: pump 20 minutes, rest for 10, pump 10 minutes, rest for 10, pump 10 mins. You may want to consider adding in a pumping session if you still feel like you have milk leftover after nursing, you miss a feeding, or you simply want to boost your supply.
Power pumping essentially fools your body into thinking that the breasts are being drained of milk quickly and often, telling it to make more milk ASAP! Emptying the breast to get that rich hindmilk helps to produce high-fat content bottles as well.
3. Focus On A Healthy Diet.
One of the most important breastfeeding tips for producing more milk is that a well balanced diet is best. Carefully considering your diet can not only help with production but in making your milk fattier too. For mothers wondering how to make breastmilk fattier, think about a typical day of eating. Calorie-rich breastmilk is supported by healthy dietary fats like avocado, salmon, seeds, and eggs.
You should absolutely be staying hydrated. It is a good idea to have a water bottle handy at all times to ensure you are getting enough fluids.
You could also consider adding lactogenic foods, lactation treats, drinks, or breastfeeding supplements to increase milk supply. There are various galactagogues nursing mothers can use, from lactation cookies to lactation teas. Some may be more successful for you than others.
Popular dietary additions include:
- A bowl of oatmeal
- Fenugreek seeds
- Fennel seeds
- Brewer’s yeast
- Cumin seeds
- Raspberry leaf tea
Blessed thistle and milk thistle are thought to be a good way to boost milk production, however, they are likely unsafe while pregnant. Be sure to check with your obstetrician or pediatrician before ingesting anything if you are pregnant or your baby will be consuming your breastmilk. Also, it is best to try home remedies that you are familiar with first. For example, if a simple bowl of oatmeal might help, then you can avoid trying herbal supplements that you are unfamiliar with. You don’t want to risk an allergic reaction. Therefore, stick to things you know your body does well with.
4. Nurse From Both Breasts.
This tip can be a bit “hit-or-miss,” but it works for some mothers. Generally, you want to drain a breast for your baby to receive the rich, fatty hindmilk. However, if your baby only takes one side at each feeding, your overall supply might be lower.
Instead, you can try waiting until your baby naturally slows or stops during a feeding and then offer your second breast. Stimulating both breasts each session should boost your supply. Using an electric double pump can be worthwhile if you pump your breast milk. Simultaneously removing milk from your breasts has effectively increased milk production for some women.
5. Get Hands-On.
If you’re having trouble achieving a letdown while nursing or pumping, you could be failing to remove milk from your breasts effectively. Breast massage and warmth might be able to help! An easy way to do this is with your hands.
You can use your hands while you pump with an electric pump. Nursing mothers can use a breastfeeding support pillow to help free up their hands. Then, gently massage your breasts with warm hands. This can help trigger a letdown sooner and relax your body, letting the milk flow. Consider using a warm washcloth or compress on your breasts just before nursing or pumping if this is too tricky.
I personally had problems with getting enough milk when I was pumping. Skin contact with my baby was helpful if baby was nearby. When apart, I found that warmth on my nipples before pumping helped a lot. In addition having a photo of my baby close by was the best way to stimulate the let down or even to picture baby in my mind and imagine she was breastfeeding.
A Bountiful & Beautiful Breastfeeding Journey
We hope these tips have been helpful in how to increase breast milk naturally at home and improve its quality too. New mothers should also remember to relax as stress is detrimental to milk supply. We know it’s not always easy, but hopefully, your breastfeeding journey will become smoother and less worrisome by implementing some or all of these tips. Know that any amount of breastmilk for any length of time is beneficial. You’re doing fantastic, breastfeeding mama!