- 0.1 Reasons of low milk supply
- 1 How to increase breastmilk supply
You might have read our previous article already on how to prepare your nipples for breastfeeding. What to do during pregnancy to have lots of breast milk afterward
Avoid exposure to toxic substances like cosmetics and pesticides. The chemicals found from these substances can disrupt the production of hormones which is beneficial in creating breastmilk. If your work involves dealing with pollutants, you have to ask for reassignment or leave your work. It will not only make sure your baby stays safe; it will also decrease your chances of having low milk supply.
Chlorine is another chemical which you should avoid. Swimming pools are treated with chlorine so you better stay away from pools while you are pregnant. You should not use bleach in washing and cleaning during the course of your pregnancy.
Get emotionally, physically and financially ready for giving birth.
Stress is one culprit for lack of breastmilk. Stress can be reduced by getting yourself ready in all aspects. If you are a first-time mom, read information about giving birth and raising a baby from credible sources. But make sure that your sources are reliable. Wrong information can give you stress instead of relieving it. Save up for your baby’s arrival so you don’t have to worry about your finances after giving birth. Prepare your body by getting a healthy balance of rest and exercise.
Make your diet natural. Avoid processed foods and artificial sugar. No wonder why there are plenty of mothers suffering from lack of milk supply today. Processed foods and artificial sugars are everywhere. Women in the past seldom had problems with breastmilk because they only ate real foods.
Reasons of low milk supply
#1 Not latching frequently enough
To establish a good supply of milk, you need to let your baby suck as frequently as possible. The sucking motion of your child will stimulate let-down reflex of milk. Even if there is no milk yet, just let your baby suck. Your body produces milk based on demand. So the more you let your baby suck, the more milk you will produce.
#2 Stress and anxiety
As I mentioned earlier, stress is an enemy of abundant breastmilk. You need to be able to manage stress well. Keep yourself surrounded by supportive people and do not be afraid to ask for help.
#3 Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
It is best to stay away from these ingredients while you are pregnant and breastfeeding to keep breastmilk up. Coffee is not the only drink which contains caffeine. You also need to avoid tea, chocolates, soda and energy drinks.
#4 Immediately supplementing with formula and giving pacifiers
Do not give supplements and pacifiers in the first month when your system is still establishing milk supply if possible. I have to note though that you also have to keep a close eye so you won’t accidentally starve your baby.
That was my mistake during my first baby. I immediately gave formula on the first day because I thought my daughter was starving. A newborn’s stomach is just the size of the marble. On my second child, I did not give supplement even if I did not immediately produce milk. I just let her suck and suck until milk came out.
#5 Getting sick
I observed that my milk supply lowers every time I get sick. As a new mom, take care of your health to avoid getting sick. Avoid exposure to crowded places and strengthen your immunity by getting proper nutrition. Certain medications for colds and allergies are also known to decrease milk supply.
How to increase breastmilk supply
#1 What diet should you take?
This leafy plant which can be found in South Asian countries does magic to your breastmilk supply. Studies prove that it can increase milk supply to up to 100%. This can be sautéed or mixed with soup. There are Moringa capsules available which you can take once or twice a day to get the concentrated benefits of the plant
- Keep your diet filled with fluids
Do not allow yourself to get thirsty while you are breastfeeding. Since you are producing liquid, you need to replenish what you have lost so your milk supply won’t run out. Drink enough water and soup but don’t overdo it. Too much water can also diminish milk supply.
- Have healthy snacks
Instead of having junk foods, go for nutritious snacks like fruits and oats. Oatmeal bars are great lactation snacks.
- Avoid too many spices
Too much spice can cause an adverse effect on your lactation. Parsley and peppermint are two herbs which are known to decrease milk supply.
#2 Activities to do to improve breastmilk production
Latching your baby as frequently as possible.
Feed your baby on demand when she or he is awake. When the baby is sleeping, you should wake him up for feeding every 2 hours.
Get enough rest
Resting will replenish your energy and allow your systems to recover. It will prevent you from getting exhausted which will make supply low. Rest when your baby is sleeping. Do not be tempted to do other unimportant activities. For now, your main role is to keep your baby nurtured well.
Key takeaway activities
One of the most demanding roles you have as a mom to a newborn is to breastfeed your child. Producing breastmilk is natural but can be challenging. The key to producing enough for your little one is to prepare for it before giving birth and to allow your body to do it naturally once your baby is born. Allow your baby to suck as much as possible. Keep your body healthy so that it will have the ability to produce the much-needed milk for your baby. If in doubt of your ability, consult a lactation expert to help you with your breastfeeding journey.
Conclusion and final recommendation
Increasing breastmilk supply consists mainly of allowing your body to do its natural process. Avoid foods and activities which hinder you from producing enough milk. Eating processed foods, getting stressed and getting sick should be prevented as much as possible. Allow your baby to suck frequently until you establish your milk supply. Do not give pacifiers or supplement with formula immediately.
Breastmilk is great, but you also remember that keeping your child hydrated and fed is best. If you try all the things mentioned above but you still don’t have enough milk, then supplement.