Tips for increasing breast milk production
Very often, mothers think that the milk supply is low, whereas this is not the case. The best way to confirm that the baby is breastfeeding and that you are producing enough milk is to constantly check the baby’s weight. If you suspect a decrease in milk and want to increase it, follow these tips.
1) Breastfeed frequently and sufficiently
Milk production is a process of demand and supply. The more the baby feeds, the more important the production. Breast once every two hours. Position the baby properly while breastfeeding so that he is eating well.
2) Squeeze the milk
If the baby is unable to empty your breasts, squeeze the milk after breastfeeding to maintain the milk supply.
3) Nursing holidays
Spend time nursing your baby for two or three days and do nothing else. Of course, you must feed yourself and be relaxed.
4) Change sides
Breastfeed both breasts to your baby. Change the sides twice or thrice each time you feed. But let the little one finish one breast and then move on to the other. This technique gives the baby the “bottom of the milk”. The use of breast compression helps the baby suckle longer.
5) Avoid dummies and nipple protectors
If you want to increase milk supply, avoid using dummies and nipple protectors. You should also not take supplements unless it is medically necessary.
6) Avoid solid foods
If the baby is less than six months old, avoid giving him solid foods, water and infant formula.
7) Rest well
In addition to eating well, rest well. Consume a well-balanced diet and more liquids.
8) Avoid alcohol and nicotine
The consumption of alcohol and nicotine is harmful not only during, but also after pregnancy, when you are breastfeeding your baby. Nicotine and alcohol limit the supply of breast milk. These substances can pass into your baby’s body through breast milk and trigger developmental problems.
9) Check your medications
If you take medication, tell your doctor if they interfere with your milk production. Avoid using hormonal contraceptives immediately after giving birth.
10) Stay calm and relaxed
Believe it or not, stress plays a major role in reducing milk production. Caring for a baby can be hard work, and you can not get enough rest. Seek help from your family to keep your child while you relax. The key to staying relaxed is to practice stress reduction techniques, such as breathing exercises. This would help ensure a good supply of milk.
11) Use the right bra
Wearing a tight bra that compresses your chest or is rigid around the band may affect the flow of milk. The wrong bra can clog the ducts, blocking milk production.
12) Breast massage
Massaging your breasts will help open blocked channels, in addition to loosening hardened areas or lumps. It does not increase milk production but allows easy milk flow. It can even reduce the risk of mastitis. Massage gently on the breasts and do it yourself because you can judge the applied pressure
When you and your baby are comfortable and relaxed, give a gentle massage on the chest area, ending up towards the nipple.
Now, let your baby suckle. Then massage the other breast. Be gentle because vigorous blows could damage the ducts.
13) Skin-to-skin breastfeeding
Go skin to skin while breastfeeding. Take off your clothes from the upper body and leave your baby in a diaper while breastfeeding. Wrap a blanket that covers you both and start breastfeeding. The technique promotes contact and helps release more milk-producing hormones.
14) Add pumping sessions
Add pumping sessions between or after the breastfeeding sessions to maintain the milk supply. Pump for at least two to five minutes each time.
The key to speeding up milk production is to remove more milk from the breasts, frequently, so that less milk builds up between foods. Here are some tips for increasing pumped milk production.
- Use a hospital-grade automated electric pump and pump both breasts simultaneously.
- Shorten the intervals between pumping, rather than increasing the pumping time. For example, pump three times every 15 to 20 minutes three times every half hour, in case you would be absent for 8 to 10 hours.
- Follow the pumping technique “massage-stroke-shake” (MSS) developed by Chele Marmet:
- Double pump the breasts for five to seven minutes and stop.
- Simultaneously, massage the two breasts in one motion circular (like self-examination) .
- Use your fingers to apply gentle strokes in a line from the chest wall to the nipple.
- Using your hand, cut each breast and lean forward. Now, shake your breasts gently.
- Repeat the pumping for another five to seven minutes.