7 Tips to Increase Your Milk Supply Naturally
By Kristi Patrice Carter
There truly is nothing more distressing that not being able to satisfy a hungry baby when you are nursing because your milk production is not optimal and milk supply is less than adequate. First, let me say this: the solution is not to immediately quit breastfeeding and turn to the bottle. There are many solutions that can assist in increasing your milk supply that are quick, effective and natural.
To begin with, you should be sure that you do in fact need to increase your milk supply. Signs of an underfed baby include weight loss or absence of weight gain, infrequent bowel movements and infrequent diaper wetting. Of course, if a baby is fussy, this may also be an indication of weak milk supply. To increase your milk supply, always look for natural solutions before resorting to prescription medications.
- Increase the Feeding Schedule – The most effective way to increase your milk production is to increase the frequency of feedings each day. You should encourage your infant to nurse often.
- Express Milk – If you find that your child is not willing to increase the number of feedings, you may want to express milk from your breasts either by hand or breast pump. This will ensure optimal levels of milk production. Keep in mind that it is not necessary to keep or store the expressed milk, unless your baby is also bottle fed at a caregivers.
- Use Both Hands – If you are able to drain both breasts at each feeding, your breast milk supply will increase quickly. However, it is important to offer the first breast to your child and finish the first before offering the second breast. The benefit here is that your child will receive the ‘fatty hindmilk’, which is important for growth and nutrition.
- Let Baby Dictate – Always let your infant feed for as long as he wants. Allow your child to dictate the length of each feeding session. Your child may feed until he falls asleep or simply detaches from the breast.
- Check the Latch – It is critical to ensure that your infant is latched onto your breast properly and is well positioned for each nursing session. Obviously, the child will receive more milk at each sitting if latched properly and in turn, this will increase your milk supply.
- Eliminate Substitutes – Get rid of soothers, sippy cups and other substitutes that you may be using to pacify your baby when he is not nursing. By providing only one source of sucking, your baby will be more likely to feed vigorously at each feeding.
- Use Herbal Remedies – There are many safe and proven herbal remedies that can help to increase your milk production quickly. The new most popular are fenugreek and milk thistle. Both are safe for mother and baby, and will assist in increasing milk supply within a few short days.
Patience, love and determination will get you through this, and before long your milk production will be back up to adequate levels. The more your baby feeds, the more milk your body will produce for your child.