Breast milk is also called liquid gold for babies because there truly is nothing as good for a baby as a mother’s milk. Breast milk will protect your baby from a host of diseases and even future health issues that can show up in adults. If you want to breastfeed, you also may be interested in knowing how you can produce more breast milk naturally. I’m going to go over some tips for doing just that in today’s article.
Have Your Baby Nurse a Lot
Nothing helps to increase your milk supply more than your baby’s suckling. When you nurse, go skin-to-skin. When your baby is nursing close to you, it helps release more of the hormones that produce milk. It also releases the milk ejector hormones. Try to have your baby in only a diaper, and you without a shirt or bra. Simply wrap a blanket around you and your baby, and allow your baby to nurse. This is also a great way to bond with your baby.
Sleep and Relax a Lot
Studies show that mothers produce more milk when they are well rested and relaxed. Although it may seem hard to do this with a new baby, try to relax as much as possible. Nap when your baby naps. Instead of cooking dinner, order takeout. And most importantly, don’t stress out. Stress can decrease milk supply more than anything else.
Eat Foods That Increase Milk Supply
You are going to need at least 500 more calories a day while breastfeeding. Along with eating enough healthy foods, you will want to eat foods that increase your milk supply. These foods could include oatmeal, barley, millet, quinoa, Brewer’s yeast, flaxseed, almonds, and sesame seeds. Spices such as fennel, ginger, and turmeric also help boost your milk supply.
Drink a Lot
We all know that drinking is important, but it really helps to increase your milk supply. Breast milk is 88% water, so try to drink at least 12 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Water is the best liquid to drink, but other drinks to have are carrot juice, apricot juice, almond milk, and coconut water.
Massage Your Breasts While Nursing Or Pumping
Massaging your breast helps push more milk out with each nursing session. If you are pumping milk, then this works well because it helps you to fully empty milk out of each breast.
Have Your Baby Nurse From Both Sides
Having your baby nurse from both sides helps stimulate more milk production. By switching sides, your baby will also wake up and therefore continue to drink. If your baby is busy drinking on one side, then another option is to breast pump on the other side.
Take a Hot Shower Before Your Baby Nurses
Try to take a hot shower before you breastfeed your baby. When your skin’s temperature increases, it will improve blood circulation. The improved blood circulation will help speed up the letdown process.
Don’t Give Your Baby Pacifiers or Bottles
All of your baby’s sucking should be on your breasts. So try to avoid giving your baby pacifiers or bottles. If your baby is under six months, then try to avoid giving your baby solid food. You will want to make sure your baby is a healthy weight, and you will want to talk to your doctor about limiting solid food. But if you start giving your baby other foods, he/she will not nurse as much.
Don’t Wear a Tight Bra
If you wear a bra that is too tight, your milk flow can be compromised. Tight bras can also contribute to plugged ducts. Look for a bra that has support without being too constricting.
Avoid The Pill
If you don’t need to go on the pill, then don’t. The hormones in many birth control pills can have a negative effect on your milk supply. Consider other birth control options other than the hormonal pill.
Best Times To Breast Pump
Try to establish a breast pumping schedule and then stick to it. Your body will produce much more milk if you establish a regular schedule for feeding and/or pumping.
Contact A Specialist
If you are struggling to produce an adequate milk supply for your baby, consider contacting La Leche League. The lactation specialist at La Leche League is there to help women with breastfeeding issues.
Talk with Other Moms Who Are Nursing
It often helps to talk with other women who may have gone through the same issues as you are. Talk to mothers who have or are currently breastfeeding their babies to see if they have any tips or advice for you. If nothing else, sometimes it just helps to relieve stress to talk to people who have dealt with the same situations that you are dealing with. Stress can lead to reduced milk production.
Make Sure That You Have a Good Latch
A good latch is going to help the milk to come out more efficiently and abundantly. A good latch shouldn’t hurt. A baby’s tongue should stick out over her gums, and the lips should be flared open on a good latch. If you need to readjust the latch, try placing your pinky finger into your baby’s mouth to release the latch. Then allow your baby to latch on again. If you don’t have a proper latch, your breasts will not drain completely. Over time, this can lead to reduced milk production.
There are many things that you can do to increase your milk supply. I’ve gone over some of those ways here. If these tips don’t help, please don’t give up without reaching out for help. Stay connected to people who are breastfeeding and don’t be afraid to see a specialist. There are many people out there who want to see you succeed at feeding your baby breast milk. Good luck!