Proper and adequate breastfeeding is the strong foundation that you can lay for your baby after delivery. Even if you do not wish to breastfeed, your baby has to receive adequate breast milk by using breast pump to obtain your breast milk. For different reasons, you may not have enough breast milk to satisfy the needs of your baby (most women complain that baby boys suckle a lot). Note that inadequate milk supply can make your baby frustrated with breastfeeding and stop doing so all together. For this reason, you need to look for ways of increasing your breast milk supply. You can achieve this through several ways:
- Techniques and Comfort – You may not be supplying your baby with adequate breast milk for lack of proper breastfeeding techniques and comfort. Breastfeeding is a technique you have to learn, it does not occur by instinct. In order to increase you milk supply, you need to make your body get used to a regular breastfeeding technique. Breastfeed or pump your breast milk at least eight times in a day. Your comfort and that of your baby during breastfeeding session is paramount. Above all, note the important three B’s, breast, baby and your brain. You can increase your breast milk through breast massage, ensuring your baby is comfortable while breastfeeding and if your brain is settled. Avoid stress and stressful situations.
- Using breast pump – You can use a breast pump to increase your breast milk supply. Breast pumps have the effect of re-establishing and increasing the capability of your breasts increasing milk production and supply. Use a breast pump at least eight times in a day. In doing so, only use as much suction as necessary, do not stress your breasts. Pain should be the last thing you should feel while using a breast pump. Stop or reduce suction in case of any pain. It also helps to massage your breasts while using a pump. Stop using a breast pump the moment your milk flow becomes low. Give yourself a break.
- Using herbal remedies – Although very little research have been conducted on the effect of herbs in increasing breast milk, some women have used particular herbs, which seem to increase their breast milk supply. Herbal teas and Mother’s Milk Tea in particular has been used by many women for its healthy lactation benefits. Other herbal remedies include Blessed thistle, oatmeal and Fenugreek supplements.
- Using prescription medications – Certain prescription medications raise prolactin levels, in effect increasing milk production. Domperidone and Metoclopramide medications have proved very effective in this respect.
- Increasing fluid intake – Fluids play a vital role in the production of breast milk. Apart from adequate water intake on a daily basis, drink a lot of fruit and vegetable juices.
- Diet – Although no particular foods can increase breast milk, it is a fact that your diet is very important. Breastfeeding requires energy and you need to increase the amount of calories you consume. This does not mean you avoid proteins and other foods; they are necessary as well. It is important to point out that some drinks such as beer and caffeine increase milk production. I do not think you would like to use such to increase your breast milk; your baby will not only like it, it is harmful to your baby because your breast milk will be alcoholic or caffeinated.
- Adequate sleep – Sleep is not just sleep. Your body requires sleep in order to perform varied processes that directly affect the production of breast milk. Inadequate sleep simply leads to inadequate milk production. Ensure that you have quality adequate sleep.
It is vital to increase your breast milk production after delivery for your baby to receive adequate supply. That is the only way your baby will grow strong and healthy, especially in the first six months.