As a breastfeeding mum, I was often worried about whether I was producing enough milk for my baby.
If I could have seen and calculated how much milk my baby was ingesting, I would have been so much happier.
I was not on my own though, I was later to learn that most mums fret about their supply at some point, however, the truth is that most breastfeeding mums typically have the capacity to manufacture and produce more-than-enough milk for their baby.
After the first few initial weeks, breastfeeding mums often report that: they have less milk when they express with a pump; their breasts stop leaking in between feeds; they don’t feel much of a let-down, and the baby has shorter feeds. However, all of this can be explained away as being perfectly normal.
If your baby has loads of wet nappies (5 in a 24 hr period is good), three poopy ones (if he’s a newbie) and if he’s gaining weight and is alert and well, you have the best indicators to suggest that your baby is getting exactly what he needs.
However, if this is not a synopsis of your current state, and your healthcare provider suggests your supply is low, there’s still plenty of hope – Take a look at some of these tips for increasing your milk supply!
1. DO MORE OF IT!
Not rocket science… but the number one sure-fire way to increase your supply is by breastfeeding more! Offer baby the breast 2-3 hourly for several days or offer baby additional breastfeeds in between her usual ones.
These feeds don’t have to be longer feeds, just more often.
2. GET THE BEST LATCH
The breast is drained best if bub has an ideal positioning and latch.
If your nipples are misshapen or are painful when you feed, you have a poor latch. Pop a pinky finger in the side of bub’s mouth to release her suction and start your attachment again.
Remember too that she needs a BIG open mouth to feed well. Your shoulders need to be relaxed and you need to hold her tummy close to yours. Her chin should be touching your breast.
3. DRAIN IT!
Encourage baby to finish off the first breast before swapping to the other. Taking baby off the breast when baby slows his suck and re-attaching him, might help him draw-down more strongly and in-turn, stimulate your let-down reflex and increase your supply.
4. SOOTHE WITH THE BOOB
As you know, breastfeeding is more than just a food source. If bub is unsettled, try offering the breast for comfort for several days, instead of using other soothing strategies.
Pop a little olive oil on your breasts and give them a gentle massage (down toward the nipple) as baby sucks, this will encourage a good let-down and ultimately increase your milk production.
6. RELAX AND ENJOY YOUR BABY
I totally understand reaching for your mobile for some adult-world stimulation, but if you’re trying to increase your supply, resist it as best you can. Tuning into bub and relaxing and enjoying your feeding times together pave the way for a bountiful supply.
Grab a cool drink before you settle down in a comfy chair to snuggle and feed your baby. Being comfortable will help you relax and being relaxed will help with a good let-down of milk.
There is so much to worry about when you become a new mum, but you’re smart and you know what to look out for. If you’re unsure, get the advice you need to safeguard your baby’s nourishment.
Bountiful milky hugs into the ether…
Mum of six fabulous kids and foster-mum to numerous others. Event manager, doula, childbirth educator, lactation counselor, owner of Sydney Birth Support, Mamaway Advocate and an encourager of all mums out there giving it their best crack!