It’s only natural to be concerned with how your baby is getting on, especially if this is your first time. That’s the sign that you’re a great parent.
A lot of moms have an idea about how breastfeeding is going to go, and sometimes, reality doesn’t quite match up with those expectations. Being concerned that your baby isn’t getting enough breast milk is only natural, and you might worry about how to increase breast milk. First off, try and relax. We’re here to answer any questions you might have and take that weight off your mind.
As always, if you’re genuinely concerned, the best thing to do is always talk to a medical professional. We can offer advice, but nothing beats a face to face meeting.
The first big question you need to ask is whether you’ve actually got a low milk supply.
There’s a lot of things that don’t automatically mean you’ve got a low milk supply, including:
The best general rule to use is that if your baby is gaining weight at a healthy rate, you’ve got enough milk supply.
If you still think you have a low milk supply, what can you do?
Well, first off, you should always see your pediatrician. It’s possible that your milk supply is fine, but there’s an underlying reason why your baby is losing weight.
If it does turn out that you have a low milk supply, you should be put in contact with a lactation specialist or breastfeeding counselor, who can tell you precisely what you need to do to fix the problem.
But in the meantime, there’s a lot you can do from home too.
One of the big things to realize if you’re learning how to increase breast milk production is to understand just how your body works so you can do the right things.
It’s almost a contradiction. Your body produces more milk when you actually take more out.
It’s backward, but simple when you think about the why. Your body knows what the baby needs. So if you’re using loads of milk, it’s going to think that you need more because you’ve obviously got a healthy, bouncy bonny baby who needs feeding up. If you’re hardly using any, then it’s not going to produce loads that just sits in your breast going to waste.
So step one is to start expressing more milk. You can do this in several ways:
As we mentioned earlier, one of the biggest things that contribute to a healthy supply of milk is a varied and healthy diet. But on top of that there are certain foods that can actually give you a bigger boost, like:
Cheap, inexpensive and easy to make, oatmeal might be a little bit boring, but it’s a staple for a reason. Packed full of fiber to keep you bouncing with energy, they’re also great for increasing lactation.
The great thing about oatmeal is it goes with anything, and you can add pretty much anything to it. Fruit, honey, cinnamon, even brown sugar or other cereals. Go wild.
Spinach is stuffed with iron, as we all learned from Saturday morning cartoons. That means it’s great for your milk supply, and because spinach goes with anything, you can have it daily.
Love it or hate it, garlic is fantastic for increasing your milk supply, on top of its myriad other health benefits.
More of a supplement, brewer’s yeast is awesome for one big reason. You can have it with anything. Put it in a smoothie. Add it to your oatmeal. It even comes in pill form if you can’t stomach the real stuff.
A herbal supplement that’s been used for years, fenugreek works, and it works fast. Like, within one or two days fast. Normally, people make a tea with it, so take 5 and have a nice, refreshing cup of tea that’s also going to stimulate milk production. Win-win!
Like a lot of things mother related, breastfeeding and how to increase breast milk can seem daunting, and then you do it and realize it actually comes so naturally, and you don’t even know why you worried so much.
We always love hearing from our readers. If you’ve got a story or any tips for other mothers who might be struggling a little, let us know in the comments. It might be just the help another mom like you needs!
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