Lack of milk: How to increase breastmilk production
If there’s one thing new mothers all over the world have in common, it’s that many of them worry about not having enough milk for their baby.
Some even give up on breastfeeding earlier than they had planned because they don’t think the baby is getting enough to eat. In reality, most women make more milk than the baby needs, as much as 1,000ml per day after the first two weeks of breastfeeding. If you still feel worried about having a lack of milk, keep reading to find out how to increase breastmilk production.
How to produce more breastmilk
Simply put, breastmilk production is a matter of supply and demand, so the more milk you remove from your breasts through nursing or pumping, the more milk they will produce. Try these simple tips to stimulate milk production:
Reduce stress. Cuddling your baby, going for a walk, listening to music – whatever makes you relaxed, do it! Stress is the enemy of your milk production so avoid it if you can.
Get some rest. Yes, this is easier said than done for new mothers, but do try to nap when the baby naps and go to bed early to make sure you maximise your sleep. If that’s not enough, don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether from a family member, friend or babysitter.
Get pumping. It may seem illogical, but the more milk you pump out, the more you will get. A double-electric pump will drain both breasts simultaneously and of those, hospital-grade pumps are the fastest and most efficient.
Express milk regularly. After you’re done with pumping, express more milk by hand to completely drain the breast. And do it often, 8-10 times per day is ideal to stimulate milk production.
Hold off on the dummy. There’s nothing wrong with giving your baby a dummy but if you wait until three to four weeks after the birth you have more time to establish your milk supply first.
Don’t forget to drink! Hydrating is important when you’re breastfeeding, but easy to forget when you’re focused on baby’s needs. If your mouth feels dry, your urine is dark or foul-smelling, or you’re constipated, chances are you haven’t been drinking enough fluids. A good rule of thumb is to drink a glass of water every time you breastfeed.
If you’re exclusively breastfeeding and your baby doesn’t seem to be thriving as they should, don’t hesitate to contact a breastfeeding expert from your local hospital or La Leche League. They will be able to support you and help you to keep breastfeeding as long as you wish.