One of the most common questions I get asked in my practice is how moms can increase their breast milk supply. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can do this – I am here to help!
- Latch your baby onto your breast – whenever they want to feed. You need to feed on demand because your body works on a supply-and-demand cycle. The more you feed your baby, the more breast milk you’ll produce, and you can avoid The Breastfeeding Top-Up Trap.
- Hydrate! If you’re breastfeeding (or just a healthy person in general), it’s imperative that you drink 2-3 litres of water per day.
- Stress less. Many moms report a reduction in their breast milk supply when they are stressing or over-tired. Although it doesn’t always seem feasible, you should try to sleep whenever your baby sleeps.
- Eat nutritious meals. If you’re breastfeeding, you should aim to eat an extra 300 to 500 calories per day. Try not to exclude things from your diet, unless it’s something that could negatively affect your baby. It’s also advised that you continue taking your pregnancy multivitamins for that added nutrition.
- Try not to use a breast pump too soon. Using a breast pump too early on can affect your breast milk supply because it is simply not as effective as a baby at the breast. You can start to pump your breast milk once you have established a good supply, and once your baby is in more of a routine (at around the 4-6 week mark).
- Try different ‘mom’ supplements – there are a number of great mommy ‘shakes’ out there, and they all give you added nutrients, vitamins and minerals to help with your milk supply. You can also find ‘breastfeeding teas’, or a herb called Fenugreek that helps with your breast milk supply. These are called galactogogues.
- Avoid over-exerting yourself. Strenuous exercise can decrease your breast milk supply, so try not to go too hard at the gym in the first few weeks while you are trying to establish breastfeeding and a decent supply of breast milk.
- Medication is an option. You can speak to your Gynaecologist/Obstetrician and they can prescribe medication to help increase your breast milk supply (if you’re a suitable candidate for it, of course).
- See a Lactation Consultant for more practical help and advice.