4 Ways to Increase Breast Milk Production After Delivery
Breast milk production is based on supply and demand. If a baby demands the breast milk, your body will work hard to supply it. One of the biggest concerns a mother might experience after delivery is how to produce enough breast milk for her baby. Sometimes natural appetite growth and shorter nursing sessions might be cause for a mother’s concern. However, if a baby isn’t gaining enough weight or losing weight, there is a need to increase breast milk production. Read on for tips and strategies how to increase breast milk flow.
Strategy #1: Increase pre-breast milk production with a higher calorie intake.
While breastfeeding, increase your water intake by at least 6 additional glasses and calorie intake of 1,800. Minimum calorie intake may vary according to metabolism, physical activity level and other factors. As a rule of thumb, your body will need on average an increase of 450-500 calories to sustain the increase in breast milk production.
Keep in mind that nutrition plays a huge role not just in breast milk production but also in an infant’s development. Here are some guidelines to remember about diet and breast milk:
- Calcium-rich foods dairy (low fat is best) products (there are vegan options as well), leafy greens, fish such as sardines and salmon.
- Increase your daily servings of fruits and vegetables as they include vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole-grain pasta, bread and beans are a healthier option than processed carbs.
- Lean meat (meatless options include tempe, tofu and soy based products), skinless chicken breast
Strategy #2: Consult with an herbalist, lactation specialist or doctor about herbal supplements or medication to increase breast milk supply.
Not enough research exists to show the effectiveness of herbal supplements. Fenugreek, blessed thistle, and red raspberry have been known to increase breast milk production but consult a doctor about the herbal supplements or medication to improve breast milk supply. A doctor can also tell you which medicines also decrease breast milk production and other side effects.
Strategy #3 Increase breast milk supply with a lactation massager
The lack of breast flow caused by breastfeeding ailments such as breast engorgement, plugged milk ducts, tender breasts, can be released with a lactation massager which helps with expressing milk and restoring breast milk flow. More effective than hand expressing breast milk, the Lavie Lactation Massager helps with improving breast milk supply by assisting with common breastfeeding ailments such as reduced milk supply in one breast or two, and breast milk undersupply.
Strategy #4: Reduce stress and rest as much as you can.
One mother I know who worked hard to increase her breast milk supply went on a “nursing vacation” where she did nothing but nurse her baby on demand for as long as she wanted to stimulate her breasts. Together they did nap nursing, and this greatly helped increase the stimulation of milk-producing hormones. This helped get her baby to feed on demand while helping her increase breast milk supply. It also took the stress away of trying to pump. One mother I know would treat this time away as her own “vacation” as well as she’d relax to nature music or read a book or magazine.
As you can see, there are many ways to increase breast milk production which require patience and perseverance so give yourself the time and space you need. You are doing yourself and your baby a great service by taking control of your breast milk production. More power to you!