Increasing your milk supply
Most breastfeeding Mother’s at some point feel like they’re not making enough milk to meet their baby’s growing needs.
An initial milk shortage could be due to early latching problems or interruptions in breastfeeding. If a breastfeed is missed or formula is being used the breasts will not be stimulated to make enough milk.
Later issues could be related to the baby having a growth spurt, leaving the Mother feeling they don’t have enough milk to satisfy the increased hunger. In this case, feeding your baby on demand can stimulate your supply to increase accordingly.
Some issues may be more complex.
The good news is, with the right knowledge and support there’s lots you can do to increase your milk supply without having to give in to formula.
WHAT CAUSES LOW MILK SUPPLY?
- Problems initiating breast-feeding
- A shallow latch
- Missed feeds
- Mix feeding
- Jaundice – Baby not waking for feeds
- A premature or sick baby with a weak suck
A recap on the anatomy and physiology reminds us that lactation works on a supply and demand basis. Your baby sucking at the breast puts in an order for more milk to be made. Missing a feed tells your body you don’t need the milk, very clever.
The breast stimulation of today is the order for your milk supply tomorrow.
However, sometimes your baby’s suck may not be effective enough to put in the order efficiently. For example, a premature baby’s suck may not have the power to stimulate an appropriate milk supply. Similarly a baby with a tongue tie may have a shallow latch, again effecting milk supply.
WHAT TO DO:
That depends on the problem, it’s advisable to get good breastfeeding support and to make a feeding plan. Your baby’s weight may also need monitoring.
HOW TO INCREASE YOUR MILK SUPPLY:
- Put baby to the breast more frequently and get help achieving a good latch.
- Change between feeding positions and use compressions during breastfeeds.
- Express to stimulate more milk production. Check the breast pumps and expressing article.
- Rest and keep well hydrated.
- Maintain energy levels with a good diet.
- In rare cases, medications may be taken. However, this must be decided by an appropriate specialist, such as a Midwife or Doctor.