4 Ways Nursing Mothers Can Increase Their Breast Milk Supply
Breastfeeding can be a great way to nurture and bond with your child, but it can come with difficulties. Your little one might not feed quite as long as you think they should or become fussy after they’ve finished, leading you to question whether they’re getting enough nourishment. While these aren’t necessarily signs of low supply, try out the following tips and speak to your child’s pediatrician if producing enough breast milk is a concern for you.
1. Pump It Up
Your milk production takes cues from various external stimuli. If you’re not pumping or feeding regularly, your body will think your baby doesn’t need as much milk and your production will slow accordingly. Women who begin to supplement with formula without adding extra pumping to their schedule will produce less milk. This isn’t permanent, though! Whether you’re solely breastfeeding or supplementing with formula, pumping between feedings can encourage your body to create more milk.
2. Finish Each Feeding
Additionally, your body takes cues from internal stimuli. If you have milk left in your breasts after feeding, your body tells itself that you’re making too much milk and to slow down. If you set a time limit on feeding rather than letting your child finish when they’re full, you might begin to produce less milk than your baby needs. Set aside long periods to breastfeed, allowing your child to decide when they’ve had enough to eat.
3. Practice Self-Care
When you’re not getting adequate sleep, enough nutrients, or plenty of water, your body won’t function as well as it can. This can affect how much milk you’re producing. Being a mom can be stressful, and it might be hard to focus on anything other than your new baby, but take some time to prioritize your health as well.
4. Speak With Your Doctor About Pre-Existing Conditions
Some medical conditions, including diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and preeclampsia, can affect the amount of milk you produce. Speak with your doctor about how to manage your health and whether supplementing with formula is necessary for your baby’s development.
Getting into the routine of breastfeeding can be difficult. Our Family Birthing Centers offer breastfeeding classes and support groups to help you get the most out of this experience. For more advice on how to navigate pregnancy and life with your new baby, schedule an appointment with your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group OB/GYN.