How Can I Increase my Breast Milk Supply?
How Can I Increase my Breast Milk Supply?
Do you have a large milk supply or are you worried that you have a lot of milk supply? Today's video is for you because I'm going to be talking about my top 10 tips on ways to make sure you are creating as much breast milk as you can to conquer low supply issues, and to boost the supply that you currently have, so watch on to find out more.
Tip #1- Make sure that you're positioning and attachment of your babe to the breast is spot on. This is the core skill that you need to nail and where most Mums slip up, because a lot don't know what the correct position in an attachment is. We don't have that same culture where we've observed so many mothers and women breastfeeding that we know how to do it instinctively, so quite often we need to reach out and get help. The ultimate position in attachment is the number one key to making sure that you produce enough breast milk, and have an abundant supply.
Tip #2- Make sure you are emptying one breast completely before you move on to the second breast. Your baby doesn't need to take both full breasts at each feed, but you just need to make sure that you are completely emptying one breast before you move on to the next one. The reason for this is when you completely empty a breast, your body sends a hormone or a hormone is released that signals to your body to produce more breast milk, and to refill the empty breast. So, very important to completely empty a breast before you move on to another one.
Tip #3- Try switch feeding. What is switch feeding? Switch feeding is when you are switching between the breasts. It probably goes against what I just said about making sure that you completely empty a breast, but if you're finding that your baby is sucking, and the sucking is starting to slow, and it's a way of waking up and re-initiating the feed, then what you can do is switch between your breasts to keep your baby sucking and keep that milk flow coming for your baby so they keep draining the breast. You can try switch feeding to try and overcome that lower milk supply.
Tip #4- Know that you have to feed often. There is lots of information out there. There are books out there that tell you that your baby should only feed three, sometimes four hourly. I want to dispel this myth. This is not the case. Your baby needs to feed when your baby is hungry. Watching your baby and watching for their hunger cues is what you are going to be using to tell you when your baby needs to feed. Your baby might need to feed every hour or two at some points of the day. Other times they're able to space their feeds to three to four hours. It all is cue based and knowing when your baby is showing those hunger cues. Know though that you are going to have to feed quite often. A newborn baby can feed anywhere from 8 to 18 times in a 24 hour period, and this is very, very normal. Babies feed more when they're hungry. They feed for comfort. There's lots of reasons to feed, so just know that you're going to have to feed often, and the more you feed, the more milk that you're going to be producing.
Tip #5- Use breast compression. Breast compression involves getting your hand around the outer area of your breast and actually squeezing it forward while your baby is feeding. Ultimately, what this is doing is releasing all the milk in the milk ducts and making sure that you're fully emptying the breast, and it comes down to making sure that the breast is completely full, and also gives your baby that squirt and extra oomph of breast milk which can be really encouraging for your baby to continue to suck. So, breast compression is a fantastic way of boosting supply.
Tip #6- Look after yourself. When you are stressed out, when you're really super tired, when you're feeling anxious, when you're not eating properly, then you're not able to nurture yourself and the hormones that allow for breastfeeding to occur can't work as they would normally. When we're feeling stressed, we release a hormone called cortisol, and it can actually impact and impede on the release and proper production of the hormones of breastfeeding. It's so important to look after yourself. Eat well. Get rest when you can. Sleep and get the best quality sleep that you can. I know that it's going to be broken but do everything in your power to try and ensure that the sleep that you do get is good quality. All of those things are going to impact the way you feel, and in turn impact your ability to breastfeed, so, look after yourself.
Tip #7- Do skin to skin contact. I am the biggest advocate for skin to skin contact, because when your baby is placed with their skin on your skin, magical things happen. It does wonders for regulation of the hormones that are involved in breastfeeding, and helps for it all to be released, and therefore helps for milk production and overall supply. It also helps to awaken your baby and allow your baby to instinctively find the breast and attach themselves, and do all sorts of wonderful things. Skin to skin is wonderful for any Mum, but particularly if you're worried about your supply and wanting to find ways to boost your supply, so get that baby on your skin, Mama.
Tip #8- Make sure that you have a good feeding plan in place. If you have low supply, and you've identified that, then you need to be sure that you've got a plan in place for how you're going to make sure your baby is getting the calories, the feeds, the hydration that he or she needs until you're producing enough at each feed to meet your baby's needs. Making sure that you talk to a health professional, preferably a lactation consultant who knows how to first of all create a plan to make sure your baby's getting in the calories they need, but at the same time, creating a plan that is going to allow you to get to your goal if that is fully, exclusively breastfeeding from the breast, then working towards that goal, or whatever goal you have in mind. You want to have a health professional with you to help support you to get you to that end goal.
Tip #9- Know that there are some foods, some herbs, some medications that can all help to produce more milk. Again, I suggest talking to a health care professional about what herbs or what medications might help to boost your supply. But, you will have heard about boobie bikkies and those sorts of things, and they're completely harmless, and I definitely encourage you to try whipping up a batch of boobie bikkies or something like that to try and boost supply. But, also make sure that you don't just stop at the boobie bikkies, and also get in touch with a health professional, a lactation consultant, so that you can talk about other herbs or medications that you can take to help improve your supply.
Tip #10- Surround yourself with positive support. If you want to breastfeed, it takes willpower and stubbornness sometimes to push through these hurdles. Having the right support team who are going to boost your morale, and help you get through these tough times, is key. Make sure you have some buddies that you know share that same drive and desire to breastfeed, so that on the crappy days, 'cause there are gonna be crappy days of breastfeeding, that you've got someone to talk to about how you're feeling. Know that it's okay to sometimes not love breastfeeding, because it can bloody be hard, but you know, you are going to be doing everything in your power, especially when you're putting in these top 10 tips to help make sure that you are creating the best supply you can for your baby. Definitely having a support team in place to back you on is crucial to your success.
There you have it. There's my top 10 tips on ways to produce more breast milk, to help conquer low supply or perceived low supply, and to just put you in good stead for making sure you have an abundant supply to breastfeed your baby.
That's all for me today. I hope you liked today's video. If you did, then please tag a Mum who might want to hear this information. Share the video around. Sharing is caring and it's great to spread this information and these tips around. Share it around to whomever you like. If you also love these videos, head over to my website and sign up to my mailing list. I'm going to be releasing these videos once a fortnight on a Tuesday, so if you sign up to my mailing list, you're going to be notified of when I've released my new videos. You also get my free clean sleeping guide when you do sign up. Head on over to JenniferButler.com.au.
I'll see you back here in another fortnight. Thanks for joining me.