There is nothing more frustrating for breastfeeding mothers than fearing that your milk is drying up. While your breasts are designed to make as much milk as baby needs, this doesn’t always happen and some mothers feel that their breasts may have missed this memo. If your baby seems fussy at the breast, constantly wants more, is feeding for more than an hour per feed and is not gaining weight at a healthy weight, then these could be signs that your supply is a little low. However, keep in mind that many baby’s will have fussy periods during the day and may cluster feed. This does not mean that your milk is drying up but rather that your baby is doing what she is supposed to be doing – growing. So we’ve gathered the ten best tips on increasing your milk supply and gaining control of breastfeeding.
Feed baby as much as she wants. If she doesn’t seem interested in the breast, offer it to her every 2-3 hours to increase your supply. Offer both sides during each feeding.
Ensure Correct Attachment–
A poor latch may be the reason for your low milk supply. Ask for support with breastfeeding through a lactation consultant or midwife in your area.
Express Between Feeds
A sure fire way to increase milk supply is to spend 5 to 10 minutes expressing after each feed. Yes, it can be time consuming doing this 8 to 12 times a day but it will work.
There are several herbal remedies that are given in a hope to increase your supply of milk. Fenugreek is one that comes highly recommended and is often prescribed by doctors. You will need to take the capsules three times a day and, if it will work for you, the supply should improve by the third day. Make sure you seek medical advice first though!
Avoid the Dummy
While it may be a life saver for you, giving bubby the dummy will reduce her need to take the breast and thus reduce your milk production as well.
Test out Lactation Biscuits
Feel like baking? If you have the time, make a batch of lactation biscuits! These delicious biscuits which can be enjoyed by the whole family are reputed to increase milk production. This is most likely an old wives tale but if you do enjoy baking, then it can’t hurt can it?
Consider Raspberry Red Tea
Another herbal remedy that has been suggested to increase breast milk is raspberry red tea. You can drink this or purchase tablets from the chemist.
Look into Metoclopramide
This is a prescription medication used to treat infants suffering from reflux but it has also been suggested to stimulate prolactin production and increase the milk output within 2 to 3 days. Metoclopramide is sold as Reglan or Maxeran. Another prescription medication you may want to try is Domeperidone (Motillium) which has fewer side effects than Metoclopramide and is often prescribed to overseas mothers looking to increase milk supply.
Many mothers swear that porridge is the one thing that increased their milk supply. While there are no proven medical studies suggesting this is the case, there is no harm in trying. After all, porridge is a healthy and affordable option for many meals.
Another unproven method that some mothers swear by is to have one beer or stout a day. Brewer’s Yeast, a main ingredient in beer, has been suggested to increase milk flow. Bottoms up! Of course drinking your 8 glasses of water per day will also help – most breastfeeding Mums are thirstier than usual as their bodies are busy making and storing milk!
A low supply of breast milk can leave you feeling stressed and upset. This can impact how your baby behaves as well. Always consult your doctor if your baby is not putting on weight, if she is unsettled most of the day or if she is not having 6-8 wet nappies each day.