The Breastfeeding Mom: Tips to Increase Milk Supply

The Breastfeeding Mom: Tips to Increase Milk Supply

Breastfeeding can be a wonderful way to bond a new mother and baby.  Unfortunately, breastfeeding can also be a source of frustration if a mother’s milk supply is not enough to satiate the newborn.  Instead of turning to formula, there are some methods that a new mother can use to attempt to increase her milk supply.

Increase fluid intake:  This may be the simplest and easiest solution.  If a mother finds that she’s not producing enough milk, it’s possible that she has overlooked her own hydration needs.  A breastfeeding mom needs to continue with the average of 64 ounces per day of water that she consumed while pregnant.  With a newborn, it’s possible for a mom to find herself too busy with the baby to look after herself, but proper hydration is a necessity.  A healthy mom= a healthy baby.

Proper nutrition:  Along the lines of proper hydration is proper nutrition.  A breastfeeding mom burns approximately 500 calories per day simply through the act of producing milk.  As with proper hydration, a mom who finds herself too busy to eat a proper balanced diet may find herself with a short supply of milk.  It’s important for the mom to make time to feed herself so that baby can have adequate food as well.

Herbal supplements:  Fenugreek is an herb that is well-known for its ability to increase breast milk supply.  The herb can be found in capsule form at most health food stores, and should be taken two to three times per day, two to three capsules each time.  Results are likely to be seen between 24 hours and two weeks from the first dose.  It’s important that a breastfeeding mother should always check with her doctor or baby’s pediatrician before taking supplements that may interfere with other medication.

Lots of rest:  As any new mother knows, rest is not easy to come by with a newborn in the house.  Lack of sleep can damage a mother’s milk supply.  A recommendation for all new moms is to sleep when baby is sleeping.  This may mean several naps during the day, and while this may make a mom that is used to a schedule feel out of sorts, getting adequate sleep is important.  As baby gets older, they will sleep for longer stretches at night, and mom will in turn feel well-rested.

Feed baby more:  A woman’s milk store works on supply and demand.  The more often a baby feeds, the more milk her body will produce.  If a mom feels that her supply is diminishing, adding a few extra nursing sessions to her day can help to boost supply.  Conversely, if a mom stops nursing as often, her body will stop producing as much milk.

Above all else, know that while breastfeeding is a natural way to provide nourishment to a young child, it’s not always 100% successful for every mom.  If a baby is not getting enough milk through breastfeeding alone, it is important to discuss this with the baby’s pediatrician and choose other methods of providing nutrition to baby.