What can I do to boost or maintain my milk supply?
Milk supply is a common concern for new parents. A low milk supply can be caused by:
- hormonal changes
- anatomical or physical problems
- gestational age at time of delivery
- fluid imbalance
- effects of medication
- many other individual or unique factors
In addition, your baby can cause low milk supply. If they’re not feeding well at the breast, this can decrease the amount of milk your body makes.
It’s important to know what observations make you concerned about your milk supply:
- Is it because your baby didn’t gain enough weight during the first few days?
- Are you worried that your breast tissue didn’t change enough after delivery?
Whatever it might be, find a lactation consultant to help you while you work to increase your milk supply. If you suspect that you are not producing enough milk, don’t waste any time starting a treatment plan. Each day counts! To begin with:
Evaluate the latch-on and positioning of your baby at the breast.
- If you haven’t had a lactation consultant watch you and your baby’s latch-on technique, make that a priority.
Evaluate your baby’s suck and swallow sequencing at your breast.
- If your latch-on doesn’t seem to be a problem, this is something to consider.
Try extra minutes of nursing or pumping.
- Milk removal promotes increased milk production, so extra pumping can boost milk supply.
Make sure you’re taking in enough healthy foods and fluids daily.
- Even if you don’t have much of an appetite for the first few weeks after delivery, you still need to replenish your body with the nutrients you’re giving to your baby during breastfeeding.
- Try to consume healthy servings of grains, proteins, veggies and fruits.
- Review this list and incorporate foods into your diet that encourage milk supply.
Consider starting an herbal supplement program.
- You’ll need counseling from a lactation consultant or holistic health provider on the type and amount of herbs to consume daily.
Finally, your lactation consultant or physician can recommend certain prescription medications if nothing else seems to work.
- If you are taking any medications, check with your physician to see if the medicine is impacting your milk supply.
- Some medications such as antihistamines and diuretics are known to affect milk production.
Get help from your lactation consultant and/or physician as soon as possible. The sooner you start your treatment plan, the sooner your milk supply will go up!
Need help to maintain or increase your milk supply? Become a member and a lactation consultant on our team can help with a plan that works for you.