Do you need to increase your milk supply?
I often get asked for help by mother’s on how to increase your milk supply. The first question is to determine if it is in fact in need of increasing. You will need to monitor your baby’s weight. This is crucial in the early days and weeks. Note that the longer your milk supply has been low, the longer it will take to build it back up.
Suggestions on how to increase your milk supply:
- Chinese Medicine dietary therapy says that in order to increase your milk supply you should eat papaya, ham, peanuts, black sesame seeds and stout (yes, that means Guinness).
- Breastfeed frequently and for as long as your baby will feed. Try to get at least 8 feedings in 24 hours. More if possible.
- Offer both breasts at each feeding. Try switching your baby to the other breast as soon as their sucking slows down, even if it has only been a couple of minutes. Do the same thing on the other breast until you have offered each breast twice. Next, let your baby nurse as long as your baby wants to. This switch nursing will ensure that your baby receives more of the higher calorie hindmilk, while also ensuring that both breasts receive adequate stimulation.
- Gently massage the breast as you nurse. This helps the richer and higher calorie milk more efficiently let down.
- Double check that you are using proper breastfeeding techniques. You want to be sure that your baby is latching on properly. If the areola is not far enough back in your baby’s mouth, they may not be able to effectively compress the milk sinuses. Visit www.LaLecheLeagueIreland.com for more help and information.
- Avoid soothers if possible. You want your baby’s sucking needs to be met at the breast.
- Consider using a breast pump for a few days in addition to breast feeding. This may increase your milk supply.
- Use herbs to increase your milk supply. Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, Red Raspberry, and Brewers yeast are a few herbs commonly used to increase milk production. I suggest you consult a well qualified herbalist for help. Visit www.dunboyneherbs.ie to get an appointment with a herbalist.
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Hi, I’m Linda Ryan, Reproductive Acupuncturist, specialising in Pregnancy & fertility acupuncture & mother of three: Having used acupuncture throughout my 3 pregnancies is what drives me to help women like you to achieve the results that I made happen for myself.