Many mothers cannot nurse their baby as much as they want due to low milk supply which forces them to use formula to complement their baby’s diet. The good news is that there are simple methods to increase breast milk production. Many mothers have been reporting significant improvement after trying some of them.
A hot shower and massage can really help
A hot shower and / or warm compresses before nursing will “open your tubes” and allow milk to flow more freely. It’s not easy to synchronize your showers with your baby’s feeding time, but you should give it a try.
Gently massaging your breast (delicate circles from the base towards the nipple) during or after shower is known to increase breast milk production in the short term. So again, try to do this right before you feed your baby.
Make sure you sleep enough
Lack of sleep can cause low milk supply and other breastfeeding problems. Of course, in the first months after delivery, you will probably won’t be able to enjoy full 8 hours of sleep, but you can definitely ask your husband and those around you to help you with the baby so that you will get the rest your body needs so much.
Pump between meal times
In cases of severe milk shortage, it is strongly recommended to add pumping in addition to breastfeeding since it has been proven to boost milk supply. You should obtain a high quality nursing pump, preferably double sided.
Try to follow a fixed routine which consists of 10-15 minutes of pumping after each feeding or between meals. A total of about 8 sessions a day is recommended to increase breast milk production.
Limit the use of pacifier
Newborns may find it hard to switch from pacifier to nipple (When they grow older, it becomes easier). Research has shown that, on average, less than two-month-old babies with a pacifier tend to skip one breastfeeding session a day – which is a lot at such a young age. So try to avoid the use of pacifier 30 – 45 minutes before feeding time when your baby is getting hungry.
Foods to increase milk supply
There are three specific foods that are recommended for breastfeeding mothers.
1) Fenugreek – Although it’s quite smelly and it will require you to use deodorant more often, fenugreek will do wonders for your milk supply. The benefits of this plant were discovered when used on goats, their milk supply doubled and even tripled.
2) Fennel tea – If you are deterred by strong smells and are still looking for natural means to increase breast milk production, you should opt for fennel tea. It also helps relieve gas in babies and alleviate stomach ache.
3) Alfalfa sprouts – Alfa sprouts added to your salad or soup are rich in nutrients that are beneficial for your breast milk. In addition, they can help you lose the extra weight you gained during pregnancy.
Using prescription drugs
If you tried everything to no avail, you may opt for prescription drugs as a last resort. Your doctor may give you Motilium (domperidone). This drug is mainly prescribed for people suffering from intestinal problems. However, as a side effect, it is able to increase breast milk production by raising the levels of the hormone prolactin in your body.