how to increase breast milk production
After you give birth, hormones in your body tell your breasts to start making milk. During this time period your body doesn’t know exactly how much milk your baby will need. This is the best time to establish a good milk supply.
Over time, your body eventually learns how much milk to produce based on the removal of milk from your breasts. When your breasts are empty, this tells your body to make more milk. Likewise, full breasts signal your body to make less milk. Emptying the breasts frequently during the early stages of breastfeeding will help ensure that you have a good milk supply.
1. Try to eat well and drink enough fluids. You don’t need to force fluids – if you are drinking enough to keep your urine clear, and you aren’t constipated, then you’re probably getting enough. Drink to thirst, usually 6-8 glasses a day. Your diet doesn’t have to be perfect, but you do need to eat enough to keep yourself from being tired all the time. It is easy to get so overwhelmed with baby care that you forget to eat and drink enough. Don’t try to diet while you are nursing, especially in the beginning while you are establishing your supply. You need a minimum of 1800 calories each day while you are lactating, and if you eat high quality foods and limit fats and sweets, you will usually lose weight more easily than a mother who is formula feeding, even without depriving yourself
2.Try “switch nursing”. Watch your baby as he nurses. He will nurse vigorously for a few minutes, then start slowing down and swallowing less often. He may continue this lazy sucking for a long time, then be too tired to take the other breast when you try to switch sides. Try switching him to the other breast as soon as his 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, then let him nurse as long as he wants to.
3.Consider renting a hospital-grade breast pump for a few days, unless you have a good quality double pump at home. Hospital grade pumps have stronger, more powerful motors, and are the most efficient pumps you can use. They are bigger and heavier, so they aren’t as portable as other pumps. They are made for multiple users, as long as each mom has her own collection kit. Because they are so heavy duty and expensive, most hospitals have them available for moms to use in the hospital.
4.There are certain food supplements that may increase your milk supply. Before using any of these, it is important to rule out other problems such as illness in mother or baby. Some herbal supplements have been used for many years to increase milk production, with the most popular being Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, Red Raspberry, and Brewers Yeast (containing B vitamins). None of these herbal remedies have been proven scientifically to increase milk supply, but they have been used by moms for hundred of years with varying degrees of success.