Breastfeeding is natural but doesn’t always come naturally for many parents. This is especially true for a first-time parent in the early days of their breastfeeding journey. It can be particularly stressful if you are constantly worried about producing enough breast milk to keep your baby healthy. If you are concerned about your breast milk supply, it’s important to seek advice early.
While insufficient milk production is a common fear among new parents, chances are your milk supply is just fine. A lactation consultant will help you find out. If it turns out that you are truly not able to produce enough breast milk for your baby, there are ways to increase production naturally. In this article, we look at several evidence-based approaches you can use to establish a strong and healthy supply of breast milk. Read on.
As a nursing parent, it’s important to stay well-hydrated. Breast milk is made up of about 90% water. So, one of the most effective ways to increase breast milk supply is to make sure you aren’t suffering from dehydration. Ingesting plenty of fluids such as water or other healthy liquids, including tea, milk, fruity juice, et cetera, can increase your milk supply.
Nothing tanks a milk supply faster than being hungry or dehydrated. So, in addition to drinking plenty of fluids, don’t forget to eat. Milk production uses a lot of energy, so you need to fuel your body with a balanced diet and healthy snacks to fuel your body and build up a healthy milk supply. Experts recommend a whole food diet rich in healthy fat and protein.
Nutrient-dense foods, such as spinach, are essential for milk production. Nursing parents can also consider dietary supplements such as Moringa to boost breast milk supply. Avoid inflammatory foods such as refined carbohydrates, processed meats, carbonated beverages, and added sugars. Inflammatory foods create congestion and may impact milk supply in a nursing parent.
Perform Deep Breathing Exercises
Most parents will laugh out loud at the idea of having time to relax. But believe it or not, relaxation can help stimulate milk production. That’s where deep breathing exercises come in. Long deep breaths enable more air to flow into your body, which helps calm your nerves. Relax your shoulders and take a few deep, slow breaths before you start nursing or pumping to improve milk production.
Use Power Pumping
Empty your breast frequently signals the body to produce more milk. Power pumping, in particular, is a great way to increase milk production. Power Pump one time a day; pump for 20 minutes, stop for 10, pump for ten, rest for ten, etc until you reach the 60-minute mark.
Flange Size Fitting
A flange, or breast shield, is the cone-shaped funnel on a breast pump. Flanges are essential for pumping, so you’ll want to get one that fits just right. If a flange is too large, it will not remove all the milk, resulting in poor milk production. It could restrict tissue and clog your milk ducts, contributing to a low milk supply if it’s too small. A well-fitting flange will increase milk output and lead to comfortable pumping sessions.
Schedule A Pumping Consultant
A pumping consultant will give an expert opinion on what may be causing your low milk supply and recommend ways to fix it. Nurturing Expressions provides pumping consultations virtually and one-on-one in our West Seattle, Tukwila, and Poulsbo boutiques, or virtually. If you got your pump from us, it’s free. If not, it’s $35.
Rich in essential nutrients and protective antibodies, breast milk is often considered the best food source for a baby. Unfortunately, some parents are unable to breastfeed for various reasons, one of them being a low milk supply. If you are experiencing difficulties producing enough milk to nourish your baby, we can help. Reach out to schedule a virtual consultation today!