We mums dedicated our time and energy just to provide the best and right food for our baby - breast milk but if you’re having a low milk supply you probably will get really frustrated and start thinking of switching to infant formula.
Today, we’re going to cover everything you can do to make sure you have ample milk supply for your baby.
My breasts no longer feel “full”!?
Full, heavy breasts are signs that you are having engorgement, milk filled in the milk ducts, but you might not feel your breast as full as the first 1-2 months. Is that a sign that your body is quitting the job on supplying breast milk? No! It just means your body is getting adjusted to lactating and nursing, your body regulates itself and is now only producing enough milk based on your bub’s needs.
Don’t be discouraged by this sign, it’s totally normal. Keep breastfeeding, keep removing milk from your breast, keep giving signals to your body that you “need” the breast milk. As mentioned in the previous article, milk synthesis was first hormones driven, when you’ve been nursing for a while it gradually changes to demand-driven, meaning the production is highly influenced by how much milk the baby is drinking/ you’re pumping out.
I’m still worried I’m having a low milk supply ...
Hey, that’s alright! We’ve all been through this stage. If you’re worried, it’s worth checking your baby’s growth with the doctor. Alternatively, you can check the growth charts provided by the WHO and or CDC for newborns to children to age 2. Note that boys and girls have separate charts.
Another way of checking if your baby is drinking enough milk is by checking the frequency of wet diapers. Read this article for more information.
Stable & Ample
We couldn’t be stressing this more enough, breastfeeding rule of thumb: supply based on demand. If you want to increase your milk supply, increase the frequency of removing the milk out of your breast. If you want to decrease your milk supply, decrease the frequency of removing the milk out of your breast.
Tips to increase your milk supply
Drink more water
Are you drinking enough water? Normal water intake for women recommended is around 3,000 ml per day. If you’re not drinking enough, then there’s a chance you’ll have a lower milk supply since breast milk is mostly made up of water.
After every nursing session you’re a bit dehydrated, remember to drink some water after breastfeeding/ pumping. If you just hate drinking water, you can substitute portions of the intake by coconut water or adding lemon slices to the water to add some flavour. But the best of the best is still drinking water. Bring a flask with you!
Lactation Cookies & Lactation Tea?
Lactation cookies, lactation tea, lactation brownies ... There are so many lactation foods out on the market, but how do they work? Those products all include an ingredient called galactagogues.
Galactagogues are found in plants and are able to promote lactation. That said, if you maintain a healthy diet then you’re naturally eating in galactagogues. There’s no need to add special diets for the sake of inducing milk.