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6 Tips to Boost Your Breastmilk Supply.

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6 Tips to Boost Your Breastmilk Supply.

Megan Jennings

Nothing quite compares to the joy of holding your brand-new baby in your arms. The possibilities for this tiny human seem endless, and it is hard to believe you created such a perfect being. However, after you have finished basking in the glow of this new life, and as your new baby begins his or her journey in life, you are likely to come across a roadblock or two.

One of the most common problems new mothers have is with feeding their little one. More specifically, many mothers find themselves with a milk supply that never quite seems to be enough.

The first thing to consider is whether or not you truly have a problem with your milk supply. After all, there is no real way to measure how much your baby is eating in any one feeding. 

There are a few ways you can go about making sure your newborn is getting enough to eat. The first is to watch their weight. If your baby is gaining weight while nursing exclusively, there is not a problem with your milk supply. In addition to weight, you can also watch your baby’s diapers. For newborns 5 days and older, you should expect to see 6 or more wet diapers and 3–4 dirty diapers per day. If they are meeting these quotas, you are likely in the clear. 

If you watch these signs and determine you do have a supply issue, the next step is to address the problem. In these cases, many pediatricians will jump straight to supplementing with formula, and in some cases this may be the best route to take, at least until you can build your supply. However, there are ways to quickly increase your milk supply so you can get back on track as soon as possible. 

Below we have compiled a list of some of the most effective methods of increasing a mother’s breast milk supply. 

#1: Check Baby’s Nursing Method
The very first thing to do when all signs point to a supply issue is to check baby’s latch and extraction method. A poor latch will lead to poor extraction, and a breast that is not being emptied efficiently will not get the signal to make more milk since what’s being made isn’t being used.

Therefore, calling in a lactation consultant to help baby latch on properly may be the thing to do to increase supply and get milk into baby’s tummy. 

#2: Nurse Frequently
The more you nurse, the more milk you will produce. If your baby is nursing an empty breast, your body will get the signal and begin producing more milk. While it won’t be instant, you will likely see an increase in milk supply a few days after you begin putting baby to the breast more often.
 
#3: Consider Pumping
Though it isn’t always the best solution, pumping after each nursing session could help stimulate more milk production. That said, it is important to make sure to pump only after your little one has finished a nursing session in order to ensure they are getting as much milk from you as possible. 

#4: Avoid Bottles and Pacifiers
Artificial nipples can confuse babies and cause them to have a poor latch, which in turn causes inefficient nursing and eventually decreased milk supply. Because of this, it is very important to avoid pacifiers and bottles until a good, solid nursing relationship has been established. 
If it is medically necessary to supplement your breast milk with formula, consider using a supplemental nursing system. This will allow your baby to receive breast milk and formula while nursing, and does not require the use of a bottle. 
Another option for those who must supplement is to offer a cup or spoon instead of a traditional baby bottle.

#5: Eat a Balanced Diet
Your body cannot make nutrients for your growing baby if you aren’t giving it anything to work with. Make sure you are eating a balanced and healthy diet full of leafy greens, lean proteins, and colorful fruits and vegetables. Avoid foods that are full of empty calories and refined sugars. 
In addition to the items mentioned above, there are a few specific foods that can actually help boost milk supply. These include oats, salmon, spinach, and carrots, to name a few. Be sure to include some of these foods in your diet each day in order to give your milk production an even bigger boost. 

#6: Drink Water
Of course, liquids are also a necessary ingredient in the production of breast milk. Without enough water, your body will become dehydrated and unable to produce milk at all. In order to ensure you are getting enough water, keep a water bottle on hand at all times, and refill it throughout the day. Additionally, it is important to avoid caffeinated beverages, which are diuretics.

By following these tips, you should see an increase in your milk supply within a matter of days. If you are still having problems after trying all of the above, it is important to see a lactation consultant—as well as your child’s pediatrician—in order to decide what steps should be taken next.