Insufficient supply of breast milk is one of the top reasons for why new mothers give up on breastfeeding their infants. That’s easy to understand considering how heartbreaking it is to have to hear your baby cry out of hunger. However, before reaching for the infant formula, you might want to try the following 15 tips to help you increase your breast milk production.
- Start your morning with a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. It can help to relax your body which stimulate the production of the oxytocin hormone which is critical for lactation.
- Drink a cup of tea with blessed thistle mixed in. Blessed thistle has been used since the Middle Ages as a herbal remedy to promote milk production in nursing mothers naturally.
- Try some lactation cookies and snack on them regularly. These super yummy cookies contain nutritious ingredients such as oats, flaxseed, and brewers yeast that help boost breast milk supply.
- Hydrate and drink water throughout the day. You need to take in liquid to make liquid.
- Take a warm shower prior to nursing your baby. The warmth increases blood supply to the breasts as well as help widen the ducts for easier expression.
- Forget about adhering to rigid schedules. Allow your baby to latch on whenever he is in the mood to feed and let him stay on your breast for as long as he wants. Feeding more produces more milk.
- Frequently switch between each breast while nursing your baby. Double feeding puts more demand on the breasts to produce more milk.
- Bring out the breast pump. Consistent pumping keeps your breast stimulated and produce more milk. Use it to really empty out your breasts after each feeding or when you are back at work.
- Don’t give your baby infant formula besides breast milk. If you satisfy your baby’s hunger with formula, he will sleep longer and nurse less frequently from the breast, which will cause the breast to produce less milk.
- Add fennel seeds to your food preparations. Studies have proven that this sweet, licorice-flavored spice help stimulate breast milk production. Alternatively, massaging fennel essential oil to your breasts can also work. Just steer clear of the nipples!
- Stay relaxed. Studies show that nursing moms produce more milk when they are rested and relax. Get your partner to fill in with some of the household chores and activities. Try relaxation techniques such as hypnosis or mediation, or simply take a nap.
- Drink a glass of non-alcoholic beer. The barley and hops used to make beer can help stimulate prolactin levels in your body which in turn help increase milk supply and bring about a better let-down of milk. Just make sure you are drinking a non-alcoholic beer and your doctor doesn’t see it as a problem.
- Supplement yourself with herbal supplements. If you do not want to take medications to boost breast milk supply, herbal supplements is the natural way to promote lactation. Look for supplements that contain fenugreek, blessed thistle and fennel seed.
- Undress your baby to just his diaper while breastfeeding. This allows you to have more skin-to-skin contact with your baby which some moms claims that the close bonding helps with better milk production.
- Know what to eat and what not to eat for breastfeeding. The general rule is avoid foods that are considered stimulant such as coffee or chocolate as well as any foods that you or your partner may be allergic to. You will also need to stay away from herbs such as peppermint and sage. They can mess with your milk supply.
As the saying goes, “breast is best”. So don’t give up on breastfeeding.