The first 4 to 6 weeks are essential for any mother for breastfeeding. This is the time when the mother is producing a healthy supply of breast milk. For most mothers, the supply of breast milk is normal after the first few weeks. But for those mothers whose milk supply is low, it can be increased by taking the following steps.
- Increase the amount of breastfeeding - You can increase the amount of breast milk by breastfeeding more. This is because your body produces breast milk based on the supply and demand basis. When the baby suckles on your breast, certain hormones trigger your breast to produce milk.
So, breastfeeding 8 to 12 times a day can enhance milk production significantly.
- Feed from both breasts - Feed your baby from both of your breasts during each breastfeeding session. Offer them the first breast until he or she stops feeding, then offer the next breast. This stimulation of both breasts increases the milk supply. The first breast usually gets more stimulation, so try to alternate the breast during every new breastfeeding session.
If you always feed on one side, that breast will become larger and produce more milk. Pumping milk from both sides also increases the fat content in the milk.
- Stimulating the breasts - After you finish a breastfeeding session, you can stimulate the breasts using a breast pump or a hand expression technique. This will trigger your body to produce more milk. Most mothers use hand expression over breast pumps. During the initial days of breastfeeding, hand expression can be very effective as it removes more milk from your breast than a breast pump.
If you are using breast pumps, pumping your breasts between feeding sessions can increase the amount of breast milk. Warm your breasts before feeding to make the process easier.
- Lifestyle changes - Your daily lifestyle choices also have an effect on milk production. Excessive smoking, drinking, stress and fatigue can interfere with your milk supply. Stay hydrated by keeping a bottle of water near the place where you breastfeed. Try to stay calm and relaxed during this time. Take a warm bath, get enough sleep, read a book or listen to music.
Try to get some exercise and stay active. Always exercise according to the doctor’s instructions.
- Keep the baby awake during breastfeeding - Some newborns are sleepy during their first few weeks. Try to wake the baby up after every 3 hours to breastfeed if he or she is sleepy. Also, make sure the baby is awake during breastfeeding. To keep a sleepy or drowsy baby awake, rub their feet, change their diaper and unwrapping the baby so he or she is not feeling too cozy.
When the baby is awake and feeding properly, it will provide your body with the required stimulation to produce more milk.
Maintain a healthy diet by including foods such as oats, green vegetables and smoothies containing herbs such as ginger, garlic or fenugreek. Always follow your doctor’s instructions.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist
& get answers to your questions!