8 out of 10 mothers visiting my clinic for lactation counseling have issues of low breast milk supply. So here I am, writing answers to some of the most common queries related to low breast milk supply.
There is a lot of information available on the internet, but the right solution can be provided by an expert in the field. Being in the field of Reproductive child and health for the last 12 years I have met so many mothers and not only understand their challenges as a doctor and lactation consultant but also empathize as a mother myself.
Well, the answer to the question How to increase breast milk is very simple to answer but difficult to understand and follow. I have tried my best to simplify it for my readers.
Breast milk supply is based on the “Demand and supply” cycle. The more demand you create for your brain, the more supply it will make for your body.
How to increase breast milk?
Now, the question is how to create this demand of more milk?
Here are the tips
- Putting baby frequently on breast
- Emptying breast effectively
- Night feeding (12 am – 5am)
- Getting deep latch for baby on breast
- Learning right technique of breastfeeding
The increased demand of milk will signal your brain thereby increasing breast milk supply gradually.
Once a mother asked me, “How to increase breast milk in one day?” first I thought, how it is possible, but then when I thought about its possibility, yes it can. Answer is power pumping (will write soon on this too). For this article, I will be focusing on how to increase breast milk naturally.
So, as I made you understand Supply and demand cycle above, similarly there are few more points to answer mothers query How to increase breast milk?
Understanding Demand and supply
Working on right hormones – Prolactin and Oxytocin are the 2 hormones which play a major role in breastfeeding. While Prolactin helps to make breast milk, Oxytocin helps to push that milk out.
For letting Prolactin to make more milk – Night feeding especially between 12 am to 5 am is very important as Prolactin level is highest at this time zone. Nature has planned it well, babies usually are very active at night and demand milk frequently. So, if mother feeds frequently during night, her breast milk supply will increase.
How to increase breast milk?
For Oxytocin to work in harmony, mother has to remain calm and happy. A tired and exhausted mother might be having good breast milk but it will not release effectively. That is why Oxytocin is also known as Love Hormone.
Now, the next common query of mother is, what foods help produce breast milk?
So, let me tell you food has no direct relation or impact on breast milk supply unless other things are also well focused, but with good nutrition, the mother’s body is replenished well and she can effectively make her attempts to successfully breastfeed her baby.
How to increase breast milk by Indian food?
Traditionally, Indian homes all over the country have many regional recipes which serve as potent galactogogues, i.e. foods which help to increase breast milk. Foods like Oatmeal, broken wheat (Daliya), Red Masoor dal and additives like cumin seeds (Jeera), fennel seeds (Saunf), carom seeds (Ajwain), garlic (Lahsun) etc if used in meals regularly, helps to increase breast milk.
For a new mother, setting a routine for food is a big task, so having healthy snacks frequently or easy to make meals is life savior. To resolve this issue, I have made my own hand made Lactation Mix which is 100% natural, FSSAI licensed and made up of 25-30 ingredients. It just needs to be mixed in milk and consumed.
How to increase breast milk after delivery?
It is commonly believed that breast milk doesn’t come in for 3 days after delivery, especially if it’s a caesarian section delivery. But it is not true, if the baby is put on the breast of mother during the initial first hour after childbirth also known as Golden Hour, it helps in letdown reflex and colostrum come in sooner.
A newborn baby has a stomach capacity of just 8 ml!!! So, the first thick liquid, yellow colostrum which come in drops is sufficient for the baby.
It’s just that the mother needs to nurse the baby every hour in the initial few days until mature milk starts coming. Mother should also massage her breast and do hot compress to ease out colostrum flow and prevent breast engorgement.
What can I drink to increase breast milk?
Water, also called elixir of life, is the best friend for a breastfeeding mother. Breast milk is made up of 60-70 % water, so good water intake of at least 3 liters of water by mother everyday will keep her body well hydrated and help her to make good breast milk.
Tip – Fill up 3 bottles of 1 liter each in the morning, and keep drinking from them to keep track of your water intake. Try to finish the 3 bottles by 7pm evening to avoid running to the washroom at night.
How can I increase my breast milk quality?
Breast milk is made up of live cells. Breastfeeding is not only for filling the baby’s stomach; it also helps in the holistic development of the baby. Mother doesn’t need to doubt her breast milk quality as that is the best food available for her baby in this whole world.
Breast milk is the perfect tailor made milk for your baby. The only requirement for a mother is to remain calm, enjoy her baby’s presence in her life and take life as it comes and flow with the flow of life. This will help in releasing endorphins in her breast milk, which will be like a cherry on the cake.
How can I increase my breast milk fast?
Understand the concept of demand and supply cycle and work accordingly.
- Drink at least 3 liter of water everyday
- Do breast massage
- Do hot compress of breast regularly
- Night feeding is a must
- Empty breasts frequently either by direct feeding of the baby or pumping with breast pump.
- Take sufficient rest
- Have good and healthy nutrition.
Follow above suggestions to see visible results fast.
Why is my milk supply suddenly low?
This is again a very common query asked by mothers and for it, hormones are to be blamed.
If the mother is very tired, stressed, has lack of sleep then in spite of making sufficient breast milk, milk will not get released as Oxytocin hormone will not work properly. If this happens, mother should take a warm shower and go to sleep for at least 3-4 hours. Things will be normal as she wakes up.
Topic of breastfeeding is very close to my heart and I can keep writing about it. For now, I am penning down for you to absorb the information. Hope you liked the information. Leave your queries or suggestions in the comment section below. Share this article to reach out to more mothers who might be having the same queries and looking for expert opinion.