Have you considered not to breastfeed because you are afraid you are not producing enough breast milk? Or have you started supplementing with formula because you fear your baby is not getting enough breast milk? What can be done in these situations? Here are three things you must first consider if you want to increase breast milk production.
- Ensure proper latching. Ensure that your baby is latching properly and is removing the milk from your breasts. The more milk that is removed, the more milk is produced. If your baby is not latching properly she may not be removing enough milk from the breast. You may need help from a breastfeeding expert such as a lactating specialist. A specialist can work with you to sort out any breastfeeding problems you may have. La Leche League is a great resource.
- Nurse and/or pump frequently. The more you nurse or pump, the more milk is produced. Suckling stimulates the breast to make more milk.
- Add skin –to-skin contact. Skin-to-skin contact with you baby stimulates milk production. Remove your baby’s clothes and place him next to your bare skin. This can easily be done at bath or bedtime. You may need to wrap a blanket around both of you to stay warm. Carrying your little one in a baby sling throughout the day can also increase your milk supply.
Other factors that lead to low milk supply may involve poor diet, stress, lack of sleep, lack of fluids or a medical condition. Before considering these other issues, first ensure your baby is latching properly, you are nursing or pumping frequently and adding more skin-to-skin contact.
For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding, read “The Nursing Mother’s Herbal” by Sheila Humphrey.