There are several things you can try to increase your milk supply while breastfeeding/chestfeeding:
- Nurse frequently. Nursing frequently can help stimulate your body to produce more milk. Try nursing on demand, at least every 2-3 hours during the day and every 3-4 hours at night.
- Check your latch. Making sure your baby is properly latched onto your breast/chest can help them get more milk. A proper latch doesn’t hurt as your baby takes a large mouthful of breast/chest tissue, especially, below the nipple, and your nipple is deep in their mouth very close to the roof of the baby’s mouth.
- Use breast/chest compression. While nursing, you can use breast/chest compression to help stimulate milk production. To do this, gently compress your breast/chest with your hand while your baby is nursing. This can help encourage milk flow and help your baby get more milk.
- Try skin-to-skin contact. Skin-to-skin contact can help increase milk production and improve breastfeeding/chestfeeding. Try holding your baby close to your skin, with their chest against yours, while nursing.
- Consider using a lactation aid. A lactation aid, such as a supplemental nursing system, can help your baby get more milk while nursing. You can make it yourself using a nasogastric tube and the bottle, or buy one from Medela.
- Consider pumping. Pumping can improve your milk removal thus stimulating its production. It can be short regular pumping throughout the day or a power pumping session x1-2/day.
- Consider taking supplements. Some people find that taking supplements, such as Moringa, Goat’s Rue, Shatavari, Fenugreek, or Blessed Thistle, can help increase milk supply. However, it’s important to talk to your lactation consultant or healthcare provider before taking any supplements as their choice depends on your personal medical history, and sometimes they can decrease your milk supply instead of improving it.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking enough fluids like water can help maintain a healthy milk supply. Aim for at least 8-12 cups of fluids per day and always drink to your thirst. Please remember that drinks with caffeine lead to dehydration.
- Get enough rest. Rest and relaxation can help your body produce more milk. Try to get as much rest as possible and find time to relax and unwind.
- Eat a balanced diet. Eating a well-balanced diet can help maintain a healthy milk supply. Aim to eat a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, protein, and complex carbohydrates.
If you are still having difficulty with milk supply despite trying these strategies, it may be helpful to speak with a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider for additional support and guidance.