Mothers: Here Is How to Increase Breast Milk

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
November 25, 2019
breast feeding

Are you struggling to produce enough breast milk for your bundle of joy? I had the same concerns with all three of my children. Fortunately, there's tons of information nowadays on how to increase breast milk production.

Even though research shows that breast milk is best for babies, there are instances where formula may be needed. In order to do what's best for your baby, discuss any concerns you're having with your physician. You may likely be able to increase your breast milk supply with a few modifications and still reap the benefits of breastfeeding.

Benefits of Breast Milk

Have you ever heard the saying, "Breast is best?"  Well, it's not just a catchphrase, it's a fact.  While breast milk is not the only option, we can't deny the many benefits it has to offer.

Healthier start for you baby

One benefit of breastfeeding your little one is that it helps protect them from illness. Research shows that breastmilk helps lower the risk of certain illnesses such as asthma, respiratory infections, and childhood Leukemia. That's because breastmilk contains hormones, cells, and antibodies.

Moreover, breastmilk is constantly changing to accommodate your growing baby's needs. Take colostrum, for instance. It's the first milk that a woman produces during pregnancy and right after giving birth. Colostrum is also referred to as liquid gold due to it being chock-full of nutrients needed to help get your baby off to the best start possible.

Benefits the mother's health

When breastfeeding, your little one isn't the only one benefitting. Research shows that breastfeeding also helps mom's health as well as recovery after childbirth. Lower risk of type 2 diabetes, certain breast cancers, and ovarian cancer have been linked to breastfeeding.

Not to mention, breastfeeding is believed to help moms lose weight and slim back down. Several women swear that breastfeeding was instrumental in assisting them to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight quickly. While research is still being conducted to cement this theory, breastfeeding does release a hormone that helps shrinks the uterus back to its prepregnancy size.

It's free

One of the best perks of breastfeeding is that it's free. Have you seen the price of the formula these days? Then, consider your little guy or girl may require a particular type due to trouble digesting, which may cost even more.

Plus, breastfeeding doesn't always require a bottle or special water. So, you're also purchasing fewer sup

plies to feed your baby. That's not only cheaper but also convenient.

Signs Your Baby Is Getting Enough Breast Milk

Breast Feeding
Image source: freepik

Also, you'll want to listen for swallowing sounds while your baby is feeding. While some babies may still appear to be cranky after being fed, generally, a well-fed baby is happy and content. Furthermore, if your baby doesn't seem to want to release and your breasts are still hard, chances are your baby isn't getting enough milk.

Low Breast Milk Production

Producing enough breast milk is a huge concern for a lot of moms-to-be. However, it's not as common of a problem as one might think. Even though researchers don't know every factor that plays a role in hindering breast milk supply, they have a few ideas.

What causes low breast milk?

There are several reasons why some women do not supply an adequate amount of breast milk. Some factors may be harder to address, such as mom's health. If mom suffers from anemia or takes antihistamines, these can decrease milk supply.

However, there are a few causes that you should try and avoid. Mom needs to get all the sleep she can when possible. However, if the baby sleeps too long, then the body slows down milk production because the baby is feeding less.

Also, don't cut feedings short. Allow the baby to detach on his or her own even if it feels lie they've been feeding forever. This signals that they are, in fact, feeding and may need more milk production.

Similarly, check to make sure the baby is latching on correctly. A poor latch not only lessens the stimulation the breasts need to send signals to produce more milk, but it can also cause frustration for the baby. This is a common problem that lactation specialists can assist with.

Signs you're not producing enough

It's scary to think you may not be producing enough breast milk for your child. However, it does happen, so we encourage you to speak to either your physician or a lactation specialist regarding any concerns you may be having. Unfortunately, some signs are not as apparent as others.

For instance, keep track of how many wet or soiled diapers your baby has in the day. If there are few diaper changes needed, it's possible that they are not getting enough breast milk. Also, if you notice your little one isn't putting on weight, this is a sign as well that should be brought to the attention of a physician.

How to Increase Breast Milk

It's a great idea to learn how to increase breast milk prior to giving birth. Having an understanding of how the body works off of a supply and demand system helps you problem solve ahead of time. Furthermore, it sets a realistic tone that breastfeeding isn't always easy.

Regular pumping

Breastfeeding regularly and pumping in between helps your body to keep up with the demand. When you increase the frequency of milk releasing, your body will know that more milk needs to be produced. If you don't have access to a breast pump, no worries.

You can also express breast milk by hand. Sure, it can take a bit longer, but I found it to be less painful. Plus, I found that hand expressing in the shower helped me to relax and produce more.

Herbs

Certain herbs have been linked to increased breast milk production. Fenugreek and goat's rue are just two that happen to belong to the same family and are used by women to increase breast milk supply. However, fenugreek is more commonly used in teas as well as recipes.

Foods

Understanding what we consume is important when carrying a child, after giving birth, and when breastfeeding. Did you now that certain foods not only change the taste of breast milk but can also increase its production?  It's pretty astonishing knowing that certain foods have anything to do with how to increase breast milk supply.

Garlic, for instance, can increase milk supply, but too much can affect the taste and become less appealing to the baby. Other foods include oats, flaxseed, and leafy greens. I think the best part is knowing that you can use all of these foods in everyday dishes or snacks such as cookies.

Lactation cookies are all the rage since it contains a number of ingredients believed to increase breast milk production. You can either purchase ready-made cookies online or use this simple recipe for Oatmeal Lactation Cookies. Not only are they easy to snack on when you're busy, but also really yummy.

Who knew cookies would be the answer to how to increase breast milk supply? Yes, please!

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp milled flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp whole flaxseed (optional)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp brewer's yeast
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Instructions

First, start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, in a mixing bowl, combine the sugar and coconut oil until the mixture is soft.

Next, add the vanilla and egg to the bowl and mix. In a sperate bowl, add the water to the milled flaxseed before adding to the mixing bowl.

Now, take the brewer's yeast, flour, salt, and cinnamon and add to the mixing bowl and begin mixing again. Once it's combined, mix in the oats, raisins, and whole flaxseed by hand.

Now that your cookie dough is ready to scoop the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently flatten the cookies and bae for 12 minutes.

This recipe should yield a dozen cookies.

Give Our Tips on How to Increase Breast Milk a Try

We certainly hope you walk away with a good amount of knowledge regarding how to increase breast milk production. However, it's essential to make sure that your concerns are valid before making any changes to your routine or diet. You can do so by checking with your physician or lactation specialist regarding any of your breastfeeding concerns.

Do you have your own tips on how to increase breast milk supply? Leave a comment below.

Featured image source: freepik

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