It's quite normal for a new mom to worry that she is not producing enough milk for her newborn, although she probably is.
If this is the case for you, there are a few quick ways to check:
- confirm with your physician that baby is gaining weight
- wets five to eight diapers a day
- looks healthy and alert
- and has yellowy poos that lighten in color about five days after birth
However, if you still feel that you want to increase your breast milk production, the following tips may help.
Pumping your breasts daily at the same time, outside of regular feeding hours, will mimic a how a baby going through a growth spurt is fed, which will cause your body to produce more milk. Pump for 20 minutes, rest for 10, pump another 10 minutes, rest for 10 and then pump again for 10 minutes. Usually, three to four consecutive days is sufficient but it's not uncommon for some women to do this for a week. If you are a working mom, here are some tips for pumping at work. Don't forget to wear maternity nursing tops to make pumping much easier, especially since you will be doing this several times a day!
Some babies will become lazy after nursing for a few minutes and will slow down. When this happens, switch breasts as soon as the baby slows down. Do this until baby has fed twice on each breast and then let them nurse as long as they want. This will ensure that each breast has received enough stimulation. Be sure to use nursing tops to easily switch between breasts and when you are out of the house opt for a cozy nursing hoodie for quick access. Surely your baby will love being in milk drunk bliss!
Eating and Drinking Enough
Breast milk is 88 percent water, so it is crucial to ensure you are drinking plenty of fluids! Aim for drinking eight ounces every time you feed your baby and you should be able to keep yourself well hydrated. Keep a water bottle handy at all times. Breastfeeding moms need to eat a well-balanced diet that provides 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day to maintain an adequate supply of milk. So try good lactation smoothies and a healthy diet. Consuming less will put you at risk of not producing enough milk. Read more tips here about dieting while nursing.
Things to Avoid
Do not introduce soothers as this will taking sucking sessions away from breast. Supplementing with formula a few bottles a week will not affect your milk supply, but if you introduce it more then you will produce less milk. Don't try and put baby on a schedule. For example, many women think their baby should be feeding every four hours. While this may be great for you, it may not be enough for a nursing baby! Try feeding on demand and definitely reach out to your nearest lactation support center for advice and extra care during this time.
Remember that your breast milk is produced according to supply and demand, so, in most cases, you can be assured you are producing enough milk. As long as you are breastfeeding or pumping 10 to 12 sessions a day, you are probably doing just fine! You may just find yourself donating your breastmilk!
Keep going mama! You're doing great!
Find more ways on how to make more breast milk here.