8 Ways to Increase Breast Milk Supply
Did you know breast milk production is not a fixed quantity? Instead, the amount of milk available for your little one to drink is directly related to the supply of receptors in your breasts. When these receptors are stimulated, they release more prolactin, the hormone that triggers breast milk production. The good news is that there are simple ways how to increase breast milk supply. In this blog post, we’ll go over 8 suggestions for boosting your production and increasing that yellow flow!
Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet is essential at every stage of life, and breastfeeding is no different. You may find that your milk supply increases simply by eating a balanced diet full of nourishing and nutritious foods. The best foods for breastfeeding mothers are high-protein foods like meat, fish, dairy, beans, nuts, and legumes. These are great for increasing the overall milk supply, but they’re also important for a growing baby. Protein is one of the main components of breast milk, and your baby needs it for healthy growth and development. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that are also important for a baby’s health and proper development. Milk and dairy products are good sources of calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth.
Breast milk is about 88% water, and a breastfeeding baby who isn’t getting enough fluids could become dehydrated and sick. If your baby is sick, it can slow down milk production, which means less milk for your little one to drink. A simple way to increase your breast milk supply is to stay hydrated, which can help boost milk production. If you’re breastfeeding, you should drink about 10 cups of water every day. If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you should also drink other fluids like juice, tea, and milk, but not coffee or soda, which contain caffeine. If you’re breastfeeding and want to boost your milk production, you should drink even more water. You might need to drink up to a gallon of water a day to see significant results.
Galactogogues are substances that boost breast milk production by stimulating the production of prolactin, the hormone that regulates milk production. Galactogogues are usually herbs or plants, but there are also some prescription medications that can boost supply, such as domperidone, metoclopramide, or Reglan. The most effective and commonly used herbs for increasing breast milk production are fenugreek, anise seeds, and blessed thistle.
One study found that mothers who took a fenugreek supplement saw a 28% increase in their milk production, while mothers who took a placebo saw a 10% decrease in their production. Fenugreek can cause gastrointestinal side effects, but other herbs are also effective. Anise seeds have a similar effect to fenugreek, and blessed thistle has been shown to be just as effective. Drinking fennel tea is a less intense way to get the benefits of fennel. There are also a number of herbal teas that are thought to increase breast milk supply.
Consume probiotics & herbs
Probiotics are beneficial, or “good”, bacteria that are essential for a healthy gut. They help with digestion, boost immunity, and, in this case, increase breast milk production. One study found that mothers who took a probiotic supplement saw a 25% increase in their milk production after two weeks. There are a few different types of probiotics that you can consume to boost your production:
- Lactobacillus – This is the most common type of probiotic, and it’s found in many yogurts.
- Bifidobacterium – This probiotic is found in miso and kefir.
- Saccharomyces boulardii – This probiotic is often used in hospitals to treat diarrhea, and it’s also found in some supplements.
Exercising has a variety of health benefits for both you and your baby. It can help you relax and reduce stress, improve your sleep, and boost your mood. Exercise also helps you increase your overall health and energy level, which could lead to increased milk production. However, research is still unclear on how much of an effect exercise has on breast milk production. One study found that exercising can increase the volume of breast milk by 50%, while another found that it had no effect on production. Regardless of how much it increases your overall production, you’ll still be providing your baby with important nutrients and health benefits. Keep in mind that your exercise routine doesn’t have to be rigorous or strenuous. A daily walk, yoga session, or even a quick workout at home can be enough to help boost your breast milk supply.
Watch what you eat and drink
If you’re struggling to increase your breast milk production, it’s important to keep track of what you’re eating. It’s best to avoid certain types of food if you’re having trouble with production. Dairy products are a common culprit—they could be slowing down your production. Caffeine, alcohol, and certain types of food and spices can also slow production. If you suspect that a certain food is inhibiting your production, it could be worth removing it from your diet to see if that helps increase your production. If you suspect that a certain food is inhibiting your production, it could be worth removing it from your diet to see if that helps increase your production.
There are a few supplements on the market that are claimed to boost breast milk production. In general, they’re not as effective as herbs or probiotics, but they can still be helpful. Lactium – This is a brand of calcium lactate that has been shown to increase production by 24%. It’s thought that the calcium lactate in the pills makes it easier for your body to absorb the calcium and thus boost production. Fenugreek Plus – This is a supplement that combines fenugreek and anise seeds with other natural ingredients. It’s been shown to increase production by 35%.
Have your partner help out
If you’re breastfeeding and struggling with increasing your supply, it’s important to remember that your partner can help out. Many breastfeeding mothers have partners who are eager to help and participate in feeding, but not all partners know how to help. If your partner is breastfeeding, they can try stimulating your nipples by hand before or after feedings to see if that helps boost your production. If you’re not breastfeeding and you’re struggling to increase your supply, it’s important to have your partner help out with feeding. You can alternate between breast milk and formula, but a formula is a great option for newborns who aren’t getting enough breast milk.
Breastfeeding is an incredible experience, and it comes with many benefits for both you and your baby. It’s important to know that your milk production is not fixed and that you can increase it with the right tools and techniques. If you’re having trouble with production, try incorporating a few of these suggestions into your daily routine to see if that helps boost your production.