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Tips to Increase Breastmilk Supply

Sep 29, 2022

Some women may have a low breast milk supply, especially during the first few weeks of breastfeeding. This would be the main reason for most mothers to start moving to formula supplement feeding rather than exclusive breastfeeding. However, the cases are rare for a mother to produce a lower milk supply than her baby needs throughout the day.

Expectations of Baby on Breastfeed

You could find what your baby expects from breastfeeding with your baby's behavior. If your baby is having frequent wet nappies each day, you could understand that your breast milk supply is good on your baby’s demand.

Here are some difficulties with breastfeeding:

  • You may need to feed your baby often as your breast milk gets easily digested within 1 to 2 hours after feeding but formula milk takes more time to digest, you may need to feed your baby often
  • your baby may behave fussy sometimes because you might produce less quantity of milk. So your baby may request more feeds often which we call a cluster feed
  • may like to suck even your baby tummy since sucking comforts them
  • may expect more skin-to-skin contact and cuddles to feel them secure
  • always make sure your baby's needs are met
  • when your baby is having a growth spurt, they want a frequent feed from which your milk supply may increase 

How can I know that my baby is getting enough milk?

You could know whether your baby is getting enough milk or not if they-

  • going through frequent urination meant having 6 to 8 wet nappies in a 24-hour time
  • number of poos and wees of your baby per day is a good indicator
  • wake for feeds by themselves during sleep
  • request to have 8 - 12 breastfeeds in a day
  • poop a soft yellow stool
  • have good sleep almost after every feeds
  • return to birth weight in 2 weeks
  • average weight gain of 150g every week for the first 3 months

Reasons for a low milk supply

There are many reasons why some women have a low milk supply including:

  • delays in breastfeeding after delivery or separations of both mother and baby due to any unavoidable circumstances
  • if the mother has excessive blood loss during birth and complications like the placental issue 
  • scheduled feeding, rather than feeding baby on the requirement
  • both formula feeding as well as breastfeeding
  • without expressing breast milk, skipping breastfeeds, and offering a supplement formula feed at that time of baby's demand
  • poor latching on the breast
  • long-term use of nipple shields or pacifiers

Experts say, generally breast milk supply may be low for women who have a history of the polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypothyroidism, diabetes, and high blood pressure or even if taking the contraceptive pill or infertility condition.

How to increase your milk supply

The following tips may help increase your breastmilk supply:

  • ensure your baby is latching correctly and efficiently from the breast
  • be prepared to feed your baby more frequently between every 2-3 hours and on your baby’s demand at least 8 times a day
  • offer breast milk from both your breasts switching from one breast to the other
  • ensure your breasts are emptied after each feed or pumping session
  • do not stay longer without breastfeeding your baby or expressing your breast milk either manually or using an electric pump
  • place your baby conveniently when you are feeding, you may use pillows to promote more effective sucking
  • drink a lot of water, eat a healthy balanced diet, and nutritional supplements
  • ensure taking rest and sleep as much as possible between feeds


Related: What are the issues you may encounter on breastfeeding after a C-section?

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