Making More Milk
Your body is designed to make as much milk as your baby needs. A small percentage of women have biological conditions that negatively affect their milk supplies. But most low milk supplies have external causes and can be remedied.
Do You Have a Low Milk Supply?
After a few weeks of breastfeeding our milk supply becomes balanced with our baby's appetite and our breasts become softer and lighter. They feel less full despite having ample milk. Instead of focusing on your breasts, watch the baby to see if he is getting enough milk.
Causes For Low Milk Supply
There Are Two Main Causes Of Low Milk Supply: The Baby Not Nursing Enough Or The Baby Not Nursing Right.
The first is usually a case of mismanagement, i.e. nursing according to a schedule and not by the baby's cues, giving bottles of artificial baby milk or other liquid instead of feeding, or using a pacifier to push off feeds. Letting the baby eat as often and as long as he wants will bring your milk supply back up. Avoid pacifiers and bottles and let him fulfill all his sucking needs at the breast. You may have a few days of marathon nursing while your baby builds up your milk supply to fit his needs. Its best if you dedicate a few days to just nursing. If you have been giving baby more than a few ounces of formula a day, you may need to wean him off of it gradually while you build your supply back up.
Is Your Baby Nursing Too Much?
But What About The Baby Who Spends All Night And Day At The Breast And Still Isn't Getting Enough Milk?
These babies usually are not nursing right. Their inability to drain the breast leads to less breastmilk made. Whether it is a question of a poor latch or a disorganized suck, a professional lactation consultant can help diagnose and fix the breastfeeding problem. Solving the problem may be all that you need.
The Key To Building Up Your Supply Is Frequent Milk Removal
If your baby is not nursing at all you should be expressing your milk throughout the day and night. Try to pump at least 8 to 10 times is 24 hours. Rent a hospital grade electric pump and make sure that the flange fits properly. You will get more milk out quicker if you message your breasts for a few minutes before pumping. Following each pumping session with some hand expression will boost your volume even more.
If your baby is nursing, pump as soon as you can after a feed. The object is too get the breasts as empty as possible. As your milk supply grows you can pump less.
There Is No Magic Pill
But there are some things that can help. Though not scientifically proven, lactation consultants have had much success with fenugreek pills. A woman should take at least 3 pills 3 times a day. There are also certain teas that seem to help. Ask your lactation consultant what she recommends. For more difficult cases, ask your doctor about Domperidone (Motilium™), a prescription medicine. The dosage is the same as the fenugreek. Remember, these things will not work without frequent milk removal.