So, you have decided to breastfeed your baby for as long as you can. You are pumping pretty good (4-6 ozs per session). Your baby is happy, you are happy, and most of all your breastfeeding routine is working. It is your six weeks check up. You go to your doctor who puts you on oral contraception pills of which you start taking. Suddenly, you are ecstatic because the next day you notice that your breast milk supply has dwindled from 6 ozs to barely 1 oz! What do I do?
Now, I do know your birth control contraception can affect your milk supply, so ask your health practitioner if the contraception prescribed does decrease your milk supply. Your baby should however continue to stimulate your milk production provided you are not violating any of the concepts of breastfeeding .e.g taking a birth control pills that works against breastfeeding.
Many mothers believe that they can substitute the breast pump for the baby’s natural sucking. Let me tell you Mamas, there is absolutely no greater substitute for increasing your milk supply other than your baby. Only your baby can give you the best results with your milk results. The pump is only a mimic of your baby’s sucking and will never be number one in increasing the needed supply.
Pumping is a good back -up to complement breastfeeding. You and your baby may be separated and you may have no other choice but to pump. Pumping at this time and every 2-3 hours (8-12 times per day) is fine. I have also noticed that some mamas pump and give the baby the breast milk that is pumped and avoid putting the baby to the breast. There is just no getting around it-direct breastfeeding is best for sustained increase in breast milk supply. I have helped you out a bit by providing some affiliate links to help you shop for some items you might need at no extra cost.
How Do I Know if My Baby is Getting Enough?
Many mothers are not sure if their pumping per session is sufficient for their babies. This can be a concern. If you give your baby 3ozs in the bottle, you know that the baby has been given what is needed. With the baby at the breast, some mothers say they are not sure how much the baby needs. The thing is with the breast, after your baby is born, the body does not know how much your baby needs until he begins to suck.
Whatever is removed, the body attempts to replace. Did you know if your breasts are not fully emptied at the end of a feed; your body will only make the amount that was removed? Feed on demand is how it will work; meaning they call for more when they need it. You should always be ready to breastfeed every time they want it. A mother who is breastfeeding full time and is getting 4ozs or more really doing well. Typically, if you are breastfeeding full time and able to pump 1/2 -2ozs per session. This is normal so do not get discouraged.
If your milk supply is gradually dwindling and you need some really quick , and easy tips to increase your milk supply, here are some amazing skills for you to try:
1. Breastfeed As Often As Possible (Aim for 8-12 times per day)
Breastfeeding often will catapult your supply. Breastfeeding every 2-3 hours daily will certainly put a boost in your results.
2. Let baby suck both breasts during feedings
This brings good stimulation to both breasts for more milk to be made by the body and make sure both breasts are emptied completely -breasts should be soft and feel empty.
3.Do not become frustrated when your baby cluster feeds in the evenings
This is normal and natural. It will stimulate your body to produce more milk for the next feed. Do not feel that you need to give formula to full baby. Once you start giving formula, your body will produce less milk. Use the supply- demand method to succeed.
4. Always Pump After Breastfeeding
Make this a routine to ensure that you keep your commitment as much as possible for 8 -12 times per day. I know Mama, 8-12 times a day sounds like a lot, so do the best that you can. This amount is ideal for getting the maximum results, but do not let it overwhelm you.
It is alright if you were dry pumping during some of these pumping sessions.
The point of the power pumping session is to ensure that your breasts are completely drained of milk. Do not forget to massage breasts after each pumping session. You may notice after a few days of power pumping, an increase in your milk supply. Do your best and trust God to do the rest! 😅
5. Breastfeed To Suit the Needs Of The Family. It’s A Personal Decision
Breastfeeding is a personal commitment. You have no need to feel bad if it did not work out as you anticipated. Breastfeeding success is based on various factors that can affect family dynamics. Breastfeeding, even thought it is wonderful for your baby, you must not let it consume the happiness flow for the family. Some of you may have certain obligations with younger children, or other commitments that have to be done.
On the other hand some of your spouses may not agree with you breastfeeding, and boy oh boy, this can cause plenty havoc in your attempt to succeed. Let your breastfeeding practices as much as possible marinate with the family’s routine. This why discussing breastfeeding with your spouse is so important. If he or she does not resonate with you breastfeeding, it could cause a myriad of problems for you.
6.Be Aware of the Signals that Determine if Your Baby is Getting Enough
Many mamas are not aware if their little star is getting enough milk. I know this is a big concern for many of you. You can know if your baby is getting enough by these signals:
Baby is passing enough urine and stools per day. Saul Greenberg, a paediatrician at Toronto’s SickKids, reminds parents
Saul Greenberg, a pediatrician at Toronto’s SickKids, says to expect a BM each day in the first few weeks. After that, as each child’s system settles into a routine, he only suggests parents contact him if a breastfed baby goes ten days without pooping, or a formula-fed infant (expected to be more regular) is not having a daily BM. If your child is feeding every two to four hours, producing several wet diapers a day and gaining weight, don’t worry about counting stools. If your baby is gaining weight after feeds or doctor visits, then this is also a good sign that your baby is ok so don’t stress out.
7.Make sure that baby has a really good latch.
Ensuring that your baby has a good latch is key in making your breastfeeding journey a success. If one position does not work, try different ones that work for you.
8. Do not give up easily!
If it seems as though you are not succeeding, call an expert to assist. Be determined that you will succeed as you do the best you can even with the resources you have.
Continue to focus on the goal of increasing your milk supply. It is worth it. 🤩
9. Messaging your breasts before and after breastfeeding can help your stimulation for your body to make more milk
Yes breast compression is very stimulating while it also prepares to become easily accessible for baby in traveling through the ducts. Always sleep on your back
10. Saturate baby with plenty of skin to skin contact
Being your skin to skin contact very early from admission for delivery. Let the whole team know that you would like to breastfeed as soon as possible whether you deliver vaginally, or via C-section. You can also try wearing or breastfeeding baby in a sling.
11.Double pump for double results
Double pumping can give you double results in the amount you receive. Why waste time single pumping , when you could double for more?
12. Do not use pacifiers until breastfeeding is established
The Centers for Disease Control states that pacifiers should not be used until breastfeeding is established( at least one month old).
13.Do not take birth control pills that decrease your milk supply.
Let your health care provider know that you are interested in breastfeeding as early as possible. Let them know that you do not wish anything that could potentially reduce your supply.
14. Do not give formula
I know this may be very hard for some of you, but every time you shove a bottle into your baby’s mouth, you are limiting your milk supply.
15.Stay hydrated: By drinking lots of water and fluids
Breastmilk is made with lots of water, so staying hydrated should be your goal. You can create a water schedule or timer to keep you on track.
16. Avoid alcohol and smoking
Studies have shown that smoking and alcohol inake can reduce your breast milk supply. If you are a chronic smoker, you can try reducing your normal intake daily as much as possible.
17. Never rush your breastfeeding time, it is precious!
Make every effort to be comfortable and not rushed during your breastfeeding time. Your visitors are aware of how valuable this time is. If it is important to you then they should it as important as well.
18. Never give in to giving formula during cluster feeding
Cluster feeding( baby breastfeeds for short periods on and off the breast) is your body allowing your baby to grow as they also increase your milk production. Many parents feel guilty and think they are starving their little star. You are not depriving your little one if they are passing urine, stools and gaining weight. Enjoy a nursing marathon and breastfeed as often as needed.
19. Pump up your diet with all the good stuff
Diet is very important. Load on the oatmeal, chamomile tea, fenugreek, along with the greens in veggies. Eat a diet rich in foods from the basic food groups.
20. Consider a lactation aide if you need to supplement
Many mothers were successful in increasing their milk supply because of this technique. Seek a lactation consult for this assistance.
21.It is known that antihistamines and decongestants decrease milk supply.
According to Dr Oscar Norvik, antihistamines can cause a decrease in milk supply and as for decongestants; The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that in order to decrease the effects of the common ingredient phenylephrine on the baby found in decongestants, to use nasal sprays or ophthalmic drops that will reduce the side effects. Also, taking the drug after nursing is better. Breastfeeding women should therefore only take these if it is absolutely necessary to limit the unwanted effects.
Get that much needed rest you deserve!
The first six weeks postpartum can be overwhelming😣 with so much things going on at one time. The baby crying, the siblings warring for needed attention, even your spouse is looking for some of your attention from you. Your baby really needs you at this time, so give attention as you are able.
Do not totally ignore them. Having a relative like your mom or sister come over to help would be helpful because you also need to rest. What worked for me was resting after pumping for about 20 minutes. I used to feel so sleep deprived at the end of the day. But I thank God for the great support I had. It made a huge difference in my recovery. 🤩
Well we have come to the end of the 22 tips that should increase your milk supply for a very long time. I hope you enjoyed our time together here on breast fed is best fed. Stay determined and motivated to succeed at breastfeeding. I would love to hear from you. You can comment below.
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