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For successful breastfeeding it’s important to follow some simple steps to help increase your breast milk supply quickly. The sooner your milk comes in the more successful you will feel about breastfeeding your baby. These steps for how to increase breast milk supply will help you achieve this!
How to Increase Breast Milk Supply
Quickly Increase Your Breast Milk Supply with these Tips
When I had my son back in 2011 I had trouble with getting my milk to come in and it was quite the emotional and stressful experience for me. Today I want to share with you my tips for how to increase breast milk supply because I really wish I knew all of these back in 2011 with him.
Now that Miss Jellybean is here I have followed all of these tips religiously and we have no issues with milk supply….in fact I’m even able to pump extra!
Both of my babies were born by emergency c-sections late at night because I was never able to fully dialate. Anyway, with c-sections the odds are already against you with breastfeeding. Your hormones are all out of wack, your body is in shock from surgery, you’re exhausted (especially if you labored all day before hand like I did), you’re stressed out…..all of these things can affect your breast milk supply.
When Little Man was born he spent the whole 3rd day of life screaming because he was starving….we had no idea what was wrong until the pediatrician came in and told us his weight loss was concerning. As new parents you rely on the doctors and nurses to inform you when something isn’t right….we just thought babies screamed all the time and had no clue he was literally starving because we thought he was nursing all the time and getting plenty of milk.
That was the absolute worse day of my life.
I felt like a complete failure as a mother because I had no clue that my baby was hungry.
From that moment on we supplemented with formula (which there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with) and I continued to attempt breastfeeding for 6 more months.
A few weeks ago, when Miss Jellybean was born, I felt more prepared because I knew what to expect, what signs to look for, and had done the research for how to increase breast milk supply. This time was different because I have more knowledge about breastfeeding and a stronger support system that’s very informative. One of my close friends is a huge breastfeeding advocate and is planning on becoming a certified lactation consultant. She has shared some invaluable information with me and I’m sharing all of my findings with you on how to increase breast milk supply.
I do need to add a disclaimer- I am not a healthcare professional or certified lactation consultant. All the information I am sharing is purely my opinion on the matter of how to increase breast milk supply. I suggest talking with your doctor or a certified lactation consultant if you’re worried about how to increase breast milk supply.
How to Increase Breast Milk Supply
1. Breastfeed Baby ASAP After Birth
As soon as the doctors delivered Miss Jellybean they took her and Hubs to the nursery for all the baby stuff like weight, height, tests, shots, etc. I stayed back in the operating room while the doctor finished closing up my incision; then I was wheeled into a recovery room where Hubs brought Miss Jellybean to me. As soon as I had her in my arms I began breastfeeding….keeping her and myself naked so we could be skin to skin.
If you have a vaginal birth then the doctor will immediately hand you the baby so you can start the breastfeeding and bonding experience immediately.
2. Stay Skin to Skin with Baby for 48 Hours
Just check your modesty at the door when you head to the hospital to deliver your baby. Except for the 30 minutes my in-laws were in the room visiting I stayed topless for pretty much my entire stay at the hospital. This not only made it ridiculously easy for breastfeeding but it kept Miss Jellybean and myself skin to skin. I kept her in just a diaper on my chest and covered us with a blanket….we stayed this way for 48 hours. This position releases endorphins and helps your milk production begin.
Most people say to do it for the first 24 hours but we went 48 hours and it worked wonderfully. Plus, co-sleeping in this position is the best sleep I have ever gotten! The only time she left my chest was for diaper changes, cuddle time with daddy, and pediatrician visits.
3. Feed On Demand
Even when your nipples feel like they’re going to fall off! Anytime your baby wants to nurse let her nurse…even if she’s just using you as a pacifier let her. She’s not only getting some good colostrum but she’s bonding with you, learning to nurse, and causing you to release Oxytocin resulting in less pain for you and triggering milk production. And when your nipples are scabbed over and really do feel like they’re going to fall off just grit your teeth and keep going….it will get better! Make sure you check out The Nipple Survival Guide for Breastfeeding Moms to help get you through the rough patches.
4. Eat LOTS of Oatmeal
I know it sounds funny but it works! I used to hate oatmeal but when you add a little butter and salt or cinnamon and sugar it’s not so bad. When I was in the hospital I would eat 2 bowls of oatmeal a day and oatmeal cookies at night….I really wanted to jump start my milk production!
5. Drink Pineapple Juice
Another weird yet seems to work tip…pineapple juice. I know…you’re thinking “does pineapple juice really increase breast milk supply?”. I can’t say for sure but if you drink just one glass of pineapple juice a day then it’s supposed to help increase your milk supply just like the oatmeal does.
6. Drink 64oz of Water a Day
The last thing you want to do is become dehydrated because that will definitely cause your milk supply to dip. Drinking at least 64oz of water a day makes sure that you stay well hydrated and there’s plenty to support your milk production. Personally I LOVE this “Mommy’s Sippy Cup“….it’s the perfect fun little tumbler to make drinking all that water a little more fun!
7. Eat Healthy and Often
Now is not the time to start dieting! You just had a baby….unlike Hollywood’s unrealistic standards you do NOT need to bounce back to your pre-baby body….it’s not a competition….you don’t get a prize at the end. It drives me nuts to see new moms obsess over their weight and new mommy bodies. The important thing right now is to take care of your little one and yourself. Your pre-pregnancy jeans will still be there in a few months…embrace the yoga pants for now! Seriously, just like when you were pregnant, your body still needs about 300 extra calories a day for milk production. The nice side effect of breastfeeding….you’ll naturally lose weight anyway without dieting.
8. Nurse At Least 10 Minutes on Each Breast
Every time you feed make sure your little one feeds from both breasts for 10 minutes. By feeding for at least 10 minutes from each breast you are allowing baby enough time to completely empty at least one breast which will let your body know that it needs to produce more milk. If your baby keeps drifting off to sleep before the 10 minutes is up then try to wake her up by rubbing her arm or doing a diaper change….try to keep your little one alert and nursing for the full time.
9. Switch Which Breast You Start With
Make sure that you switch off which breast you start breastfeeding on. Usually your baby will always completely empty the side that she starts on and that will signal to your body to start making more milk. If your baby is constantly emptying the same side then only that side will up production and that breast will grow bigger. Trust me….I kept forgetting this tip and when we got home from the hospital my left breast (Miss Jellybean’s favorite) was at least a full cup size bigger than the right….it looked really weird….even Hubs noticed the difference!
10. Get Comfortable
I highly suggest getting a nursing pillow! Nursing pillows wrap perfectly around you so that baby can lay comfortably right up against the breast and your arms aren’t working so hard to hold her. Here’s a great nursing pillow that’s free…you just pay shipping which is like $15….but that’s still a LOT cheaper than nursing pillows in the store and they have some super cute designs….just use code: ENBABY at checkout.
11. Find a Good Certified Lactation Consultant
A certified lactation consultant should visit you and baby everyday that you are in the hospital. Utilize her! She is a wealth of breastfeeding knowledge and is there to help you be successful. Don’t be shy…ask her to watch your baby’s latch….a good latch is the most important component in breastfeeding. Plan a follow-up visit with a lactation consultant a week or so after you go home…most are inexpensive and are there to make sure that you feel comfortable with your breastfeeding journey.
12. Lactation Cookies
Yep, you read that right! There are so many yummy treats you can make or order that are packed full of nutrients that will help you increase your breast milk supply. Here’s a list of lactation recipes you can make at home or you can even order them from Amazon….Milkmakers Cookies are awesome!
13. Supplements to Increase Your Breast Milk Supply
Always check with your doctor before taking any kind of supplements. Fenugreek supplements have been shown to increase breast milk production and are recommended by many lactation consultants….although you don’t want to take them too soon because you don’t want to go into overproduction. Definitely check with your health care provider or lactation consultant to see if you need these supplements.
You can also drink Mother’s Milk Tea which is packed full of nutrients and supplements that will help increase your breast milk supply. These can usually be found in Whole Foods, Earth Fare, or Amazon.
Just take the time to relax and enjoy your gorgeous sweet little baby. Smell her hair, cuddle her, give her kisses, sing, coo, talk….relax and be in the moment. This time is so fleeting….even as I write this, just one month after giving birth to Miss Jellybean, I’m already nostalgic for those first few days with her. Babies grow so incredibly fast and you just have to embrace every single moment or it’s lost forever. Don’t sweat giving your baby a bottle to help get her (and you) through the night….if your milk comes in then fabulous….if it doesn’t then that’s okay too. I promise…either way you’ll still have a beautiful baby that will look at you like you’re the most wonderful person in the world. Enjoy that…before you know it they’ll be bratty teenagers that aggravate you. 😉
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