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Breast Milk – Increasing Low, Breast Milk Supply

March 2, 2009

How does a mother increase her breast milk supply?  Today I thought I would give some helpful ‘mom tips’ for those of us that have struggled with breast milk.

My first question would be, how do you know you need to increase your milk production?

If your baby is gaining weight and has the several wet diapers and a poopy diaper everyday.  Your breast milk supply is good.

It’s important to note that the feel of the breast, the behavior of your baby, the frequency of nursing, the sensation of let-down, or the amount you pump are not valid ways to determine if you have enough milk for your baby. –

If you are using one of the following reasons for thinking you DO NOT have enough milk….good news, you just could be wrong.

* Your baby devours a bottle of expressed milk or formula after a feeding.
* Your baby is fussy OR your baby is more fussy in the evenings.
* Your baby decides to eat more frequently or nurses longer.
* You no longer leak milk.
* Your breasts seem softer than before.
* When you pump, you get little or no milk

First consider if your baby is going through a growth spurt.  Growth spurts last anywhere from 3 days to a week.  To increase your milk supply during this time, do not supplement.  If you supplement, you will be communicating to your own body it does not need to produce more.  Also, be aware of how much water you are drinking – especially during a growth spurt.  When you go to the bathroom, your urine needs to light. If it is dark and if it is has a strong odor, increase your water intake.

“Breastfeeding mothers may feel thirstier than usual. You can gauge your fluid intake by looking at your urine; if it’s dark, you need to drink more liquids. No scientific studies have found that drinking more fluid will result in producing more breast milk; however, not getting enough to drink can affect how much milk is produced.”  -Dr. Spock

Another good tip for us moms is to drink a full glass every time you nurse your baby.

Check out this reference if you still think your baby is not getting enough milk.  If your baby is not gaining well, have a poopy diaper every day or several wet diapers, you can check these things to increase your milk supply.

* Are you drinking  8-10 glasses of WATER
* Are you relaxed and letting your milk down
* Are you consuming enough calories – fat, carbs and protein (remember, the baby needs fat)
* Have you tried using an herbal galactagogue?  Fenugreek, brewer’s yeast, blessed thistle and alfalfa are the common ones.

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