Let’s face it ladies- sometimes breastfeeding is hard and one of the biggest challenges many moms face is low milk supply. Of course, there are so many challenges that can arise but with some of the breastfeeding tips for low milk supply below, you may be able to continue your breastfeeding journey. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization both recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continued breastfeeding for the first year, two years, or longer. These breastfeeding tips for low milk supply can help struggling moms meet their breastfeeding goals.
This information is not intended to take the place of personal advice from a physician or healthcare professional. Always consult a qualified health professional before making any changes.
6 Breastfeeding Tips for Low Milk Supply
Drink enough water and eat enough food.
Taking care of a baby can be demanding, and it may be easy for mothers to neglect their own needs. Make sure you aren’t hungry or thirsty throughout the day. It’s not necessary to force food and water. Listening to the body and natural cues to eat and drink can help to ensure enough consumption for milk production.
There are several healthy snack options that can help you increase your milk supply. This ultimate lactation cookie recipe is not only helpful for your milk supply but it’s also tasty. Some other foods that help to increase milk supply are:
- Oat milk
- Dark beer
- Lean meat or poultry
- Flax seed
- Sesame seeds
- Brewer’s Yeast
Looking for a great water bottle to help you #drinkmorewater? Check out the Nomader.
Stress decreases milk production. Managing stress throughout the day and when it arises can help to increase milk production. There is no secret formula to manage stress, it is personal for everyone and may include time alone, talking with a friend, a warm bath, or reading. Relaxation exercises have also been proven to help.
Some of the best ways to manage your stress while getting your body moving is exercise. Your exercise routine after baby doesn’t have to be anything streneuous- you can go for a walk or do a quick workout at home. You can easily find bodyweight workouts on Pinterest and on YouTube, as well as yoga videos on YouTube. There are also a few free apps like FitOn that have in-home workouts that can help you to get in a quick workout each day.
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Get enough sleep.
This one may seem like a lost cause, especially with newborns, but mothers have magic powers when it comes to sleep and feeding babies. When mothers need to wake up frequently for feedings, their sleep cycles naturally shorten giving you less restful sleep. Those precious few hours at night when you want to Netflix it out may have to be put to the side until your little one is sleeping for longer stretches at night. Having trouble sleeping? These powerful sleep tips can help.
Listen to baby hunger cues.
Feeding the baby tells the mother’s body and mind to make more milk. Trying to feed less will not save more milk for later- it will tell the body and mind to produce less. Feed as often as baby wants, and as long as baby wants, to increase milk production.
Consult with a lactation specialist.
Seeking support and personalized advice can make a big difference. Many hospitals and health systems have lactation consultants on staff. La Leche League International is another great resource for breastfeeding support. TRICARE also covers lactation specialists, and many installations have a New Parent Support Program that may offer in-home lactation specialists or at least be able to point you to one in your area.
Do what works best for you.
Most importantly, remember that you can still be a great mother and feed your baby without breastfeeding. You can supplement with formula or discontinue breastfeeding altogether if that is what is best for you and your baby. The recommendations and guidelines are just that – recommendations and guidelines. They are based on what is generally considered best for the majority of babies and mothers, but they don’t consider special circumstances or trade-offs such as a low milk supply that is causing stress and loss of sleep. If switching to formula leads to more nutrients, less hunger, more sleep, and less stress, then it may actually be the healthier option. Changing a plan is not the same as giving up.
Try the breastfeeding tips for low milk supply, seek support, assess how things are going for you and your baby, and do what is right for both of you. Congratulations on the new baby, and best of luck throughout the feeding journey!
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Check out Fill the Milk Jugs: The Ultimate Lactation Cookie Recipe