How can I increase my milk supply? By Mirna Sabbagh. Adult and Child Nutritionist

Many mothers often ask how can I increase my milk supply?

You may want to increase your milk supply because

  1. Your baby has inadequate weight gain. 
  2. In order to store and freeze breastmilk
  3. You gave formula and your baby got used to the formula and your milk supply went down.

The good news is, MOST moms can bring up their milk supply from almost 0! Unless the mom has a medical condition.

If you both have no medical conditions and you want to increase milk supply then read on.

If you want to increase your milk supply, check the video I made about milk supply here or do the following:

Let's start with the basics:

Milk supply is based on supply and demand. The more your baby breastfeeds from you the more milk you'll make. This also means the more you pump, the more milk you will make. If you want to increase your milk supply the main point you need to keep in mind is you need to ask your body for more milk! I will explain below.

Pump or breastfeed 8 times a day for 3 weeks:

If you are breastfeeding already 8 times a day,  then pump after the breastfeeding session for 10 minutes from both breasts while doing breast massages.

If you are not breastfeeding. Follow the following schedule for pumping:

9 AM, 12 PM, 3 PM, 6 PM, 12 AM, 6 AM (at least)

You will see the first few sessions there's basically no milk and after 3 weeks you will see the milk amount going crazy.

Mirna Sabbagh, adult and child nutritionist in dubai talks about relaxation

I also made you a checklist that will help. If your answer is YES continue on to the next question. If the answer is NO to any of them, read and apply the solution to your case. Take them one at a time. If the first one doesn’t work you can move onto the next one.

Question

If answer is NO

Are you feeling well physically and emotionally?

Make a doctor’s appointment and get appropriate counseling, treatment for your case.

Are you losing more than 1 pound per week?

Your dietary intake may not be enough to sustain milk production. Increase your food intake from healthy carbohydrates, vegetables, healthy fats.

Are you drinking enough fluids that your urine is light yellow?

Drink more water up to at least 2.5 L a day, until your urine is light/pale yellow

If you are taking any medication or dietary supplement did you check to see if it interferes with breastfeeding?

 

Check with a lactation consultant or LLL group that your medication is not interfering with breast milk production

Are you sure you do not have any medical conditions that affect your milk supply?

Consult with your doctor or certified lactation consultant to make sure you do not have a medical condition that affects milk supply such as PCOS, hypothyroidism, hypoplasia, or others.

 

 

Do you think your pump is working effectively?

Review the manual and make sure you are doing all the steps right and you are not missing any pieces. Read article on Pumping

Is your baby’s position and latching correct? Is breastfeeding pain free?

Check latching and positioning with lactation consultant. As it may be the primary reason your baby is not taking enough milk out, and therefor there is no stimulation to produce more milk

Are you breastfeeding 8 times a day or once every 3 hours?

Increase pumping/feeding frequency to 8 sessions a day.

Are you doing breast massages?

Do breast massages while pumping/feeding

Is the duration of the feeding/pumping session less than 20 minutes?

Increase pumping duration, or encourage baby to breastfeed for longer.

Do you feel your breasts are empty after each session?

Your baby or breast pump may not be removing all the milk from your breasts. Hand express after you are done with the pumping/feeding session.

Are you doing skin to skin more than 2 times a day?

Do 2 or more skin to skin sessions a day

Is your baby taking a pacifier or artificial nipple (bottle)?

Decrease pacifier use until after milk supply has risen

 

if your milk supply is not up after pumping for 3 weeks consistently and doing breast massages and breastfeeding on demand. It may be that you have a medical condition that impacts breastfeeding that I will discuss it below.

Do supplements work? 

Research shows NO supplement will work on it's own without you doing the work of breastfeeding. However some research shows hope that some foods may help:

1. Eating 10 dates a day

2. Having herbal teas such as fenugreek 3-4 times a day

3. Having oats in the morning and healthy nuts

4. Non-alcoholic beer

Mirna Sabbagh adult and child nutritionist and lactation consultant in dubai discusses increasing milk supply

mirna sabbagh adult and child nutritionist in dubai discusses relaxation

Uncommon reasons for low milk supply or a baby who is not gaining weight in a mother who has been doing everything right since birth:

Before you try to increase milk supply make sure the baby’s inadequate weight gain is not due to other medical factors such as an underlying disease, cows milk protein allergy, or tongue tie. Talk to your baby's doctor .

As for you, some medical conditions may impact lactation such as: pregnancy, certain medications, primary mammary glandular insufficiency, breast surgery, polycystic ovar- ian syndrome, hypothyroidism, retained placenta, in- gestion of placenta capsules, theca lutein cyst, loss of prolactin secretion following postpartum hemorrhage, heavy smoking or alcohol use, or other pertinent con- ditions. Talk to a lactation consultant and your doctor

It is recommended you check both IF you have been doing everything right and the baby's weight is not increasing. 

More advanced (not for everyone) 

If you must supplement you can supplement your baby during the feeding (using a SNS system) or after the feeding using one of the below supplementation methods. This will stimulate your breasts to make more milk whole you give your baby supplements. You should also pump after the feeding to stimulate more milk production. (Only if you are still trying to increase your milk supply)

  1. SNS supplementation system: it basically means a system attached to the breast that will provide the baby with milk from an outside source (expressed milk or formula). This is the best way for the baby to get used to get used to the breast, stimulate milk production, and receive the proper intake.
  2. Cup feeding: Cup feeding does not interfere with suckling at the breast
  3. Other alternatives finger feeds, spoon, syringe feeds (standard 10 or 20ml), or dropper. There is, however, little evidence about the safety or efficacy of other alternative feeding methods or their effect on breastfeeding.
  4. Bottle: This is the least preferred feeding method and is not recommended by WHO or UNICEF it interferes with suckling (WHO: KMC).