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3 tips for increasing breastmilk

Aug 14, 2021

I can highly recommend the book ‘Making more milk’ by Lisa Marasco & Diana West (both International Board Certified Lactation Consultants). In this book they discuss the components necessary for good milk production.

There are primary factors

Sufficient glandular tissue + Intact nerve pathway and ducts + Adequate hormones and hormones receptors

There are secondary factors

Adequate lactation-critical nutrients + Frequent, effective milk removal and breast stimulation + no other lactation inhibitors = Good Milk Production

This is a complex equation!

In this article you can learn 3 tips for increasing breastmilk supply.

Tip 1: Effective milk removal

Poor attachment to the breast is a common reason for low milk production in the early weeks. A good latch is important because it helps stimulate the breasts correctly and helps remove milk effectively.

Experiment with different positions until you find what works best for you and your baby. The laid-back position can be a wonderful one to help baby self-attach. Pay close attention to how the latch feels. If it feels painful or your nipples are becoming damaged, seek out support from a midwife, lactation counsellor or lactation consultant as soon as possible. Early adjustments can save a breastfeeding relationship.

Tip 2: Frequent milk removal and breast stimulation

The more milk that is removed from the lactating breasts, the more they will try to produce. This ‘supply and demand’ pattern sends the message to the body to ‘make more milk’ and increase supply. So it’s important to make sure you’re feeding and/or expressing at least 8 times every 24 hours.

Massaging your breasts before and during feeding can help baby to more effectively remove the milk. Gentle breast compressions while feeding can help baby stay interested and keep suckling. If you find any ‘lumpy’ areas, massage gently to help the milk to flow.

If you’re using a breast pump to remove the milk, it’s important to have frequent and good quality suction.

Tip 3: Adequate hormones

In order to help maintain sufficient levels of prolactin (the major milk stimulating hormone), milk needs to be taken out of the breast often. A baby who has a strong suck will stimulate a higher prolactin surge than a baby with a weak suck.

If you’re trying to boost supply, make sure you are breastfeeding or pumping through the night to take advantage of the higher levels of prolactin. Learning how to feed side-lying can be a game-changer for those night time feeds.

Please reach out if you need more support for your breastfeeding journey!

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