If you’ve stopped nursing and want to go back it or you feel that your supply isn’t as strong as it once was, you are probably looking for ways to increase your breast milk supply. Let’s look at some ways to produce more breast milk.
Breastfeed your baby or pump your breasts eight to 12 times per day. Be sure to offer both breasts at every feeding. Breast compression can squeeze out more milk during feeding and encourage your baby to continue feeding. If he or she suckles longer, it will stimulate your breasts to produce more milk. Avoid artificial nipples, such as bottles and pacifiers, because that can lead to nipple confusion.
Use a nursing supplement device
If your breast milk supply feels low and the baby seems frustrated, consider a nursing supplement device. These devices supply milk via a tube to your nipple, and while the baby suckles he or she gets milk from you supplemented by the device. Having your baby suckle more, of course, increases your supply of breast milk.
Use a breast pump
Sometimes, a baby is not able to or not interested in going back to the breast. You still can stimulate your breasts to build your breast milk supply by using a breast pump. Use a hospital-grade, double (automatic) pump, eight to 12 times a day to re-establish your breast milk supply.
Take herbs and eat the right foods
There isn’t that much research on the use of herbs for increasing breast milk. Many mothers have reported positive results from taking herbs in conjunction with other methods of increasing milk supply. The recommended herbs include fenugreek, blessed thistle, fennel, goat’s rue, ginger, brewer’s yeast, stinging nettle, garlic, milk thistle and alfalfa.
The same goes for food. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence but not much definitive research into foods that produce breast milk. Food that is thought to have an impact on your milk supply includes whole grains, dark-green vegetables, chickpeas and almonds.
Breastfeeding mothers should always consult with their doctor or pediatrician before changing their diet or taking herbal supplements.
Take prescription medications
There are prescription medications that increase prolactin levels when taken in conjunction with frequent breast stimulation. High prolactin levels are associated with increased milk production and lactation. Ask your doctor about Reglan (metoclopramide) and Motilium (domperidone).
For more information on breastfeeding and ways to increase your breastmilk supply, contact the pediatric experts at Pediatric Partners of Augusta.
Pediatric Partners has three locations to better serve our patients. The Evans office is at 411 Town Park Blvd.; the downtown Augusta office is at 1303 D’Antignac St., Suite 2600; and the new Grovetown office is at 5135 Wrightsboro Road. For more information about Pediatric Partners, call the office at 706-854-2500, visit PedPartners.com, or follow the Pediatric Partners of Augusta Facebook page.