Top 3 Tips to Increase Milk Supply
During the newborn stage establishing your milk supply can be affected by everything you do, even emotions and energy levels have an affect. Your body is recovering from the birth, which uses energy to heal; the lack of sleep, emotions and simple daily activities can zap your body of the energy needed to make milk. With supply and demand, often the demand is ahead of your supply! But not to worry, here are my top 3 tips to increase your milk supply.
1. Rest and Sleep.
Getting more rest and sleep is one of the most important things you can do for increasing your milk supply. It’s no coincidence that your supply is at its best in the morning, having slept at night. Having long stretches of sleep at night is as much of a benefit to your milk supply as active breast stimulation. My routine enables longer stretches of sleep while successfully breastfeeding. A skin on skin nap once a day or every other day in the first 6-8 weeks will give your milk supply a real boost. Nap every day and go to bed early until your baby is sleeping through the night.
Expressing breasts after feeds will boost your supply and make for more free-flowing milk to satisfy your baby’s appetite. Express as close to the end of feed as possible but within 20 minutes of finishing the feed, this will trick your breasts into acknowledging an increase in demand and should eventually help produce more milk. Electric pumps are more efficient, stimulating and will make quick work of pumping. Expressing your breast can also give you a better understanding of your milk supply and how your breasts work.
3. Active Breast Stimulation
Keeping your baby active while feeding will increase stimulation, which will increase milk supply. A baby that snoozes, nibbles and comfort sucks at the breast will not be draining your breasts efficiently, take an age to feed and may cause soreness and pain in the early days. Offer both breasts at each feed and try increasing the length of time on each breast until both breasts are drained. Depending on the age of your baby this could be between 15-30 minutes each side. These timings will of course allow for winding regularly throughout.
For lots more information on milk supply and lactation, check out my book 7pm to 7am Sleeping Baby Routine.