If you are breastfeeding your baby, you might have noticed that your breast milk supply doesn’t always stay the same. There are frequent changes experienced in the quantity of breast milk while feeding the baby. Many ups and downs throughout the days and months in breastfeeding is observed.
Depending on the changes in your body and through baby’s growth, some factors can influence breast milk supply. These factors can be your hormones, diet, hydration and stress level.
In this article, you will get to know about the solution of low breast milk supply. We will enlist the problems first and then its solution. The solution will be based on natural ways to maintain the breast milk supply.
Sometimes the body takes time to adapt to any new change. Low milk supply can become a problem if it is not cured well within time because it will create an impact on the baby’s growth. For any other problem you’re facing then firstly you should observe it properly and then contact your doctor for its cure.
Primary Reasons for Low Milk Supply
There are several reasons why many women won’t produce enough milk like other lactating moms. But the good thing is that many of the reasons are preventable. If you too fall in this category, then the reason behind it could be any of the following:
1. Insufficient Glandular Tissue
Some women may have problems with their glandular tissue because of which their breasts don’t grow or develop normally. This could be one of the reasons why you can’t produce enough milk for your baby.
Insufficient glandular tissues means less milk-making ducts to meet your baby’s needs. During each pregnancy, your milk ducts grow. Even breastfeeding your child stimulates the growth of milk ducts. So this shouldn’t be a problem after you have your first baby. In the case of your first baby, you can consult the doctor and take the necessary steps to increase your milk supply.
2. Sucking Difficulties
In some cases, the problem lies with your little one. He/she is unable to suck out milk from your breasts. This happens because the thin membrane tissue at the bottom of his/her mouth is holding his/her tongue too tightly. This prevents your baby from extracting the milk from your breasts.
In most cases, it is easily visible, but some babies have the restricting membrane at the back of their tongue and thus, it becomes hard to detect. You can take your baby to a doctor to get the membrane clipped. This will improve their sucking ability.
3. Endocrine or Hormonal Problems
If you have polycystic ovary syndrome, hypertension, high or low thyroid, diabetes or any other hormonal problems, then it may affect your milk supply. Production of milk in your body depends on hormonal signals that are sent to your breasts. In this case, you may have to undergo treatments to boost your breast milk supply. There are chances that you may even need supplementation.
4. Previous Breast Surgery
Women do breast surgeries for both cosmetic and hormonal reasons. If you had any previous breast surgery, there is a 50/50 chance that it may affect the supply of your milk. Even nipple piercings are also considered to be a type of surgery.
How much any of these surgeries have affected your breasts depends on the procedure that was done and also the time gap between your surgery and your delivery. If your milk supply is low because of any kind of surgery, then you should consult a doctor for help.
Tips to Overcome the Problem of Low Milk Supply
If your milk supply is low, then you can follow the given tips to fix the situation. Here is what you should do.
1. Breastfeed More Often
You should breastfeed more often and let your little one decide when they want to stop feeding.
When your baby sucks your breasts, it triggers the milk-producing hormones in your body. This is known as the let-down reflex, which causes the breast muscle to contract and move the milk through the ducts. The more you breastfeed your baby, the more milk you will produce. This is the most simple way of increasing your milk production.
2. Lactation Cookies
Many of you may not know, but there are lactating cookies available in stores. You can get these cookies both online and offline. The ingredients contained in the lactating cookies help in increasing the production of your breast milk. Some of these cookies include:
- Flaxseed meal
- Brewer’s yeast
- Wheat germ
- Whole oats
3. Breastfeed from Both the Breasts
When breastfeeding your baby, make sure that you feed them from both sides. Continue feeding from one breast till your baby stops feeding. Once they stop, give them the other breast to feed. This will help to stimulate both your breasts and as a result, your production of milk will increase.
4. Pump Your Breasts Between Feedings
Many of you may not know this but pumping your breasts between feeding can also help to boost your milk production. You should warm up your breasts before pumping. This will help you to pump your breasts easily.
You should pump your breasts whenever:
- You have leftover milk even after feeding.
- When you miss feeding your baby.
- You are giving your child a formula or bottled breast milk.
5. Drink a Lot of Water
If you don’t drink enough water in a day, your body won’t be able to make enough milk. Lack of water in the body leads to dehydration. This is why it is very important to keep yourself hydrated by drinking 8 glasses of water. If possible, you should add four more glasses in your daily intake.
6. Get Enough Sleep
You also need enough sleep to restore your body. Sleep whenever you can even if it’s a short nap. This will help your body to function in full health and thus, you will produce more milk.
4 Foods to Increase Breast Milk Production
Some natural foods are available to increase breast milk supply are mentioned below to help you:
It is widely believed that fenugreek increases milk supply immediately. It can be taken in a while because it is highly effective by creating an extra boost.
The problem with fenugreek is coming with certain unpleasant side effects such as acidity in the stomach of the mother as well as the baby. Perhaps, it helps in increasing the breast milk supply.
All you have to do is to take it in a large quantity by soaking it in water like at least 2 tablespoons to swallow. There are different methods to take fenugreek such as it is available in capsules which are easy to swallow.
A very common ingredient is available in every kitchen. Perhaps being most effective to increase in milk supply cells, it increases the flavors also. Extra garlic in your food can show you enhance the flow of breast milk.
3. Fennel Seeds
They are soft and also helpful with lactation. You can take fennel seeds in whatever form you want to as it is quite safe and effective.
A familiar food to have, we all eat oats as breakfast. Having oatmeal in a meal can create a difference in milk supply. The presence of oats into your diet can enhance the lactation process, which will result in better breast milk supply because it has lots of healthy and natural ingredients in it. It helps reduce stress level.
Sit Back and Relax
Due to sudden changes after giving birth to a child can cause mental stress or adapting some new changes and habits in the body can become the cause of tension and stress.
Your body goes through many changes after becoming a mother, so you need not worry about it. You have to learn how to relax so that the body can adapt to the new rhythm of life.
Our body is very intelligent, as it adapts changes easily but it also requires a few days to make the changes. Every problem has a solution. All you have to do is to observe yourself and then get into any conclusion. This method of observation will surely help you in detecting any kind of change in your body irrespective of positive or negative.
If your baby is gaining weight and it is growing well without any kind of issue. Then, you don’t have to worry about anything, just take a chill pill and try to remain under the consultation of your doctor.
The baby’s growth identifies the milk supply, it means if the growth spurt is natural, then there is no problem in your breast milk supply. No matter how often your baby is feeding or how long the feeding session goes on. The baby’s weight gain can help in gauging your breast milk supply.
Always keep in mind that any kind of unnatural change in your body or baby’s body will signify the problem. You should consult a doctor as soon as possible.