Breast milk supply can be one of the most common worries new mums have. In fact it can be one of the most likely reasons women stop breastfeeding and switch to formula. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
While breastfeeding might come naturally for some mums, for many of us it can take a little more effort, trial and error to get things ticking along. Thankfully there are lots of other ways to nurture breast milk supply and ensure both you and your little one are happy.
Let us show you through nine things you can start today …
1. Prioritise looking after yourself
Building self-care into your daily routine can be hard when you have a small baby, but looking after yourself, prioritising nutrition and resting when you can will all help to support your wellbeing – and your breast milk supply – which means your baby’s wellbeing is being prioritised too.
If you’ve got a trusty support system around you, don’t be shy about asking for help so that you can sneak in some down time or a nap – or have some child-free time to shop or cook (or sleep!) for yourself.
Read more about breastfeeding:
- 10 things women worry about when breastfeeding
- The “red chair trick”: How to set boundaries for a breastfeeding toddler
- Is it safe to express milk before giving birth?
2. Ensure your bub is correctly attached to the breast
Incorrect attachment can lead to painful feeding and ultimately affect both morale and supply. Seek advice from your preferred healthcare professional to make sure that your baby’s latch – the way they are attaching to your nipple – is optimal and allowing milk to flow.
Babies who are attached to the breast correctly drain the breast fully, which encourages more milk production. Correct attachment also prevents painful wear and tear on the breast.
3. Feed frequently
Breastfeeding bodies are pretty amazing – and they’re designed to replenish milk as a baby feeds. More feeds? More milk! Ta-dah! It’s like magic, really.
Consider your baby’s current feeding routine and think about where you could add in some extra feeds – even if they’re only short ones – during their less active times.
4. Top-up often
Babies vary wildly when it comes to how frequently they need to feed. Offering a top-up feed as often as practical ensures little tummies are full and this kind of snacking promotes a healthy supply, keeping the milk machine humming along.
5. Make your diet milk-supply friendly
If you’re doing all the breastfeeding you can and still feel like your milk supply needs support, the best thing you can do is include galactagogues, foods that may help to increase your milk production. A simple option is to take a breastfeeding supplement such as Swisse Ultinatal Breastfeeding Support, specially tailored to help increase breast milk production. It includes fenugreek, a herb traditionally used in western herbal medicine to increase breast milk production as well as B group vitamins, including activate B12 to help support healthy energy levels and reduce tiredness and fatigue in breastfeeding mothers.
6. Switch sides
If you find your snoozy baby drifting off at the breast, switching sides can restore their enthusiasm and remind them of the task at hand. It will also encourage them to suck more robustly on the newly-offered breast which sparks a stronger let-down reflex … and more milk.
You can change sides multiple times during a feed in an effort to satisfy your little one, keep them awake and increase supply. If in doubt, switch it out.
7. Comfort feed
Comfort feeds are a brilliant way to promote bonding and they can also boost breast milk production by building those helpful extra feeds into your baby’s day.
If your little one relies on a dummy, make it a rule to offer the breast for comfort first. Your newly-revived milk supply will see the pay-off.
8. Massage as you feed
Gently massaging your breast towards the nipple during breastfeeds can increase flow and help promote good supply. It’s a win-win.
It’s important not to disturb your feeding baby while massaging, but if you adopt this technique as a regular practice they’ll soon learn to take it in their stride – and you will both reap the rewards!
9. Relax as you feed
Relaxing as you feed your baby can help your milk to “let down” more efficiently and makes breastfeeding a much more seamless experience for mum and baby.
You don’t have to shut yourself away somewhere quiet, but can develop a routine that ensures your shoulders and neck are loose and that your mind is not focused on anything too curly.
Remove distractions that might stress you and prioritise a comfy feeding space for best results. You could also play your favourite relaxing music – or try using a meditation or mindfulness app as you feed.
Remember that your Maternal Child Health nurse or family GP can help if you’re finding breastfeeding a challenge or have questions. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support.
This is a sponsored post for Swisse Ultinatal Breastfeeding Support.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet.