One of the biggest worries we face as new mamas especially if we are breastfeeding is whether or not our babies are getting enough milk. It’s mostly (although not always) the case that our bodies are capable of producing as much milk as our baby needs, but sometimes it can be a struggle and we need to try and help things along.
Signs that your baby isn’t getting enough milk
- Not gaining much weight
- Not getting through many wet and dirty nappies
- Not feeding very often
- Not seeming satisfied between feeds
If your baby is displaying one or more of these signs it might be the case that they’re not getting quite as much milk as they need. You might want to talk to a breastfeeding/lactation support worker for some advice, but in the meantime, here are a few things to try to stimulate more milk.
Ways To Increase Milk Supply
The more often you feed, the more stimulated your breasts will be to make more milk. You could also try pumping in between feeds, to encourage your body to produce more milk. Here’s a guide on pumping alongside breastfeeding.
Check Your Latch
If your baby is not latching on properly it will effect how much milk they are getting, and in turn how much milk you produce. A midwife or breastfeeding support worker will be able to check and help with the latch.
Signs of a good latch:
- Baby’s head, neck and spine are aligned
- Baby’s chin is up and touching breast
- Large amount of areola should be covered by baby’s mouth with the bottom lip and jaw covering more underneath
- You can see jaw moving and hear sucking and swallowing noises
- It’s not painful
Fenugreek is a herb that can help with lactation. You could try taking supplements, or give these Lactation cookies a try!
Feed From Both Sides
Feeding from both sides and emptying them helps to encourage further milk production.
Take a Hot Shower/ Use a Hot Water Bottle
Warmth helps stimulate your milk letdown, so taking a hot shower or using a hot water bottle before feeding can help.
Drink More Water
This might sound obvious, but you need to be well hydrated to be able to produce more milk, so the more water you drink, the easier your body will find it to make milk. Try keeping a water bottle in reach while feeding as you’ll probably get thirsty.
Don’t Miss Feeds
Missing a feed signals to your body to start decreasing milk supply, so if you’re working and away from your baby but want to continue breastfeeding, try pumping at regular feeding times to keep up your supply.
Talk To Your GP About Medication
There are some medications that may decrease the production of milk, so if you are taking anything it’s worth talking to your GP, as if this is the case there may be a more breastfeeding friendly alternative to help.