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Tips to Increase Milk Supply
Postpartum Planning

Tips to Increase Milk Supply

Let’s talk about pumping up the volume! While breastfeeding can be such a wonderful phenomenon, it does come with a side of worry, frustration, and physical challenges. Why is my milk supply just not right? Or is it right? Let’s learn what our Mommy's Bliss 360 expert, and Certified Breastfeeding Specialist, Sterling Gray-Simmons has to say around volume and normalizing this challenging postpartum chapter. 

Hey there, amazing moms! Welcoming a little one into your life is a beautiful adventure, but let's be real – the journey of breastfeeding isn't always a walk in the park. Yes, breastfeeding is natural, but I like to tell my Mamas it’s natural like walking not natural like breathing, it’s a learned skill.

In this blog, we're diving into evidence-based tips that will empower you but also acknowledge the very real challenges you might be facing. Whether you're a first-time mom or a seasoned pro, let's explore some advice to make your breastfeeding journey as smooth as possible. Before we start, I just want you to know you're doing an incredible job, and you deserve all the support and practical wisdom to thrive in this beautiful chapter of motherhood!

Understanding Normal Breastmilk Supply

Before we get into ways to boost breastmilk supply, it's crucial to understand what a normal supply is. On day one your baby’s stomach is about the size of a cherry and has the capacity of 1- 1.4 teaspoons. On day two their stomach is about the size of a walnut with the capacity of .75- 1oz. By one week all those frequent feedings have grown your baby’s stomach to about the size of an apricot with a capacity of 1.5-2 oz. And by one month their stomach is about the size of an egg with a capacity of 2.5-5oz. Once your baby gets to 5oz you don’t have to worry about your baby needing more milk, because your milk is always changing and exactly what your baby needs those 2.5-5 oz is all you’ll ever need.

Factors Influencing Breastmilk Supply

Several factors can impact breastmilk supply, and it's essential to recognize and address them. First and foremost, the frequency of feeding plays a significant role. The more you empty your breasts the more milk will replace it. I always tell my clients, “You have to move milk to make milk.” Feeding your baby on demand/cue is when you follow your baby’s lead, also called responsive feeding encourages you to feed your baby when they are hungry versus sticking to a feeding schedule. I often remind my clients that their babies are on a liquid diet with small stomachs so frequently feeding them is normal and not an indicator of an issue of supply.

A proper latch and positioning are also crucial. Seeking guidance from a lactation professional to ensure your baby has a correct latch and experimenting with breastfeeding positions can make a significant difference.

Hydration and nutrition play important roles in supporting milk production. I usually tell my clients to aim to drink half of their body weight in water and incorporate water rich foods into their diet; watermelon, celery, lettuce, oranges, etc., because that helps you with hydration as well. I also recommend my clients adding electrolytes into your water to make sure your body can absorb the water you’re intaking. Mommy’s Bliss just released new hydration drink tablets to help support breastfeeding moms that include electrolytes. You can check them out here.

Maintaining a balanced diet is essential for maintaining your milk supply. There are some foods called galactagogues - used to induce, maintain, and increase milk production like oatmeal, dark leafy greens (alfalfa, kale, spinach, broccoli) garlic, chickpeas, nuts and seeds, especially almonds, etc. There aren’t any foods that you have to stay away from as a breastfeeding Mama unless you or your baby have dietary restrictions.

Empowering Tips for Moms

I’ve found that having a supportive community is a wonderful addition to every breastfeeding journey. Connecting with other breastfeeding moms through local, online forums, and Mom events provides a sense of community where experiences, tips, and encouragement can be shared. It’s also important to find activities that allow you to maintain your sense of self, it’s very easy to get wrapped up and overwhelmed with motherhood so finding some type of outlet is crucial to manage stress. It doesn’t have to be anything magnificent, it can be journaling, taking a bath, going for a walk, painting, etc. Prioritizing will reduce high stress levels which can impact milk supply. Engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation promotes overall well-being.

If you’re planning to incorporate pumping into your feeding journey it’s important to choose a good pump. I know everyone wants to grab the wearable breast pumps but it’s important to know what pump to choose. If you are exclusively pumping, you’ll be pumping up to 8 - 12 times a day so you'll want a good primary pump. A secondary pump usually has a weaker motor, and your body might not respond as well to it, so it might not empty you as well and should not be used to establish a supply. You can consult with a lactation professional before choosing your pump to find the right pump for you. If you don’t want to pump, you don’t have to! I have some clients that despise the pump and are able to have freezer stashes from just using wearable milk collectors.

I always encourage my clients to spend as much time doing skin-to-skin contact with your baby as possible. It promotes bonding and increases breastfeeding success. You should incorporate the golden hour into your birth plan. The Golden Hour is the first hour after birth, instructing your birth team to delay bathing and cord clamping and doing immediate skin to skin with your baby. Skin-to-skin during breastfeeding seems to immediately enhance maternal positive feelings and shorten the time it takes to resolve severe latch. It doesn’t end in the hospital either; you can continue doing skin-to-skin throughout your postpartum period. You can also get your skin-to-skin time in while you wear your baby in a carrier. If you’re ever in need of a boost in your supply skin to skin might be the cure to your problems.

Seeking support from lactation professionals can be a crucial step in overcoming these obstacles. Remember, every breastfeeding journey is unique, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution.

This site is intended for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice. Please consult your physician or other health-care professional.

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