Whether you are going back to work or simply want to build a ’stash’. These are ways to increase milk supply that have worked for me. These are the top 3 ways to increase milk supply and I’ll explain why.
1. Hydrate – Hydrate – Hydrate
Water is the most important thing for milk supply. Breastmilk is 88% water, therefore you need to keep on drinking water. You can decide to drink electrolyte-infused water for better retention as regular water may go right through. I do not recommend Gatorade or Powerade due to the high content of sugar. You can instead use Water Flavoring Drops or go the natural route and infuse the water overnight with fresh fruits.
2. Feed on Demand
Feeding on demand creates the ability to constantly create a need for milk. Do not space out your feeding because the baby may have had his feeding 30 minutes ago. If the baby wants to be fed, feed him/her.
3. Pump Some Milk
If nursing, the recommendation is to pump in between feeding. The pumping session should be 10 to 15 minutes. The idea is to keep your breasts empty so that you’re sending your body a message saying that what you’re producing is not enough.
If you’re exclusively pumping, then you want to pump for up to 25 minutes a session every 2 to 3 hours.
At night, if the baby sleeps through a feed then make sure you pump at least once. For example, baby fed last at 9:30 pm – baby should wake up or need a feed by 1 am- if the baby doesn’t wake up then pump for 15-20 minutes.
Usually, those early mornings (2-5 am, depending on sleeping schedule) pumping sessions tend to give you the highest amount of milk. This happens because at night our bodies produce this hormone called Prolactin. It turns out that this hormone is responsible for the amount of milk produced, which is the reason for the higher output of milk in the morning.
Note: Supplementing with formula decreases milk supply as it tells body you need less than what you actually do.
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