At some point in almost every breastfeeding mother’s journey there is a point when you feel like your baby isn’t getting enough milk or your supply is too low.
For most women, your body is designed to provide enough milk for your baby but there are several factors that can affect your milk supply such as a bub’s poor latch due to tongue or tip ties, medication you might be taking, not enough water in your diet, mastitis or blocked ducts.
Don’t panic if you think your baby isn’t getting enough milk, your supply is fuelled by bub’s demand. However, if you want to try to increase your supply there are a few simple things you can do.
- Drink more water. Breastfeeding is thirsty work so make sure you are keeping your fluids up. Along with a host of other post-partum problems (like constipation, haemorrhoids, or UTI’s), not drinking enough water can affect your milk supplies.
- Switch to demand feeding. Feeding your baby on demand rather than on a schedule will help increase your supply. The more often you feed, the more milk you’ll have. Being available to feed your baby 24/7 is optimal for your supply. Your baby will want to feed when they are hungry so listen to your baby and when they want to feed. You can feel better knowing that your baby is getting what they need.
- Check your latch. If your baby is gassy or you are getting sore nipples it might be something as simple as poor latch. Ask your midwife or lactation consultant to help you get the optimum latch with your bub to make sure they are getting more milk than air and having a full feed every time.Turn to a lactation consultant before assuming you have a low supply or switching to formula, they will be able to diagnose if your baby is latching properly or any other issues that might be effecting your breastfeeding experience.
- Avoid bottle feeding and dummies if possible. The less your baby is feeding, the less milk your breasts will produce. Using a dummy or soother to satiate your baby rather than feeding on demand will cause your body to produce less.
- Try not to ‘top up’. It is easy to think your baby isn’t getting enough milk from you alone and a lot of new mums turn to ‘top-up’ feeds. Instead, encourage your baby to breastfeed more frequently. Your breastmilk is fuelled by demand, so if you feed your baby more often rather than topping them up on formula this will help increase how much milk your body produces.
- Look at your diet. Breastfeeding mums burn more calories than non-breastfeeding mums. Make sure you are eating enough particularly nutrient rich food like vegetables, wholegrains, proteins and fibre. It is not recommended to diet while breastfeeding.
- Reach out.Talk to your GP, midwife or lactation consultant. Don’t struggle in silence, it’s hard enough to be a new mum without feeling like you aren’t feeding your bub enough. They’ll either be able to reassure you about your concerns or point you in the right direction to help your supply. Before dashing off to pick up some formula seek support or good old fashioned advice from someone trained to do just that. Help is available, just ask an expert, find a good book or call a breastfeeding helpline.
- Try some delicious Milk Pantry cookies or other treats! Lactation cookies and other products have been used for generations to increase or sustain the supply of breastfeeding mothers. We have a ton of different products if cookies aren’t your bag, from Mumma Shakes to brownies - there is a product to suit everyone. We also have different products for dietary requirements including eco friendly options and gluten free. Check out our store for the full range!