How To Increase Breastmilk Supply


When you become a mum, you also become a “worrier”. You worry about most things – from your baby’s health and wellbeing to developmental milestones, to food and more – only because you love your little one so much. One of the biggest concerns breastfeeding mums have is if their baby is getting enough to eat. If you are a mum who is concerned about her breast milk supply, this could be especially worrisome especially if you think that your baby is not getting enough of your milk.

We spoke with one of UpSpring’s certified Lactation Consultants, Linda Hill, for advice on how mums can help ensure a healthy milk supply. Before we share her tips, let’s take a look at some important information about breast milk production.

breastfeeding

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels.

Must-know Information About Breast Milk Production

Worrying about breast milk supply is quite common, especially during the early stages of breastfeeding. Many mums who stop nursing their little ones often mention low supply as a reason. However, most mothers do produce enough breast milk for their little ones.

Your supply is only thought to be low if you don’t produce enough milk to meet your baby’s growth needs. The best marker of your baby’s growth is weight gain, which the paediatrician will monitor during regular checkups. In general, low supply issues can be corrected with appropriate, lactation-expert recommended interventions.

How do you know your baby is getting enough breast milk?

The following information is adapted from the National Health Service (NHS), U.K.and UNICEF2 and are general indicators that your little one is getting enough milk from you.

  • Your baby is gaining steady weight after the first two weeks of life. It is normal for newborns to lose some of their birth weight in the first week or two.
  • You can see and hear your baby swallowing, and their cheeks will be rounded during the nursing session.
  • Your baby has a good latch: the chin should touch your breast; your nipple should not hurt or feel pinched; your baby has a large mouthful of breast; baby’s nose should not be squashed against your breast.
  • Your baby will stop nursing on their own at the end of a feed.
  • From around the fourth day, your little one’s stools will look soft and seedy-yellow (like mustard), and will have up to two dirty diapers a day.
  • From about day five onwards, your baby’s wet diapers will increase. Expect around six wet, heavy diapers in a 24-hour period.
  • Your baby is generally calm while nursing, and content after a feed.

How to increase your breast milk supply and ensure healthy production

Mums produce breast milk at different rates and can, as the baby progresses in age, start to produce less milk. No matter what stage mum is in, if she is seeking to breastfeed, but her supply is low, this can be very frustrating.

Some common causes3 for low supply include:

  • Poor latch
  • Introduction of formula milk
  • Mastitis (inflammation of the breast tissue that sometimes results in infection)
  • The birth control pill (the hormone oestrogen the pill contains is thought to interfere with milk production)
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Baby not feeding frequently enough (all babies need to nurse eight to 12 times in 24 hours)

According to certified lactation consultant Linda Hill, here are a few ways mums can work on producing more milk:

  1. Maintain the Activity

Continue to try to breastfeed and pump, about eight to 12 times per day. The body still needs the cues to produce milk, even if supply is low. Maintaining the activity will help ensure supply does not dry up. The first two weeks after your baby’s birth is especially critical to establishing a healthy breast milk supply.

  1. Avoid the Artificial

Avoid too much feeding with artificial nipples/bottles to ensure baby remains focused on feeding from the breast and the body continues to receive the signals that it should be producing milk.

  1. Feed from Both Breasts

Attempt to use both breasts during feeding to stimulate milk production in both sides.

  1. Aim for a Better Latch

When baby don’t latch on properly, their “suck” may be weak or ineffective in stimulating enough milk production. Earlier in the article, we’ve described signs of a good latch in babies. If you don’t see these in your little one, a lactation consultant can assist in latching techniques.

  1. Stress and Supply

If you are sick, stressed or on medication, your breast milk supply could slow down. In a case like this, low supply should rebound once you recover, get rest, and/or finish your course of medicine.

  1. Try a breast milk booster

A galactagogue4 is a food or herb considered to improve breast milk production. Some popular breastmilk boosters among many Singaporean mummies are durian, oatmeal, fatty fish (like salmon), coconut milk, red date tea, and fenugreek.  

Fenugreek, in fact, has been used for centuries as a galactagogue5 and is very popular among Singaporean mums, too. However, in its raw form, it can be bitter and hard to ingest. This is why UpSpring brings you the benefits of fenugreek, along with a blend of blessed thistle and anise (also galactagogues), in their Milkflow capsules.   

Milkflow Fenugreek + Blessed Thistle Capsules

These capsules  contain a proprietary blend herbs known to help with milk supply including fenugreek and blessed thistle. The herbs are naturally sourced, non-GMO and contain no added  fillers.

Each capsule has 1,800 mg of concentrated fenugreek seed extract, that could help improve your milk production. Because of this high concentration, you only need to take one to three Milkflow capsules a day, unlike some other brands where you may need to take up to six (or more) capsules daily.

To find out more about these Milkflow capsules and purchase them, click here.

Milkflow Blessed Thistle Capsules 

If you’d rather stick to a supplement that contains one herb known for its milk boosting properties, then you could try UpSpring’s Milkflow Blessed Thistle capsules

 

Each serving contains 1,000mg of concentrated Blessed Thistle extract, and could help promote a healthy breast milk supply. lt also contains a proprietary botanical blend to help digestive health for both mum and baby.  

Both the Milkflow (Fenugreek) and Blessed Thistle supplements could be taken whenever you want to boost your milk supply, whether this is to cope with the demands of your baby’s growth spurt/s, or in preparation for heading back to work. 

For more information on both products, click here.

Mums, remember that most breast milk production and breastfeeding issues can be resolved, provided you get help early. If you think you need support so that your little one can continue nursing, please reach out to your doctor or a certified lactation consultant.

References

  1. Breastfeeding: is my baby getting enough milk? NHS. Last reviewed on December 3, 2018. Retrieved on June 14 2021 from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/breastfeeding-and-bottle-feeding/breastfeeding-problems/enough-milk/

  2. How can I tell that breastfeeding is going well? UNICEF. Retrieved on June 14, 2021 from https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/10/mothers_breastfeeding_checklist.pdf

  3. Breastfeeding: is my baby getting enough milk? NHS. Last reviewed on December 3, 2018. Retrieved on June 14 2021 from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/breastfeeding-and-bottle-feeding/breastfeeding-problems/enough-milk/

  4. Galactagogues: 23 Foods That Increase Breast Milk. Healthline ParentHood. Last reviewed on December 14, 2018. Retrieved on June 14, 2021 from Galactagogue Foods: 23 That Increase Breast Milk, Herbs to Try, and M (healthline.com)

  5. Fenugreek Seed for Increasing Milk Supply. Kelly Bonyata. Retrieved on June 14, 2021 from Fenugreek Seed for Increasing Milk Supply • KellyMom.com