Breastfeeding is a personal journey for every mother. Some women may experience low breast milk supply – for a wide variety of reasons – particularly in the early weeks of breastfeeding.
If your supply of breast milk is low, consider the following tips:
Breast Feed or Breast Pump More Frequently
Your body creates breast milk due to basic “supply and demand.” The more stimulation the breasts have, the more milk your body will attempt to supply.
Drinking plenty of water is a direct way to increase your milk supply. Typically, mothers who are breast feeding need to increase consumption by one liter per day, totaling 2.5 to 3 liters per day.
Oats are a common lactogenic food. Start your day with a big bowl of oatmeal.
Fenugreek is an herb that can be taken in capsule (2-3 capsules 3x/day) or tincture form, and typically increases breast milk supply within 1-2 days. Note: Fenugreek is often sold in combination with thyme—I recommend using the capsules of fenugreek alone.
Blessed Thistle is a plant that works best when taken together with Fenugreek. It is also found in capsule (2-3 caps 3x/day) or tincture form and is a galactagogue (lactation inducer) as well.
Mother’s Milk Tea
There are a variety of different herbal teas that help stimulate the production of breast milk. My personal favorite is “Milkmaid Tea” by EarthMamaBabyAngel.
Also known as ‘Baker’s Yeast.’ Add 1-2 Tbsp/day to food or water (it is bitter!). Brewer’s yeast contains chromium, selenium and B Vitamins (with the exception of B12). Brewer’s yeast is a natural food source that has immune enhancing, antioxidant, and wound healing properties.
Sleep is essential to optimal health, and recovery postpartum. Breast pumping offers a lovely solution to allow your partner to take over a feed and allow for you to sleep, recover, and heal.
Relaxing while breast feeding or breast pumping is integral in how much milk your body produces. If you are pumping, try not to look and tally how much milk you are making during the process, so that your body stays nice and relaxed and your milk is able to properly let down.
After speaking with your Doctor, you may decide that prescription drugs are necessary for your situation. However, make sure you check and understand all side effects. There are several prescription drugs that have been used to increase milk supply: Metoclopromide (Raglan), Domperidone (Motilium), and Sulpride (Eglonyl, Dolmatil, Sulpitil, Equemote).