It is a worry for breastfeeding mothers not to have enough breast milk to feed their baby. A worry you don’t need in already demanding times. A decrease in milk supply can be caused by many factors ; your baby having a growth spurt, mastitis (breast infection), high levels of stress, pregnancy or returning to work . If your milk does drop don’t give up on fully breastfeeding straight away, because luckily there are quite a few things you can try to do to improve your breast milk supply.
- Breastfeed as much as you can and extract milk with a breast pump about 10 minutes after a feed or in between feeds.
- Try “switch feeding”. Take your baby off the breast after 5 minutes of feeding and then put her on the other breast for a further 5 minutes. Then switch back to the other breast. Repeat this until the feed is finished.
- Make sure you and your baby are breastfeeding properly so that the breasts are drained as much as possible. Contact La Leche League for more information on breastfeeding – www.llli.org
- Make sure you drink plenty of water (minimum 2 litres a day) and eat plenty of healthy and protein-rich foods.
- Rest as much as you can. Reduce any stress in your life to a minimum (I know this one is not easy!!). In my own experience stress is one of the biggest reasons for not having enough milk!
- Do not diet or detox whilst breastfeeding and avoid strenuous exercise.
- Try these natural remedies:
- Fenegreek - used to increase breast milk for many centuries and gives the breast milk a maple syrup taste/scent.
- Brewers yeast and Blessed Thistle – used often, with great results. For me personally, Blessed Thistle increased my breast milk supply dramatically.
- Weleda breastfeeding tea – available at most health stores.
Ask your naturopath or health store for advice on these products.
Good luck with trying out these options mums! It is really worth the effort you put into this quest.