How to Boost Your Milk Supply Naturally
Everyone's breastfeeding journey is different. There's oversupply, undersupply, and the 'I've got no idea what is going on with my supply'. Sometimes it feels like your milk supply can drastically change from one day to the next.
The reason? Maybe you've been a little stressed. Possibly, you've just gone through a rough patch with sleeping, or you've been busy and didn't manage to eat enough to support your energy requirements for a couple of days.
When your supply is low, it can be highly distressing. Often Mum's will turn to supplementing with formula when this happens, but this can result in a further drop because you're essentially telling your body to make less milk instead of making more.
As long as you remain calm, you can effectively and quickly increase your milk supply. Here are our top 5 tips on how to boost your milk:
Breastfeed On Demand
That is, as often as the child wants. The number one way to increase your supply is to nurse more often. Our breasts produce milk in response to demand. So, you will naturally increase your milk supply by feeding more, expressing more, or combining both. If you've got the time, try a nursing holiday; this is where you cosy up on the couch, relax, watch a couple of movies and allow bub to feed as much as possible.
Power pumping is a technique women use to increase their milk supply. It mimics "cluster feeding’" a term used to describe when babies feed super regularly, usually during a growth spurt. Both power pumping and cluster feeding indicate an increase in demand and signal your breasts to produce more milk.
So, how do you power pump? Basically, you pump for a set amount of time repeatedly with breaks in-between. For example:
- Pump for 20 minutes
- Break for 10 minutes
- Pump for 20 minutes
- Break for 10 minutes
And you continue this for 1-2 hours. It’s a lot of effort, but it works. We recommend committing to 1-2 weeks to increase your milk supply.
Research shows that by stripping down and making skin contact with bubs, you can increase your level of oxytocin, the hormone responsible for milk ejection. If you're expressing, you can boost your oxytocin levels just by thinking about bubs, smelling them (or an item of their clothing) or looking at photos.
Take Care of Yourself
Your nutrient requirements are significantly higher when you're breastfeeding. Your baby is relying on you for 100% of their nutrition. So, you need to try your best to eat enough healthy food. Aim for a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, high protein foods and good sources of healthy fats. Drink plenty of water and rest (as much as you can).
Eat Lactogenic Foods (galactagogues)
The word lactogenic comes from the Latin word 'LAC', which means milk and 'GENIC', which means producing. You can incorporate certain types of foods into your diet, which will do exactly this, produce milk. Oats, yoghurt, almond milk, almonds, salmon and sweet potato are all great choices.
Introduce a Lactation Aid
The In-Shape Mummy Health Shake for Breastfeeding Mums is jam-packed with lactation aids, including organic milk thistle and organic fenugreek. Along with 25 minerals, probiotics and organic vegan protein to nourish you and your bub. These shakes are an easy and effective way to not only get the nutrients you need but to also naturally boost your milk supply, especially when you're short on time. It's an all-in-one solution that tastes amazing.
The most important thing to remember is that our breasts are constantly making milk. But, factors like stress, tiredness and poor diet can decrease the amount. So, do your best to take care of yourself because you can't pour from a cup half full.
Many Busy Mums don't have time to cook health food and exercise ALL the time.
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Shevi is a qualified nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food sciences. As a new mum herself, she is passionate about postnatal-related nutrition. Shevi has worked alongside some of the most famous leaders and celebrities in the fitness industry throughout Australia and the UK.
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