Breastfeeding frequently—especially in the first hours, days, and weeks—is the main way to increase your milk supply. Your body will make milk to meet your baby’s demand. Mothers’ milk is vital to new-born babies. It provides ideal nutrition as it has the perfect mix of vitamins, protein, and fat that a new-born baby needs to grow. It also contains antibodies that help build natural immunity to viruses and bacteria.
When you are breastfeeding, your milk supply sometimes might decrease due to stress, fatigue, or a variety of other factors.
Try these tips to help you make more milk –
- Breastfeeding – Breastfeed every time your baby is hungry. In the early weeks, your baby will eat 8-12 times every 24 hours. It’s best not to put your baby on a strict feeding schedule. Follow your baby’s cues, and let your baby tell you when it’s time to eat.
- Offer both breasts at each feeding – Let your baby finish the first side, then offer the other side. During the first few weeks, breastfeeding from both sides during each feeding will help to build up a stronger supply of breast milk.7 You just want to be sure to alternate the breast you start breastfeeding on each time you feed your baby since the first breast usually gets more stimulation.
- Latching – Latch refers to how the baby fastens onto the breast while breastfeeding. A good latch promotes high milk flow and minimizes nipple discomfort for you. Make sure that your baby is latching on to your breast correctly. Latching your baby on properly is the most efficient way to increase your supply.
- Get some rest – Exhaustion and stress can have a negative effect on your milk supply.5 While it may be difficult to find time to relax when you’re a busy new mom, it’s so important. Try to take a nap when the baby is sleeping, and know that it’s OK to ask for help. When you’re rested and not so stressed, your body can put that extra energy into making a healthy breast milk supply.
- Eat well – It’s a good idea to try to eat a little better while you’re breastfeeding. Breastfeeding and making breast milk requires a good amount of energy. So, to build up a healthy milk supply, fuel your body with well-balanced meals and healthy snacks.
- Superfoods – Here are some good, nutritious superfoods that is recommended for nursing mothers to increase breast milk – Fenugreek seed, ajwain (carrom seeds), eggs, paneer, garlic, dark leafy green vegetables, almond, fennel. Include them in your diet frequently.
Most moms can build and maintain a healthy supply of breast milk for their babies, and the chances are that you can, too. As long as you’re breastfeeding often and your baby is showing the signs of getting enough breast milk, you’re doing just fine. Try not to let anxiety and insecurity undermine dent your confidence.