Often times, as the sole source of nutrition for their babies moms worry about having a enough milk for their little ones. It is a totally rational normal and rational fear for new moms to experience. In today’s blog we are going to go over a few common ways to know if you have low milk supply and ways to boost your milk production.
Is your baby getting enough milk?
In the early days it’s can be confusing and hard to know if your little one is getting enough milk. They are often fussy, slow to eat, and very sleepy, which can be confusing to parents. The best way to tell if your little one is getting enough milk is to track their diaper output. On day 1, baby should have 1 wet, and 1 poopy diaper. On day 2, baby should have 2 wet diapers, and 2 poopy diapers. Day 3, 3 wet and 3 poopy and on day 4, 4 wet and 4 poopy diapers. On days 5 and beyond, baby should have at least 6 wet, and 4-6 poopy diapers. Along with tracking diapers, baby’s weight loss should not exceed 10% and they should seem generally contented after eating. If your baby is not meeting these goals, or you are still worried, contact your local lactation professional or pediatrician. These can indicate a milk transfer issue (baby isn’t getting enough out) or you may have a low milk supply.
If you need to increase your milk supply, try the tips and tricks below.
Nursing, Nursing, Nursing
Breastfeeding works because of two hormones- oxytocin and prolactin. Oxytocin and prolactin are released when the nipples are stretched and stimulated. Oxytocin is responsible for the milk ejection reflex (let down) and prolactin is responsible for telling your body to make more milk. Therefore, it is vital to feed baby on demand when you are trying to increase your milk supply.
Extra Pumping Session
An extra pumping session can also tell your body to release more milk through the release of prolactin. When you pump after a nursing session additional prolactin is being released and telling the body it needs more milk for your little one. Pump for an additional 10 minutes or so after your nurse your baby or babies. If baby is being supplemented with a bottle, you can use the milk collected at the next feed.
Galactagogues are substances believed to increase milk supply in the mother. Common galactagogues include oatmeal, flax seed, and brewers yeast. There are a lot of recipes and products available for mothers that are created using these ingredients to increase milk supply. PS dads and partners can eat lactation cookies, too. We promise they won’t start lactating!
Sometimes when you go to a lactation consultant, they will set you up with a herbal supplement regimen. These herbs might include fenugreek and blessed thistle. Alternatively, companies like Honest make lactation boosting supplements and there are several companies that make tea for mothers to drink that you can buy at most baby stores and stores like Target.
As always, if you think your little one isn’t getting enough, seek the help and guidance of your pediatrician or lactation counselor. We understand the early days can be incredibly nerve wracking!