But if your doctor has suggested upping your supply or your baby seems to be insatiable, it never hurts to have a few tricks in the bag to boost your milk supply. Here are some natural tips that can help:
Amy Mager, a certified lactation consultant, stresses the importance of letting your baby spend time on you (or your partner) when Baby is naked and parent is shirtless. “The more skin-to-skin contact, the more babies nurse — in a Moby wrap, under a shirt, with a blanket over babe resting,” Mager explains.
Learning to read the signs of your baby’s hunger can be key. Mager explains, “Every time you respond to a feeding cue — hand to mouth, pecking on your chest like a bird, turning the head and looking for breasts that might be floating by — this is a feeding cue not to miss. When we catch them, babies get fed before they are starving, are reminded that we respond to them AND give your breasts stimulation.”
Nurse frequently! The more milk you “remove” from your breast, the more milk will be produced. Also, try to offer both sides at each feeding.
You want each nursing session to be as productive as possible, so that your breasts are emptying during feeding in order to fill back up again. “When Baby is not latched on effectively, take Baby off,” Mager says. “Talk to Baby. In a high-pitched voice, ask Baby to ‘Open.’ Remember, the dentist doesn't say ‘don't close,’ she reminds us to open.”
It can be frustrating to feel like your milk supply is going down, but stressing out over it might make it worse. Practice self-care and be kind to yourself. Eat well, drink plenty of water, and make sure to get enough sleep when you can. If you need to, you can hand express or pump in between feedings, but remember that you never produce as much milk while pumping as you do while breastfeeding.
The best way to know if your baby is getting enough milk is to be aware of the amount of wet/dirty diapers she produces daily. It’s one of the best indicators of how much she’s consuming. If you’re still concerned about your milk supply, make an appointment to see your doctor or local lactation consultant.
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