If you stopped breastfeeding and would like to restart or if you are trying to eliminate formula supplements, here are some practical tips for increasing your milk supply. If there has been a gap in the time you have breastfed, it can be referred to as re-lactation. Just be aware, this is a helpful, supportive, and non-judgmental blog post. Your journey is personal, and I respect you for considering trying again. Keep a team of support close and include a skilled lactation support specialist.
Reasons to Increase Milk Supply
There are many reasons for needing to increase your milk supply. Maybe you had a difficult start breastfeeding your baby and you are trying to build your supply to reduce formula supplementing. Perhaps you stopped nursing before you were ready and would like to try again.
Maybe your little one is on a small amount of formula, and your supplies are limited, or your financial situation isn’t doing well, and it would help to eliminate the formula altogether. The average mother wants to try breastfeeding again because the first time it didn’t get off to a very good start.
Can Your Milk Supply Be Increased?
Here are a few things that will decide if your milk supply can increase:
- The age of your baby – Younger children are more willing to succeed at breastfeeding again. If there hasn’t been a long gap between feedings, you have a better chance of being able to produce milk.
- Amount of milk previously – If you had a full or nearly-full supply before, there is a good chance you can begin producing milk again with patience and time. If you had a low milk supply, it might take longer or you might need a different strategy.
- Underlying medical issues – Did medical issues cause your milk supply to be lower than usual? If so, you will need to manage these issues first.
- The length of time you have not been breastfeeding – The cells that make milk stop working after you end breastfeeding, so it can affect how easy and how long it takes to get your milk supply back.
Be kind to yourself if you are wanting your milk supply to increase. It is do-able, but you need to set realistic goals, have encouragement and support from friends and family, and have patience and determination. Be kind to your baby, your body, and your mind through the process. Remember, your baby needs calmness, gentleness, and time to adjust back to the breast. Breastfeeding is between two people, and this is new to both of you.
Increasing your Supply
Here is the practical help you need! Start slowly and work your way up.
- You will need cuddles, skin to skin time, massaging, and co-bathing. Simple and risk-free. These are good tips for everyone, not just people wanting to increase their milk supply.
- If baby will breastfeed, go ahead! Nothing is better at making milk than your baby. If you are already breastfeeding some, this will work best. Remember to check your baby’s weight and diapers often.
- Breast massage will cue the body that it needs to produce more milk. Prolactin, the milk-making hormone, is stimulated by touch.
- Hand expressing is more effective at low milk volumes, and, when used in combination with pumping, you will yield larger milk volumes.
- Pump approximately as often as the baby would nurse. Ideally, pump 8 to 12 times a day and once at night.
- Once you are producing more milk, begin reducing formula slowly.
Set goals and reassess where you are in the milk-making process. After a certain time, if you realize you are not producing more milk, find a happy compromise. If you see progress, persevere and keep stretching toward those goals. Your success is your own, and remember, every drop of breastmilk is worth celebrating!
Paediatric Sleep Consultant in Singapore
Sleep is an important factor during challenging times. Don’t try to reach your goals when you are tired and stressed. Reach out to Louise for a free 15-minute discovery call. Petite Dreamers will provide you with respectful and practical solutions to help you and your baby create healthy and happy sleep habits.