I'm sure you've read all about the benefits of breastfeeding for both mama and baby.
But when milk supply issues start creeping in, things can get really stressful, really quickly.
If you are struggling your struggling with milk supply issues, you'll want to figure out how to make more milk fast!
Realistically, your body needs time to catch the signals and increase your milk.
I know all too well it's hard to be patient and wait when you have a hangry baby.
Thankfully there are a lot of things you can do that will increase your milk production.
Call in a Professional
The very first thing you should do is call in a professional in the milk-making world. This means a lactation consultant.
If you are having problems with breastfeeding, this should always be your first step.
Breastfeeding isn't always instinctual (even if it feels it should be.) It wasn't for me!
You may think the problem is one thing, but it could be something totally different. Things like lip and tongue ties, nipple shape issues or even just how your holding your baby could be causing problems!
So always talk with a lactation consultant first.
Work On Your Baby's Latch
If it seems like your baby isn't getting enough food when they breastfeed, the issue might not lie with your supply.
Instead, they may have a problem with their latch.
This is a sneaky problem lots of moms never even realize they are having with their baby.
If your baby isn't sucking properly at your breast, it will be difficult for them to get the milk that they need.
Pacifiers and bottle feeding can cause nipple confusion, which can make it harder for you to help your baby get a better latch.
A professional latch consultant may also be able to look at your baby's latch and offer some advice.
Sometimes, changing the way you hold your baby during feedings will be enough to correct latch issues.
Try To Avoid Supplementing
If you believe that your baby isn't getting the nourishment that they need, you should absolutely supplement with formula.
I believe all breastfeeding moms should become very acquainted with the signs of dehydration in your baby.
However, if supplementing isn't essential, you should try to avoid it.
If you feed your baby less frequently, your supply will decrease, which will make it even harder for you to produce more milk.
If can't breastfeed your baby during their normal feeding time and they are supplementing, it's a wise idea to pump your breastmilk while they are drinking from a bottle.
This helps signal your body to keep making more milk.
You can freeze your breastmilk and store it in the fridge for later, but if that's not possible, you can discard the milk (any mom struggling with milk supply issues cringes at that though, I know!)
But the point is to keep signaling to your body to produce more milk.
Simply put, more demand means more supply.
Change Your Diet
If you're not getting the nutrients that you need, it will be hard for you to keep your supply up.
If you stopped taking prenatal vitamins after you gave birth, you may want to start again.
These vitamins will provide your body with plenty of essential nutrients.
With that said, you'll also want to make sure you're eating the right foods. Iron can be very helpful if you're trying to increase your milk production.
You should add more dark leafy greens to your diet, and you may want to try things like liver as well.
You can read here more about dieting and milk supply.
Offer Your Baby Both Breasts During Feedings
If you don't know how to make more breastmilk, you may want to look at your current feedings.
Are you switching breasts between feedings, or are you offering your baby both breasts every time?
If your baby is feeding from both of your breasts during feeding sessions, your body will start producing more milk naturally.
It may take time for you to see results, but eventually, you'll notice that your milk supply is a lot higher.
Be Sure That Your Baby Is Nursing Frequently
How often is your baby nursing right now? If you're only sticking to scheduled feedings, your baby might not be nursing often enough to bring your supply up to where it needs to be.
Even if you want to transition to scheduled feedings eventually, on-demand nursing is one of the best ways to boost your supply.
One of my favorite ways to ensure my body makes more milk, is to take a nursing vacation.
Basically you and baby camp out in bed doing nothing but relaxing and eating.
Try to make sure there's lots of skin to skin time during this. For us, I just kept my baby in a diaper only and I snuggled up without a shirt.
The skin to skin action along with lots of frequent nursing helps signal to your body to increase milk supply.
Look Into Galactagogues
If you've tried a lot of different options, and still feel like you still aren't making more breastmilk, you may find trying a galactagogue helpful.
A galactagogue is a substance that is taken in order to increase a woman's milk supply.
There are prescription medications that can help you to boost your milk supply, and there are also herbal supplements.
If you're interested in galactagogues, you have a lot of options.
Many of these substances are highly effective, and they have helped many women to get their supply up to where it needs to be.
There are even lactation cookie recipes that help increase milk supply using galactagogues!
Talk To Your Doctor
If you have concerns about your supply, it might be smart for you to talk about this with your doctor.
They'll be able to examine you so that they can be sure there aren't any underlying health issues that are contributing to this problem.
If you're not producing enough milk on your own, it's not your fault. However, it is possible that a health issue is the root cause of this problem.
If you talk to a doctor, you can rule out any health issues, and you can get professional recommendations on the best ways to boost your supply.
Taking Care of Yourself Can Boost Your Milk Supply
Because caring for a baby can be so overwhelming, a lot of women wind up neglecting themselves.
When you're not in good shape, it takes a toll on your body. You need to do your best to get the rest that you need. Sometimes just getting enough sleep can make a world of a difference.
You'll want to make sure you drink enough water and keep yourself hydrated.
Even though your baby is your top priority, you should also set aside some time for self-care. Remember, you can't take care of your baby if you don't take care of yourself.
Improve your health, and your milk supply should improve too.
If you want to figure out how to make more breastmilk, you have a lot of different options. If your supply isn't where you want it to be, you shouldn't be discouraged.
There are plenty of ways for you to get your milk levels up to where they need to be.