I am a breastfeeding mother of a 20-month-old baby. When my baby was just a day old, I was really tensed seeing just a few drops of milk and not a full-fledged flow as I expected it to be. I asked my doctor “How to Increase milk supply fast? “. But she just said me not to worry; the milk supply will increase gradually.
Being a first-time mom, I was not happy with the reply she gave and my mind started boggling with thoughts like – would I be able to feed my baby properly? How to increase my breast milk in one day? Is it even possible to do so? Will I be able to satiate her hunger? What if my supply goes low? Again the same question haunts: How to increase milk supply fast..
When I called a few of my friends and few close relatives over a call to ask how to increase breast milk naturally, I got many ideas and suggestions but none of them could answer satisfactorily.
As I could not believe any of them completely that’s when I did my part of the research. So this blog details the set of things I researched and practically tried on me to increase my breast milk naturally during my low supply days.
To give a heads up, our body produces milk based on demand. The stomach of a newborn is a “size of lemon so those few drops are enough for them to stay content initially and as the days passes the milk supply increases as the baby demands more.
As a breastfeeding mother, you will have thousands of thoughts about your baby’s well-being and growth which sometimes makes you worry more than required. Though the foods you need to take to increase your supply is one of the important factors. There are few other things you should be aware of before judging your milk supply.
In this blog, I have tried my best to bring in all the questions and doubts which I used to get frequently with regards to breastfeeding.
I am not an expert but as I said before. I am a mom (who is still breastfeeding her 20-month-old baby) eager to help another mom or to anyone who genuinely wants to support a feeding mom. To explore things more technically, I am even pursuing a lactation course from a deemed organization.
A pregnant woman and new mothers are the ones who get to listen to many useless advice and myths from the people around them. Every one of them has a suggestion to give. Here are a few important things that you should know while you are breastfeeding your baby. Let me put it in the form of questions and answers to make it easier for you.
Table of Contents
- 1 What makes you feel your breast milk supply is low?
- 2 How to Increase Milk Supply Fast?
- 3 How to know if your baby is getting enough milk?
- 4 Should I eat more to produce more breast milk?
- 5 Is it ok to feel hungry even after having a proper meal?
- 6 Can massage to the breasts help in increasing the production of milk?
Before even thinking about how to increase milk supply fast, do you really have a low supply? This is the first thing you should be aware of.
What makes you feel your breast milk supply is low?
Is the constant crying of your baby or repeated taunts by your closed ones about your milk supply that makes you doubt your supply? For me, it was both. But not after getting to know the actual facts regarding breastfeeding.
If the below are the points, you thought, makes you feel awful about your milk supply then it’s time to reconsider it. These signs don’t mean you have a low supply. As I said it’s very common amongst mommies to feel that way but trust me on this. You need not worry.
- If your breasts are not leaking like before.
The breasts get engorged when more milk is produced than what your breasts can hold. This happens during the initial days when the body is yet to understand the baby’s demand. It takes at least 3 months for the body to produce milk based on the need.
So till then, there are many occasions or even alternative days where your breasts are engorged and start leaking. Once the supply is established, they engorge rarely.
As the baby starts growing, they become pro at emptying your breast, and at the same pace, the body replenishes the milk so there is literally no much time for engorgement. So if your breasts are not leaking when your baby is around (3-4months old), it just means your supply is established nothing else.
2. If the baby’s feeding duration is short but the frequency has increased.
Frequent feeding is called Cluster Feeding and it is absolutely normal as the baby grows. Please do not see the clock while feeding this can give you nothing but anxiety rather see the baby’s cues to understand their needs.
When a baby is born, their stomach is the size of lemon so even a few drops of colostrum (first milk produced by the body) is more than enough to keep them content but as they grow, the size of the stomach increases eventually hence their need.
So whenever the breast is emptied, the body based on demand replenishes it. So your supply will not get affected rather body tries to make more milk based on the demand and increase your milk supply fast.
Around the 15th day, I could see an increase in such behavior with my baby. So kindly hang on Momma, it’s just a phase and can happen often. Moreover baby asks for breast even for comfort and self-soothing themselves, so it’s not about hunger every single time.
3. If the breast feels soft most of the time.
Does soft breast mean low milk supply? The answer is No…Once the body understands the baby’s requirement; the supply is established as per the baby’s need. So your breasts will not be engorged and it’s completely normal. It happens around 3-4 months of your delivery.
4. Disturbed sleep of the baby.
It’s very common for the baby to have disturbed sleep for various reasons. Though hunger can be one of the reasons that need not be the case every time. A few reasons why the babies could be having disturbed sleep.
- Newborns need to be swaddled to give the feel of the womb so when not swaddled properly and are made to sleep in a bright room their sleep gets disturbed.
- Babies have sleep regressions.
- Older babies could be teething.
- Growth spurts
And, many other things like this. Therefore, it is important to find the reason first, before blaming yourself for having a low supply.
5. The baby is fussy and crying most of the time.
I have the first-hand experience of people around me telling whenever my baby was crying it was due to hunger and I used to freak out with guilt and stress but babies get fussy for various reasons:
- If they have colic
- Sleep regression
- Change in schedule
- Change of place.
It is very important to understand the baby’s cues before making any decision or getting to any kind of conclusion. If above points are not making you feel better about your supply. Here are the ways to increase milk supply fast.
How to Increase Milk Supply Fast?
- The first and the most natural way for increasing your milk supply fast is to nurse the baby constantly whenever the baby demands. FEED ON DEMAND TO ESTABLISH AND INCREASE YOUR SUPPLY. The body generates milk based on demand and supply.
Important Note: The pediatrician will suggest you to feed your newborn every 2hours right after the birth of the baby for the first few days. You have to feed this way till the baby retains its birth weight (Normally baby’s shrink up to 400gms post-birth) and regains it’s weight back in a week or two.
2. A proper latch enables the baby to suck the milk easily. Thereby emptying the breast at regular intervals helps in increasing the breast milk supply naturally.
Initially, even I faced a lot of latching issues when nothing worked (my breast was feeling heavy with pain). I had to consult a Lactation Consultant and she corrected my latch. Till then I was suffering from heavy breasts, sore nipples frequently and once my latch was fixed I had a lot of relief and there was no looking back.
3. There is no proper research that clearly says which milk is more nutritious whether it’s foremilk or hindmilk. Personally, I offer my breast alternatively for every feeding session.
But at one point in time babies do show a preference. In my case, she always had a preference towards my right breast than my left so without any surprise I used to produce more milk on my right than my left and that is absolutely normal. This is one of the best examples to tell how our body supplies milk on demand.
But again, need not worry if you are facing or will face that situation. It’s just a phase that will last up to 2 to 3 weeks not more than that. During that time, you can dream to feed your baby in sleep.
4. For the first 6 weeks, it is highly recommended not to use bottles and pacifiers to avoid nipple confusion. Nipple confusion can make it hard for the baby to latch. So it is best to avoid and try to breastfeed the baby as much as you can and have more skin to skin with the baby to create a bond and warmth.
5. Pumping is one more way to increase your supply. There are different techniques that you can adhere to do the pumping hassle-free. The more you pump, the body generates it accordingly. Know more about power pumping to increase breast milk supply fast.
Apart from the above points, there are two other points which you need to give more emphasis on when you want to increase your supply fast.
- You need to believe in yourself that – Yes! You can fulfill your baby’s hunger. You can increase your breast milk in one day but you should have a positive mind. Because any kind of diet will not help if you are completely stressed out and are constantly worrying about your supply.
Always remember your mood affects your body which in turn affects the baby. End of the day, only a HAPPY MOM can raise a HAPPY BABY. Trust your body and it will surprise you.
2. It is important to have a balanced diet for breastfeeding mothers to increase milk which helps to fulfill the baby’s demands as well as the calorific needs of your body. You can take any food in moderation whatsoever with that there are certain foods to increase breast milk supply but again there is no proven research that says these foods definitely increase the breast milk supply in one day.
But having certain Indian (milk-producing) foods has increased my breast milk supply and has helped many of my mommy friends as well. So there is nothing wrong with giving it a try.
How to know if your baby is getting enough milk?
Since the amount of milk that is going to the baby’s body cannot be measured while nursing directly. These are the things that will let you know you are making enough.
- If the baby wets the diapers more than 6+ times in 24hours it means your supply is good enough. In the case of newborns, they pee more than 10+ times, and my baby used to pee 14 times till she was 6 weeks old. It’s normal.
- Going for the potty twice a day to not going for the potty for 10 days is also completely normal. If your baby is exclusively breastfed only (do not give any external liquid apart from your breast milk or formula milk till 6months). In the newborn, the potty in the form of loose stools yellow in color (with curd consistency) for a minimum of 5-6 times is also absolutely normal.
- Since there lot of vaccines in the initial months (you can check the baby’s weight regularly), if the weight of your baby is increasing as per the growth curve, you can take it for granted that you are producing enough. But some moms (more than moms the society) expect a baby to put on weight to look like a cute panda but let me remind you mommy all babies can’t be chubby and not being chubby doesn’t mean they are not healthy until they have a positive growth curve.
Here is the weight history of my daughter. Again she is not in the chubby category but is perfect in the growth curve and that’s all you have to see.
|29-7-19||1 month old||4.66 kg|
|22-8-19||2 months old||5.40 kg|
|29-8-19||2 months old||5.50 kg|
|1-10-19||4 months old||6.26 kg|
|30-11-19||5 months old||6.60 kg|
|4-01-20||6 months old||7.30 kg|
|24-01-20||7 months old||7.50 kg|
|03-02-20||7 months old||7.80 kg|
|01-03-20||8 months old||8.10 kg|
|08-04-20||9 months old||8.20 kg|
|05-05-20||10 months old||8.40 kg|
|09-06-20||11 months old||9.60 kg|
|11-07-20||13 months old||9.40 kg|
|12-08-20||14 months old||9.31 kg|
|10-09-20||15 months old||9.75 kg|
|08-10-20||16 months old||9.68 kg|
|09-11-20||17 months old||9.50 kg|
|04-12-20||18 months old||10.00 kg|
|09-01-21||19 months old||10.20 kg|
Should I eat more to produce more breast milk?
There is a general misconception saying eating more help in increasing your milk supply fast. I personally do not believe in this and no science claims it right anyway.
I was asked to have more than what I could eat in the initial months to keep up with my supply and body’s calorific needs since I was a first-time mom I obliged. Like you all, I just wanted my baby to get enough milk.
You definitely need extra calories than a normal person to keep up with the breastfeeding but that doesn’t mean you end up hogging everything under the sun as I did initially.
Though the baby got enough milk, I gained almost 8kgs in the first three months itself. That’s when I opted for all these lactation courses to gain some knowledge because most of them who guide in the name of experience including my mother did not have proof to tell why I should do it. All she said is just do it because my mom had asked me to do it. Is it even a reason to give?
So coming to the point, being stress-free and having the required balanced diet (with the calorie intake in mind to a certain extent because having a baby measuring everything you eat can be exhausting), eating to your hunger, and being hydrated (minimum 3 liters of water) every day is the key.
Is it ok to feel hungry even after having a proper meal?
I never felt hunger pangs initially because I was stuffed with more food than required so the thought of food used to make me stay away from food but once my baby completed 2 months.
Huh… Till now I do not have control over my appetite so I make sure I keep snacking one or the other snacks in between my meals. Lately, to keep my health in check I have opted for healthier choices like roasted moong dal(yellow lentils), Makhana( a healthy snack predominantly had in North India), fruits.
So it is completely normal for breastfeeding moms to feel hungry any time of the day or night 😀
Can massage to the breasts help in increasing the production of milk?
Normally mothers, who prefer or are bound to pump, massage their breasts to make it easy to hand express or pump the milk. As the body is expressing milk, the body produces more milk. This one way to increase your milk supply fast.
I hope, I have answered all the common questions which every mom’s mind comes across through my experience as a mother and to-be Lactation Counselor. Apart from this if you still have any doubts, please feel free to join my Whatsapp group. I would love to help you and it’s absolutely free (no hidden charges, the only thing I need is the good wishes of a fellow mom).
Thanks for reading my blog. Please post your queries in the form of comments or join my Telegram group if you wish to have one to one discussion.