Home Remedies to Increase Breast Milk Supply
130 million babies make their way into the world each year. That's about 360,000 per day.
In the United States, four out of five mothers try to breastfeed when their child is born. While not every woman is successful, it is certainly something that most mothers hope to do with their baby. Not only does it provide them with a great start in life, but it also helps the mother and child bond.
If you're short of breast milk, however, you may be wondering about home remedies to increase breast milk. In this blog post, we'll talk about a few ways you can ensure that your milk is flowing as long as your little one needs it.
Why Is My Milk Supply Drying Up?
Some mothers find that their milk supply is drying up or they're not lactating as much as they feel they should. This is relatively common, and there are a few reasons for this.
The most common reason for you to lactate less is that you're not feeding your child with your breast as often as you used to. This is natural as your child transitions to eating solid foods and other items. Over time, your supply will dwindle as your child's need for it also does.
But what happens if you're feeding your child exclusively from your breast and you're still experiencing your breast beginning to dry up?
If your baby is going through a growth spurt, this can also be the reasoning. Your baby may need more milk than usual to accommodate this, this doesn't mean that your baby suddenly needs more milk than you can give them. It just means that your baby is hungrier to ensure they're growing healthily.
Your Breast Pump Could Be to Blame
Another reason your breasts may not be producing as much is your breast pump. This can often happen to women who choose to pump their breast milk throughout the day instead of feeding their child on their breast each time he or she needs food.
There is nothing wrong with pumping, but it can cause your breasts to dry out prematurely. This is because your body produces as much milk as the baby needs, and when you use a breast pump, it can trick your body into thinking the baby needs less milk. Thus, your breasts will begin to dry up.
If your pump goes at a pace lower than 60 cycles per minute and is used more than twice a day, it can cause a discrepancy between how much the baby needs and how much you can pump.
Your pump should be 60 cycles per minute or faster because this is the speed at which most babies nurse. One way to combat this would be to exclusively nurse your from your breast on a day when you're able to do so.
Then, you can get a feel for how long and how often the baby needs to be feed. Repeat this cycle when you're away from your baby, and you'll find you're more able to pump the amount you need.
Is My Breast Size to Blame?
The myth is that women with bigger breasts are able to feed a baby more readily. Some women, especially those with smaller breasts, may subconsciously worry that their breast size has something to do with breast dryness.
However, this isn't the case at all. A woman's breast size has nothing to do with her ability to feed her baby. A woman can feed her baby with large breasts just as well as a woman with very small breasts.
Your body adapts to what your child needs, which is the miracle of being a mother.
Don't Retire Your Breasts Too Soon
The old saying goes, "if you don't use it you lose it." This is true of breast milk production as well. If you don't continue to pump and feed your baby, your breasts will dry up.
Your baby may be transitioning to formula feeding, soft foods or solid foods, but you may want to ensure that your child can still breastfeed. Perhaps it is comforting for the two of you or a nighttime ritual.
That's great, but you'll need to not reduce the amount you breastfeed so drastically. Instead, give your baby your breast as a snack between meals throughout the day. Or, you can feed your baby from your breast for a little bit before he or she has their meal.
This way, your breasts will still continue to lactate and you won't have to worry about them drying up before you're both ready.
Cinnamon and Honey Milk
One way to help increase lactation is cinnamon and honey milk. It may sound a little bit gross, but it's worth it if it helps you get a little more milk to your little one.
Warm up some lukewarm milk just before you go to bed. Take a little bit of cinnamon and sprinkle it on the milk. Then, add a half of a teaspoon full of honey. Stir and drink.
Not only should the warm milk help you feel sleepy if you have trouble getting your nightly rest, but it should also help you begin to lactate more.
Try a Milkful Lactation Bar
Our Milkful bars are delicious and nutritious. They're packed with iron and B-vitamins, two things that many women are low on once they start breastfeeding. Because of this, your milk may start to be in short supply as your body shuts down unnecessary functions to support your necessary functions.
Not only do our bars help boost your vitamin count, but they're also tasty, loaded with protein and fiber and short on sugar. In short, they'll not only boost your lactation but help you have more energy to keep up with your little one (or multiple little ones!).
They come in a variety of flavors and are genuinely tasty, not bitter or stale as many lactation cookies can be.
Breast Feed From Both Sides
You may find that you and your child favor one side over the other when you breastfeed. While this is natural, it can create problems with your milk supply. As such, you'll want to switch back and forth to make sure your milk doesn't dry up.
If your child really prefers one breast over the other, or it is more comfortable for you to feed out of one breast over the other due to prior injury or illness, remember to pump from the other breast. If you do use a pump, ensure it is 60 cycles a minute or faster so that it will match your baby's needs.
Fenugreek is an incredibly common ingredient in helping women lactate. While it is effective, some women find that after a while, they begin to smell like maple syrup, as does their milk.
Don't worry if this happens to you, it's natural.
You can get fenugreek in a variety of forms, but the most common is in a tea or capsule. Having it as often as recommended, in addition to ensuring you're breastfeeding correctly, will help up your breast milk supply.
If you're a fan of almond milk, you'll be a fan of this suggestion. If you soak six almonds in lukewarm water overnight and then eat them, they will increase your lactation. You should not consume the almonds by themselves but do so with warm water.
You can repeat this a couple of times a day, and incorporate almonds into your daily life.
Although it's stinky, if you love Italian food, you'll be pretty happy to hear that it can increase your lactation and milk supply.
For it to work, you'll need to add garlic to your dishes at home, and may even want to chew on a few garlic cloves if you can stand it.
You may even want to eat garlic bread or other items heavy with it. One thing's for certain: you'll also be able to ward off vampires as you help increase your milk supply.
Using Home Remedies to Increase Breast Milk Production
Home remedies to increase breast milk are fantastic and can be very useful when it comes to ensuring your little one has all he or she needs. But, if you find that even after doing everything the way you're supposed to, you still cannot make enough milk, speak to your doctor.
There could be an underlying condition that can cause lactation to be more difficult. Or, you could be breastfeeding without proper technique.