How to Increase Breastmilk

Many mothers worry about how to increase breastmilk. You will increase your breastmilk supply every time you feed your baby. In other words, your baby's sucking stimulates your body to make just the right amount of breastmilk.

The most effective way to increase milk supply is by nursing your baby frequently and without restrictions. If you are wondering how to increase breastmilk supply or you are concerned that you are not producing enough - it's important to breastfeed more often!

Babies should be put to the breast as soon as possible after birth and frequently thereafter, to optimize breastfeeding potential - about every 2 hours. Breastfeeding is based on stimulus and response... the more the baby nurses and sucks the more your body will produce.

The baby's sucking causes your body to release special hormones that tell your brain to make the exact type and amount of nutrients that your individual baby needs.

Your baby getting enough breast milk is a very reasonable concern and many mothers worry about it. Click here for more about signs that your baby is getting enough breastmilk.

Follow the baby. Pay attention to your baby's cues and he will show you when he is hungry. Artificial nipples such as bottles and pacifiers should be avoided as babies learn different suckling techniques which can lead to nipple confusion and may sabotage your efforts especially in early days.

Avoid substances that may cause lowered milk supply such as:

Smoking

Caffeine

Birth control pills

Decongestants and antihistamines

Severe weight loss diets

Sage and jasmine tea, parsley, peppermint candies (Altoids, Starlight mints, etc)

Pumping Your Milk

In special circumstances many mothers choose to get a jump start by expressing or pumping using a breast pump.

Manual milk expression can help establish, build up, or maintain breastmilk production. Pumping breastmilk by hand is a useful skill for nursing mothers to have and a great way to collect and store it for your baby anytime and anywhere.

Galactogogues [ ga·lac·ta·gogue ]

How to increase breastmilk with medication:

Galactagogues are medications or substances that can induce or enhance breast milk production.

Galactogogues are sometimes used for inadequate milk supply or induced lactation,as in the case of breastfeeding an adopted baby , and re-lactation.

The most commonly used herbal galactagogues are fenugreek and blessed thistle Others include milk thistle, alfalfa, anise, astragalus root, burdock, nettle, fennel, and vervain.

Medications that can increase breastmilk supply are also available by prescription.

Domperidone

Domperidone - Motilium, increases prolactin and breastmilk supply. This is the only galactagogue proven effective through a small double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. It has fewer side effects in the mother, and no side effects have been reported in infants.

Metoclopramide

The most extensively studied galactagogue, proven to be safe and effective, is metoclopramide known by its commercial name, Reglan. Metoclopramide also stimulates prolactin release. Potential side effects include fatigue, anxiety, dizziness, diarrhea, and gastric cramping. There have been no documented reactions in infants exposed to metoclopramide in breastmilk.

Chlorpromazine

Chlorpromazine is sometimes used as an alternative to or in conjunction with metoclopramide. On occasions, when unsuccessful, methyldopa may be added.

Oxytocin

Oxytocin, taken orally or with a nasal spray, has been used in women with inadequate milk supply and is involved in causing milk letdown or milk ejection reflex.



Herbal Galactogogues

Many mothers have succeeded giving their breastmilk production a boost using herbs.

Increase breastmilk using specially formulated herbal tea

How to increase breastmilk supply using Fenugreek

How to increase breastmilk using Blessed Thistle

Increasing breastmilk using Milk Thistle


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