It felt as if a big rock was thrown right at me after I realized that there was a sudden drop in my milk supply when I suffered from Mastitis. An inexperience first time mum, without much people to ask and not knowing where to start. Everyone was feeding me with different sets of information.
And then the following was what I concluded after experiencing and trying all out. There isn’t any sure method or prescription that will guarantee an increase in milk supply because it all depends on the individuals. But these methods definitely helped in one way or another:
- Latch. Yes, this is the simplest way because the creator of Earth had made it so simple such that you just have to latch correctly, and you’ll ensure an abundance of milk supply. The word is “correctly”.
- Drink lots of water. I really mean lots and lots of it. In the first place, you’ll probably just get very thirsty naturally. Soups or longan drink can be in replacement of water in the event if plain water are not allowed during confinement.
- Massage the breasts. Do this before and during a feed/pump. This will stimulate and activate the milk flow, and thus increases the amount of milk flowing out.
- Warm towel. Cover your breasts with a warm towel before a feed/pump. It will help to “melt” those clogged ducts and therefore a smoother milk flow. Use this together with some massaging.
- Sleep. Babies are not the only one who should sleep a lot. Leave everything else to the others and just concentrate on breastfeeding, eating and sleeping. If you can’t have enough rest, your body and mind won’t function well at all, don’t even mention about producing milk!
- Relax. It definitely doesn’t help to get overstress on that already low milk supply. The more stress you get, the lesser the supply will go. That’s how our brain functions. When overstress, stops all work. So, just relax and enjoy the breastfeeding process, and your baby will have enough milk. And the fallback plan? There’s always the milk powder.
- Eat protein food. I know you are dying to get rid of that droopy tummy that once was the home of your baby. But it sure isn’t a good time to go on a diet. When there’s no input, there’s no output. If you don’t eat, where do you think the nutrients of our breastmilk come from? Eat. And eat nutritious food. Diet can always come later.
- Think about your baby. This will help because when you think of your baby, somehow, you can feel the love you have for him/her. And your body automatically relaxes itself. Of course, it probably will bring a smile on your face too.
- Imagine the flow of milk. The mind controls everything. If you can control and imagine the milk flow, from the body, and slowly moving out through the milk ducts, you might just find out that it actually works!
- Empty your breasts. This is very important. Remember to empty it as much as possible because if it’s not empty, the body will just produce that little amount to fill it up. And unknowingly, the body would think that there isn’t a need to produce that much milk, and thus decrease the milk supply. How do you know if it’s empty? The breasts will feel very “light” and not engorge (swollen/full) at all.
- Increase the number of pumps/feeds. The more you feed or pump, the more the breasts get emptied and thus, the milk supply will increase. But do note, DO NOT overdo it because it might tire your body out. If you are breastfeeding directly, you’ll probably have to follow the baby’s feeding schedule. But if you are pumping exclusively, a maximum of 8-9 pumps a day would be more than enough.
- Herbs. Fenugreek and Mother’s milk tea are both taken by breastfeeding mothers to increase their milk supply. But seriously, there’s no guarantee. Personally, it doesn’t work for me but nonetheless I put it down here for reference as it works for some actually. If there’s any side effects (I’d never heard of any yet), please stop immediately. Would be good if you consult your lactation consultant.
Well, hope all this will help you in one way or another. Good luck!