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Mama, how can you increase your milk supply? Top Tips from a Midwife

Aliza Carr is a midwife and mental health specialist, who founded the online platform Bumpnbub to educate, support and connect new parents.

Hello lovelies, I absolutely love being a part of the Haakaa family! A group of incredibly supportive women encouraging each other just to do their best, as that is enough.

I’d like to start with this extremely accurate quote:

“Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.” - La Leche League.

Breastfeeding can come with its fair share of challenges, so it’s important to have the knowledge to help overcome some of these. Grab a cup of tea and read below for some of my top tips that can help with your milk supply:

1. Has baby attached correctly?

The crucial first step! Is there pain when your baby feeds? Do you still feel like your breasts are full even after your baby has finished feeding? Does your babe get an upset stomach and lots of gas (sucking air as opposed to breast tissue)? Is bub putting on weight each week? If you are unsure of these answers, please check with your midwife or a lactation consultant.

2. Supply and Demand

Breastmilk works based on supply and demand, meaning the more milk you extract, the more milk your body creates. The number one tip to produce more milk is to pump or feed more frequently. Try to feed your baby every 3-4 hours, especially in those early months. If bub is not interested, try pumping after a feed to stimulate further milk production. The more milk you extract, the more you will make. Ensure your baby is draining one breast completely, before offering the next one. Always offer both breasts if you feel your supply is low. 

SO many of you (and Mamas all over the world) are obsessed with the Haakaa Breast Pump - and I can understand why. Everything Haakaa does is so incredible!

The Haakaa pump requires no electricity, no cords, makes no noise and fits in your handbag. It’s also made of 100% silicone, so it’s completely non-toxic (yay for no plastic and sustainability)!

The pump attaches purely with suction and can be used (left on) to completely drain and pump the breast. It can also be used simply to catch the let-down reflex from the opposite breast to which you’re feeding on - so much saved milk! Magic.

3. Hydration and Nutrition

Mama, aim to drink about 3 litres of water per day. Think of it like this - your body needs fluid in order to make fluid. Try to eat hydrating, healthy foods - fuel your body the best you can. Your body is using extra energy and calories to create milk for your baby, so remember to nourish your body as much as you possibly can. Another way to optimize hydration is by drinking electrolyte filled drinks, such as coconut water.

4. Skin to skin with your baby

Our bodies know to start producing milk when our baby is close, which is incredible! Lying with your naked baby on your bare chest is a great milk stimulator. Skin to skin also helps your body to create those beautiful milk-making hormones, as well as promoting bonding for you both! Remember, we are all just mammals at the end of the day.

5. Let-down reflex!
Did you know the calmer you are, the easier your ‘let-down reflex’ will kick in? Find yourself a calm space, take some deep breaths, play relaxing music if you need - anything that helps your milk let-down reflex. If you are not physically with your baby and need to pump, look at videos or images of your bub. This will help your body know what to do.

Self-care also plays a big part - of course this can be very difficult with a newborn baby, but if you can take 10-15 minutes for yourself each day, this will positively impact your mental wellness and milk stimulation.

6. Galactagogues foods

These are ingredients and foods that can help to increase your milk supply and have been used for hundreds of years to do so. These can be whole foods such as leafy greens, wholegrains and nuts and seeds. There are also some amazing lactation products like teas and cookies that women swear by!  

7. Lactation Consultant

Do not hesitate to see a lactation consultant! No matter where you are in your feeding journey, you are not a failure. Remember to listen to your body and be kind to yourself mama’s - your baby adores you no matter what. A fed baby is the best baby.

Connect with us on Instagram and let us know if you have any other amazing tips that worked well for you!

Aliza Carr,

@bumpnbub

 

Haakaa New Zealand