SIGNS OF LOW MILK SUPPLY
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Having a baby is kind of sort of CRAZY. It’s like, your hormones are partying like teenagers on the 4th of July, you pushed a watermelon out of yourself and now you’re responsible for keeping this tiny, fragile human ALIVE.
And then on top of all of that you may be learning to breastfeed. Which comes with it’s set of challenges. And if you have a low supply? That could be devastating.
This post is meant to answer all of your questions on how to increase breast milk supply, why your supply might be low and signs of low supply! I’ve included some quotes from real mommas who did have some trouble but got their supply up successfully! Hopefully they help you.
how long does it take to increase breast milk supply?
It takes about 3-5 days before you’ll see an increase in your milk supply when you’re actively trying to increase it. This is because of supply and demand. Give your body a chance to adjust to the new demands!
Signs of low breast milk supply
Here are some signs your breastmilk IS decreasing:
- Your baby isn’t gaining weight– babies lose 5-10 percent of their birth weight within the first days of their lives. However, they should be back up to their birth weight by day 10-14 and then start gaining around an ounce a day.
- Not enough wet diapers– expect 5-6+ wet diapers every 24 hours after your milk comes in!
- Dehydration in baby– if your baby has dark-colored urine, dry mouth or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes) or if they seem lethargic or not interested in feeding they could be dehydrated.
Why is my milk supply low?
According to Mayo Clinic, your milk supply may be low for a number of reasons:
- Waiting too long to start breastfeeding after birth.
- Not breastfeeding often enough– even though your baby may be sleepy, make sure they are waking often enough to feed. Newborns eat 8-12 times a day.
- Supplementing breastfeeding– the chances of needing to supplement are not high. Only supplement if your doctor has recommended this. Supplementing can cause a low milk supply because your body doesn’t think it needs to produce as much milk. This is because of supply and demand.
- Incorrect latch– I found it confusing and difficult to understand what the nurses were telling me about latching while I was in the hospital (probably because of sleep deprivation and utter exhaustion- go figure.) Check out this video to get a better understanding of a good latch if you’re struggling, it’s very helpful!
- Premature birth.
- Pacifier introduced too soon– giving your baby a soother in the first month can affect your supply. Mayo Clinic suggests waiting until 3-4 weeks after birth before giving your baby a pacifier.
What foods help produce breast milk?
Eating these foods can help you naturally boost your breast milk supply:
- Brewer’s yeast
RELATED: Yummy Lactation Boosting Recipes
What are the home remedies to increase breast milk supply?
- Breastfeed more often.
- Pump in between feedings to increase your supply.
- Breastfeed from both sides.
- Making lactation cookies, lactation smoothies or any lactation boosting foods. Or grab some Milk Dust protein powder and add it to just about anything! It’s plant based and contains lactogenic ingredients (like milk thistle, raspberry leaf, brewer’s yeast, fenugreek and fennel). And it actually tastes good! You can find it HERE.
- Try supplementing with breastfeeding herbs known to increase supply such as fenugreek, garlic (I recommend getting odorless), fennel, brewer’s yeast, blessed thistle, alfalfa or spirulina.
- Grab some breastfeeding tea, like this one! I drank this with my first baby and actually ended up producing too much milk.
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
- Rest when you can.
- Be easy on yourself.
Tips from real moms who had a low milk supply and brought it UP successfully!
Keyona from Professional Momma
When I first returned to work I experienced a decrease in my milk supply. I wasn’t able to pump as often as I’d been nursing at home and it was very stressful. I wanted to avoid the herb supplements because I had heard they could actually hurt your supply too. So, I turned to power pumping on the weekends and it was a game changer.
Keyona also has an in depth guide to power pumping, you can find it HERE.
Hilda from Real Mom Help
I had trouble with my milk supply with my first born. I am not sure it it was stress, inexperience or just overall low production that I dealt with. I think it was probably a bit of all of these. My lactation nurse recommended fenugreek capsules. They worked wonders. I was able to produce more ilk and was able to stop supplementing with formula. My baby was growing. Ever since, I breastfed two more babies successfully. And while my milk supply was never super abundant, the fenugreek helped make it enough for my babies.
Ashley from Mom Like You Mean It
Making sure to drink plenty of water and eat foods like oats and fenugreek. They always gave my supply a little boost, but when I really needed to up my supply considerably I always used power pumping to help increase milk production. Power pumping works by mimicking a cluster feeding session where you use a double electric pump to pump off and on for an hour.
You can check out Ashley’s post on power pumping that goes a lot more in depth HERE.
Rebecca from Collecting Clovers
My last child was born with an undiscovered tongue-tie. By the time it was discovered, at 4 weeks of age, my supply had already taken a significant hit.
With the assistance of an IBCLC, I began triple feeding and power pumping to increase my supply. Since supply is established by demand, triple feeding and power pumping told my body it needed to produce more milk. I also added in oatmeal every morning, increased my water intake and fenugreek free Milk Mama supplements.
It took several weeks, but I was able to increase my once depleted supply. I increased it so much, I actually ended up with an oversupply, which came with its own set of challenges!
It’s a wild and scary time the first few weeks/months with a newborn. If you’re struggling with a low supply, please know that it’s probably not your fault. These things happen sometimes that are out of our control. Be easy on yourself, be patient. I’m sending you so much luck and love on your journey, whether you breastfeed or not. I know you’ve got this ❤