Monthly Archives: February 2014

How Do I Make More Breast Milk?

As a company that helps mothers with low milk supply we get the question, “How do I make more breast milk?” all the time. This article is an attempt answer that question in about 500 words.

How Making More Breast Milk Works

Generally speaking our bodies want to adapt to the stresses and hardships we place on them. If you live in Alaska you get used to cold winters, if spend a lot of time on a boat you’ll get your “sea legs”, if you lift heavy weights your muscles will grow stronger.

It’s this adaptability of our bodies that we can use to when we want to make more breast milk. In a very real sense we have to put a “hardship” or a “stress” on our milk production in order to make more breast milk.

Here’s how to do that.

To Make More Breast Milk, Create A “Hardship” For Your Breast Milk Production

make more breast milkThat’s right. If you want to make more breast milk, you’ll have to create a hardship for your current level of milk production. If there’s no hardship or stress, there is nothing for the body to adapt to so I’ll just keep making the same amount of breast milk.

To make more breast milk we have to create a hardship for your current milk production. We do this in two ways:

  1. Increase the frequency of milk withdrawal
  2. Increase the completeness of milk withdrawal

Step one in creating your “hardship” is to increase the frequency or number of times you remove breast milk. Whether that is through breastfeeding or pumping doesn’t really matter. What matters is that more times per day (and night!) you remove breast milk. If you’re currently breastfeeding and/or pumping 6 times per 24 hours, increase that to 8 times per 24 hours.

Step two in creating your “hardship” is to increase the completeness of breast milk withdrawal. You do this by pumping after each breastfeeding session and completely empty both breasts (and even continue to pump for a few minutes after no more milk is flowing) or if you are exclusively pumping to continue to pump for several minutes after no more breast milk is flowing.

Doing these two things will create a hardship for your breast milk supply and your body will try to adapt by making more breast milk. But there are a few other things you can do to help your body adapt. Read on!

Other Things That Can Make More Breast Milk

other ways to make more breast milkOnce you’ve created your hardship, there a few additional things you should do to help your body to adapt (meaning make more breast milk). They are:

Eat an adequate amount of healthy calories: your baby needs a lot of calories to thrive and grow and those calories come from you. Breastfeeding takes about 500 additional calories per day above what your body needs. Moms who are aggressively dieting usually don’t have enough calories available to make breast milk. Be sure you’re getting amount of healthy calories.

Get enough rest: breast milk regenerates the fastest when we sleep and getting as much rest as is possible with a baby in the house is very important to making more breast milk.

Herbal supplements can help your body make more breast milk: In a 2012 observational study 75% of the women who took Lactiful Supply Max – an all natural herbal supplement – boosted their milk production. The average increase in breast milk production was 14.8 ounces of additional milk produced each day by each woman. Not bad at all. See more on Lactiful hereClick for more articles about how to increase milk supply

Breastfeeding On One Breast

Breastfeeding On One Breast Defined

Breastfeeding on one breast means that during a typical breastfeeding session the mother typically only breastfeeds on one breast. This happens because of inexperience, conscious choice, or because of a physical limitation such as surgery on the breast.

Implications Of Breastfeeding On One Breast

help-milk-supplyBreastfeeding on only one breast at a time typically results in lower breast milk production. This is caused when milk is left in the breast for extended periods of time. Essentially when breast milk is not removed frequently, the breasts release signals that tell the body that it is overproducing milk and that production should be cut back.

If this is not what the mother intends, she should be sure to breastfeed on both sides during each breastfeeding session and to alternate which breast she starts with each session. For example:

  • Session one, start with left breast, finish with the right
  • Session two, start with right breast, finish with the left
  • Session three, start with left breast, finish with the right
  • Etc

This is considered “normal” breastfeeding and helps stabilize milk production.

Breastfeeding On One Breast As A Means To Decrease Milk Production

Mothers faced with an over production of breast milk can use breastfeeding on one breast as a way to safely and naturally reduce milk production. To do this the mother should only breastfeed on one breast during each session. Like this:

  • Session one, only breastfeed on the left
  • Session two, only breastfeed on the right
  • Session three, only breastfeed on the left
  • Etc

breastfeeding on one breast The breast that is not breastfed on will likely become engorged and uncomfortable but it is important not to express milk either by hand or with a pump. Wait until the next breastfeeding session to remove any milk. If you find that there is too much milk for baby, causing him to choke, sputter or have other difficulties breastfeeding, you may wish to pumping for a few minutes prior to the breastfeeding session to reduce the pressure in the breast.

Breastfeeding on one breast will allow the milk to remain in the opposite breast for a long enough time to send signals that milk production should be reduced. It’s important to carefully monitor your milk production however since it is easy to swing from a state of over-production to under-production and getting the milk production back up is far more difficult than getting it to diminish.

How To Increase Milk Production When You Can Only Breastfeed On One Breast

If you can only breastfeed on one breast it is possible to successfully exclusively breastfeed your baby, however it is a difficult challenge for many moms. Here’s some things you can do to boost your breast milk production when you can only breastfeed on one breast:

  • Be sure to pump after each breastfeeding session – it’s important to remove every last drop of milk each breastfeeding session. Once the milk has stopped flowing into the pump bottle, continue to pump for 5 additional minutes. This signals your body to increase milk production.
  • Go no longer than 3 hours from the start of one breastfeeding session to the start of the next breastfeeding session. At night you can go 4 hours. This may mean you’ll have to wake baby to breastfeed but it is important because frequently removing breast milk will signal your body to increase milk production.
  • Considering taking an herbal supplement that boosts breast milk production. An observational study found that Lactiful Supply Max increase breast milk production in 75% of the moms who tried it. You can learn more about Lactiful here. Click for more articles about how to increase milk supply

Breast Feeding For How Long

How Long To Breast Feed Theories

breast feeding for how long?If you have been wondering how long you should continue breast feeding – you’re not alone. Part of the confusion about how long to breast feed comes from the fact that there is so many opinions and each opinion varies wildly from one another. One source might say breast feeding for 6 weeks is best and another will say breast feeding for 3 years or longer is best.

Which is right? Which is wrong?

In this article we’ll look at three breast feeding theories (or perspectives) for how to determine how long you should breast feed. They are the surgeon general’s recommendation, baby-led breast feeding, and mother led-breast feeding. Let’s begin!

United States Surgeon General Recommendation For How Long To Breast Feed

In 2011 the Surgeon General issued a “call to action” to support breast feeding. This 80+ page report showed that because of the many health and economic benefits of breast feeding that all mothers should breast feed for 6 months and longer, if possible. Among the benefits listed in the report:

Health Benefits of Breast Feeding (as stated by Surgeon General)

  • Less infections and illness
  • Less likely to develop asthma
  • Less likely to become obese
  • Less likely to die from SIDS
  • Mothers have decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers

Economic Benefits of Breast Feeding (as stated by Surgeon General)

  • Savings of $1,200 – $1,500 in formula in year one alone
  • Annual U.S. savings of $13 billion in medical and other costs
  • Higher work place productivity with less employee time off to care for sick children

Baby-Led Breast Feeding

baby-led breast feedingIn baby-led breast feeding, how long you continue to breast feed for is largely in the hands of your baby. The mother watches the baby for signs that the baby is interested in regular food. This often happens at the dinner table, baby will begin to reach for food and usually happens around 5 to 7 months of age.

Baby is encouraged to experiment with regular food but is not denied breast feeding. Some baby-led breast feeding moms will offer the breast side by side with a food option and let the baby decide which they want. Some babies will naturally drop breast feeding as soon as regular food becomes an option while others will continue to breast feed for a year or longer.

Mother-Led Breast Feeding

In mother-led breast feeding, the mother has a time goal in mind or simply decides that the time is right to be finished with breast feeding. The usual way this is done is by dropping regular breast feeding sessions at the rate of one a week and replacing that session with a food item or a bottle or sippy cup of milk.

Conclusion For How Long To Breast Feed

Those are three theories or perspectives on how long you should be breast feeding for. Which one is right for you? Ultimately it is a decision that is up to you and your baby. Breast feeding is a personal decision.

But it should be a decision you make, not one that is made for you by outside circumstances such as returning to work or a decrease in milk production. The Surgeon General’s report stated that 50% of mothers cited insufficient milk supply as the their reason for stopping breast feeding. If you’re concerned about your milk supply, there is help – learn about an all-natural herbal treatment from Lactiful that increases milk supply in 3 out of 4 moms. Click for more articles about how to increase milk supply

How To Boost Milk Production

Why Boost Milk Production

As a breastfeeding mom there are many reasons you may want to boost milk production.

  • There are many reasons moms want to boost milk productionPerhaps you are currently supplementing with formula and want to exclusively give breast milk.
  • Perhaps you are concerned your baby is not getting enough breast milk throughout the day or at a specific time of day (typically evenings).
  • Perhaps you will be returning to work or school soon and want to boost milk production to bank up a freezer stash of milk for while you are away.
  • Perhaps a friend or relative is struggling with milk production and you want to boost your production so that you can provide extra milk for her.

No matter your reason for wanting to boost milk production the process for boosting milk production is the same. It’s a simple two step process.

How To Boost Milk Production – A Two Step Process

Boosting milk production is a fairly straightforward two step process that utilizes the body’s natural ability to adapt to changing circumstances. For instance, if you are not a runner, but decide one day to that you want to be a runner, you start out with short runs or even alternating walking a running. And gradually day-by-day your legs will get stronger, your lung function will improve, your conditioning will improve and your body will adapt to longer and longer runs. What was once impossible is now easy.

The body loves to adapt to changing circumstances. If you have fair skin and are out in the sun, your skin will darken or tan so that you’re less likely to get a sunburn. If you lift heavy weights your body adapts by increasing your strength.

In the same way when you want to boost milk production, you’ll use your body’s natural ability to adapt to facilitate the boost in production.

How To Boost Milk Production – Step 1

Here’s the rule:

The body will adapt to changing circumstances.

When we are talking about boosting milk production, the body adapting is the when the body is boosting milk production. So, the first step to boost milk production is the second part of the rule, “changing circumstances.”

What circumstances need to change in order to have the body adapt by boosting milk production?

The frequency and the completeness of breast milk withdrawal.

boost milk production by removing breast milk more frequently and completely

What does that mean? It means that to boost milk production, you first need to withdraw breast milk more frequently and more completely than you are currently. This is your “changing circumstances.” Specifically, if you are breastfeeding (or pumping) six times in a twenty-four hour period, you need to add two additional times when you are either breastfeeding or pumping, even if it means waking baby up. This increases the frequency of breast milk withdrawal.

To increase the completeness of breast milk withdrawal you’ll need to be sure baby is breastfeeding on both sides for each breastfeeding session and that after baby is done breastfeeding that you pump each side for an additional 7-10 minutes or until no more milk is being removed, whichever is longer. Continue to pump for the additional time, even if no milk is flowing. This is your “changing circumstances” and your body will adapt by boosting milk production.

How To Boost Milk Production – Step 2

For many moms, simply changing the circumstances as described in step one is enough to get the body to adapt and boost milk production. However for some moms, just changing the circumstances is not enough.

boosting milk production is like boosting muscle gainThis situation is like a bodybuilder who wants larger muscles and puts in the time at the gym, however her diet is very unhealthy: Fried foods and sweets; lots of carbs and fats and very little protein. No mater how dedicated she is in the gym, this bodybuilder will not get the body she is looking for. She needs a healthy, high-protein diet.

In the same way some moms, need help boosting their milk production by adding all-natural herbs that help the body make more breast milk. This herbal supplement is like the healthy, high protein diet for the bodybuilder. How effective can an herbal supplement be? An observational study of Lactiful Supply Max found that 75% of moms boosted milk production while taking the supplement for 14 days. The average boost to milk production was huge: 14.8 ounces of additional breast milk production per mom per day. You can learn more about Lactiful Supply Max and how it boosts milk production in just 30 seconds by clicking or tapping hereClick for more articles about how to boost milk production