Simple Steps You Can Take to Help Milk Supply
A common concern for breastfeeding or exclusively pumping moms is their milk supply. Milk supply should match what your baby needs and if you’ll be returning to work or school, you should aim for a bit of an over production so that you can save the extra milk to be given to your baby when you are gone.
How Much Breast Milk Does Baby Need?
- Typically babies that are 1 to 6 months old need 25 to 30 ounces of breast milk per day.
- Babies less than 1 month typically need 19-24 ounces of breast milk per day.
You can determine exactly how much milk supply you have by doing either a feed weight test or a pump test. Otherwise you can weigh your baby each week to see if your baby is gaining weight the way he or she should:
- 0-4 months: gain 6 ounces per week
- 4-6 months: gain 4 ounces per week
- 7-9 months: gain 3 ounces per week
- 10-12 months: gain 2 ounces per week
If you are not producing enough breast milk based on the milk production tests or based on your baby’s weight gain then you should try to help your milk supply with the following suggestions:
4 Steps To Help Milk Supply
Help Milk Supply Step 1: Be sure baby is getting proper nutrition: Before you can help your milk supply you need to make sure your baby is getting enough proper nutrition. Thriving babies gain weight in a predictable way according to the guidelines above. If your baby is not gaining enough weight the first step is to seek medical advice from your pediatrician or lactation consultant. They may suggest you give a supplement so that baby is getting enough calories.
Help Milk Supply Step 2: Investigate the cause of lower milk supply: There are many causes of low milk supply. From pregnancy and postpartum issues to troubles with the latch to hormone issues. If you can figure out what is hurting your milk supply, you might be able to correct it and help your milk supply instead. See the article on the 27 causes of low milk supply.
Help Milk Supply Step 3: Begin an herbal regimen: Many women benefit from taking certain herbs that help milk supply. There are 23 herbs which help milk supply and you can investigate and create your own herbal treatment or try one of the professional manufactured herbal treatments. A study has shown that Lactiful’s Supply Max increases milk supply in 75% of the women who try it. Plus, results are guaranteed or you get a complete refund.
Help Milk Supply Step 4: Increase breastfeeding & pumping: Your milk supply is governed by a system of supply and demand. Your body wants to make enough breast milk for your baby so it tries to match milk supply with milk demand. If you create a higher demand for your milk (by breastfeeding and/or pumping more frequently), your body should respond by increasing your milk supply.
Plan on breastfeeding or pumping at least every two hours. If you’re breastfeeding:
- Breastfeed on both sides during each breastfeeding session
- Try to breastfeed at least every two hours from the start of one breastfeeding session to the start of the next one.
- Pump both breasts for 10 minutes after each breastfeeding session.
- Breastfeed or pump at night – let no more than 4 hours go by without removing milk.
If you’re exclusively pumping:
- Pump both sides every two hours for 10 minutes or until no more milk is being produced, whichever is longer.
- Add night time pumping session(s) so that you are going no more than 4 hours between pumping sessions even during the night.
For more information see our articles on how to help milk supply by frequently removing breast milk and how to help milk supply by completely removing breast milk.
If you follow these 4 steps, you will certainly help your milk supply. But if you want more ways to help milk supply see our article: 11 ways to increase milk supply.