Posted on 1 Comment

11 Ways To Increase Milk Supply

#1 Increase Breastfeeding / Pumping

Probably the best way to increase milk supply is to increase the number of times each day and each night that you are breastfeeding or pumping or both. Here are some specifics:

  • After each breastfeeding session: pump for an additional 10 minutes
  • Try to breastfeed or pump every two hours and no more than every 3 hours.
  • Add a bonus pumping session right before you go to bed.

#2 If you have to supplement, use an SNS System or give a bottle in the correct way

If your milk supply has dropped low enough to need to give a supplement (breast milk or formula) to your baby, be sure you are using either an SNS System (the preferred choice) or are giving bottles in the correct way. The Lactiful Method booklet (included with each new order of Lactiful Supply Max) details exactly how to do this in the Supplementers Plan.

#3 Speak with Someone Knowledgeable

One of the best ways to increase milk supply is to seek professional help. Contact a local lactation consultant for personalized ways to increase your milk supply. She can also determine if your baby is getting a good latch and is breastfeeding effectively. Also contact your La Leche League Leader, and attend La Leche League meetings. Support from other breastfeeding mothers can be invaluable during this challenging time.

#4 Take an Herbal Supplement

One important way to increase milk supply that works for most moms is to take a very strong herbal supplement for increasing milk supply called Lactiful Supply Max. A detailed study showed that 75% of moms see an increase in milk supply in 14 days or less with Lactiful Supply Max. It contains 8 herbal ingredients that increase milk supply and best of all it’s guaranteed. If you’re not happy with your milk supply increase, you get a full refund including all shipping fees.

#5 Skin to Skin Time

One of the simple ways to increase milk supply is to have skin to skin time with your little one – take off your shirt, and your bra and get baby all the way down to his diaper and then hold him upright against your chest. Your body will keep baby warm, but you can use a blanket around his back if you feel more comfortable. This skin to skin time actually encourages your body to make more milk. The smell of your milk, and proximity of your breasts also encourages baby to nurse more often.

#6 Sling Feed

While you go about your day, keep your baby in a sling, positioned such that your baby is just inches from your bare nipple. You want to encourage as much spontaneous nursing as possible. Some babies even prefer to nurse in this way.

#7 Nap Your Way to Success

Napping with baby will give your body the rest it needs to make more milk. In this busy world, and with the possibility of multiple children this can be very difficult. However, Prolactin (the milk-making hormone) levels rise whenever you sleep. Even a short nap causes the prolactin level to rise. Our bodies heal and regenerate while we sleep. This is probably one of the most luxurious ways to increase milk supply. Just be sure to take your baby to bed with you to breastfeed during nap time.

#8 Breastfeed Where It Is Relaxing

Achieving good letdowns has a psychological factor, so being relaxed when breastfeeding (or pumping) really helps. Create an atmosphere that is helpful for breastfeeding. Find a spot that you really enjoy sitting – or create one. It should be free of distractions, quiet and peaceful, where you can really focus on your baby and your love for him. Try playing some relaxing music for the both of you. Before you start, take some deep breaths to calm yourself and help your body to relax. This will help you to trigger faster, stronger, and more let-downs. Going to a different room in the house may be particularly important if there are people in your life that are not supportive of breastfeeding, or that you are not comfortable breastfeeding in front of. It’s also important if you find while breastfeeding that you are looking around the house and thinking of all of the things you need to get done, and this is stressing you out you need to try to ignore this feeling and remember that breastfeeding is a temporary situation that once finished, will be gone forever. One of the simple ways to increase breast milk supply is to simply sit back and enjoy this special time in your life.

#9 You, Baby and Your Breasts – for the Entire Weekend!

fun way to increase breast milk supply, if you are able, is to take the weekend to spend in bed with baby and just focus on spending time together, relaxing, and nursing. Look at it as a “baby-moon” and take a vacation at home with your baby! Maybe even spend the entire time with your shirt off, so you can freely snuggle, and nurse as often as baby feels the urge. Bring yummy snacks and fun drinks and some things to do. It’s ok to watch tv, or read, or do some hobbies. Taking this time (although not practical for all moms) can often lead to more frequent breastfeeding, and more rest for both mom and baby. It can help strengthen bonds that may have been weakened by frustrations at the breast from low milk supply, and can really be one of the terrific ways to increase milk supply.

#10 Let Go of Other Responsibilities

Understand that the most important thing at this time in your life is to breastfeed your baby and to take care of yourself. Trying to do too much takes away from the focus you need to put into breastfeeding your baby. Being successful with breastfeeding is much harder if you are stressed, tired, agitated, overworked, run-down and negative. So get some help while you focus on this most important thing. Have your partner and relatives help with cooking, cleaning and laundry. Have a babysitter watch your older children. Take time to enjoy a long hot shower. These things make all the difference and are important ways to increase milk supply.

#11 Use the Power of Your Mind (Mommy Mind Tricks!)

Visualize throughout the day your breasts filling with milk. See it vividly in your mind. Then just before nursing, visualize your milk flowing down and pouring out to satisfy your baby. While breastfeeding, focus on your baby’s face. Let that image fill your mind while you softly stroke and caress your baby. Try to practice your Mommy Mind Tricks for 2 minutes each hour.

The 11 Ways To Increase Milk Supply

Some are easy, some are hard, some are free, some are not, some are fun and some are work. The more of these 11 ways to increase milk supply you practice, the more your chances go up for increasing your milk supply and getting the breastfeeding relationship or success with the breast pump that you’ve been wanting. Stay positive and believe in yourself. You can do this!

Posted on Leave a comment

Alcohol and Breastfeeding – All Questions Answered

Is Breastfeeding and Alcohol Consumption Safe Together?

In moderation, yes.

Only about 2% of the alcohol that’s consumed ever reaches a breastfeeding mother’s milk. That means if you have a margarita that has 2 ounces of tequila in it, only 1/25 of an ounce (about a quarter of a teaspoon) will reach your milk. Additionally alcohol leaves the milk supply in the same way and in the same timeframe that it leaves the bloodstream.

Abstaining from alcohol is the only sure way to avoid passing alcohol to your breastfeeding baby, however a single drink, or possibly two, should have no negative effects provided you avoid breastfeeding when alcohol concentrations are highest in breast milk and you take into account baby’s age.

Basically if you are a responsible drinker and take some simple precautions, there is nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional glass of wine, beer or cocktail while breastfeeding. If you are not a responsible drinker, you should avoid all alcoholic beverages.

When Is Alcohol Strongest In Breast Milk?

For breastfeeding mothers, the concentration of alcohol is strongest in breast milk 60 to 90 minutes after the alcoholic beverage is consumed. This timeframe can be decreased by:

  • Consuming the alcoholic drink quickly
  • Drinking on an empty stomach
  • Below average body weight

The 60 to 90 minute timeframe can be increased by

  • Consuming the alcoholic drink slowly
  • Having the alcohol along with a lot of food
  • Above average body weight

To pass along the least amount of alcohol to your breastfeeding baby, it is best to avoid breastfeeding (or pumping) during this timeframe as much as possible.

What Is The Best Timing For Breastfeeding And Alcohol Consumption?

The best timing of breastfeeding is any time outside the 60 to 90 minute timeframe when alcohol concentration is greatest in breast milk. As odd as it may sound, one of the best times to breastfeed is while you are drinking the first alcoholic beverage. The alcohol will not have had enough time to reach your milk supply and breastfeeding now will fill baby so that baby will not need to breastfeed during the highest alcohol concentration timeframe.

Of course sipping a martini while breastfeeding is sure to get some questioning looks, but it is good timing.

What is an Easy Rule Of Thumb For Breastfeeding And Alcohol?

Because alcohol leaves breast milk at the same time that it leaves the bloodstream you can tell how much alcohol is in your breast milk by how you feel. If you feel sober and feel confident you could drive a bulldozer or car, then you are safe to resume breastfeeding.

What Is Moderation When It Comes To Breastfeeding And Alcohol?

The expert consensus is that moderation for the breastfeeding mother is no more than two alcohol drinks per day and no more than two days per week when alcohol is consumed.

Does The Type Of Alcohol Matter?

In general, there is no difference between hard alcohol and wines and beers. There is roughly the same amount of alcohol in one cocktail, one beer and one glass of wine.

Do You Have To “Pump And Dump” To Be Safe?

Provided you are drinking alcohol in moderation, no. Because only 2% of alcohol consumed ever reaches breast milk and because the body will naturally and automatically remove alcohol from breast milk it is never “contaminated.” Just be sure to wait until you feel sober, before resuming breastfeeding.

How Does Baby’s Age Affect Breastfeeding And Alcohol Consumption?

Baby’s are born with immature livers (the organ that removes alcohol from the body) and until baby is over three months old the baby can’t remove alcohol as quickly from its body as an adult can. Therefore be extra cautious with alcohol while the breastfeeding baby is younger than three months old.

What Are The Risks Of Alcohol Consumption When Breastfeeding?

Provided alcohol is consumed in moderation there are no significant risks to the breastfeeding mother or her baby. However if alcohol is not consumed in moderation there are many risks to baby and mother including, slow weight gain, lower milk production, developmental problems and delays, poor sleeping and so on.

Breastfeeding and alcohol can go together provided the mother is responsible and is knowledgeable about the factors in this article.

Posted on Leave a comment

Breastfeeding and Caffeine

Does A Typical Amount Of Caffeine Affect A Breastfeeding Baby?

In most cases, one or two cups of coffee or an equivalent amount of caffeine will not affect a breastfeeding baby in any way.

How Much Caffeine Is Transferred To Breast Milk?

About 1% of the caffeine a breastfeeding mother drinks is transferred to her breast milk. So if a mother drinks coffee with 300 mg of caffeine in it about 3mg of caffeine will end up in her breast milk during the peak timeframe. That’s about the same amount of caffeine in a 4oz glass of chocolate milk.

When Does Caffeine Peak In Breast Milk?

Caffeine concentrations peak in a breastfeeding mothers milk about 60 to 90 minutes after drinking the caffeinated beverage. This time can be shortened by:

  • Consuming the caffeinated beverage quickly
  • Drinking caffeine on an empty stomach
  • Below average body weight

The 60 to 90 minute timeframe can be increased by

  • Consuming the caffeinated beverage slowly
  • Having the caffeinated beverage along with a lot of food
  • Above average body weight

About half of the caffeine is removed from the mother’s body after 4 hours has passed.

When Breastfeeding, What Is The Best Time To Have Caffeine?

Because caffeine does not have a noticeable effect on breastfeeding babies, it is not crucial to carefully schedule breastfeeding around caffeine consumption. However if you want to minimize the amount of caffeine that is passed along to your breastfeeding baby, avoid breastfeeding for several hours starting one hour after you have the caffeinated beverage.

The best time to have caffeine when breastfeeding is while breastfeeding! Be sure to keep hot liquids well away from baby, but drinking your morning cup of coffee or tea while breastfeeding does not give the caffeine a chance to get into your breast milk and it fills baby so that baby is less likely to want to breastfeed during the following time when the concentration of caffeine will be the highest in the breast milk.

How Can I Tell If Caffeine Is Affecting My Breastfeeding Baby?

Watch for these warning signs that your breastfeeding baby may be sensitive to caffeine:

  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Restless sleeping / frequently waking up
  • Wide eyed and very alert
  • Fidgety or jittery
  • Fussiness

These symptoms can occur at any time during the day because a baby’s digestive system is immature and can not breakdown caffeine as quickly as an adult.

How Long Will Caffeine Stay In My Breastfeeding Baby’s System?

While the mother can remove half of the caffeine she consumed in as little as 3 hours, newborns can take up to 5 days to remove half the caffeine from their bodies they received through breastfeeding! By the age of three months, a baby can remove half the caffeine in about 14 hours and by the age of 6 months they can remove half the caffeine in about as quickly as an adult can.

What To Do If You Suspect Caffeine Is Affecting Your Breastfeeding Baby.

If you have caffeine at a specific time, only once each day, you can try to schedule your breastfeeding so that you are breastfeeding while you are drinking caffeine. Then try to go as long as possible before breastfeeding again, however you may need to pump for comfort or to maintain breast milk production.

Pumped milk should not be given to baby (since it likely contains caffeine) however it can be frozen and saved until baby is older and less likely to be affected by caffeine.

The other option is to abstain from caffeine and see what happens. Be aware that you may be withdrawal symptoms such as: headache, tiredness and fatigue.

The amount of time you will need to wait for the caffeine to clear from baby’s system depends on the age of the baby.

Time to clear caffeine from a breastfeeding baby’s body:

  • Newborns to 1 month olds: 20 days
  • 1 to 2 month olds: 14 days
  • 2 to 3 month olds: 8 days
  • 3 to 5 month olds: 3 days
  • Older than 5 months: 2 days

After the required amount of time has passed reevaluate baby. If baby is no different then it is likely caffeine is not the cause of the symptoms. If baby’s symptoms are improved, caffeine may be the cause. Wait for baby to get older (especially older than 3 months) and then try caffeine again and watch how baby reacts. Often as a breastfeeding baby’s digestive system matures, caffeine posses less of a problem.

What Are The Common Sources For Caffeine?

  • Caffeine is not just found in coffee! Check your diet against these common sources of caffeine:
  • Coffee (percolated, drip, instant, espresso, etc)
  • Tea (Black, green, etc, but usually not herbal)
  • Chocolate (Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate milk, etc)
  • Soda (Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Jolt, etc)
  • Energy Drinks (Red Bull, Monster, Full Throttle, etc)
  • Certain medications (Excedrin, Day Time formulas, weight loss pills, NoDoz, etc)

Have a question about breastfeeding and caffeine? Post it in the comments!