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FIVE evidenced-based ways to increase milk supply

Katelyn Drauszewski | Nov 16, 2022

Milk production works in the human brain on a supply and demand system. Understanding how milk is made is crucial in helping you take the right steps in order to increase your supply. To help give you a visualization of this process imagine your home Refridgerator, many have ice makers. We have all been startled by the sudden sound of new ice falling into the ice bin! This does not happen continually but only when ice has been removed from the bin. Your milk mechanism works much in the same way. When milk is removed your brain signals your body to make more milk. Understanding how this mechanism works is the key to what needs to be done in order to increase supply. This can be done by the first and most obvious step; removing more milk and increasing the frequency and duration of milk removal either by pump or baby breastfeeding at the breast. But this seems too easy!!!! Not so fast, let's go over steps you can take to ensure efficient milk removal is happening. 


1). Ensure babies latch is efficiently transferring milk, you hear swallowing and the baby shows signs of contentment after a feed. Additionally, if you are pumping ensure you have a flange size that fits properly. If you are not sure consult with an IBCLC, OR CLC to evaluate a feed and answer any questions you may have. Remember, if the baby or pump is not efficiently removing milk then there will be an inadequate supply. 


2) Try a baby moon. What is a baby moon? This is when you and baby are skin to skin for most hours of the day, sleeping, bathing, and wearing baby during daily activities. This will increase prolactin levels as well as create a convenient environment for the baby to latch and feed more frequently. 


3). allow your baby to nurse on the second breast after sufficiently emptying the first one. 


4). Do not give pacifiers or bottles if possible. All of the baby's sucking needs, including those associated with comfort should be done at the breast. Bottles can also increase the chance of developing a nipple speed preference and frustrate the baby at the breast. If the baby needs supplementation you can do so using a small cup or syringe. Remember to only use breastmilk if possible and avoid water. If you are using formula supplementation keep track of how much and wean away as the milk supply increases. 


5). Hand express or pump. This is an excellent way to remove additional milk as well as efficiently remove milk if latch or transfer issues have been identified. Hand expression requires fancy equipment is FREE and research has shown yields more output and higher fat content milk. 



 ( All mothers with milk supply concerns should consult an IBCLC or CLC to help ensure adequate milk transfer In the infant as well as provide a measurable plan for success) . 


Katelyn Drauszewski LPN, CLC 

Information is provided for educational purposes only




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