Making the decision to breastfeed your child is a great one. It can be a little difficult at first to get a proper latch from your baby and to get used to feeding at all hours of the day and night, but once you have that down, it will be like second nature to you. The use of a breast pump is helpful, as you can pump milk and then save it to use to feed your baby for an extended period of time, even long after you are done breastfeeding. There are a number of breast pumps on the market today, some that make it much simpler by allowing you to be hands free so you are free to do other things. You may notice when pumping that your milk supply goes down, but there are ways to increase your supply to continue feeding your baby breast milk. See below for helpful tips on how to increase your milk supply.
Feed Your Baby
This sounds like a no-brainer, but when you first start breast feeding, you should feed your baby solely from your breast for the first several weeks. Don't use the pump right away. Your baby will draw more milk out of you than a breast pump will. Also feed as much as possible when your baby is hungry. The more milk removed, the more milk you will make. When your baby stops eating every couple of hours, you can begin using the pump to help remove milk from your breasts in between feedings.
Don't just use one breast when feeding your baby, use both. If your baby doesn't want to switch during a feeding, just be sure to begin with the other breast at the next feeding time.
Drink And Eat More
You should be drinking plenty of water to allow for more milk production and to stay hydrated. Be sure to keep a bottle or glass of water near you at all times to help remind you to drink. Also breastfeeding burns a lot of calories, so you should be eating more to replace those calories lost. Eat more leafy green vegetables, nuts and oatmeal to help support your lactation and to increase your calorie intake.
Use Herbs And Supplements
Fenugreek is an herb known to help increase your milk supply. It comes in a pill form that can be taken with food. Follow the manufacturer's directions to see how many pills to take per day to help increase your supply, or talk to your physician for more information. Brewers yeast is another supplement that can help increase your supply. It can be taken in pill form or used in baked goods such as cookies and bars. These can both be found at your local herbal or vitamin store.
With breastfeeding, when you stop feeding as much, your supply can decrease. The more you use, the more your body will make. Use a breast pump to help remove milk when there is a longer time span in between feedings. Use supplements if needed and be sure you are eating and drinking enough for yourself and for your baby's nutritional needs.
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