45 Best Foods to Increase Breastmilk Supply Fast
Many new moms worry about low milk supply, but it might not always the case and its hard to know for sure. Read our article on Best Foods to Increase Breastmilk Supply Fast to find out if you have low milk supply and what can be done about it.
Some of the many questions by moms, especially first-time Moms are “How Can I Increase Breastmilk Supply Fast?” or “What are the Best Foods to Increase Breastmilk Supply Fast?”. If you are worried that you may not be producing an adequate amount of milk for your baby, You are not alone!
How does Breastmilk Supply work?
Milk Production is purely Hormonal during the last phase of pregnancy and right after birth. If the right hormones are in place moms will start producing the first milk (colostrum)
Once the Breastmilk has come in and lactation started, your breast will start making milk further through a process called “Supply and Demand”. Whenever the milk is removed from your breasts, either by baby or by Breast Pumps – Your breast will make more milk.
This is why if you are feeding Formula Milk to your baby, you may see a reduction in your breast milk supply. It’s simply because your body isn’t getting the notification to produce more milk and none is being removed.
During the first 3 months after birth, your body will try to match the need by changing the milk production quantity. More frequently and effectively your baby feeds, the more milk your body will produce. The prolactin receptor theory suggests frequent milk removal from your breasts in the early days will increase the number of receptor sites in your breasts. More receptor sites means that more milk production and thereby leading to an increase in breastmilk Supply.
Modern research also suggests that the fat content of the milk is dependent on how empty the breast is:- Emptier the breast, higher the fat content. Lactation experts strongly suggest moms to completely exhaust milk in one breast before feeding on the next one.
Misconceptions about Low Breastmilk Supply
Newborns typically feed more often as the breast milk is easily digestible – typically 10-12 times a day or every 2 hours. This is perfectly normal and it’s not a sign that you don’t have enough milk. Keep in mind that newborn baby’s nurse often for comfort as well. Also, it’s hard to tell how much milk does your baby intake during each feeding session.
Added below are a set of behaviors that you may notice over time; which perfectly normal and not a sign of low milk supply.
- Baby wants to feed frequently
- Doesn’t want to be put down
- Your little one is waking up and crying in the middle of the night
- Short Feeds
- Long Feeds
- Baby may still milk from a bottle after you have completed breastfeeding
- Breasts feel softer than it did during the earlier weeks
- Your breast are not leaking milk as it used to do during initial days and now it’s stopped completely
- Unable to pump out much milk
- You have small breasts
What are the Reasons for Low Milk Supply?
A small number of new moms might face a Low Milk Supply problem, which can be due to several factors that can range from feeding habits, medical conditions, emotional factors or habits of mom, etc.
Breast Milk production is a Supply Demand Process; milk supply is controlled based on baby nursing. Number of feedings and the quantity of milk your baby feeds sends a message to your body about how much milk is needed. So, every time you give formula milk, juice or water to a baby gives a message to the body to produce that much lesser milk.
Bottle-Feeding changes the sucking nature of your baby as it requires a different type of sucking compared to nursing from a mother. It is easier to extract milk from a bottle compared to a mother’s breast. This will cause issues for the baby in sucking out the breast milk or they will start preferring the constant & faster flow from the bottle.
Though they might come handy in some cases, Nipple shields can also cause a reduction in the nipple stimulation or would interfere with the milk transfer process – which might cause an imbalance in the supply-demand process.
This is yet another factor that interferes with the supply-demand cycle of breastmilk production and might lead to low milk supply. It is advisable to feed the baby whenever they feel hungry.
Newborn babies tend to sleep a lot during the initial few weeks and only come for nursing fewer number of times. This too can affect the milk production cycle. Ensure that you are feeding your baby once every 2 hours during the day and once in 4 hours during the night.
Stopping a baby feeding before your little one ends the feeding herself can cause interference in the supply-demand cycle.
Feeding one side at a time
Feeding only one breast at a time might work well if your breast milk production is established and your baby weight gain is normal. One the other hand, if you are trying to increase the milk supply – always let the baby finish one side entirely and then offer the other side.
Use of pacifiers can affect the baby’s latch and can reduce the time spent of your breast significantly; thereby causing a reduction in your breastmilk supply.
- Excessive blood loss during birth or retained fragments of placenta can delay milk production
- Moms with a history of PCOS, Diabetes, Thyroid or similar hormonal disorders tend to have low milk supply
- Previous breast surgery like breast reduction, cyst removal or mastectomy can interfere with the lactation process
- Medical condition like mammary hypoplasia, which is the lack of enough milk-producing glands in the breast
- Medications for Sinus and Allergy medicines, medicines for birth control, etc. can adversely affect milk production
Anxiety, stress or embarrassment can cause low milk production. Choosing a creative and relaxing environment for breastfeeding that is free of stress can assist in increasing breastmilk supply
Smoking and Alcohol
Smoking and drinking alcohol can cause low breastmilk production in your body
Signs your Baby ISN’T Getting Enough Breastmilk
Thought the Low Milk Supply problem is extremely rare, Your baby might still struggle to get enough breastmilk due to a lot of factors as discussed before.
See the below signs that might suggest your baby isn’t getting enough breastmilk,
- Poor Weight Gain
Normally newborns lose 5% to 7% of their birth weight in their first few days – some even lose up to 10%. Once the lactation is regular, they should regain that weight in the first 15 days and back to the birth weight – at a rate of 20 to 30 g per day. If your baby is not gaining weight at this ratio or is having a loss of weight by day 5 or 6, you must get medical advice.
- Insufficient Dry / Dirty Diapers
Number of times your baby Pees / Poops in a day can be used as a good indicator of whether or not she is getting enough milk. Be sure to seek medical help if you feel your baby’s dirty diapers are decreasing in wetness or terms of its weight.
If your baby’s urine is dark-colored or is having a dry mouth or has jaundice or if she is lethargic and reluctant to feed, she might be dehydrated. Seek help from a doctor if you notice any of this in your little one.
When to Seek Help?
If in case you suspect your baby is not getting enough breastmilk or you feel that your baby’s growth rate is not how it’s supposed to be – Get help from your doctor or a lactation expert. If you are facing a low milk production, resolving the issue might be as simple as making a few changes in your daily routine or feeding method or adjusting the dose of medication you are on.
Can you increase Breastmilk Supply?
Approximately 75% of the new mothers who start with breastfeeding tend to stop it partially or completely within the first few months as per the data from the center of disease control and prevention. One of the most common worry is that they are not producing enough milk.
In the majority of the cases, breastmilk supply will just be fine for the moms. However, there are ways to increase breastmilk production if you need to do so.
Best Foods to Increase Breastmilk Supply Fast
Seeds to increase breastmilk supply fast
1. Fenugreek Seeds ( Methi )
Fenugreek Seeds has been proven to be a galactagogue (a food or drug that promotes or increases the flow of a mother’s milk). This makes it ideal for breastfeeding moms as it will stimulate the lactation glands and increase the supply of breastmilk. This practice of fenugreek seed usage has been there for ages.
2. Fennel Seeds ( Saunf )
3. Cumin Seeds ( Jeera )
4. Carom Seeds (Ajwain)
5. Poppy Seeds ( Khas-Khas)
6. Pumpkin Seeds
7. Chia Seeds
8. Sesame Seeds (Til)