Stress is the No. 1 killer of breastmilk supply, especially in the first few weeks after delivery. Between lack of sleep and adjusting to the baby's schedule, rising levels of certain hormones such as cortisol can dramatically reduce your milk supply.
Drink more water. Breastmilk includes lots of water, so it can be a struggle to increase your breast milk production if you aren't well hydrated. In addition to drinking regular water, you may want to consider some lactation tea.
The more frequently milk is removed, the better. After two or three days of regular pumping you should see a significant increase in supply. For advice on getting more milk from each pumping session, read breast pumping tips.
In short, you should pump until milk isn't coming out any more. Or, if you're trying to boost your supply, pump a little while longer after the milk stops flowing.
Genetic background, climate, diseases, feeding, year and season of calving have been reported to affect milk production, lactation length and dry period [2, 3]. Breed, age, stage of lactation, parity and milking frequency also influence performance production [2, 3].
When you are nursing a baby, your body needs extra calories to make breast milk. Reducing the amount of food you eat, whether on purpose or by accident, can affect your breast-milk production, make nursing more difficult and derail your breast-feeding efforts entirely.
Though every breast milk feeding journey is unique, decreased breast milk supply frequently happens around the six-month postnatal mark due to a combination of three major factors.
Deficiencies in certain key nutrients can also play a role in low milk supply. Many in the United States are low in iron, putting breastfeeding parents at risk for exhaustion and depression. Low iron levels are also a risk factor. Mothers may be low in other important nutrients as well: vitamins D and B12.
Milk supply usually reaches its peak around four weeks after birth, with most of the increase happening in the first two weeks. If not enough milk is removed during this time, your breasts may end up making less milk than your baby needs.
If your breasts are full and engorged this can reduce the milk flow because of compression. To relieve this, hand express to soften, use a warm flannel and breast massage.
If your breasts feel like they're full but you're not able to get the milk flowing out when you pump, it could be that you're not achieving let down. The let down reflex releases your milk from the milk ducts. This only occurs when you're either breastfeeding or pumping.
Another way to boost your supply is to breastfeed and then pump. Sometimes your breasts may not feel completely “empty” after nursing, so add a pumping session right after your baby finishes eating. This will stimulate your body to produce more and start increasing milk supply – even if it's just a little bit.
The most common cause of lactation failure is insufficient milk or no milk (80%). The age, parity, education, socioeconomic status, religion, family structure, and urban versus rural status of mother all had a bearing on the occurrence of lactation failure (12).
Breast milk alone does not provide infants with an adequate amount of vitamin D. Shortly after birth, most infants will need an additional source of vitamin D.
Many of the signs, such as softer breasts or shorter feeds, that are often interpreted as a decrease in milk supply are simply part of your body and baby adjusting to breastfeeding.
Assuming your milk has come in, “if you are breastfeeding frequently, every two hours, and your baby has a good latch but is not gaining weight, then you probably have low supply,” said Wisner.
Some new mother's may have a hard time producing milk flow after a few weeks because they may not be drinking enough liquid or supplementing with the right vitamins for your babies nutrition. Some vitamins that are low in breast milk are vitamins A, D, and C.
Choose foods rich in iron, protein and calcium.
For protein, consider plant sources, such as soy products and meat substitutes, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Eggs and dairy are other options. Good sources of calcium include dairy products and dark green vegetables.