As an IBCLC,one of the most common reasons mothers come to see me is that they are worried about their rate of breastmilk production. Increasing breastmilk. Notice my terminology. RATE of breastmilk production. All mothers make some breastmilk. However, some definitely make more than others.
First of all, if you are struggling with the rate of breastmilk production, or just worried, wondering if you are making enough breastmilk, please don’t do it alone! People like me are trained to help mothers work as effectively as possible. Moms who are worried about their rate of breastmilk production are usually working really hard. I want you to be working as smart as possible. What will get you the most bang for the buck in terms of your time and energy?
What can you do?
When you go and see someone they will talk about herbs and medications that could help with increasing breastmilk rate of production but they should first focus on better breastmilk removal. A better, deeper latch. Increasing the frequency and effectiveness of each breastmilk removal. This is key. Without good breastmilk removal all the herbs and medications in the world are not going to get you to where you want to go. Once effective breastmilk removal techniques are covered, then you can talk about other ideas that might help up-regulate your rate of breastmilk production.
Foods? Sure, why not. Good fats, lots of fiber, and probiotics all have been shown in diary research (I know we are not cows but we are all mammals!) to help with increasing breastmilk production or calorie count per oz. Eat to hunger, drink to thirst. Avoid mint, parsley, and sage.
I do feel that increasing your rate of breastmilk production is like preventing a cold. Each person needs something a little different but there are some common things that seems to help.
There are many herbs and medications. Here is a great podcast from my dear colleague Alyssa Schnell with Dr. Frank Nice. Listen and enjoy!
I would also highly recommend The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk and lowmilksupply.org.