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How to Bring in Milk When Breast-feeding

By Candice Hughes ; Updated June 13, 2017

At some point, most breast-feeding mothers question whether their milk supply is adequate and worry whether their child is getting enough nutrition to thrive. Most women produce plenty of milk, even when their breasts do not feel full or leak. If you truly have a low milk supply, you can take steps to correct the problem. Speak with your physician if you are worried that you are not producing enough milk.

Increasing Your Milk Supply

See a lactation specialist in your area for advice on how to stimulate breast milk production. A lactation expert can also ensure that you are using a correct technique and getting an adequate latch.

Increase the amount of times you nurse your baby throughout the day. When you can, breast-feed on demand. As your baby suckles, she also stimulates your body to produce milk. Offer her both breasts at each feeding.

In between feedings, try pumping each breast. As your milk is drained, your body will step up and produce more milk.

Eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables and stay active. Stress and an unhealthy lifestyle can negatively affect your body’s ability to produce an adequate milk supply.

Talk to your doctor about herbs and supplements. Some herbs, such as fenugreek, could help increase your milk supply. Brewer’s yeast and red raspberry tea also may help. However, supplements might not be the best choice for women with certain conditions or those taking medications. Your doctor can advise you about what is safe and healthy for you.

If all other methods fail, your doctor might prescribe a medication to help with breast-feeding. Most physicians will suggest alternatives, however, before prescribing medication.

Tips

If you are trying to boost your milk supply, do not supplement your infant with formula or solid foods. While some babies, such as preterm infants, need to be supplemented while your milk supply is coming in, most do not.

Massage your breasts while your baby suckles, ensuring that he is getting as much milk as possible. If he falls asleep at the breast, gently tickle his feet, touch his back or rub his neck to wake him.

Warnings

Medications and some herbs could interfere with your milk's composition, affect your baby or have side effects. Discuss all supplements, teas and medicines with your doctor before using them.

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