How to increase milk supply
Breastfeeding is the best way to make sure you have enough milk, so you could try fitting in a few extra breastfeeds each day. Each time your baby takes some milk from your breasts, your breasts are getting the message to make more milk.
For example, if you’re breastfeeding every 3-4 hours (from the start of one feed to the start of the next), you could try offering baby a few extra snack breastfeeds in between. So you would breastfeed 8 times in 24 hours.
You could also offer an extra night-time feed, or you could feed more often during the evening. Your prolactin levels are higher at night, which makes your milk supply naturally higher.
Another option is to express after each breastfeed. This makes sure your breasts are well drained and helps to increase your milk supply.
You might also like to try massaging or applying pressure to your breasts while breastfeeding or expressing to help with milk flow and drainage.
Skin-to-skin contact with your baby can increase milk supply because it stimulates the hormones that make breastmilk. You can have skin-to-skin contact while breastfeeding by taking your top and bra off and just having your baby in a nappy on your chest. If it’s cold, wrap a blanket around you both to keep warm.
If your baby doesn’t settle after a feed, take a break and give a ‘top-up’ breastfeed again in about 20-30 minutes. There will be more milk there, and feeding again will help increase milk supply. You can repeat these ‘top-ups’ several times.
If your baby is asleep for a long time or is generally very sleepy and won’t take frequent feeds, you can try waking her to feed or just express your milk. You can store it in the freezer for using later on.
A baby in the lighter phase of sleep might feed in her sleep, so you could also try a feed when you see her dreaming.
It’s also important to make sure you look after yourself and get enough rest. Go to bed and try to get someone to look after you and your baby.
Sometimes GPs might prescribe medicines to help with increasing milk supply. Speak to your GP for advice.