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Only 2 to 5% of mothers who are trying to breastfeed their babies actually suffer from primary insufficient milk production and they will often need help from their doctor or midwife. The rest of those mothers who are struggling will usually increase breast milk production by ensuring the correct positioning and attachment by their babies and by following the helpful and supportive hints and suggestions given below. There are 3 important Bs to remember in breast feeding – the breast, the baby and the brain. Your breast will need the stimulation from your baby and to ensure that happens, your brain is going to help in the process: • Make sure your baby is properly positioned.
• Breastfeed your baby at least every 2 hours during the day in the first few weeks. Wake him up if necessary. If he sleeps for more than a 5 hour session at night, think about waking him up for an extra feed if you need to increase breast milk production.
• There is always milk in your breasts – you do not need to wait for them to fill up before feeding your baby and the shorter the gap between feeds, the higher the fat in that milk.
• Nurse longer and allow your baby to finish one breast completely before offering the second. The foremilk at the start of a feed from a breast is more watery to quench the thirst while the hind milk, towards the end of the feed from a breast, contains the high fat milk which gives him the nourishment and calories.
• There are 2 tecniques called switch nursing and double nursing. Switch nursing is where you let the baby feed on the first side until he starts to tire, switch to the second until the same happens, and finish by a period of both the first and second breasts again. Double-nursing is where after you have finished feeding your baby, you hold or carry him upright and awake for 10 to 20 minutes to be winded so there is more room, then feed him again from both breasts in turn before letting him sleep.
• Don’t use any pacifiers or bottles – your baby should only be using the breast both for food and for comfort.
• Is there a problem with your lifestyle – perhaps you are trying to do too much both inside and outside the home so that some of that energy could be diverted to caring better both for yourself and your baby?
• Do you need some household help so that you have more time to sit and nurse and relax your baby?
• Try herbs such as herbal tea to increase your milk supply as these are recommended by some mothers as well as lactation consultants.
• Drink plenty of fluids and eat regular, nutritious meals.
• Try getting professional help from an organization such as La Leche League Group who will help you ensure that your baby’s position and “latch-on and suck” techniques are all correct so that you can be certain your baby is breast feeding effectively. This can help prevent sore and cracked nipples.