We talk a lot on here about how to establish a good milk supply, but what about keeping it? This is a top concern for mamas, and can especially cause worry when returning to work or planning mother-baby separation time. Today I want to give you a few tips so you can stay ahead of the game and keep your milk supply up for as long as possible.
1 – When using a breast pump, make sure you are using your hands in a technique called “Hands-on Pumping”.
There’s a full video tutorial of this technique in my Pumping and Storing Breastmilk video class. Research shows that incorporating your hands while pumping can help maximize your output and keep your milk supply up (1). Use a hands-free bra to do it comfortably. (Use code ‘LLINK’ for 20% off this client favorite).
2 – If you ever feel like your milk supply is dwindling, you can always incorporate hand expression alone to help boost milk supply.
Several short sessions (2-3 min) in a day can make a difference over several days.
3 – Don’t automatically associate baby going to breast more frequently as a low milk supply. There will be times when infants have an increased need (growth spurts, teething, illness, change in routine, etc).
4 – Keep up frequency of breast stimulation when you are away from baby to keep up your milk supply. It’s important to express your milk just as often as baby eats or your body will be signaled to make less each day.
5 – Plan “frequency days” when you are reunited with baby. Since nothing removes milk as efficiently as a healthy baby, you can make up for any lagging by encouraging frequent feeds on those days when you are reunited with baby.
I hope this helps! Great tips and a blueprint for breastfeeding success available in my video classes. Also, get my free pdf ‘Top Ten Tips for Breastfeeding Success‘ here – its a great starting point!
Thanks for stopping by,
Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC
- Morton, J. (2012). The importance of hands. Journal of Human Lactation, 28(3). 276-277. doi: 10.1177/0890334412444930.