The benefits of breast milk are unparalleled, and it’s no surprise most mothers want to breastfeed. For mothers of triplets, however, the plan to do so can quickly become an overwhelming challenge. There’s one dominating struggle many have to overcome: low milk supply. The question of how to increase milk supply fast is a prominent one, but there are solutions!
Providing triplets with breast milk may seem an unattainable goal, but you can do it. If you’re struggling with a low supply, it’s likely you won’t be able to solely breastfeed. You can, however, produce enough to supplement in your little ones’ diets, which is equally awesome!
There’s no doubt you’re ready to watch those ounces of liquid gold increase, so let’s dive into the solutions of how to increase milk supply fast!
Potential Causes of Low Supply
The first step to increasing your supply is eliminating any present issues that may be actually harming it. It can inadvertently be caused by baby, you, or health-related issues. Remember, it’s no one’s fault though, and you’re owning motherhood simply by trying to provide even a little breast milk in such a tough situation. So, most importantly, shake that guilt right off your shoulders (because it may be affecting your supply.)
There are many potential causes of low supply, but here are a handful of the ones you could start changing today: caffeine consumption, stress, poor diet, bad latch from baby, and low water intake. Before you can increase your milk supply, you’ll need to make some changes! (Don’t worry; you don’t have to eliminate caffeine completely!)
Here are five more, less well-known, factors that could be contributing to your low supply!
Sometimes your body simply won’t produce more milk (even after changes are made), and it’s time to look for a little support elsewhere. The great news is there are many ways to increase milk supply, and you can try more than one!
Can Exercise Be Causing Your Low Supply?
Many new mothers find themselves wondering whether or not it’s safe to exercise. More specifically, can exercise directly affect milk supply? There is a common misconception working out leads to low supply, or even low-quality milk. The truth is, however, exercise can be beneficial to new mothers.
Most importantly, of course, working out will not decrease your milk supply! So where does this myth come from? There is one thing associated with exercise which could affect production: dehydration. It’s important to drink plenty of water while breastfeeding, and it’s even more important to do so while exercising! As long as you continue to stay well hydrated during your workout routine you will maintain your supply.
Don’t let other scary notions keep you from getting into shape, or enjoying the spin class you’ve been dying to try. There is no nutritional difference in breast milk after a workout. If you work out really hard (to the point of exhaustion,) the level of lactic acid may increase slightly. Keep in mind, however, this has no harmful effects for you or baby!
Beginning a workout routine can be beneficial for a number of reasons. It can help you relax, get you back into shape, and even encourage milk production! The endorphins of exercising will help relieve stress, which alone can impact your supply. Also, it can help stimulate your breasts! The movement caused by working out stimulates them, and this can encourage milk flow. (Try nursing or pumping after a workout!)
Popular Methods of Increasing Milk Supply
When your pregnancy ended you were probably thrilled at the thought of eating everything you had been missing out on. The demanding no-go food list for pregnancy is less than desirable, but your diet can be just as important after birth if you’re hoping to breastfeed.
Don’t worry; we’re adding the right foods into your diet, which leads us to the first solution of increasing milk supply: food.
Foods to Increase Milk Supply
Let’s start with one important tip: don’t stress over dieting. It’s recommended new mothers do not diet, particularly in the first few months. Additional calories are actually needed in order to help maintain your milk flow!
Although you won’t be dieting during breastfeeding, there are important foods to incorporate into your current one.
Water, although not technically a food, is crucial to keeping your supply up and growing. You can never have too much water during this time, and it’s suggested to intake around 96 ounces per day.
Another incredible option is oatmeal. In fact, anything with whole grains has the potential to boost your supply. Cookies count! Invest in some oatmeal cookies, or you can even buy cookies specifically for lactation support, like these! If you prefer to have some fun baking, try the mix.
Other suggested foods include avocados, almonds, and tons of veggies. This video gives you a few more solutions to amp up your milk-producing diet. This is definitely one of the tastier ways to increase milk supply, all while broadening your taste palette!
Using Supplements to Increase Milk Supply
If adding the right foods isn’t giving you the milk-flow you desire, you can try supplements to boost it, such as herbs and vitamins. It’s always a good idea to discuss doing so with your doctor first, and avoid taking them while pregnant.
Best Herbs to Increase Milk Supply
Herbs to increase supply, also known as galactagogues, are a great natural alternative for those looking to create more milk.
The most popular of herbs is fenugreek, which can be found in pill form. However, there is one common complaint among those who take it. You may end up smelling like maple syrup! (Certainly not the worst side-effect!)
Blessed thistle is another option. It can be taken alone, or is often found combined with fenugreek supplements. You can even get the supplements through various drinks, like this delicious beverage!
Other natural herbs known to increase milk supply include: alfalfa, goat’s rue, brewers yeast, and fennel.
If you’ve been searching for a natural option to jump-start your production, you should undoubtedly try supplements to increase milk supply. Again, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor should you have any concerns or questions on how much to take, or for how long.
Vitamins to Increase Milk Supply
Throughout your pregnancy you likely took vitamins daily to ensure your growing babies were getting the best nutrients. The importance of doing so doesn’t end once you have your little ones. Taking vitamins postpartum is extremely beneficial for the health of you and your children, but they could also help stimulate your milk supply.
Although there is no specific vitamin shown to have incredible effects on a mother’s supply, vitamin B is often found in lactation drinks and snacks, which suggests it may be a helpful aid.
It’s important to remember to continue taking a prenatal after delivery, so you can be sure your little ones are getting the most nutrition from the milk you do make.
You can find a variety of postnatal vitamins designed to also help with milk supply. Actif Organic Postnatal is a great example of a post-natal vitamin combining both beneficial nutrients and lactating-supportive herbs.
How Long Does it Take to Increase Milk Supply?
If you’ve found this article, it’s likely you were ravaging through the internet for miracle solutions to boost your supply. Needless to say, you’re ready to see results! It would be amazing, and every breastfeeding mother’s dream, to say these solutions will give you overnight results. Unfortunately, however, that’s likely not the case.
Your body took a great deal of time to prep for creating milk, and it does take some time to boost that supply. When it comes to seeing results, every woman is different. Some may notice subtle increases in just 48 hours, while others notice more significant ones in about 1-2 weeks. It will also depend greatly on how much milk you are hoping to produce.
Remember to be consistent while trying to increase your supply because your body will need the continuous reminder to produce more milk until it has reached an acceptable supply.
Tackling the Challenges of Low Supply
Having a low supply of breastmilk can be truly discouraging, but it’s important to remember your little ones will still be getting plenty of nutrition from formula. An incredible quote (although not said enough) is “breast is best, but follow with a bottle.” Of course, we only ever hear the first portion. We all know breast milk is the better choice, the “bees knees” of baby beverages, but sometimes our bodies simply can’t create enough for three.
For the mothers desperate for answers on how to increase milk supply fast, however, these solutions are a great start. In addition to these solutions, there are other tricks and methods you can practice as well!
Useful Tips for the Mama Looking to Increase her Supply
It doesn’t matter if you have no milk in your breasts, you should still try to nurse. This will send the signal to create more milk. If you are an exclusively pumping mom, try pumping more frequently. Power pumping has become a great solution to increasing milk supply quickly.
Try Skin-to Skin
Those cuddles just keep getting better. It’s actually sending your body a signal to create more milk. (Some moms place a picture of their babies in front of them to help pump out more milk!)
Use Warm Compresses and Stimulation
The breasts need stimulation in order for the body to know milk is needed. Try rubbing the breasts in circular motions while taking a warm shower. This will send the signal for more milk!
Another great alternative is to use a warm compress. These have the same effect as the above. However, they’re also amazing at helping relieve clogged ducts. You can use these during (or right before) a pumping/nursing session to help open the ducts for a better milk flow.
The Lansinoh Breast Therapy Pack is a popular option among many. Another (more comfortable) option is the Earth Angel Organics Booby Tubes.
Ask for Help
Lactation consultants should become your best friends after you bring your babies into the world! This whole breastfeeding thing is not a walk in the park, especially when there are three mouths to feed! In all seriousness, they can really guide you through this challenging journey, and answer any questions you may have on supply.
Don’t Expect Miracles
Your supply could increase greatly, but it also may not. Simply give yourself and the remedies realistic expectations, and remember, “Fed is best.”
A relaxed mama is going to create more milk. It’s a difficult time as you’re trying to adjust to your new world, and the stress of a low supply certainly doesn’t help, but take just one minute out of the day to breathe. Practice positive affirmations, get a massage, hide in the bathroom, whatever helps lift the weight from your shoulders.
Finding Hope Through Donations
Perhaps your body simply refuses to make the required amount of milk, or maybe you simply need some help relieving the burden of doing so. When everything else seems to fail, you can find comfort in knowing donated breast milk is always an option.
Countries all over the world have organizations dedicated to providing mothers with donated breast milk. This can be such a life saver for moms struggling with supply. You can try getting donated milk straight from local hospitals or milk banks, like the HMBANA.
It’s understandable to be a little hesitant at using someone else’s breast milk for your child, but take comfort in knowing that donated milk undergoes extensive testing and safe handling. Donors undergo health-related screenings (including blood tests,) tracking, and the milk is processed with several tests to ensure safety.
If learning how to increase milk supply fast doesn’t solve your struggles, then it’s a great idea to look into the potential use of donated breast milk.
The Road Ahead…
The amount of guilt a mother can feel over producing limited amounts of breastmilk is overwhelming. It’s discouraging to feel as though your body isn’t doing what it’s supposed to, but we should replace the feeling of shame with something else entirely: Pride. You should take pride in knowing you are doing amazing, and the amount of breastmilk you produce doesn’t alter that.
You should approach your journey of increasing milk supply with optimism. After all, any breast milk produced is a victory!
You can let your mind stop wandering onto the question of how to increase milk supply fast, and start incorporating the changes mentioned above. Remember to have patience, and toss out the mom-guilt! At TripletsMum we truly hope you’re successful in this journey, because we’ve been there, and we know the importance of community during the [endless] challenges of motherhood.