By Dr. Celeste Gomez
Q: I am a first-time mom of a 2-week-old boy and I am currently having trouble breastfeeding. I feel like I do not have enough milk so I am giving some pasteurized breastmilk to my son via dropper. How do I increase my milk supply? — Maricel
Hello Maricel! Breastfeeding is a tough, but very fulfilling task for a mother. The main theory in milk supply is really a “demand-supply feedback system.” I, myself, have had challenges in my milk supply and was fortunate to have been guided by Dr. Kristine Victorino-Lapus, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
The following are her basic tips on increasing breastmilk supply:
- One weekend of unlimited latching: The more the body feels the demand in milk, the more supply the body will make. Stop giving supplemental breastmilk feeds and focus on direct latching for now. Stay in bed with your baby 24/7 this weekend and just feed on demand and as long as your baby wants. Let your support system do the household chores like cooking and cleaning. Remove your baby’s clothes and maintain skin-to-skin contact with him. This will signal your body to produce more milk.
- Do Power Pumping: For those working moms who would like to increase milk supply by pumping, you can mimic cluster feeding by doing power pumping. For one to two days, you can pump every hour for 10 mins only (with or without output). This cluster feeding will mimic a growth spurt and will signal the body to create more milk.
- Night Feeds are a must: Do not skip night feedings. Prolactin levels are high at night and thus making it a best time to stimulate and increase milk supply.
Mrs. Tin Cervantes, my Lactation counselor, also suggests to stay hydrated by drinking Coconut water and to avoid diuretics like coffee and tea if possible. She also suggests supplements like malunggay capsules or fresh malunggay in food, fenugreek and taking domperidone for at least two weeks (with the dosage as guided by a doctor). Having blocked ducts may also be the cause of low milk supply and so an assessment and release of the block by lactation massage might be needed.
You can find Dr. Kristine Lapus at Asian Hospital or contact her through 0920-9674818 and Mrs. Tin Cervantes through 0906-3160978.