Practicing Ecological Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to increase your milk supply!
By nursing on demand day and night, your milk production is continually being stimulated and your baby receives nourishment regularly. Babies naturally nurse often, partially because their stomachs are only able to hold a small amount at a time and because breastmilk is easily digestible. If you think about it, breastfeeding 'round the clock - as often as baby needs - closely resembles the womb environment where your baby received continual nourishment, warmth and love.
Offering the breast to comfort your baby and avoiding pacifiers not only stimulates your supply, but is probably your baby's favorite way to be soothed and to fall asleep.
By sharing sleep with your baby in a safe environment - for naps and at night - your breasts know to keep making milk and you get needed rest for taking care of your little one. Plus, you actually get more sleep on average than moms who use formula, and your baby has a reduced risk of SIDS.
By keeping close to your baby and avoiding separation, you will always be available to nurse your baby when he needs it. This is especially important if you are trying to increase your milk supply. Take a breastfeeding vacation: spend some skin to skin time with your little one in bed or simply at home, snuggle him and let him nurse to his heart's delight!
If after following the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding, your milk supply is still not as abundant as it should be, here are some other things you can try:
- Be sure you are taking good care of yourself - drinking to thirst, eating enough and getting enough rest.
- Let your baby nurse as long as he wants on the first breast and then offer the other breast.
- Pump after a few of your nursing sessions. Continue pumping for 2-5 minutes after you see the last drop of milk.
- Eat foods containing oatmeal, brown rice, and barley.
- Do breast compressions when the milk flow slows down.
- Try galactagogues such as fenugreek, nursing mother's tea, blessed thistle, and goat's rue. Contact your doctor, local lactation consultant or Dr. Hale's InfantRisk Center for galactagogue safety information.
For more information about the benefits of bed sharing and cosleeping, go to Dr. McKenna's site.
For more information about low milk supply, go to Kellymom and Diana West and Lisa Marasco's website.