Health Information

How to increase lactation during breastfeeding


It would seem that it can be more natural and simple than breastfeeding, because nature has already come up with everything for us? However, although milk is produced from the woman who gave birth without any efforts, in some cases it may be missed.

The question of stimulating lactation is one of the most frequent. This is due to the fact that most Russian mothers are set to breastfeed. Tatyana Butskaya, pediatrician, blogger, founder of the projects “Pregnant gatherings”, “Marathon for maternity hospitals”, “Choice of parents” answered the most important questions to “Letidor”.

What determines the amount of milk

In the first days after birth, under the influence of hormones (oxytocin and vasopressin), colostrum is secreted from the woman's breast. It is produced in small quantities (during the first application of about 2 ml), but this is enough to feed the newborn: do not forget that his stomach and needs are still very small.

Time goes by, the child’s appetites are growing, and with them the production of milk. 2 months after giving birth, 1-1.5 liters of milk per day are formed in the woman’s mammary glands under the influence of prolactin. Some milk has even more - up to 4 liters per day.

Among young mothers there are those who have little milk, but few of them. According to statistics, among 10 nursing mothers, one woman faces such a problem.

In this case, experts talk about hypolactia. It happens early and late.

Early hypolactia occurs in the first week after birth. A woman due to hormonal problems or functional inferiority of the mammary glands has difficulties with lactation.

Late hypolactia (lactational crises) develops 10 or more days after birth. A variety of causes can lead to it - from anemia, preeclampsia and infections to malnutrition, stress and improper attachment of the baby to the chest.

The rules of the diet of a nursing mother

To provide the newborn with a sufficient amount of breast milk, lactating while a woman needs to adhere to basic nutritional conditions at home.
1. Eliminate the following foods from your diet:

  • alcoholic and carbonated drinks,
  • coffee and strong tea,
  • chocolate products
  • any canned food
  • meat or fish without special heat treatment - sushi, ram, jerky, kebabs,
  • seafood - shrimp, mussels, crabs,
  • unpasteurized milk, hard cheese, sour cream,
  • smoked meats
  • mayonnaise and seasoning sauces,
  • hard boiled eggs.

2. Use foods that enrich milk with vitamins and trace elements that stimulate its production. These include:

  • buckwheat or oatmeal with fruit,
  • raw and boiled vegetables - onions, radishes, carrots, pumpkin,
  • nuts - cedar, walnuts and almonds, some experts recommend eating only a few kernels per day of one type of nuts,
  • vital products of bees - honey, royal jelly,
  • black currant,
  • nut milk - 2 tbsp. l walnut pour boiling milk in a thermos, take 1 tbsp. l several times a day and monitor the baby's reaction.

3. Stick to your drinking regimen. Drinking a day requires at least one and a half liters of fluid. In this case, milk soups or drinks are considered food, not drink. Lactation is enhanced by individual decoctions of herbs or juices:

  • green tea,
  • freshly squeezed juices,
  • dried fruit compote, fresh fruit,
  • blackcurrant, blueberry fruit drinks,
  • herbal teas - from anise, caraway seeds, oregano, dill, fennel, thyme, nettle,
  • Dill water.

Drinking is recommended to be consumed in a warm form about half an hour before feeding the baby. If such an amount of liquid is difficult to drink, then you need to drink more than usual for just one cup. This will be enough to increase lactation. If some products have not previously been familiar to you, introduce them into the diet one at a time to avoid your reaction or possible baby allergy.


Sometimes one special diet is not enough to increase the amount of milk. If this situation with insufficient lactation continues, begin to express. The body will gradually get used to the need to produce more milk. To gradually increase milk production, we recommend decanting 30 minutes after each feeding.

If the child is gaining insufficient weight and little sucking, you need to help him. Try to feed him more often. If the baby falls asleep by the chest, wake him by patting his cheek. When sluggish sucking, press on the chest towards the nipple, as if draining the baby’s milk in her mouth. If during pumping milk comes with high pressure, then the child does not exert enough effort to suck. Continue to express, but feed the baby on demand. This will lead to the fact that each time he will independently suck out more of a fairly soft chest.

Provide skin contact

Most experts believe that applying a baby to the breast on demand is the key to healthy growth during breastfeeding. Applying to the chest at night is very important. At night, the female body produces prolactin, and it is at this time of day that it needs to be stimulated.

Psychologists offer another way to increase lactation - the "nesting method" when the baby is sleeping near the mother’s breast. If nothing prevents the mother and baby from being in contact and comfort, then the volume of lactation will return to normal.

Full relaxation and tranquility

Stress and anxiety also reduce milk production. If you avoid negative situations and enjoy the feeding process, then everything will work out. If you have a good time, then the adrenaline goes away and the content of the hormone prolactin in the blood increases. Visual stimulation brings peace and tranquility. This will help:

  • walks with a stroller along the shore of a lake or river,
  • the quiet sounds of the forest
  • nice music that you listen to at home.

Quite often, postpartum depression does not occur immediately, but about the second month after childbirth. The mother may experience psychological fatigue, and breast milk will be produced worse. Try to fully relax and share experiences with loved ones so that these conditions do not last long.

Sometimes a child gains weight, but it seems to mother that her breast volume has decreased and milk has become less. This is a deceptive sensation, since only at the very beginning of breastfeeding, milk is produced before feeding, and with the growing up of the baby - during them. There is no reason to worry.

Important for the female body is rest. Since nursing mothers have a heavy load, sleep should be complete.

Perform only the most basic household chores. Invite a relative or assistant who will do the rest for you. Auto-training exercises or breathing techniques of yoga will help maintain psychological stability.

Water is not only a component of our body, it is also our indispensable helper. During a daily shower, massage your chest with smooth clockwise movements of a stream of water. Direct the jet to the collar zone and the area of ​​the shoulder blades - there are many reflexogenic zones that are important to stimulate.

Breast milk is made from the blood and lymph of the mother. To improve blood circulation, a light massage will help (but it is necessary to inform the massage therapist that you are feeding a baby). To increase lactation, it is recommended to independently massage the mammary glands on their own, without touching the area of ​​the nipple and areola. The procedure will help to relax and avoid stagnation.

Gymnastics for the chest

To maintain breast shape and increase blood circulation, do the exercises:

  • Spread your straightened arms apart, fold them in front of you and spread them apart again. With each approach, raise your arms higher - until you cross over your head. Slowly lower.
  • Raise your arms bent at the elbows to chest level, connect your palms. Press with your palms at each other with effort, then relax.
  • Keep your hands clasped in the lock behind your head. Tilt your head back, pushing the back of your head to the folded arms.

If the question is, how to increase lactation, remains unresolved, it is necessary to resort to medications.

Temporary assistants from the pharmacy

If neither nutrition nor other stimulating actions lead to an increase in the milk produced, you can try to start this process with the help of some pharmaceutical preparations.

  1. Lactation enhancing tea. If you read the composition, you will find there only those herbs that are already familiar to you. From these herbs, you can later make teas for the baby, but their content will be slightly lower.
  2. Supplements based on herbs that stimulate lactation, and royal jelly.
  3. Vitamins for nursing mothers.
  4. Homeopathic remedies. Their main purpose is to reduce the level of stress that interferes with the production of prolactin.

Any drug can cause a side effect. Therefore, consult with your pediatrician beforehand if the baby is gaining enough weight and understand if you need additional stimulation.

Traditional medicine advises from the familiar components that were previously called for the diet, to prepare the following compounds:

  • Caraway seeds with sour cream - 1 tsp. crush caraway seeds, pour into a glass of sour cream, boil for three minutes. Use the drug three times a day for a tablespoon.
  • Infusion of herbs - 2 tbsp. l pour dill, oregano, anise into a bowl, add 200 ml of boiling water. Insist for 30 minutes. Take the drug costs 2-3 times a day for a tablespoon.

You can overcome all difficulties. The desire to give the baby maternal warmth and care will help establish breastfeeding. Do not rush to switch to the mixture, because the digestive system of the baby is now being formed and needs breast milk. If you can’t figure it out on your own, consult your breastfeeding consultants. We wish your baby to grow healthy!