A fear that many breastfeeding mothers share is whether they are producing enough milk to satisfy their babies. According to the NHSif babies are relaxed, release the breast on their own after nursing, and look content in conjunction with the breast feeling emptier and a bit of sleepiness setting in, then babies are getting their fill of breast milk.
But with the addition of stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and more, the production of breast milk can slow down. When this happens, a warm bath may be all it takes to help increase breast milk production so babies have the ounces of milk they need when it comes time to feed.
Because it is difficult to measure just how much breast milk a baby is consuming in one feeding, it can be difficult to determine if babies are getting enough breast milk. But, according to the Mayo Clinicmost mothers make one-third more breast milk than their babies need at one time.
This is why it is beneficial to pump any remaining milk after babies are done feeding so that there is ample opportunity for the breasts to produce more milk to ensure a full supply is ready for every breastfeeding session.
Here is why a warm bath can increase breast milk production.
Why Milk Production Drops
Although most mothers will produce more than enough milk for their babies, there are times when the production of milk will suddenly drop. When this happens, mothers need to determine what changed in their daily routine or emotional state to make this happen.
According to Today’s Parentsome reasons milk production drops include:
- Birth control
- Taking medication
- Consuming certain herbs
- Not breastfeeding at night
Further still, according to Mother of Five, things such as not sleeping, not drinking enough water, stress, and not breastfeeding on demand can lead to a breast milk supply drop.
If any of these have changed recently, finding ways to make positive changes in daily life can help bring an end to low milk production. But if trouble is with doing so, a healthcare professional should be contacted for help in increasing breast milk supply to where it once was.
How Baths Can Increase Breast Milk Production
The reason that baths work to increase breast milk production is on several fronts. Not only does it cause let-down to occur, but what’s more, a bath can bring down stress levels.
According to Dr. Brown’swhen moist heat is applied to the breasts, circulation increases. The increase in circulation opens the milk ducts and causes the milk to flow more readily.
Taking a bath can also relieve stress. Something that is directly attributed to low milk supply.
According to Healthline, when the body is stressed, the muscles contract. The contraction of muscles can stop systems of the body from working properly. This includes supplying the breasts with milk.
But, when the muscles are able to relax, the systems of the body work properly again. And that, coupled with the brain sending signals for the body to remain calm will help to make breast milk production flow as it once was.
Other Ways To Increase Breast Milk Production
While taking a bath can work wonders to increase breast milk production, it is not always feasible to take one. As such, according to Mother, there are other ways to increase breast milk production that may prove to be more convenient.
Per the publication, those ways include:
- Nursing on demand
- Switching sides when nursing
- Massaging the breast while breastfeeding
- Pumping breasts after baby is done nursing
- Drinking Mother’s Milk tea
- Eating oatmeal
- Eating lactation cookies
If these methods do not appear to be sufficiently increasing the breast milk supply, it is recommended to speak with a healthcare professional or a lactation consultant to determine the best course of action to take when it comes to ensuring babies get the nutrition they need.
Source: NHS, Mayo Clinic, Today’s Parent, Mama of Five, Dr. Brown’s, Healthline, Mother
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