The ejection of breast milk is also referred to as ‘expressing,’ you will hear these terms used interchangeably. It is the way milk is removed from the breast without your baby needing to suckle. The most popular methods for doing this are:
- Your hands
- An electric pump
- A manual pump
Once the milk has been expressed, you can keep it in the fridge or the freezer to feed your baby later on. Expressed milk is fed to your little one through one of the following methods:
- In a bottle
- In a half-filled spoon
- In a syringe
- In an open cup
- For babies older than three months, in a beaker with a valve
Your midwife will give you advice on how to feed safely and help you decide on what works best for you and your infant.
In this article you are going to learn how to increase the ejection of breastmilk, and what are the supplements for this.
How to Increase the Ejection of Breast Milk?
In this section, we are going to discuss how breast-feeding mothers can increase the ejection of breast milk.
Breast Feed Often: The more you breastfeed, the more milk your body will produce. It is advised that you add an additional early morning or evening expressing session to your daily routine. You can either do this by nursing or pumping. You should aim to nurse or pump at least eight times per day. If you are pumping your breast milk exclusively, pump on both sides at once as this will produce the most amount of milk and reduce the time you spend pumping.
Pump After Breastfeeding: There are going to be times when your breasts don’t feel completely empty after breastfeeding. You can eliminate the extra milk by pumping as soon as your baby has finished eating, this will encourage your body to produce more breastmilk.
Take Care of Yourself: Stress, worry and ill health can all have a negative effect on breastmilk supply. Therefore, make sure you stick to a healthy diet, drink plenty of water and take time out to rest and relax so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
See a Lactation Expert: If you are still having concerns about your breast milk ejection, book an appointment with a lactation expert. They will be able to further advice you about the most effective procedures to get the most out of your breast milk supply.
What are the Supplements Used for This?
There are several supplements that will promote the ejection of breastmilk, here are some of them:
- Fenugreek: Fenugreek contains phytoestrogens, it is a plant-based chemical that mimics the role that the female sex hormone estrogen plays in the body. Studies have found that after taking fenugreek, it takes 24 to 72 hours for the breast milk supply of a nursing mother to increase. You don’t need to take fenugreek daily, once you have enough breast milk, you can stop taking it. Fenugreek is either taken in pill form, or it can be drank as a tea.
- Blessed Thistle: Studies have found that blessed thistle increases the production of prolactin, this hormone boosts milk supply and oxytocin, oxytocin plays an important role in breast feeding because it makes it easier for milk to be released from the nipples.
- Fennel: Fennel contains anethole, this is a compound similar to dopamine, but it works to quickly bind with prolactin before dopamine to increase milk stimulation properties. You can take fennel as a tea, as a pill, a powder that you can add to any dish to enhance its flavor, or as an essential oil that is added to a glass of warm water or a cup of tea.
- Alfalfa: The plant alfalfa originates from the pea family; breastfeeding mothers have been using alfalfa for centuries. It contains the plant estrogen phytoestrogens which help to increase breast tissue and milk supply. It is important to take this supplement in moderation because it enters the breast milk and if you use too much, it can give your baby diarrhea. You can add alfalfa to your diet, take it as a tea or as a pill.
- Goats Rue: Goat’s rue is used to encourage the growth of breast tissue, this makes the supplement particularly helpful for women who have had breast surgery but would like to breastfeed, as well as for women who are planning on breastfeeding their adopted child. Goat’s rue originates from the same family as fenugreek, some women have reported that it works better than fenugreek. It can be taken as a tea, or as a capsule.