How to Increase Milk Supply During Your Period - Milk Supply Mama

Increase Milk Supply During Your Period: Tips and Tricks

Last Updated: January 8, 2024By 10.6 min read

Hey there, Mama! You’ve been doing an amazing job on this breastfeeding journey so far. But have you noticed a weird pattern? Like, does your milk supply seem to take a nosedive around the time of your period? If you’re nodding along and wondering how to increase milk supply during your period, you’re in the right place.

Article Overview

Understanding the Connection Between Period and Milk Supply

Let’s kick things off with some science. Postpartum menstruation can sometimes feel like your body playing a prank on you. Like, “Congratulations on your new baby! Now, here’s your period back… and oh, by the way, your milk might dwindle a bit.” Well, it’s not exactly a prank, but hormonal changes.

During your period, the levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body rise. This hormonal party can affect the milk-making hormone, prolactin, causing a temporary dip in your milk supply. Don’t panic, though! Here’s the good news: understanding how to increase milk supply during your period can help you navigate this tricky situation.

Common Signs of Decreased Milk Supply During Period

Let’s chat about something that can be a bit of a head-scratcher: how do you even know if your milk supply has taken a dip? It’s not like our breasts come with handy little measurement marks, right? But there are a few telltale signs you can look out for. Recognizing these signs is the first step in learning how to increase milk supply during your period.

Changes in Your Baby’s Behavior:

Your little one is your biggest informant. If they’re suddenly more fussy at the breast or seem unsatisfied after feedings, it might be because they’re not getting as much milk as usual. Are they pulling off the breast, seeming frustrated, or wanting to feed more often? They’re not being picky; they’re just trying to tell you they’re still hungry.

More Frequent or Longer Feedings:

If your baby is nursing more often or for longer periods, they might be trying to compensate for a lower milk flow. Babies are smart cookies, and they’ll instinctively up the nursing game to increase your milk supply. So, if you find yourself thinking, “Didn’t I just feed you?” more often, it could be a sign.

Changes in Your Breasts:

If your breasts don’t feel as full as they usually do, or if they’re not emptying completely during feedings, it could indicate a dip in supply. Some moms also notice that their let-down reflex (that tingly sensation when your milk starts to flow) isn’t as strong as usual during their period.

Changes in Milk Output:

If you’re pumping, you might notice a decrease in the amount of milk you’re able to express. Remember, though, pumps aren’t as effective as babies at getting milk out, so don’t use this as your only indicator.

Changes in Your Baby’s Diapers:

Fewer wet or dirty diapers can be a sign that your baby isn’t getting enough milk. Typically, a well-hydrated baby will have at least six wet diapers in 24 hours. If you notice a drop, it might be time to explore how to increase milk supply during your period.

Changes in Nursing Comfort:

Some moms report that their nipples become more sensitive or even painful during their period, which can lead to shorter or less frequent nursing sessions. Less stimulation can then result in a decreased milk supply.

Changes in Your Baby’s Weight Gain:

If your baby’s weight gain slows down or stalls, it could be because they’re not getting enough milk. It’s important to remember, though, that weight gain isn’t the only indicator of a baby’s health or wellbeing, so don’t panic at the first sign of a slowdown.

Now, remember, Mama, these signs can also be caused by other factors, like growth spurts or teething, and a temporary dip in milk supply during your period is usually no cause for alarm. But if you’re consistently noticing these signs and they’re causing you stress, it’s perfectly okay to seek help. Understanding how to increase milk supply during your period can help you feel more in control and confident in your breastfeeding journey.

Actionable Tips to Increase Milk Supply During Period

Okay, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Here are some tried-and-true tips to boost your milk supply when Aunt Flo comes to visit.

Hydration and Nutrition:

Drink like a fish (water, not the other stuff!) and eat a balanced diet. Your body needs extra fluids and nutrients to produce milk. Foods like oats, spinach, and almonds are known to be galactagogues (that’s a fancy word for foods that can help increase milk supply).

Breastfeeding and Pumping Strategies:

Nurse on demand and pump after feedings if you can. The more you stimulate your breasts, the more milk your body will make. It’s supply and demand, plain and simple.

Herbal Remedies and Supplements:

Some moms swear by herbs like fenugreek and blessed thistle. Always talk to a healthcare professional before trying any new supplement, though. Your safety and your baby’s are priority numero uno.

Stress Management and Self-care:

Stress can be a milk supply’s worst enemy. Try to carve out some time for yourself, even if it’s just a quick shower or a walk around the block. Deep-breathing exercises and yoga can also work wonders.

Seeking Professional Help:

If you’re still struggling with how to increase milk supply during your period, don’t hesitate to seek help. A lactation consultant can provide personalized advice and support.

Myths and Misconceptions

Let’s face it, the world of breastfeeding is rife with myths and misconceptions. They’re like those pesky weeds that keep popping up in your garden, no matter how many times you yank them out. So, let’s get our gardening gloves on and dig into some of the most common misconceptions about how to increase milk supply during your period.

“A decrease in milk supply during your period is permanent.”

Now, this is one weed we need to yank out ASAP. When you notice a drop in your milk supply during your period, it’s easy to panic and assume the worst. But here’s the reality: this decrease is usually temporary. Your milk supply should bounce back once your period is over. So, take a deep breath, mama. It’s not a permanent situation.

“Supplements are the only way to increase milk supply.”

Supplements can indeed be beneficial. But they’re just one piece of the puzzle. They’re not a magic bullet, and they’re not the only way to increase milk supply. Frequent nursing, staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet – these are all equally important, if not more so.

“If your milk supply decreases during your period, it means you should stop breastfeeding.”

This one couldn’t be further from the truth. A temporary dip in milk supply during your period is no reason to stop breastfeeding. Remember, your baby benefits from breastfeeding in so many ways beyond just nutrition. The closeness, the comfort, the immune-boosting benefits – they all still count. Plus, there are ways to increase milk supply during your period, so you can continue breastfeeding as long as you and your baby desire.

“Formula is necessary to supplement when milk supply drops.”

While it’s true that some moms choose to supplement with formula during their period, it’s certainly not a hard-and-fast rule. Many babies do just fine with the temporary decrease in milk supply. And remember, more frequent nursing during this time can actually help boost your supply.

“A decrease in milk supply means you’re not eating or drinking enough.”

While good nutrition and hydration are crucial for maintaining a healthy milk supply, it’s not accurate to say that a dip in milk supply during your period is solely due to what you eat or drink. The hormonal shifts that occur during your period play a significant role in this temporary decrease.

“Pumping more will solve the issue.”

Pumping can help, but it’s not always the silver bullet solution. Remember, a baby is generally more effective than a pump at removing milk from the breast. So, while pumping more can potentially help increase your milk supply, it’s also essential to focus on effective, direct breastfeeding.

Phew! We’ve done some heavy weeding, haven’t we? But getting these misconceptions out of the way is so liberating, isn’t it? It leaves us with a clearer path to understanding how to increase milk supply during your period. Remember, you’re doing an amazing job, and every breastfeeding journey is unique – complete with its own set of challenges and triumphs.

Personal Stories: Increasing Milk Supply During Your Period

Megan’s Story: Boosting milk supply with herbal remedies:

During my period, I noticed a dip in my milk supply, and a friend suggested trying some herbal remedies. I started using fenugreek capsules and noticed an improvement within a few days. Additionally, I drank more Mother’s Milk tea, which contains a blend of galactagogues like fennel, anise, and blessed thistle. These remedies not only helped me increase my milk supply but also improved my overall well-being.

Vada’s Story: Power pumping to stimulate milk production:

When my period came back postpartum, I noticed a decline in my milk supply, which worried me. After doing some research, I decided to give power pumping a try. I spent an hour each day pumping for 20 minutes, resting for 10 minutes, and then repeating the cycle two more times. This process helped to mimic cluster feeding and stimulated my body to produce more milk. It took a few days, but I was relieved to see my milk supply bounce back.

Jennie’s Story: Prioritizing self-care to maintain milk supply:

During my period, I realized that stress, fatigue, and hormonal fluctuations could negatively affect my milk supply. To counteract this, I made a conscious effort to prioritize self-care. This included getting enough rest, staying hydrated, eating well, and practicing stress-relief techniques like meditation and yoga. By focusing on my well-being, I was able to maintain a steady milk supply throughout my menstrual cycle.

Veera’s Story: Seeking professional advice for consistent milk supply:

I was concerned about the drop in my milk supply during my period, so I consulted a lactation consultant. She provided personalized advice and suggested that I maintain a regular breastfeeding or pumping schedule, even during my period, to ensure consistent milk production. She also recommended skin-to-skin contact with my baby and using breast massage techniques to encourage milk letdown. With her guidance, I was able to manage my milk supply more effectively during my period.

Jessica’s Story: Dietary adjustments to support lactation:

To address the dip in my milk supply during menstruation, I researched and made some dietary changes. I increased my intake of lactation-boosting foods like oatmeal, spinach, almonds, and brewer’s yeast. I also made sure to drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet rich in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. These dietary adjustments not only helped me increase my milk supply but also contributed to my overall health and well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Periods and Milk Supply

You’ve probably got a ton of questions swirling around in your head right now. Let’s tackle some of the most common ones:

Why does my milk supply decrease during my period?

It’s all about hormones. The rise in estrogen and progesterone during your period can cause your milk supply to temporarily decrease. But don’t worry, there are ways on how to increase milk supply during your period.

Are there foods that increase milk supply?

Absolutely! Foods like oats, almonds, spinach, and carrots are known to boost milk supply. But remember, the best way to increase milk supply is through frequent breastfeeding or pumping.

How quickly can I increase my milk supply?

It varies from mom to mom. Some may see an increase within a few days, while others might take a bit longer. The key is consistency and patience. Stick with your feeding and pumping schedule, stay hydrated, and nourish your body with healthy foods.

Your Period and Milk Supply – Final Thoughts

Breastfeeding can feel like a rollercoaster ride, with ups, downs, and unexpected twists like a decrease in milk supply during your period. But armed with this guide on how to increase milk supply during your period, you’re ready to tackle any challenges that come your way.

Remember, you’re not alone in this. Don’t hesitate to seek help if you need it, whether that’s from a healthcare professional, a lactation consultant, or a supportive community of fellow moms. You’re doing an incredible job, mama, and every drop of milk you provide for your little one is a testament to your love and dedication.

Periods and Increasing Milk Supply – Further Reading

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