Intermountain Healthcare Advises How Breastfeeding Moms Can Increase Their Milk Supply
"Breast is Best" -- but not always easy
Salt Lake City, UT (PRUnderground) July 21st, 2022
The recent formula shortages have left some parents who use formula struggling to find supplies for their babies. Some babies are exclusively breastfed, and others are exclusively formula-fed, but often moms turn to both breastfeeding and formula feeding either simultaneously or at different times.
For moms who are breastfeeding it’s important for them to know how to increase their milk supply, whether their baby is going through a growth spurt or if parents can’t find the formula they need in stock.
“In Utah, 92 percent of moms initiate breastfeeding according to state data from 2020, which is really good. But at six months, only 64 percent of Utah moms are breastfeeding,” said Laura Rowbury, an international board-certified lactation consultant with Intermountain American Fork Hospital.
Last week the American Academy of Pediatrics updated their recommendations for breastfeeding to acknowledge the benefits of breastfeeding beyond one year.
For years clinical research has shown that breastfeeding is linked to decreased rates of lower respiratory tract infections, severe diarrhea, ear infections and obesity. Breastfeeding is associated with lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome, as well as other protective effects.
The new recommendations re-state the recommendation for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life and add the benefits of breastfeeding beyond one year and include:
- Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months. There is no need to introduce infant formula or other sources of nutrition for most infants. Beyond 6 months, breastfeeding should be maintained along with nutritious complementary foods.
- There are continued benefits from breastfeeding beyond 1 year, and up to 2 years, especially in the mother. Long-term breastfeeding is associated with protections against diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancers of the breast and ovaries.
Tips to help moms build up milk supply:
- Practice skin to skin contact. It helps stabilize the baby’s temperature, breathing, and heart rate. They cry less. It stimulates brain development. It improves milk production, reduces postpartum complications and depression.
- Let baby determine the feeding schedule. Nurse baby when they’re hungry. Breast milk is digested quickly and easily so babies want to nurse often. Watch for feeding cues: rooting, sucking on their hand, crying when not wet or uncomfortable. Babies have growth spurts and may need to nurse more frequently at times.
- Breastfeeding works by supply and demand. The more baby nurses, the more milk mom’s body will produce. Low milk supply is rare. Sometimes babies will cluster feed and nurse again a short time later and then go a longer time before the next feeding. That helps build milk supply.
- Offer both breasts at each feeding. Nurse baby on both sides at each feeding. Be patient in the beginning. As babies grow, they get faster at nursing. If needed, pump or hand express after a feeding to draw out extra milk and signal the body to make more.
- Practice self-care. Nursing moms require more fluids and about 2,000 calories per day to maintain a good milk supply. Stay hydrated, eat enough and sleep when the baby sleeps. Learn to manage stress.
For more information:
For a list of local outpatient lactation consultant services, contact a nearby hospital or visit intermountainhealthcare.org for a free complete guide to breastfeeding booklet.
Go to the Intermountain Moms Facebook page for videos that answer breastfeeding questions and provide breastfeeding tips.
Intermountainhealthcare.org has a virtual breastfeeding class available for expectant parents. It’s a one session, two-hour class and offered often. Cost is $15.
There is a national U.S. government program called Women, Infants and Children (WIC) that helps pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women and their children who are at nutritional risk. There is a WIC Hotline that is staffed Monday-Friday from 8 am – 5 pm. They can answer breastfeeding questions over the phone. The phone number is 1-877-942-5437.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Headquartered in Utah with locations in eight states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called SelectHealth with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information and updates, click here