How to Increase Milk Supply: Why Dehydration May Play a Role
The early days and weeks of parenthood are filled with an immense amount of joy and love. But this can also be a stressful time for many parents, especially when it comes to breastfeeding. Many new mothers worry about whether they're providing enough breast milk. It can be hard to gauge the amount of milk the baby is consuming and whether you’re producing enough.
Here, we’ll show you the main causes of low milk supply, including dehydration. You’ll learn how to recognize the signs of low milk supply and the most common symptoms of dehydration. We’ll also give you tips on how to increase your milk supply if you’re dehydrated.
What Causes Low Milk Supply?
Before we address how to increase milk supply, it’s useful to understand what causes low production in the first place. While only a small number of women experience breast milk supply issues, there are several factors that may cause a shortage.
Women who suffer from hormonal disorders, thyroid problems, or diabetes may have difficulty producing enough milk. Rare medical conditions, including mammary hypoplasia and insufficient glandular tissue (IGT), can also lead to low levels of milk production. Women who have had breast surgery or trauma may also have difficulty with lactation.
Researchers are still learning about breast milk production, but they largely agree that it’s heavily dependent on supply and demand. As your baby breastfeeds and milk is removed, your body increases prolactin levels. Prolactin is a protein that signals your body to produce more milk. Skin-to-skin contact with your baby also stimulates the production of oxytocin. This hormone tells breast muscles to excrete milk, making the breastfeeding experience easier.
Supplementing with formula or bottle-feeding can reduce milk supply since the demand for your breast milk is decreased. In addition, some babies who use a pacifier may be less likely to suckle on your breast. This can also lead to a decrease in milk supply since hormones like oxytocin and the protein prolactin aren’t stimulated.
Breastfeeding moms may also be unaware that hydration status can affect milk production. Dehydration is a condition where fluid loss is greater than fluid intake. If you’re dehydrated, you may be unable to produce enough breast milk. Breast milk is made of around 80% water. If you don’t drink enough fluids or lose them too quickly — like when you’re sweating or if you’re sick and are vomiting or have diarrhea — dehydration can set in. That means you may not have enough water to create breast milk.
If you’re worried about low breastmilk supply, talk to your pediatrician or a lactation consultant (known as an IBCLC). They can help identify the underlying cause of the issue and arrange a plan to address the problem. If you think you’re not producing enough milk due to dehydration, it’s important to act fast. Start taking small sips of an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. It’s medically formulated with a precise balance of electrolytes to defeat dehydration fast and is safe for you and your baby.
How to Increase Milk Supply
Many mothers wonder how to increase milk supply. Some home remedies are purported to increase breast milk production naturally. Known as galactogogues, these lactation boosters include things like lactation cookies, flaxseed, blessed thistle, fenugreek, and brewer’s yeast. Before using these herbs and galactagogues, it’s important to talk to your doctor to avoid problematic side effects.
Most women produce enough milk for their baby’s needs. One way to tell if your baby is consuming the right amount of milk is to evaluate your baby’s weight gain. Work closely with your pediatrician to ensure your baby is gaining weight at a healthy rate. If weight gain is slow, they may take a look at breast production to see if issues like dehydration may be in play.
If your baby is having a hard time latching, milk production may decrease. You can work with a lactation consultant to get tips on how to improve your baby’s latch. This can improve milk flow and signal your body to produce more milk. You can also try to extend the length of your nursing sessions, which should be longer than five minutes.
Another way to increase milk supply is to drain your breasts every time you nurse. If your baby has a hard time latching or feeds infrequently, you can use a breast pump to empty the milk. The pump uses breast compressions to remove all the milk. After the pumping sessions, your body will send signals to produce milk, increasing supply.
One of the best ways to increase breast milk production is to make sure you aren’t suffering from dehydration. Remember, dehydration can dramatically decrease breast milk production. By staying hydrated and avoiding dehydration, your body will have the water and electrolytes it needs to build milk supply.
To fend off dehydration, reach for an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. DripDrop ORS was developed by a doctor on a mission to defeat life-threatening dehydration. The patented formula provides medically relevant electrolyte levels. It exceeds the World Health Organization’s Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) standards AND it tastes great.
Focus on Addressing Dehydration
In terms of how to increase milk supply, it’s vital to focus on dehydration. Dehydration can lead to a low milk supply, especially if you suffer from chronic dehydration. Unfortunately, studies show that almost 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. That means it’s incredibly important to manage your hydration levels. The first step is recognizing the signs of dehydration.
Here are the most common symptoms of dehydration:
Dry skin or dry mouth
Decreased urination or dark urine
Low blood pressure
One of the easiest ways to tell you're dehydrated is to look at your pee. Your urine should be light yellow, similar to the color of lemonade. If you have darkly colored urine, start addressing your hydration right away. Another easy test for dehydration is called the skin turgor test. Pinch the skin on your knuckle and then let go. If you’re hydrated, the skin will snap back into place. If you’re dehydrated, the skin will suffer from decreased elasticity and take longer to return to its normal position.
If you recognize the signs of dehydration, it’s important to act fast. Not only does dehydration impact milk production, but it can also be life-threatening if left untreated. The best way to manage dehydration is to use an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS.
Medical-grade DripDrop ORS allows you to alleviate mild to moderate dehydration outside of a hospital setting, without the need for costly and painful IV therapy. Our patented formula is powerful enough to help patients suffering from dehydration caused by Ebola and cholera but safe enough for everyday use. Plus, DripDrop ORS tastes amazing and comes in a variety of flavors you can enjoy hot or cold.
Fight Dehydration With DripDrop ORS
New moms often wonder how to increase milk supply and whether they’re producing enough. The breastfeeding journey can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you’re concerned about increasing milk supply, talk to your doctor. A healthcare professional can help pinpoint any underlying issues like dehydration, which can reduce your body’s ability to produce enough milk. If you suffer from dehydration which affects your milk supply, reach for an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS.
When you're in a state of dehydration, water alone is not enough. Your body needs the perfect balance of sodium and glucose to help absorption. With the precisely balanced ratio in DripDrop ORS, you can replenish vital electrolytes and fluids to relieve dehydration quickly.
By comparison, sports drinks contain about one-third the electrolytes of DripDrop ORS and twice as much sugar. Plus, DripDrop ORS supplies vitamins like zinc, potassium, and magnesium, which are essential to support your overall health.
For cases of mild to moderate dehydration, DripDrop ORS is a fast, effective, and great-tasting remedy. The convenient packaging allows you to have DripDrop ORS when you need it, where you need it.
Get started with a trial or our most popular multi-flavor pouch for dehydration relief fast. Or, if you're ready to make a purchase, and you're a first-time buyer, enjoy 15% off your order with code: FIRST15.