I know, I know, I’m going Dr. Seuss on you for a minute but having issues with milk supply is no laughing matter.
As a first time mother, I put so much thought and anxiety into what labor would be like (and how I wanted it to be) but when it came to breastfeeding I just thought it all be easy! Breastfeeding is maybe the most demanding job you will ever have, and if you’re like many women who are having supply issues…
The journey is that much more difficult.
Have no fear though Mama, there are so many things you can try to boost and maintain your milk supply. Remember, you are not alone and you are a rockstar!!
NURSE, NURSE, NURSE!
This one really can’t be stressed enough. The very best thing you can do for your milk supply is to nurse often and as long as baby wants, making sure to offer both breasts each session. Our milk production is a supply and demand process so nothing gets our supply increasing like nursing baby!
Utilizing the natural supply/demand relationship of our bodies, you can use a breast pump to increase your milk production. To do this, you pump 20 minutes then rest for 10 minutes. Followed by pumping for 10 minutes then resting 10 minutes. Then pump for another 10 minutes. You should always consult a lactation consultant before power pumping.
Lactation teas, cookies and other food products
There are quite a few products on the market that claim to boost milk supply. These include a variety of teas, cookies, protein shakes & bars. Just make sure they made with high quality ingredients and this could be a delicious option to try!
Fill up on milk boosting foods & stay hydrated!!
Oats- one of the best milk producing foods, try them warm or cold (overnight oats) or make cookies
Vegetables- particularly leafy greens, carrots, garlic, sweet potatoes, fennel, beets, asparagus (among others)
Fruits- Papaya, cantaloupes, berries, bananas, oranges and avocados (yes, they are a fruit!!)
Seeds- Carraway, fennel, sesame and poppy seeds have all been known to increase supply
*Always make sure you are drinking plenty of water and nutritious liquids*
There are a few supplements that are known galactagogues and can increase production in some women. The most well known of these are fenugreek, brewer’s yeast and blessed thistle. You should always consult your doctor before starting a supplement regimen.
Basil and Fennel are both thought to be galactogogues and can boost milk production. Dill and Lavender can also be beneficial. It is extremely important to make sure you are using high quality oils as there are many artificial products out there.
Contact an IBCLC
Often times, low milk supply is due to latching issues. It is always a good idea to search out an International board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) to help address any potential issues. These professionals can access your babies latch and give you guidance on how to correct any areas of concern.
I hope you find some of this helpful in your journey. Please remember, that no matter how you feed your baby, the important thing is that they are fed. There should be no shame in using formula or any other alternative method of feeding.
We do the best we can for our babies and that is the biggest success we can give ourselves.