You never know what challenges you might face when you dive into the mommy world of breastfeeding. Some women face over supply issues, some face limited supply issues, some moms endure the pains of mastitis and clogged milk ducts. Then you have babies with latch issues, allergies, premature…. the list goes on and on! I’ve been blessed, while I had a major case of over supply issues with Boogie, I figured out how to maintain and regulate my milk production with Bubby and Bird. I’ve figured out how my body works and can trigger more supply or less supply. Aren’t our bodies amazing? So, here are 10 ways to help increase your milk supply. I hope to post another blog entry about decreasing supply and maintaining your supply later on!
- Water, water, water, water, water. Do you hear me? Drink your water! The more you nurse the thirstier you will be, the more you drink the more milk you can produce! Stay hydrated mama!
- Supply and demand! Put that baby to breast as frequently as possible in the beginning! Nurse every chance you get, your baby will not eat more than they need. And bonus, if they nurse for comfort your body will learn to produce more milk!
- Pump between nursing. With Boogie I was so worried about not having enough milk that I did this after every nursing session. For me, that was a mistake because I was already over producing, so then I pumped and pumped and I was engorged ALL. THE. TIME. So get in tune with your body. If you feel like you’re truly not producing enough, pump! Not only will it help your supply but you’ll build up a stock pile if you plan on bottle feeding at any point or to use in a sippy cup later on! I recommend THIS pump (affiliate link). Please note that pumping is not a good indication for how much milk you are producing. A pump cannot identically mimic a nursing baby and your baby is most likely getting more milk from you than the pump is!
- In those precious first weeks of nursing, and even the first few months really. Take a “vacation” with your baby, lay in the bed, cuddle, snuggle and nurse. Hold him/her skin to skin and just make spending time with your sweet baby your priority. It’s amazing how our bodies become in tune with our little ones just by being close to them.
- Avoid bottles and pacifiers for a while! I know, I know… it’s so convenient to just pop a binky in their mouth, but YOU need to become the pacifier while you increase your supply! So just pack those bottles and pacifiers away for a while, you can always introduce them again later! (Or if you are a glutton for punishment like me, you’ll never introduce them and be a pacifier and milk machine for 18+months…. hehe…)
- Switch breasts! Go back and forth and try to offer each breast at least once during each nursing session. If possible switch back to the first breast to comfort nurse.
- Eat oatmeal! Not only is a classic bowl of oatmeal an ultimate comfort food, but it’s also full of iron. If you have low iron or anemic that could be causing your low supply issues and oatmeal can help! You can eat a hot bowl of oatmeal, make lactation cookies from oats! I like THIS recipe from How Sweet It Is. You can also buy them premade, like THESE from Milk Makers (affiliate link).
- Take your prenatals! I know… I hate those things. I don’t like those giant pills, and the “tiny” ones aren’t much better. You can get gummy prenatals like THESE (affiliate link), those are the best tasting in my opinion! Or you can try the “tiny” ones if you’re not into the gummies and want to avoid the horse pills, HERE is my favorite brand! (affiliate link)
- Last resort, take a supplement. One of the most popular is Fenugreek, but please speak to your midwife, obstetrician or lactation consultant prior to trying this! You’ll smell like maple syrup for a while, but if you need that extra boost, this is the way to go!
- Most importantly, take time to take care of YOU. Ask someone to come over and help you with the baby so you can take a long shower, a bath, go on an outting alone…. whatever it is you need to relax and wind down.
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