One worry of being a first time mom that never crossed my mind before my little one arrived — my milk supply! I had the crib, diapers, so many clothes… And, I assumed my body would just produce milk when the time was here. It seems I am not alone, and everyone (google, friends…) has their remedy for boosting milk supply. I put together a list of things that I found worked best for me, plus a couple that worked for my friends. Not all of it will work for everyone, sometimes you have to try a few things to find your perfect fix.
Here are 10 ways to boost your supply:
Babies go through frequent growth spurts, especially in the first few months, and sometimes it feels like they are feeding the life out of you. But, it is so important that they do this. Breastmilk works on this supply and demand idea, so the more the baby demands, the more you supply! Keep that baby on your boob!
Skin to Skin
This is so important for bonding and building that relationship with your little one, and to top it off, it helps with your supply by encouraging your little one to latch on, which increase their demand – back to that whole supply and demand idea. I basically walked around naked the first few weeks with munchkin attached to me. (Added bonus: the husband will love it and maybe even chip in a bit with some chores)
Take Care of You!
So important for so many reasons, but also helpful for your supply. Stress is bad! A lot of mommas report their supply dipping when they return to work or during a major life event. Make sure to do the little things that make you feel better to ward of stressors. Give baby to your significant other and get a massage, a mani-pedi, get drinks with the girls, read a book, take a long hot shower, whatever brings you back to calm.
I know this is easier said than done, especially during those first few weeks (or months? Years? Wait, what is sleep?), but even if you can only add a couple of cat naps to your schedule – do it! It will help to relieve stress, make you feel better and keep you healthy.
Eat, Eat EAT!
You will need all those calories to produce all that milk for your munchkin. Make sure it’s a healthy diet, too, full of good fats and leafy greens. Oatmeal is another great ingredient shown to increase milk supply.
(and other recipes – there are tons on Pinterest!) – Now even if these don’t work for you, they are yummy and full of calories to keep you nourished. I personally like this recipe! I add extra chocolate chips just because – chocolate!!
Breastfeeding is so draining in so many ways, but most of all – it dehydrates you. I invested in two 32 ounce water bottles that I keep full and by my side all day.
Take a Galactagogue.
There are a few out there. Some people swear by fenugreek, blessed thistle, and alfalfa. I personally like flaxseed oil pills – great omegas, so even if these didn’t work, they are great for the heart.
Pump regularly, especially when you are away from your little one. If you have to work, try to fit regular pumpings into your schedule. Try pumping after nursing to fully empty your breasts, increasing demand and supply again.
Talk to a lactation consultant.
I did this and it was a lifesaver. I was shedding so many tears in the beginning trying to get little one to latch correctly. I don’t know if I could have made it this far without my LC. Contact your local La Leche League or the International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants.
Overall, the best advice I got was: Don’t stress! You are doing a great job! Every drop counts! And, at the end of the day, fed is best! Feed on, mommas!