Breastfeeding – Maintaining and Increasing Supply
Many Mommas want to know how to increase milk supply at some point during their breastfeeding journey – whether you think you’re not producing enough or you had a cold and your supply dipped.
Here are a few things that helped me breastfeed both my kids until age 1 and donate some for NICU babies.
Nursing often in those beginning weeks. This is what everyone probably tells you, but I know as a mom how daunting it can feel to think that you baby is not getting enough. A little patience, and a lot of nursing, those first few weeks will set you up with a good supply. Beware: your nipples will hurt and ache, but it will get better! I used Earth Mama’s nipple butter to help with any discomfort.
Try to nurse on both sides at each feeding to ensure your body knows to make more milk for baby. I also used the Haakaa manual suction pump on the opposite side while I fed. This helped with losing any leaked milk and to signal my body that we need the milk. GUYS I CAN’T SAY ENOUGH ABOUT THE HAAKAA – JUST GET IT! Using a nursing pillow will help with holding your baby properly and support your arm and back.
Another good way to increase your supply, if you are really feeling that it’s low – try to pump right after a feeding to empty your breast completely – hence telling your body you need more milk. This always helped when I got sick and my supply would dip a little bit. I use the Medela Pump in style pump with my first and the Spectra S2 with my second. They both worked well for me. I did like the Spectra s2 a tad bit more because it was a quieter pump.
Make sure your baby has a proper latch. Often times your body is producing the milk but your baby might not be feeding properly and getting all the milk due to a poor latch. I had this issue with my 1st and seeing a certified lactation consultant early on helped my nursing journey. You can find a certified lactation consultant near your through https://www.ilca.org/home
H2O, H2O, H2O – lots of fluids. I lugged my camelback water bottle around everywhere. Water sometimes gets boring, so switch it up with some flavored water. I don’t know the science behind it but COOL BLUE gatorade helped my supply significantly.
Healthy diet – it is SO hard to maintain a balanced diet during those first few months of chaos. I always kept stashes of lactation bars and mixed nuts on my night stand. Avocados were my go to during the day – they also helped to make my milk more fatty.
As an Indian mom, my elders made me consume tons of organic teas and foods. Dill seed and fennel seed tea – soak the seeds in water and then boil. I drank this every morning religiously for 4 months.
Fenugreek sweets (Methi pak), you can also just take the fenugreek capsules.
Sunflower lecithin – The product helps with increasing fatty acids in your milk. It also helps clogged ducts, pushing milk through the ducts – hence increasing your output of hind milk: the fatty part of your milk
Legendairy Milk – A company that has various organic supplements to help with various breastfeeding issues. I occasionally took their Liquid Gold Supplement which helped with making my milk more fatty.
Take the prenatal vitamins that your obgyn or pediatrician recommends for you.
I also took an extra vitamin C to help through winter cold months.
Breastfeeding is a tough and stressful journey. Try to let go a little, at the end of the day happy mommy makes for a happy baby. No matter the situation: FED IS BEST whether through breastfeeding or through formula. You are the best Momma to your baby!