Increase your milk supply

How to Increase Your Milk Supply

This seems to be the million dollar question among breastfeeding mothers! But do you actually need to? Are you naturally producing enough…probably so! Mothers, especially new mothers, tend to doubt themselves and their ability to make “enough milk”. Let’s remember, when you baby is born their stomach is only about the size of a cherry. A few drops…yes DROPS…of your colostrum are all they need to be content and satisfied! By one week, their stomach will be about the size of a small apricot, and usually a mother’s milk has fully come in by this time. Get this!! At two weeks old their tummy is about the size of a large egg! You do not have to produce as much as some moms think for your baby to be getting enough!

Quick Points to Remember

  • Your body knows what it is doing! Trust it!
  • Relax
  • Your baby does not ounces upon ounces of milk when they are small
  • Educate yourself! Read some books on breastfeeding. Knowledge will help lessen your anxiety. I would recommend Breastfeeding Made Simple & The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
  • Do not overwhelm yourself with everyone’s opinions! It is okay to ask questions as a new mom OF COURSE! But limit who you are asking. And be cautious when turning to social media with your questions. Everyone has an opinion and that can become very overwhelming!

1. Start off your breastfeeding journey CORRECTLY!

This is the most important piece of advice I can give you. When you bring your baby home nurse, nurse, nurse! Breastfeeding frequently and on demand when your baby is hungry is the BEST way to establish a good milk supply. You may be tired and you may want to pump and let someone else give the baby a bottle, however, this is the worst thing you can do for your supply. Any pump, no matter what kind you buy, does not compare to a newborn’s suck as far as nipple stimulation goes. You need to nurse your infant! Now after you have done this exclusive breastfeeding for a couple of weeks, you can start introducing a bottle here and there and your supply will be okay.

Your body runs on a system of Supply & Demand

The more you nurse your baby, the more milk your body will produce. Your body is insanely smart and takes note of how often and how much your baby eats. Then your body works very hard to maintain that amount of milk so that your baby has just the right amount. If you skip feedings, your body thinks that your baby did not need any milk and therefore will make less. This includes night feedings! If you want a great supply you need to be feeding every 3-4 hours including during the night. If your baby sleeps for long periods at a time, great, but wake them up and feed them. I did this with my daughter and have never had any problems at all with supply.

Your baby may nurse frequently and that is okay! Breast milk is digested quicker and easier than formula!

Some mom’s think that just because their baby is fussy that they are not eating enough!  Babies cry for all sorts of reasons! They could just want to be held! They are also growing at a seriously fast pace! They may eat frequently (Cluster Feeding) and that is okay as well! It may feel like you are going to lose your sanity, but this too shall pass 🙂

Your breasts may not leak!

This does not mean that you do not make enough milk! This is normal! It happens once your milk supply begins to regulate.

Your breasts may not feel super full!

This is also normal! It does not mean that you are not making enough milk. It just means that your body has finally figured out the right amount for the supply and demand system to properly work!

Believe in Yourself!

Breastfeeding is not easy! It is a lot of work with little sleep! Don’t give up! Eventually you and your little one will find an enjoyable groove!

2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Make sure that you are drinking enough water!! Your breast milk is made up of mostly water so to make more you are going to have to drink more! Some people swear by drinking coconut water as well. If you do not like the taste of it, throw it in a smoothie! You won’t even notice it is there!

3. Fenugreek

This works for many moms to increase their milk supply. You just have to take a ton of it! Usually 2-3 pills 3x a day for it to work. It will make your sweat and urine smell like maple syrup. This is okay, it means that it is actually working. Also remember, it can take a few days to weeks for you to see a change in your supply. You can drink this in a tea form, however, the pill form is much stronger than the tea.

4. Lactation Cookies!

Here is my awesome recipe! You will not be disappointed! You can buy pre-made cookies or make them yourself. There are a ton of recipes out there! The key to these is the brewer’s yeast, flaxseed and the oatmeal that goes into them. You can actually go to any local brew shop and pick up distillers yeast (It is the same thing as brewers yeast, Just cheaper!) If you do not want to make cookies, you can throw these ingredients into other things as well!

5.Oatmeal

This one is great for maintaining a good supply! The beauty behind oatmeal is that it will help keep up your iron levels! We as mamas need this, especially right after giving birth when we are depleted of everything! You can eat other things to keep your iron up but oatmeal will keep you satisfied (when you are ravenous!), is a good source of fiber, will lower your cholesterol as well as keep your blood sugars stable. I like to think of oatmeal as my power food! It’s awesome. Here’s a great recipe.

6. Mother’s Milk Tea

This has many herbs in it that are said to increase supply! All of these herbs are considered galactagogues (Herbs that increase milk production). The usual herbs in this tea are fennel, fenugreek, anise, corriander, and blessed thistle. This tea has a licorice taste to it. If you like licorice then you will love it, but if not, you can try adding some apple juice to make it taste a little better! Teas that specifically say “Mother’s milk” are usually safe but just be careful when you tap deep into the herbal side of things because there are many herbs that are NOT safe while breastfeeding. Just do you due diligence and you will be fine!

7. Foods that Increase Milk Supply

These are not a huge booster like some of the things listed above but they couldn’t hurt to try! Here are a few:

  • Brown rice
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potato
  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Garlic
  • Dark beer

Establishing a good milk supply is the key to a long and happy breastfeeding journey! I hope this helps!

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