7 Tips to Help Boost Your Milk Supply
When I was pregnant with my first, I didn’t have many expectations of breastfeeding—I figured it would either work or not. When she was born, though, and I wasn't able to nurse because of low supply and her medical issues, I yearned for the closeness of breastfeeding. So, now that I’m expecting my second, I’m committed to try harder. I talked with Nancy Holtzman, vice president of Isis Parenting and a board-certified lactation consultant, and realized that the most important time to get your supply going is those crucial first weeks after birth. Here are some of her tips, along with some other ways to give your supply a little boost.
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Skin to Skin
Undressing baby to their diaper, and cradling them up to you sans shirt and bra, can help stimulate the sleepy baby to want to nurse more.
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Nursing often can help stimulate milk production. Don’t worry, you won’t be in this constant nursing pattern forever, but having your baby help get things going, is a natural way to boost supply in those early days. Nancy Holtzman says, “Research shows us that to initiate, then maintain, a full supply, thoroughly “moving milk” (by baby or by pump) a minimum of eight times in 24 hours is required for most women, particularly the early weeks.”
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Express Milk Often
After baby is done nursing, either express milk on your own or get hooked up to a pump for about 10-15 minutes. Hotlzman says, “It takes frequent and thorough removal of milk, to make more milk.” She goes on to say that if, “If pumping for a preemie, have breastfeeding challenges, supply concerns or are exclusively pumping by situation or choice, upgrading to a hospital-grade rental pump like the Medela Symphony may make a big difference.”
Photo Credit: Andrew Macpherson for Milky!
Fenugreek via Milky!
Fenugreek is considered a galactagogue, a substance that can be taken to boost milk supply. Fenugreek is not popular for its taste, however, so Tia and Tamera Mowry, new moms themselves, created a quick shot of tasty Fenugreek to boost your supply called Milky!.
Photo Credit: Seemann via morguefile
Eat Lots of Oatmeal
According to Kelly Mom, oatmeal’s rich in iron content can help curb a mom’s anemia, which could lower breast milk production. In addition, the soothing nature of a big bowl of oats can calm you down, as stress is known to impact milk production. The best oats to have are as close to nature as possible, so if you can, skip the instant oats and make a big batch of steel cut oats to grab and go each morning.
Photo Credit: Milkmakers cookies are perfect for this. They have key ingredients to help boost lactation like oats and brewer’s yeast, alongside flax seed that is full of omega-3 acids to help brain development of your baby. Milkmakers are all natural, and uses mostly organic ingredients. You can either purchase cookies ready to go, or buy a mix to make them yourself.Photo Credit: mcconers via morguefile
Large doses of caffeine can cause a more serious case of dehydration for you, which in turn does not help to support breast milk production. Though you may desire a coffee IV to get through those sleepless newborn days, be conscious of how much you are consuming. Moderation is key. A cup or two is OK, but 5 may be too much.
Read more information on boosting your milk supply.Nursing moms need to eat! A well-balanced diet filled with foods you like is best, but certain foods—no matter how much you love 'em—may not agree with Baby. If Baby's fussy, spits up a lot, or has colic, rash, or congestion, check these common culprits.view gallery
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