It’s World Breastfeeding Awareness Week!! Shout out to all of those milk-makin’ mommas out there!!
Breastfeeding my daughter for over a year is one of the hardest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Not only is it the best thing to feed my daughter, but it also created a magical bond between us. I wouldn’t trade the sore, cracked nipples, late night feedings or bites for anything!
I quickly became obsessed with making more and more milk, because ‘what if Charlie didn’t hit the quota of wet diapers for the day?’
And then I obsessed over making too much milk, ‘oh no Charlie spits up after I nurse her, I’m now overfeeding her.’
Which are both crazy thoughts I had during the beginning of my breastfeeding journey.
I felt like once I got the hang of nursing her, I was only a few weeks away from going back to work and had to build up a stash in the freezer for her while I was away… ‘There’s no way I can make enough milk when I’m only pumping one ounce.’
Then I really became obsessed with making more milk.
And more milk.
And more milk.
For over a year I pumped twice a day at work and nursed at home. And scowered the inter-webs for ways to make more and more and more milk. Some things worked, some things didn’t.
Here’s a list of all the thing that worked for me –
10 Tried and True Ways to Increase Your Breast Milk Supply:
- DRINK! – Drink lots of water, drink your weight in water. Up your water intake and you will see a boost in your supply!
- Nurse on Demand – I tried schedules, I tried saying no, but when I cut back or made Charlie wait longer to nurse, my supply dropped. Nursing is a supply-demand kind of thing. The more your nurse + the more your body thinks it needs to make milk = more milk.
- Lactation Cookies – the best midnight snack during those middle of the night feedings. I tried a few difference recipes, but the best one I found was from BellyBelly . It comes down to the amazing, milk-making ingredients, like coconut oil, flax seed, BREWERS YEAST (emphasis on this milk boosting ingredient), and oatmeal. I added some chocolate covered raisins to mine for some extra oomph.
- Mother’s Milk Tea – This goes back to the water intake, but this tea seemed to have magic in it! Though I do have to warn you, you have to develop a taste for it. I drank one cup a day at work in between pumping sessions!
- Blue Gatorade – Back to drinking your weight, blue Gatorade is amazing. I don’t know why the blue, but that seems to be the key. I recommend the blueberry pomegranate or glacier freeze.
- Pump – Pumping can be tough, but the stash you build and how it affects your milk supply make it worth it! Make sure you get a good pump, I have a Medela Freestyle, and pump after you nurse. It will help trick your body into making more milk, and you will create a supply for when you are not near your babe.
- Power Pumping – Once you get the hang of pumping, try power pumping a few times and see if it helps. Pump for 20 minutes, stop for 10, pump for 10 more and continue for about an hour, or how long you have till the babe needs you. This will help trick your body into thinking you need to make more milk.
- Look at your baby – While nursing, take in that bald head, long eye lashes and baby-soft skin. Soak in all of the love and bond you two are creating together. If you’re pumping, look at pictures or watch videos of the babe.
- Switch sides – Charlie was a one-side feeder, so I was constantly lopsided, but it did help my supply on the days I could get her to nurse off both instead of one.
- RELAX – This is my biggest tip – if you are stressed, anxious or sad, it will drastically affect your milk supply. As a postpartum woman your hormones are already going haywire and your haven’t had decent sleep since before you found out you were pregnant, so relaxing isn’t something you do often, but try. The minute you let the muscles in your back loosen up and exhale that deep breath you will really see a difference in your supply!
Need help relaxing? Cheers with a dark beer. The darker the beer the more active yeast. Brewers yeast is key in breast milk production!
All of the blood, sweat, and tears are worth it momma.
Not only did you create a magical being inside your body, but now you are giving this baby all of the vitamins, nutrients and liquid that it needs to survive for the first six months.
You are a miracle too!
Cheers to normalizing breastfeeding.