If you are not a nursing mom or soon-to-be nursing mom, feel free to skip right on over this post. For those of you who are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed once your baby is born, you may find this post helpful.
Before Adalyn was born, I did so much research on every topic, especially breastfeeding since I knew that there were often challenges that arose. One part of this topic is milk supply.
I was blessed with a good supply for the most part but around the time when Adalyn turned 4 months old, my supply dropped. Since Adalyn was exclusively breastfed and I did not want to add any formula, I turned to natural tips to increase my supply. I called the lactation consultant at the hospital that I delivered Adalyn at for tips as well.
Here are some of the things that I have done and recommend:
-Stay hydrated- I have always drank a ton of water but even more so now, I make sure that I get enough fluids. Here is what I figure, if I am dehydrated, how can I expect my body to make enough milk for baby to drink? When you go to feed baby, have your water bottle with you and drink a bunch of water.
-Eat foods that help increase supply- Oats and flax seeds are super nutritious foods anyways and they can also help to increase your supply. Monday-Friday, I try to have oatmeal for breakfast each day with ground flax seed which I think helps. Also, these Chocolate Energy Balls contain both of these ingredients and make a great snack.
-Skip foods that decrease supply- I did not know that certain foods can actually decrease your supply until they had already affected mine. I had eaten two huge bunches of parsley in a week and drank peppermint tea everyday until I read that those two items actually can decrease your supply. I was so mad! Those are obviously out of my diet now.
-Pump 1 extra time- I do not do this anymore but when Adalyn was younger, I would pump about 1 hour after her morning feeding (around 8-9:30 AM) which is the time of day that your supply is the highest and this can help you build your pumped milk stash and help increase your supply.
-Drink nursing teas- I have been drinking a couple of teas that are supposed to help increase supply including Milkies Nursing Time Tea and Traditional Medicinals Mother's Milk.
-Eat enough calories- I cannot stress the importance of this enough! You need to eat enough so that you can make enough milk for your baby. Now is not this time to cut calories even though you may want to lose any additional baby weight that you are hanging onto.
-Take Fenugreek supplement- After my supply went down, I called the lactation consultant worried and she told me to buy Fenugreek supplements. I have been taking this for about 3-4 weeks and have noticed the biggest increase after starting this. Fairhaven Health makes a Fenugreek supplement which I recommend (disclosure: I was sent the nursing blend supplement, tea and fenugreek from Fairhaven Health to try).
-Last of all, relax!- For me personally, when I pump at work and am stressed out, I notice that I cannot pump as much. My tip is to relax as much as possible so that you can pump as much as possible. This can be hard at times but is very important.
I am no expert but have been through 5 1/2 months of breastfeeding now and would be happy to answer any questions anyone may have. This is what is working best for my family at this time.