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A low breast milk supply
As a new mother, this has been one of the most frustrating hurdles I’ve faced. (Wondering if your tiny babe is unhappy because he is hungry is a particularly yucky kind of frustrating.)
When the squishy baby was new we had more than a few breastfeeding struggles – including jaundice, lip & tongue tie, and thrush – all working together to create a low milk supply.
In fact, my hungry little boy and the subsequent googling of how to increase breast milk supply was more or less the primary focus of all my attention for the fifth week of his life.
I did all. the. things. I read about, and within a few days the squishy baby was happily gulping again (and sleeping better – hallelujah)!
The most important tip to increase breast milk supply
In case you’ve missed this in your research – breast milk making is a supply and demand thing. If you do not empty the breast at each (or many) feedings, it doesn’t matter how many lactation cookies you consume or herbs you take. If your body believes you have enough milk, breast milk production will not increase.
10 tips to increase breast milk supply
♥ 1 . Drink more water –
I have to admit that this was super hard for me the first two weeks postpartum because peeing made me cry and I really really DID NOT want to pee one more time than absolutely necessary. But you need water to increase breast milk supply. This is common sense.
♥ 2. Sleep –
HA! (No but seriously, the lactation consultant I saw said if you’re not getting at least 3 – 4 hours, you’re not going to be making milk the way you need to.) So… good luck with that. Perhaps enlist help from your hubby, your mommy, your sister…
♥ 3. Essential Oils –
Basil and Fennel are the essential oils you want to use – Read this testimonial from Oily Army Team member Ashleigh Campbell and how she used essential oils to boost her breast milk supply. (This is a freaking amazing story from one truly dedicated momma!) And I really loved the smell of the fennel.
♥ 4. Power Pumping –
Again – breast milk production is a supply and demand thing. Pump more out, get more in. This post from Love and Breast Milk gives you the low down on how to get the let down to really jump when you pump. (Hahaha, am I hilarious or exhausted?)
♥ 5. Nurse More –
Better than pumping.
♥ 6. Warm up –
Cold actually inhibits let down, so if you have a hot shower before you nurse or pump you will be making the milk more available. This will allow for better emptying of the boob, which will tell your body you need MORE milk.
♥ 7. Herbs to increase supply –
I took fenugreek and blessed thistle (at the same time) and saw results within a couple days. You know you’re taking “enough” fenugreek when your sweat (and your pee) start to smell a little like maple syrup. Yep, it’s weird. Rina @ Living With Low Milk Supply lists more than 10 herbs to increase breast milk supply.
♥ 8. Supply supporting foods –
Oats, flaxseed, garlic, nuts, carrots, salmon, spinach – and lots more. Adding these things to you diet at the very least won’t hurt you. Check out this list of 13 foods that support healthy breast milk supply from Clark’s Condensed. (And here’s a list of awesome breast milk making recipes so you have ideas of what to do with all that supply supporting food…)
♥ 9. Dark Beer –
I’m politically incorrect enough to include this! Old wive’s tale or not, I believe it works. I am NOT suggesting you drink a lot of beer or any beer at all in fact. Just putting it on the list. And please remember: if you shouldn’t drive a car, you shouldn’t nurse your baby. Some alcohol IS passed into breast milk. (I’m not the ONLY one online that believes in beer… Lindsey @ Mother Rising does too!)
♥ 10. Domperidone –
When you’ve tried everything else and you’re desperate, there is a prescription you can get from your doctor that will increase lactation. (Natural is always best in my opinion but when it comes down to it, I’d rather take this pill to increase my breast milk than throw in the towel and quit nursing all together.)
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