This post probably contains affiliate links, to items I am in love with, and I am confident you will too! For any health advice I give on nutrition and wieghtloss, make sure you check with your doctor, as I am not a health professional. I am just a mama with lots of health and fitness knowledge and experience.
It is extremely evident to most new moms that the art of breastfeeding is not for the lazy individuals in this world – breastfeeding is hard work, but oh so rewarding! It takes dedication, commitment to meet the growing milk supply needs of your child, faithfulness in caring for yourself in order to maintain good health to keep the milk healthy and flowing strong, flexibility like you wouldn’t believe, and an ability to love without end for the sake of that tiny bundle of innocence suckling at your breast. Are you one of these incredibly strong, resilient moms who tarry on despite circumstances beyond their control? If you are, we’ve got you covered! Read on to discover a selection of ways you can improve and control the ability to increase the flow of your milk supply. This is both for your peace of mind and to the benefit of protecting your little one, so you’ll have extra milk storage on hand at all times in the case of unexpected interruptions to being able to nurse, illness, traveling in uncomfortable conditions not suited to breastfeeding, or other odd circumstances that may arise that prevent having the chance to breastfeed on demand.
Please do not underestimate the need to drink lots and lots of fluids both during pregnancy and postpartum, but it is an absolute must for breastfeeding mothers. Water is especially vital to the production of your milk supply and therefore extremely important in order to increase your daily supply of breast milk for your newborn or older infant. In addition to increasing your water intake, you may consider consuming fruit juices, Gatorade, or Powerade for bonus points in the electrolytes and vitamins department, but be sure not to overdo it on the added sugars. Balance is key, and an overabundance of water is never a bad thing.
Foods and Herb Supplements
There is something to be said for those who have already established the habit of healthy eating and studying the foods that are rich in nutrients of every kind. The science behind specific superfoods being beneficial to the body is a fascinating topic, and yet as a breastfeeding mom, there are so many who have no idea which foods they should be reaching for on a regular basis to snack on and help boost their milk supply, or to increase nutrients and energy levels. A lot of older, wiser women may tell you to remember to eat a rainbow. They are not far off in their suggestion, although there are some food from each color of the rainbow that are a little better at being nutrient-rich than others. It is also good to consider the many seeds, herbs, and other supplements already available as teas, drops, and other forms for helping increase milk supply.
Such as ones that include fenugreek or milk thistle. Try adding some of the following food and seed options to your daily intake to help increase needed nutrition and boost milk supply: sweet potatoes or yams, apricots, cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, apples, spinach, or other dark leafy greens, asparagus, quinoa, hummus, carrots, oatmeal, barley, garlic, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, black sesame seeds, cumin seeds, poppy seeds, dill leaves, basil leaves, lean meats and poultry (especially drumsticks), salmon, chickpea, almonds, brown rice, and many other healthy nutrient-rich choices.
You can also check this Eating for Breastfeeding Mini-course to help you make the right food choices!
Don’t forget the often forgotten notion of simple massage to help with let-down and increasing blood flow to the breast areas around the milk ducts to help stimulate milk production and release of a stronger flow. There are many lactation massagers on the market today along with handy breast-shaped gel pads that can be heated to gently warm the breast area and also stimulate milk let-down. The best tools are the ones you feel most comfortable with, so check out some reviews and utilize these handy options for assisting with milk production.
An easy way to help boost your milk production and increase the amount over the course of a few days is to take advantage of using a breast pump. It’s important to have one that is a good fit and latches on correctly to fully massage the breast while it’s pumping. You can make proper use of a pump while at work, at home, or while traveling to store extra milk and freeze it for future use for your baby. Another helpful way to use the pump for increasing your milk supply is to pump on one breast while you are nursing the baby on the other breast. This is very effective and can help build up your supply quickly. If you ever become ill or have to be gone for doctor’s appointments and leave the baby with a sitter or your partner, you’ll be so glad you had pumped extra bottles of breastmilk to have on hand for them to use so they don’t have to resort to formula unless you choose to.
Learn the breastfeeding basics by checking out this Breastfeeding Made Easy Mini-course!
Never forget the value in simply getting adequate rest in order to help your body be able to produce enough milk for your hungry baby. This is something many moms notoriously forget because they are too busy just being a mom. You have to take time to take care of yourself, or you and your baby will both suffer because of it. Carve out some time for power naps whenever your baby is napping. Have a monitor at your fingertips, so you can hear if the baby needs you when it wakes up, but it is ok to let the baby play and explore in its crib while you catch a few more winks of shut-eye. Momma needs her rest!
Breastfeeding is to be a precious time of bonding with your child and getting to feed them the most natural and nutrient-rich milk they could ever need through your breast milk. Enjoy this time and create an environment that helps increase milk flow by breastfeeding skin to skin as often as possible. Have your baby’s shirt off and let them feel your skin against theirs to help with pheromone production and develop an ever-growing connection and attachment to your baby to help the body and mind fully desire to supply enough milk for your baby’s growing needs.