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It is extremely evident to most new moms in those early weeks 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. Also, faithfulness in caring for yourself in order to maintain good health to keep the milk healthy and flowing strong. You need to have flexibility like you wouldn’t believe. Not to mention 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 carry 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 for your peace of mind as a new mother. It is also for the benefit of protecting your little one. This way you’ll have extra milk storage on hand at all times in the case of unexpected interruptions to being able to nurse. Things like illness, traveling in uncomfortable conditions not suited to breastfeeding, or other circumstances that may arise could 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. It is an absolute must for breastfeeding new mothers. Plenty of water is especially vital to the production of your milk supply. Therefore, water is extremely important in order to be able to produce enough 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. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times!
I find if I carry water around with me wherever I go I tend to drink more. Get yourself a cute water bottle! If you tend to drink more when drinking out of a straw, then get one with a straw. Whatever it takes to get the H2O in!
Try this lactation smoothie that will help you increase your milk supply and lose that baby weight!
Foods and Herbal Supplements
There is something to be said for those who have already established the habit of healthy eating. Studying the foods that are rich in nutrients of every kind can be very helpful. The science behind specific superfoods being beneficial to the body is a fascinating topic.
As a breastfeeding mom, there are so many who have no idea which foods they should be reaching for on a regular basis. What they should snack on to 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 for a healthy diet. However, there are some foods 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. They often come as teas, drops, and other forms for helping increase breastmilk supply. Such as ones that include fenugreek or milk thistle. There are also some great lactation cookies that can be made or bought that include several ingredients to help increase production if you have low supply.
If you are having low milk supply and trying to increase your breast milk production, try adding some of the following food and seed options to your daily intake. These can help increase needed nutrition:
- sweet potatoes or yams
- spinach or other dark leafy greens
- fennel seed
- fenugreek seeds
- black sesame seeds
- cumin seeds
- poppy seeds
- dill leaves
- basil leaves
- lean meats and poultry (especially drumsticks)
- brown rice
- brewer’s yeas
- and many other healthy nutrient-rich choices that can be included as part of a well-balanced diet.
Take a look at my favorite protein powder for breastfeeding moms here!
Don’t forget the often forgotten act of simple massage and breast compression. This can help with let-down and increasing blood flow to the breast areas around the milk ducts. All helping to stimulate milk production and release of a stronger flow.
There are many lactation massagers on the market today. Also, there are handy breast-shaped gel pads that can be heated to gently warm the breast area and also stimulate milk let-down reflex.
The best tools are the ones you feel most comfortable with. It’s a good idea to check out some reviews and utilize these handy options for assisting with milk production. Simply remembering to massage breasts under warm water in the shower can help too.
An easy way to help boost your milk production and increase the amount of milk 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 have a pumping session on one breast while the baby nurses 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 and leave the baby with a sitter or your partner, you’ll be so glad you pumped extra breastmilk. This way you will have a good amount of breast milk on hand for them to use bottle feeding. Otherwise they may have to use formula, a decision you would probably like the option to make.
Learn the breastfeeding basics by checking out this Ultimate Breastfeeding Class!
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. 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. It is a privilege to get 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 with skin-to-skin contact as often as possible.
During a nursing session have your baby’s shirt off and let them feel your skin against theirs. This will help with pheromone production and develop an ever-growing connection and attachment to your baby. That attachment will help the body and mind fully desire to provide a good milk supply for your baby’s needs.
The breastfeeding journey can be a tough one, the best way to carry on is to stay calm. Anxiety about milk production will translate into less milk and fewer dirty diapers. Don’t let this side effect get you! The early days can be difficult to navigate with frequent feeding, constant checking of baby’s weight gain and baby’s growth overall.
If you are really having trouble don’t be afraid to get in touch with a lactation specialist, they can help get a good latch. They can also check baby’s mouth to see if they have a tongue or lip tie and some of the other most common reasons why your breastmilk may not be flowing as it should.