The breastfeeding mother can have many worries. One worry that tops the list is a low milk supply. No matter if you are nursing your first child, third child or beyond. Not producing enough milk is worrisome. Is my baby getting enough calories? Does my baby need formula supplementation? For the health-minded mama the formula dilemma is a biggie. So before jumping into formula full-speed ahead here are a few tips and tricks to help boost your milk supply.
with water being somewhere near 70% of our body make up, it’s no wonder water is important. For the breastfeeding mother it’s super important. Being well hydrated at all times is a must for any mother who needs a good milk supply. It is advised the nursing mothers drink an extra 32 ounces of water a day. Given that 64 ounces is the recommendation normally, that means drinking 96 ounces a day (give or take depending on your body weight). Staying hydrated can easily be the number one problem with a low milk supply. Remembering to drink enough water can be difficult as a busy mom, but staying hydrated helps your body to be able to produce more milk.
After water the next most important thing for the breastfeeding mother is nutrition. We can not give if we are empty. I know, am always talking about real foods, and eating what is natural. Well it is true, but in many cases it is hard to get all our nutritional requirements from food alone. Much of this is due to farming changes over time (depleted soil conditions and more). The mother who is nursing a baby absolutely must supplement with a vitamin (and a very good one) to guarantee she is getting enough nutrition for a healthy milk supply. Real, not synthetic, bio-availability is extremely important. Our bodies aren’t easily tricked they crave what is real. So for real and not synthetic and very bio-available go no further than this absolutely awesome vitamin supplement.
I wholeheartedly believe in eating REAL foods. Not pre-packaged, not grocery store frozen meals, not fast food, honest-to-goodness make-it-yourself from scratch food. That may seem daunting, but the easy make ahead foods out there are endless. Pinterest has some amazing ideas. When eating really real foods, certain foods are known to increase milk supply. Making sure you are getting those foods in your diet goes a long way to giving your milk supply a boost.
- Oats- Once you understand how helpful oats are it’s pretty easy to up your intake of oats. The other benefit of oats is that t can also be very helpful when trying to lose some pregnancy weight, and it’s still gluten-free for those who are intolerant. Oatmeal, overnight oats, oatmeal cookies the sky is the limit here. One of my favorite ways to eat oats is in this awesome waffle recipe that uses oat flour, the whole family loves it and it’s super healthy.
- Flaxseed- These health packed little seeds are also wonderful at increasing your milk supply (and they just so happen to be in the waffle recipe above).
- Brewers yeast- Back in the day women were advised to drink one beer a day to help increase milk supply. The reason was that the yeast in beer was helpful at promoting lactation. If you are not a fan of beer try Brewers yeast, you can get them in tablets or a tasteless powder to add to food.
If you have increased you water intake, are taking a good real-food multi-vitamin, and are eating real whole foods, and you are still lacking try adding some beneficial herbs or supplements. Herbs are the earths natural answer to pharmaceuticals. Natural medicine. Herbs have been used for eons to help with everything including increasing milk supply. For an easy way to get some herbal lactation help, etsy or mountain rose herbs have some amazing pre-blended teas or tinctures. Here are Some different herbs to look for.
- alfalfa- in tea or pill form
- red raspberry leaf
- fennel seed
- blessed thistle
If you aren’t into figuring what pills or herbs to mix here are a few pre-made herbal supplements
5. Essential oils
apply 1-2 drops around the breast (where they won’t be ingested by baby) or apply to the bottom of the feet.
- fennel (can also be taken in capsules)
Stress can wreck all sorts of stuff. What nursing mother isn’t stressed out by a lack of a milk production?! Finding ways to reduce the stress hormone is important so that the hormones that cause lactation can do their work. Visualization, mindful meditation, reading, relaxing and breathing techniques can all be very helpful at reducing the effects of stress on a nursing mother.
Sleep is very important to, well pretty much everything. One of the things that is seriously effected with a lack of sleep is hormone production. Those same hormones control all sorts of day-to-day issues but also the production of milk.
8. Breastfeed Often
While you are in the process to bump up your milk supply, nurse your baby often. Breastfeeding, simply put, is a supply and demand issue. Breastfeeding puts more of a demand on your body than does pumping, the result is more milk production. Many moms go to pumping due to pain and a bad latch, if that is the case find a good lactation consultant. In most cases a hospital or doctors office can get you in contact with a lactation consultant free of charge.
While breastfeeding has its highs and lows, all of science agrees it’s a far superior food source for your baby. Having a low milk supply is a concern many mothers share. However with a little Mother Nature and a little know how low milk supply, can for the most part, be solved. Nutrition, and herbs have been the keys for ages to boosting a mothers milk supply. As luck would have it the natural route is still the best path for a good milk supply ♡♡♡
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