If you are a breastfeeding momma, you probably know that milk supply can go up and down depending on many factors. Many times, I have used these tricks to increase my milk supply. Keep in mind, it normally takes 24–48 hours to see a change in your milk supply.
Baby on the Breast
First of all, the absolute best thing for milk supply is putting the baby on the breast. The baby’s saliva and latch helps stimulate your breast the best and helps your body to produce more milk. Even if you do not have a lot of milk, make sure you still get your baby latched to your breasts first.
Set a Routine
When the baby is first born, the best way to help your milk to come in is to feed the baby every two hours around the clock. The time should begin from the start of the first feeding to the start of the next feeding. Even if the feeding takes 45 minutes! For example, if the first feeding is 2:00–2:45, the next feeding should begin at 4:00.
As part of the routine, it is important to ensure the baby is well rested. In order to do so, keep feedings to less than 20 minutes on each side, as long as the baby is vigorously sucking. After the feeding, if the baby is still fussy and you know he/she extracted milk during the feeding, they are most likely tired. Resist the urge to put the baby back to the breast and try to soothe the baby to sleep. Remember, the baby is learning too. This is hard work, so try to get the baby to rest at least one hour between feeds (specifically for newborns).
If you feel your supply is low, pump after each feeding. This will create more stimulation to your breasts and tell your body it needs to produce more milk at that specific time of day. The Haakaa, or a manual silicone breast pump, is another great way to build milk supply. Attaching the haakaa to the opposite breast during feedings helps catch letdown. This way, you are not wasting any milk, and I believe it also helps increase milk supply.
Rest and Oxytocin
Rest as much as possible as your body is healing from birth. Take time to snuggle your sweet new baby as well. Both rest and oxytocin are great for building your milk supply.
Taking a prenatal vitamin is not only helpful during pregnancy, but it can also increase milk supply. Drinking red raspberry leaf tea is also great for your milk.
Eat and drink at EVERY feeding
Speaking of nutrition, it is so important that you keep up your calories by eating and drinking at EVERY feeding. A great way to do this is set up a nursing station with your haakaa, burp cloths, nipple butter, nursing pads, snacks, drinks, and any other essentials for nursing!
Some great snacks include:
Milk cookies (*will type up the recipe below)
Almonds or other nuts
Apple and nut butter
Kale chips (or anything Kale! My favorite way to eat kale is adding it to soups!)
Plenty of Water
And my obsession: Low Sugar Gatorade
I hope these tricks work for you as well as they have worked for me. Breastfeeding can be very challenging, but it is oh-so rewarding. Stick to it! You’ve got this momma!
*Milk Cookie Recipe
1.5 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant)
1/4 cup Flax
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup Chopped Almonds (Optional)
1. Heat oven to 350°F
2. In large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs until creamy.
3. In medium bowl, mix flour, oats, flax, baking soda and salt. Stir into butter mixture. Stir in semi-sweet chocolate chips and chopped almonds.
4. Drop from 1 tbsp measure onto lightly greased baking sheet.
5. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.
You can honestly use any cookie recipe, but reduce the butter by a third and add ¼ cup of flax. We also only use one egg in our cookies! You can add any ingredients that you would like. Some great ingredients for milk supply are, pureed pumpkin, chopped almonds, shredded coconut, oatmeal, and dried fruit.