Friday, March 8, 2013

Increasing Your Milk Supply

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A few days ago I mentioned in a post that I could not nurse my first child like I wanted to. So, this time around I made it a point to do all I could to be able to nurse my baby girl. With my first, I assumed I would be able to nurse easily but I learned quick that it is a learned process. It's not an effortless art to everyone. So this time, I set my mind to it, I prayed, and then I turned to the God-given foods and herbs within arm's reach to help me out.

There are lots of things people say to do. For example:

  • Nurse often. In the first few weeks especially, your baby will need to suck often. As hard as it is on your body (and your sanity!), you need to let them nurse as much as they want. Why? The more your little one nurses, the more milk you will produce. From one who is less than four weeks in, I will tell you that the days are long and the nights are hard. Sometimes you may feel like all you do is feed your baby, but it will pass. ---and I say this to encourage myself too.
  • Eat and eat healthy. Breastfeeding moms need an extra 500 calories on top of the 1800-2000 calories they operate on a day. It's been said that if your body is making milk, it is the equivalent of running a marathon! So...we need sustenance. If you're hungry, EAT. And though you can indulge in a milkshake and Dove chocolate, it's important to eat as healthy as possible. Whatever you eat, baby eats.
  • Pump. Invest in a good pump. Preferably a double electric pump. If you pump after your baby nurses, it will send messages telling your body to produce more. Plus, as you make more milk, you will be able to store it which will allow others to feed your baby and give you a break. Double win. :)
If you're like me when I had my first, those three things may not be enough. So here are a few more ways to boost your milk supply.
  • Mother's Milk Tea by Traditional Medicinals is something I purchased right before my baby girl was born. It is a sweet and spicy, slightly bitter-tasting tea that is full of herbs like fennel and coriander.  Personally, I'm not fond of the taste and so I add honey and lemon to it. But it's worth it and it may be tasty to you.
  • As I posted the other day, Lactation cookies are a delicious way to boost your milk supply. Courtesy of Pinterest, and tasty as all get out, these cookies are AH-MAZE-ING.
  • If you read my post on pregnancy supplements, you will remember my singing the praises of Red Raspberry Leaves. Along with providing relief for women who have painful or heavy periods, and strengthening the uterus and prepping the body for childbirth, Red Raspberry Leaves also aid in milk supply.
  • Fenugreek capsules is something I tried after my first was born but I think I was too far gone by that time and I gave up. This time, I began taking Fenugreek immediately after my baby girl was born and slowly increased the dosage. Many women claim to see a significant increase in their milk production in the first 24-72 hours!
There is much more you can look into and try. Oatmeal, Blessed Thistle, Alfalfa, papaya, Flax, water, spinach, carrots, Hummus, apricots - there are lots of foods and herbal supplements available that will help us, lactating mothers, produce more! Happy lactating! :)

1 comment:

Mary nesbitt Bush said...

How has it been going? Even with fenugreek and oatmeal, I struggled and struggled. I finally just gave up. :(

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