Can I Increase My Milk Supply?
Are you in the process of nursing your babe and feel that your milk supply is decreasing or that you're not continuing to produce as much as you need to feed your hungry baby?
Is it just game over once you start to feel things taper off? Or are there some other things that you can do to increase your production.
Can I increase my milk supply?
Absolutely! There are tons of things that mamas swear by that help to keep their milk flowing, and here are a few that might help you if you're struggling.
Pumping and Nursing
If you're trying your best to get your production up, you should definitely consider pumping. The simple truth is the more that you stimulate your breasts, the more you will produce. So if you're breastfeeding, maybe mix in pumping a couple times a day. Whether you decide to use an electric pump for the hands-free convenience, or go with a hand pump, even just a few minutes in between feedings will help increase your milk. I loved using a hand pump while I was nursing because it kept my supply up, and it gave me some milk to use for bottles if I was headed out without the baby for a little bit. If you don't want to pump, you can also increase the number of times you breastfeed throughout the day. If you're currently nursing 3-4 times/day, maybe try upping it to 5-6
Supplements and TeaThere are a couple different things that are shown to increase your supply. I used fenugreek with both my babies when I felt like I was starting to slow down in production and it worked like a charm! It has a funny side effect of making you smell like maple syrup while you're taking it, but other than that, it worked great for me! As long as you can get used to smelling like an IHOP for a little while, you're good! There are also a couple of different teas that mamas recommend for increasing your supply. A popular one called Mother's Milk has things like fennel, thistle, and fenugreek-- all good things for increasing your breastmilk.
This happens a lot with nursing mamas, because we get to a certain point where we want to lose that weight that we gained while pregnant. If you're not one of those blessed women who loses it all just by straight up nursing, you probably started dieting a little bit and maybe exercising more. Calories are essential for breastmilk production, so when we start to eat less and burn more, in addition to nursing, our production will drop. I recommend if you're trying to lose the baby weight while you're nursing, then make all the calories count by eating foods like dark greens, whole grains, protein, and tons of water. A couple things that are great to include in your diet: oatmeal and flax, beans and lean meats, and dark leafy greens. Don't count calories and don't worry about dieting, but just make sure that you're eating all the good stuff-- if you're doing that, then chances are you're going to be losing weight and be able to produce what you need for babe.