From the beginning of my pregnancy, I always knew I wanted to breastfeed. What I didn't know was that breastfeeding is far from "easy". Frequent feedings, Baby's latch might not be right, baby might be fussy, your milk supply might be low amongst so many other things... it’s a true labor of love. Heavy on the labor.
Milk is produced as your baby feeds. When your breasts are drained, you're telling your body to produce more milk. When you don't feed/pump frequently, you're telling your body that it doesn't need to produce milk. If your baby feeds from a bottle, or if you’re away at work, it's important to try pump as frequently as you can— around the same time as your baby feeds. That way you're telling your body to produce more milk for the next feed.
When Cai feeds expressed milk from a bottle, it’s important that I pump to one, prevent being engorged and two, to let my body know it needs to produce more milk for the next time he feeds. But sometimes it doesn’t happen like that lol. and my milk supply has suffered the consequence.
During my journey when my milk supply dips, I've found a few ways to increase my supply.
Water- this may seem obvious, but Water is soooo important. I typically try to drink at least 5-6 water bottles a day.
Oatmeal - Oatmeal is a great source to produce breastmilk. When my milk supply is low, I usually eat oatmeal in the morning and at night with a tablespoon of flaxseeds and drizzle honey on top. It's a great breakfast/snack option and it's yummy.
Flaxseeds - have estrogenic properties that help breastfeeding moms produce more milk.
Garlic— I found this gem out on accident. I was eating garlic to boost my immune system and a few hours later my breasts were FULL! I later searched and found that garlic also helps boost milk supply. NOTE— do be careful. It is said that garlic can trigger colic.
Another fav snack has been smoothies! I usually add a tablespoon of flaxseeds to my smoothie recipe when my milk supply is low and it gets the job done. (be sure to blend it up really well so that it’s smooth!
The list above has been very beneficial for me. I've gone from pumping 2 oz on each side (during a dip) to pumping 8 oz the next morning after eating oatmeal + flaxseeds. Oh and my water!
CURRENT SMOOTHIE RECIPE—
1/2 cup of peaches
1/2 cup of strawberries
1/2 cup of pineapple Or mango orrr BOTH if you’re feeling fancy
1 1/2 cup of orange juice or passion fruit mango juice
1 tablespoon of flaxseeds
*optional* orange sherbet
blend until smoothie texture. add more liquid if needed.
If you’re struggling with breastfeeding/ milk supply, or just need some helpful advice, one of my favorite lactation resources is @milkymamallc on Instagram. They provide tips and tricks as well as a variety of yummy treats to increase milk supply. (I haven’t had the chance to try them yet)