There are a number of factors that can cause your milk supply to drop while breastfeeding. Some women struggle to produce enough from the start, while others notice a drop when they are stressed out, overly exhausted, get the return of their period, or baby decides quickly that they need more milk. No matter the reason in low milk supply, it is extremely frustrating for a breastfeeding mother!
It is important to talk to your Pediatrician, OB, or Lactation Consultant before trying anything new. It is also important to remember that every person is different, and what works for me, might not work for you. My body is all over the place when it comes to breastfeeding. There are times I make enough milk to feed the neighborhood, and times my baby ends up with a bottle because I can’t keep up for the day. Here are some tricks that have worked for me over the years.
- Relax or Get Some Sleep: That sounds easy right? You don’t have much going on. I used to get so mad when people would give me this tip, especially when I was feeding my third and had a 2 and 4 year old wrestling on top of me while breastfeeding. If the most you can do to relax is put on some calming music, and take deep breaths, that is what you do. Find anything you can to calm yourself and your surroundings, and hopefully your milk will flow better.
- Drink Water: Staying hydrated is a great for your body in general. You feel better. Your body functions better. And because of this, you can produce milk better. My Favorite Water Bottle
- Eat Oatmeal: This one is super simple. Steel Cut Oats worked the best for me. I used to make a large batch on Sunday and eat it throughout the week. I split it into small bowls so I could just grab one, add some fresh fruit, and get back to breastfeeding or pumping.
- Make Lactation Treats: There are many recipes for brownies, cookies, smoothies, or bars that are packed with nutrients to help aid in your milk supply. Oatmeal, Flaxseed, Chia Seed, and Brewer’s Yeast are a few common ingredients that are used. My Favorite Flaxseed (I keep this in the fridge to make it last longer)
- Buy Lactation Treats: What’s that? You don’t have time to get crafty in the kitchen? I get it! Instead of making treats, buy them. There are a number of awesome companies that focus only on snacks for increasing your milk supply. I am in love with Miracle Milkookies!
- Fenugreek: You can buy this in pill form, liquid form, or seed form for cooking. Fenugreek almost always worked for me within a day or two, but there are a few warnings I like to give with fenugreek. First, it makes you smell like maple syrup. Don’t panic when you can’t figure out where the pancake smell is coming from, because it is coming from your body. Second, this can cause gas and bloating. I had to be careful to not take it too long or my stomach would get upset. This can also come through in your milk causing baby to have an upset stomach as well. And third, some lactation consultants say it can actually decrease your milk supply. It could work for you, but if it is not, move on to the next thing.
- Essential Oils: Please do not use essential oils without having an expert help you get started. Essential oils are great, but if they are used incorrectly, they can be dangerous. I have enjoyed adding fennel and basil to recipes to give my milk a boost. If you aren’t interested in essential oils, use fresh fennel and basil in your meals.
- Drink Tea: There are some yummy lactation teas available for purchase. I love the taste of Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Milkmaid Tea. I get excited for the excuse to drink it. Shop Earth Mama Teas Here
- Get Support: This one is probably the most important. You need at least one person, but the more the merrier. Knowing that your partner believes in you and wants you to succeed can make a huge difference. Having someone to step in when you need a quick break can give you the moment to recharge that you need.
Believe in yourself and know that you are doing an amazing job! Breastfeeding can take a lot of work, but it is worth it. Go Momma Go!
*** If you are one of my dairy and soy free Mamas, try the Klean Kookies from Miracle Milkookies!
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