Breastfeeding can sometimes be hard enough without having to worry about your milk supply drying up or not producing enough to satisfy your little one. Here are some great do’s and don’t to help you boost your milk supply. Along with some things to avoid that can cause it to slow.
First let’s start with the things that you will want to avoid while breastfeeding.
- Stress: There is a reasons doctors always ask “Are you under a lot of stress lately?” Because it affects our entire bodies, so your milk supply can suffer also. Try to do something to relax and give yourself a break.
- Poor Latch: If the baby is not latching properly they are also not getting a lot of milk at each feeding. Which causes your body to think that it has produced enough.
- Alcohol: Alcohol suppresses lactation. It also transfers to your bloodstream and therefore your milk. It takes 30 to 90 minutes after your last drink for your milk to be clear of the alcohol.
- Nicotine: Heavy smoking can affect your supply as well. Not to mention it’s terrible for your baby. It causes low weight, colic, and respiratory infections. JUST DON”T DO IT.
- Decongestants / Antihistamines: Both of these are made to “dry you out” that also means your milk! These can cause it to lower milk supply very fast in some cases so unless you are just have unbearable allergies try to tough it out.
- Birth Control: Your doctor wouldn’t advise you being on any birth control while you are nursing but if they did it would be Progestin only. It’s on the “Probably safe” list. But you should avoid Estrogen types of birth control.
So those are some things that may be causing your low milk supply. Here are some ways to boost your milk supply aside from having your baby nurse as much as possible. Even if it seems nothing is coming out keep your baby at the breast for physical stimulation.
- Water: Drink tons of water! Your body needs it to make milk. When you are feeling “low” drink ’til you’re swimming!
- Fenugreek: The best way to get this is in a Tea. There is one you can find in your grocery store in the natural foods section called Mother’s Milk Tea. You can also find Red Raspberry Tea.
- Brewers Yeast: You can drink a beer a day and you’ll see a huge difference. But if you don’t like beer you can get Brewer’s Yeast tablets or powder to add to food.
- Flax Seed / Oatmeal: Eat a bowl of oatmeal, easy! Check out the recipe below for a yummy way to boost your supply.
- Reglan: If the above natural forms don’t work ask your doctor about taking Reglan. It is a prescription that also help boost your milk supply.
Here is a great recipe for Lactation Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I made these from my regular Chocolate Chip recipe but with the main milk boosting ingredients.
1 Cup (2 sticks) of Butter softened
1 Cup Sugar
3/4 Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Flax Seed Meal
2-4 Tbsp Brewer’s Yeast* (see my note below)
2 Cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
3 Cups Rolled Oats
Bag of Chocolate Chips
6-8 Tbsp Water*
*Depending on how low your milk supply is will depend on how much Brewer’s Yeast you should put in. If you use 4 Tbsp it will be more bitter. Make sure your Brewer’s Yeast is “Reduced Bitterness” or try using a little more sugar to balance this. The water will also depend on this as well. This dough is very dry so adding water helps.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl mix your softened butter, eggs, sugars, and vanilla extract together. After it is well blended add in your flax seed meal and brewer’s yeast. Then fold in your oats.
Combine flour, salt and baking soda to your mix. You will need some water to soften up this mix so start with 4 Tbsp and work your way up one tbsp at a time until it is a good consistency. Lastly, add your chocolate chips.
I pumped for 8 months with the Big JaMonkey so I had lots of trouble making enough milk. These are all things that I have done and experienced first hand with breastfeeding. My Lactation Cookies were made with Whole Wheat Flour so they are darker than your cookies will be. If you have any question feel free to leave me a comment or contact me and I would be happy to answer.