Whether you are a mom of twins like me, or have a singleton, there is a choice you make before you even set eyes on the most amazing creature you’ve ever seen. To nurse or formula feed. While I believe that our bodies produce the best supply of gourmet nutrients available, I also believe ever mother should choose what is right for her and her child.
I tried nursing my first child with no luck, or support, which led me to go straight to formula with my second child. When I found out I was pregnant with twins, I wanted to give nursing a try again, and had a bit more support that time around. I was able to nurse and supplement for three months, before having to go exclusively formula. My body just could not make enough milk supply for twins. The only reason I made it three months where tips to increase milk supply for nursing that nursing friends shared with me.
You may just be starting, or be well on your way to the perfect symbiotic relationship, when you reach a point that you NEED to increase your milk supply. This can happen for a number of reasons. Maybe you need to nurse multiples, maybe it is the imminent need to return to work looming overhead, maybe it is for an upcoming trip, or maybe your baby isn’t gaining as quickly as you or your pediatrician would like to see. No matter what the reason, there are some tried and true tips that can help you increase your milk supply.
5 Tips to Increase Milk Supply
1. Drink Up!
The best things to drink for increasing milk supply are good old fashion water, juice, milk and other non-caffeinated beverages. In order to be hydrated enough to be the dairy cows we need to be at this point, we need to fuel our bodies with liquid.
2. Herbal Supplements
I am not suggesting anything crazy here, these are all tried and true herbal supplements that you can either buy on Amazon, or at your local grocery. Mother’s Milk Tea is a great place to start; it has a bit of a licorice taste and is nicely accompanied by a sprinkle of sugar and splash of cream for richness. The tea is a smooth blend of anise, fennel and coriander and truly does help promote milk supply when taken 2-3 times a day. Fennel seeds are another great option and the bonus is that by mom consuming fennel, it can actually calm a colicky baby’s tummy, you can even purchase these candied and enjoy them on the go. Another is basil; try to incorporate the fresh herb into your diet for its milk enhancing benefits. Finally, if you like the smell of maple syrup, give Fenugreek a try.
3. Hoover Time
If you don’t already own a fantastic breast pump, now is the time to invest in one. A double pump will help you save time and energy. There are a number of ways to utilize the pump to increase your milk supply, most of it all boils down to supply and demand. When your body feels that you need more (i.e. the constant suckling of a new babe or the vacuum stimulation of a breast pump) your body will react by producing more. You can begin by pumping for 5 minutes before a feeding session and allowing your babe to dictate how much more beyond that your body needs to amp up to produce.
4. QUIET EVERYONE
Find a calm, quiet place. If this is your first baby, it likely won’t be too challenging, if this is a new baby born into a family with some other rambunctious littles, a little more challenge will exist. The simple physiology of it all is that stress impacts our let down and milk supply. If you feel rushed, frazzled or stressed you likely will not be able to produce as much for your little one. Be creative, take some deep breaths, employ some Netflix for the older ones while you nurse, whatever it takes so you can find your Zen to become like a dairy queen.
5. Massage Em’
Before nursing try a bit of self massage. Starting at the top of the breast and working your way towards the nipple use a warm compress or washcloth to massage your breasts which will help with relaxation and let down. Do this so that when baby is latched on, it is like the Hoover Dam just opened up and your little one will be gulping down like an athlete in a Gatorade commercial.
There you have it, now pick a tip and run with it so you can be a nursing champ and share all of your newfound wisdom with another mama!