Breastfeeding does not come easy for me. With both Hazel and Iris, I had to start supplementing when they were only weeks old. My body just doesn’t produce enough milk. It was really discouraging for me at first. I had planned on exclusively breastfeeding for a year, and it never even crossed my mind that it might not be possible. Everyone says giving birth and breastfeeding are what women’s bodies were made to do…but apparently not mine since I’ve had two c-sections (breech babies) and have struggled with breastfeeding with both my girls. Ha!
I reached out to my Instagram community for their advice and support with breastfeeding, and got a ton of amazing tips to help increase my milk supply. A few people asked if I could share all the tips I received, so I thought I’d put it together in a blog post 🙂
- Drink a lot of water: Your body needs water in order to produce milk.
- Drink Mothers Milk Tea: Have it with your favorite cookie for a little treat.
- Drink OatMILK
- Drink Fennel Tea
- Eat/Snack Often: Your body also needs food in order to produce milk.
- Oatmeal (add brewers yeast and ground flax for added support)
- Boobie Bars
- Nuts: a good healthy fat
- Eat a lot of carbs
- Sunflower Lecithin: It comes in a powder or pill form, and helps lubricate the milk to come out better.
- Moringa Powder: Add it to your smoothies or oatmeal.
- Milkflow Powder: Mix it with water, juice, or add it to a smoothie.
- Premama Lactation Support: Pour it in a tall glass of water and drink up.
- Make these lactation cookies for an easy snack to grab.
- 2 ripened bananas (smashed)
- 1 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 3 tbs honey
- Optional: add any nuts you like, and/or a couple scoops of peanut butter
- Mix ingredients together and roll into balls. Then smash flat on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes 🙂
- Or Try This Lactation Cookie Recipe: https://www.howsweeteats.com/2015/02/lactation-cookies/
- Try Lengendairy Supplements
- Euphoric Herbals makes great teas and supplements for increasing milk supply. Try Milk Machine and Dairy Diva. Use the code “DELOIS” for 15% off your order!
- Take Let There Be Milk Drops Daily
- Fenugreek: Take 3-4 fenugreek pills 3 times a day. My lactation specialist said fenugreek works for some people and doesn’t work for others, but it’s worth a try to see if it does work for you.
- Fennel + Basil Essential Oil: Put 10 drops of each in a roller bottle topped with coconut oil, roll around breasts (well away from where baby latches) in a circle immediately after nursing. (email me if you’re interested in purchasing some).
- Nurse a lot. The more you nurse the more you produce. Actual nursing produces more than pumping because the baby’s suck is so much stronger.
- Have a Nurse-In: Undress yourself and the baby, and do a lot of skin-to-skin. Let your baby nurse as much as he/she wants.
- Take A Bath Together: do skin-to-skin and nurse while you’re in the tub.
- Pump after each nursing session to tell your body to make more milk.
- Power Pumping: Pump for 1 hour in 10 minute sessions (10 minutes on and 10 minutes off).
- Empty Your Breast With Each Feeding/Pumping: The more you “empty your breasts”, your body will know it’s time to produce larger quantities.
- Start Pumping in the Hospital: You won’t get much, if anything, out of those first few days of pumping, but it is a huge help to your supply later on. According to my lactation specialist, studies show that women who start pumping in the hospital before their milk has even come in, will have a larger milk supply later on.
- Make sure the latch is good.
- Try as much as you can to not stress (easy to say I know).
For any of you moms who are also struggling with breastfeeding and milk supply, know that you are not alone. It can be a very emotional journey and pumping can definitely takes it’s toll on you mentally. I’m not a success story when it comes to breastfeeding, so don’t feel bad or beat yourself up if you aren’t either. While implementing these tips does increase my supply, it hasn’t increased it enough for me to exclusively breastfeed (I went from pumping out barely enough to cover the bottom of the bottle to pumping 1 ounce on a good pump session…a big improvement, but still not enough to feed a growing baby). It’s totally ok to supplement with formula. With Hazel, I made it to 11 weeks breastfeeding and supplementing before I dried up. Iris is 6 weeks old and I’m currently breastfeeding and supplementing. My goal is to make it at least as far as I did with Hazel. Always remember, fed is best!
**Be sure to check with your doctor before taking any supplements.