Breastfeeding can be equally as frustrating as it is natural. If you are worried about your breast milk supply, a few simple changes can help. Here are 4 ways to boost your breast milk supply naturally!
A few varying factors can affect breast milk supply. Sometimes, it is simply a matter of supply and demand. In those cases, increasing the frequency can also help increase the supply. Other causes of low breast milk production include hormones, medications, incorrect latch and more. A lactation consultant can help with a variety of these issues.
The good news is, there are a few things you can do to help yourself. They are both natural and easy:
Drink plenty of water
Drinking more water will not increase your milk supply, but being dehydrated will decrease it. Nursing moms should drink about 128 ounces of fluids per day. That may sound like a lot, but it’s not as difficult as you might think. The good news is that it doesn’t all have to be water. All of your healthy fluids can count toward this goal, including:
- Decaffeinated coffee or tea
- Fruit or vegetable juice
- Fruits & vegetables
Of course you will want to avoid sugary drinks, caffeinated drinks, soda and alcohol.
Eat a balanced diet
You’re probably feeling hungrier than usual now that your nursing. That’s because breastfeeding can burn 300-500 calories a day. You may be concerned about getting back to your pre-pregnancy weight as quickly as you can, but this is not the time to cut back on calories. Make sure to give your body what it and your baby need by making smart, healthy dietary choices. Foods rich in protein will help with milk production. Limit caffeine, alcohol and seafood consumption, especially seafood that is high in mercury
FUN FACT: “Eating a variety of different foods while breast-feeding will change the flavor of your breast milk. This will expose your baby to different tastes, which might help him or her more easily accept solid foods down the road.” – Mayo Clinic
Lactation tea/herbal tea has traditionally been used to help mothers support their production of breast milk and to promote healthy lactation. Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother’s Milk Tea contains herbs like fennel, anise (which give the tea a sweet, licorice-like taste), coriander and fenugreek. The herbs in this tea are galactagogues, which comes from the Greek word “galactos,” meaning “milk” and “agogue,” which means “bringer of.” Women have been successfully using these herbs for centuries to help them breastfeed. Each sip is like stepping into a tradition that has been passed down from woman to woman for hundreds of years.
Yes, it’s true. The more you pump, the more milk your body produces. If you’ve gone back to work and have noticed a decrease in your supply, you might want to give pumping a try. Try to schedule 2-3 (10-15 minutes each) pumping breaks during an 8-hour work day. Also, stick with it. The more you continue to pump, the faster and easier it will get.
Overall, remember not to compare yourself to other moms. Every woman’s body is different. With some care and practice, you can increase your breastmilk supply naturally! Have more tips for other nursing moms? Leave us your feedback in the comments.