Are you wishing to breastfeed your baby as much as possible, for as long as possible, but finding that you’re having problems with your supply? Look no further than these handy tips.
Hydrate regularly with healthy, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated drinks. I know this may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s really effective! Aim for about 11-12 glasses (250mL each) a day.
Breastfeed as much as possible
Milk supply corresponds with milk demand – in other words, the more you feed, the more milk you will produce. Even if you feel like you’ve dried up for that feed, keep the baby suckling anyway as this reflex will stimulate increased milk production in the longer run.
Pump it pump it nice and hard
If your baby isn’t up to the task (that little slacker), don’t be afraid to enlist in the help of a trusty breast pump. You can pump right after a feed, ensuring that both breasts are drained of milk, and then continue for another few minutes. You can also use the pump in between feeds – even if you don’t think you’re producing milk at all – as the pumping will simulate suckling and therefore stimulate milk production.
Make sure the baby (and/or breast pump) takes both boobs
Alternate as evenly as possible between your breasts during feeding and/or pumping.
Also known as ‘kangaroo care’, skin-to-skin contact with your baby is known to help increase milk supply as well encourage bonding between mama and baby. So the next time you feed, shed your layers (except for undies, unless you’re feeling very brave), strip off bub’s layers (except for the nappy, unless you’re feeling very, very, very brave), cuddle up and feed away.
Add the following foods to your diet
Now we get to the really fun part – eating! There are certain foods that help promote the production of milk, and they are surprisingly easy to add to your usual dining repertoire (if they’re not already there).
Here is a list of ‘lactogenic’ foods that promote a healthy supply.
Barley has the highest concentration of beta-glucan, which is known to increase breastfeeding hormone levels. You can easily add this into your existing diet by throwing some whole barley into your soups and salads!
Barley malt syrup is a lovely, sweet alternative that has some of the benefits of barley. You can find this at health food stores and use it as a natural sweeter for your hot chocolate or cakes.
After barley, oats are the richest dietary source of beta-glucan. Have some for brekky or make some yummy oat cookies.
Naturally rich in beta-glucans, whole wheat and brown rice should be worked into your diet as much as possible, not just for the purposes of increasing milk supply but also for the sake of your general health.
Honorable mentions: Papaya, apricot, garlic, sesame seed, poppy seed, brewer’s yeast.
What food/drinks to avoid while breastfeeding
Alcohol blocks the release of oxytocin, and this will inhibit the number of ‘letdowns’ a breastfeeding mother has.
Certain herbs such as parsley, sage, peppermint and menthol
You’d have to consume a large amount of these for them to have any significant impact on your milk production, so don’t worry too much. Just be mindful of their presence in your everyday foods.
Chasteberry supplements, which are sometimes used to reduce painful engorgement in breastfeeding mothers, may also have the unintended effect of reducing milk supply.
AN EXTREMELY YUMMY LACTATION COOKIE RECIPE
Want a delicious boobie bikkie recipe to keep your milk flowing while at the same time giving you much needed sustenance? Check out these yummy coconut and choc chip cookies!
- 1 egg, large
- 1.25 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 packed cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons brewer’s yeast
- 1 tbsp flax seed
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut (plus extra for topping, if desired)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (plus optional extra for topping)
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper
- Mix the flax seed and water together in a small bowl and set aside
- Combine butter and sugars in a large bowl using an electric mixer, until pale and smooth
- Add the egg and vanilla. Mix on high until creamy.
- Stir in the flax mixture.
- In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the flour, yeast, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Add this flour mixture to the butter mixture and and beat on low speed. Fold in the chocolate chips, coconut and oats.
- Roll 2 tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on the baking tray, flattening the balls slightly.
- Sprinkle with leftover coconut and choc chips, if desired
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden.
For more sweetie goodness, here are some more boobie biccy recipes.