Tuesday, 16 August 2016

How To Increase Your Milk Supply


I’m currently nursing my 5 week old baby and I’ve always struggled on how to increase milk supply in order to create an "emergency freezer stash". I've had similar problems with all 3 girls and I have tried countless ways to increase my milk supply.

I am not a doctor or lactation consultant. Please talk to your doctor before you begin any supplements or dietary changes while nursing.

1. Drinking Water

I can not stress enough that staying hydrated is a key into increasing your supply! Remember that you need extra water while breastfeeding to support your body. The easiest way I've found to do this is to ALWAYS have a drink on the go. I fill up 3 bottles of water and place them in the fridge so I can have a cold drink on me at all times. I also have a pint glass by the kitchen sink that everytime I walk into to kitchen, will drink and refill. 
I've heard that you should drink 1oz of water for every 1lb of body weight (as a rough guide)

2. Fenugreek

Fenugreek is a dietary supplement that comes in pill form. You can buy it most health food stores such as Holland and Barrett. It's recommended that nursing mothers take 2-4 capsules, 3 times per day. You can also buy a fenugreek herbal tea which doesn't taste too bad and does the same job. Fenugreek usually helps boost your supply within 2 to 3 days which is brilliant if you need to do plenty of stash building pumping!

3. Coconut Water

This one comes highly recommended by lactation consultants as it helps boost hydration while providing plenty of health benefits. Coconut in general is really good during breastfeeding however I've found that the water helps plenty! 

4. Lactation Cookies

One of my favorites! Not only do these help boost your supply, they taste yummy!! 
I shall just leave this here... 

5. Power Pumping

This is basically where once you've fed baby, pump on the same boob for 10 minutes after. It makes your boob think that baby is still feeding and therefore needs to produce more milk than what it has. It'll also drain any milk out that baby didn't get out. You can also pump for 10 minutes, break for 15 minutes, pump for 10 minutes and so on just to increase supply and demand.

6. Lactation Smoothie

I know a lot of what I've said is about drinking but it is such a major role in increasing your supply! And who could say no to a yummy fruit smoothie? 

7. Sleep

Although this may sound completely impossible with a newborn, sleep can be a big part of successfully breastfeeding. Not much advice to give here but get it whenever you can!

8. Brewers Yeast

Yep, this is one of the magic ingredients in the lactation cookies recipe but brewers yeast is also used to make beer not that I'm recommending that. However you could also add it to smoothies and such. Surprisingly, I've recently found out that you can also purchase Brewers Yeast in capsules from health shops however I have never tried these so although I've heard good things, I can't give my honest opinions on them.

9. Eat Your Greens

Sounds simple. During breastfeeding you burn off an extra 300-500kcal a day compared to not breastfeeding. This means generally, your body requires more food while breastfeeding but not empty calories but foods that are healthy and packed with vitamins and minerals. It's also recommended to eat little and often to help.

10. Gatorade/ Powerade

I've heard loads of mothers say that gatorade is a miracle worker for upping their supply and until recently, I'd never tried it but I have to say... I have been converted! Although these are branded as a sports drink, it's more to do with the electrolytes and hydration when it comes to your supply. I've both sipped throughout the day and drank in one go and it has the same effect regardless of the timescale you consume it in. 

How do I know if my breast milk supply has increased?

If you're pumping, it will be much easier to measure the increase. If you are exclusively breast feeding from the boob, you should see and feel a difference in the fullness of your breasts. 
You may need to wear breastpads when trying out the methods above to contain the extra leakage you may experience.
Philips Avent do a breast pad that collects any leakage that you have to store. Check these out here. 


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