Breastfeeding is an amazing thing for your baby and you. So keep up the good work :)
Every nursing mother has a fear of not having enough milk for their baby. It is a natural fear. I have nursed 3 children, and currently nursing our new baby girl and I always worry about milk supply as I have gone back to work. Our fears are easily explainable as we can't know for sure how much baby is getting. I often hear many mothers say they weaned or switched to formula because of lack of supply.So, I am offering up what I know about milk supply.
There are many factors that can decrease our milk supply, and the first way to protect it is to know what affects it.
A few things known to decrease milk supply is:
- Not taking in enough fluids.
- Not nursing or pumping often enough or long enough.
- Smoking and alcohol.
- Supplementing with formula or water and offering pacifiers.
So now that we know things that decrease our milk, let's talk about ways to protect your supply.
- Nurse often!!! I am a huge believer in nursing on demand. Regardless of if baby is using you as a pacifier, he is sending a message to the breast for more! It is a supply and demand. Some babies are "frequent flyers" and may nurse 8-12 times a day but it's OK! This does not mean your milk supply is low, breastmilk is very easily digested and they could just be hungry again. Babies nurse for comfort as well. The best way to know if baby is getting enough is to see if he is growing. *Take note that breastmilk babies are "typically" not as chubby as formula fed babies as most of the milk is absorbed. Are they having wet diapers and having a bowel movement?
- If away from baby for longer than 4 hours -pump. I keep a hand pump in the car and take one to work. I can be done in 10 minutes. Easy and ensures the demand is heard.
- DRINK FLUIDS!! Your milk is primarily made up of water- so it is directly affected by your intake or lack thereof water. Drink your 8 glasses and then some. This speeds up mom weight loss too!
- Take nice deep breaths while nursing as it helps with let down. While we can not take away stress easily, while nursing remember to soak in the moment and breath.
- Avoid supplementing with anything. Babies do not need water to drink- you are more than enough for them. Pacifiers have been linked to low supply issues. Supply and demand.
- Eat a well balanced meal and get some sleep. I know easier said than done.
Now, say your milk is low and you want to increase it or you want to keep it at the point it is- here are more tips and tricks from this breastfeeding mama!
- Eat oatmeal for breakfast- or make them into cookies! Some sites will say this does not help but I did this throughout my baby's NICU stay and it helped keep my supply up. REAL OATS- like steel oats :)
- Take Fenugreek- You can take up to 6 capsules a day- 2 capsules 3 times daily. I take 6 caps on the days I work- and notice right away when I have forgotten
- Other herbs known to increase milk supply is Blessed Thistle, Alfalfa, and fennel. You can talk with your Dr or lactation consultant about dosing. Earth Mama Angel Baby has great milk hot teas with Fenugreek!
- Delay solids. Breastfed babies do not need to start solids at an early age like formula fed babies as they are getting all their nutrients in our milk. I have started all my babies on solids at 9mths+.
- Pump after baby is done. You can send that demand message to the breast by pumping a few minutes after baby has finished. Pump 2-5 minutes after you have stopped producing milk. This sends the message that we need more.
- Contact your local La Leche League for support.
As a busy breastfeeding mom of 4, I don't always have the time to boil a cup of Fenugreek tea and I am not always in the mood for a hot cup. I was so excited to come across Mamatini. Say what?
These are ready made drinks for breastfeeding mamas like us! Mamatini's are organic lactation teas that are portable and delicious! It is designed to increase milk supply, promote faster let down, and replenish nutrients. Available in a lemon ginger flavor, it is light and refreshing!
I'll get to the tea in a minute but I love the glass bottle! Recycleable or reuseable! Each bottle has only 20 calories in these little cute bottles! This lactation tea contains fenugreek to help increase milky supply and tons of nutrients like vitamins A,B,C,and D. Those nutrients help support the postpartum body and increasing the nutrients passed along to baby.
Mamatini also contains fennel, chamomile, and ginger which help soothe tummies- ya know like colicky baby bellies!YAY!
I have to say the first sip has a weird aftertaste if your not a fan of ginger, but after that its light and refreshing and very tasty! be sure to shake it up well to mix up all the herbs!
BONUS: Mamatini is FSA eligible! You can read more here.
ORDER MAMATINI: *Mamatini's are so great that they are on backorder! If your trying to order keep checking in or sign up for their email newsletter for an update on when they are stocked! I am waiting for another shipment!
I hope you found this post helpful- SHARE with other breastfeeding mamas and as always encourage and support the next mama you see!
Disclaimer: I am no Dr, so please check with your Dr before starting an herbal supplements. This is just what works for me and my family. I was provided a case of Mamatini for a review, but I have provided my honest opinion.