We’ve talked about getting support during breastfeeding. Lets talk about how to produce more milk especially if you have low production or even pump. Producing breastmilk is a supply and demand business, the more you nurse the more you will produce. This means exclusively breastfeeding without supplementation as much as you can. So if you are preparing to go back to work, establishing your supply first is your best chance for success.
The first few weeks of breastfeeding help your body adjust to how much your individual baby or babies need. So take this time to rest and not rush through feeds, your baby will need to nurse every 2-3 hours during this time, so rest while you can. In a time when many people want you to put your baby on a schedule, nursing on demand is helpful as an exclusively breastfed baby will tend to eat more often than a formula fed baby.
When my firstborn was brand new, a seasoned mom told me to sit down with a glass of water every time you nurse. Having a glass of water helps replenish your fluids and helps prevent dehydration. Many women say drinking Gatorade or other sports drink was very helpful in increasing their production. Because I prefer things more natural I used my labour-aide recipe instead of a commercial brand. Making sure you have enough fluids is the first step to insuring a good production. Find yourself a reusable water bottle, and Drink up!
Being sure to eat enough is also helpful for keeping your milk supply up. Making sure you get a variety of nutrient dense foods is extremely important. Over the years I have come across different foods that help you produce more milk, some of these are well known, others I was excited to see as they are my favourites. (see chart below). Try and incorporate some of these foods into your diet to increase production. You can even make lactation cookies if you are craving something sweet. One of my quick and easy go-to’s is a Juice Plus Complete shake, they are filled with 11 fruits and veggies and you can sip while nursing.
In addition to making sure you are getting enough fluids and eating right, there are other supplements you can use. Some work better than others or work for some women but not everyone. You are welcome to check them out.
*** Check with your provider or an IBCLC before taking any supplement***