Tips when struggling with milk supply

If you’re struggling with milk supply or just having a hard time getting ahead of your supply for storage, here are some tips and tricks that may work for you.

Fluids
Staying hydrated is literally the most important thing when it comes to creating a sufficient breastmilk supply. Water is the best thing, but if you’re anything like me, you can only drink so much water before the taste becomes blah. I suggest spicing up your water with lemon, fruits, etc. I buy the frozen mixed berries and put them in my water (they serve as “ice” to keep it cold too!)
You can also drink Gatorade too, it works great for me and I know a lot of my breastfeeding mom friends who swear by Gatorade.

Power pumping
I’m sure you’ve heard of this term a million times but seriously, do it. By power pumping it stimulates more milk production.
I recommend trying power pumping by:
pump for 10-15 minutes,
break for 10 minutes,
pump for 10-15 minutes,
break for 10 minutes,
pump for 10-15 minutes.
Try doing this 2-3 times a day for a few days.
If you’re like me, you’re a busy mom and maybe hate pumping (I sure do), but it will help increase milk production. Do it for your little munchkin.

Whole grains/Steel cut oats
I don’t know what it is about the steel-cut oats, but they work wonders. I’m sure a balanced diet (which includes the whole grains) makes a huge difference on your milk supply.
My “mom friends” swear by this stuff- make them into a smoothie, or cookies (look up lactation cookie recipes).

Brewers yeast/supplements
I have never tried the brewers yeast myself, but my other nursing mom friends swear by this stuff too. If you’re really struggling with supply I would suggest giving it a try. You should be able to find it at your local grocery store or vitamin store.

These are just a few “tried and true” methods for increasing milk supply.
Especially with the pumping I know it seems like your whole life revolves around pumping and that you don’t have time for anything else but don’t forget who you’re doing it for! 😉

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding isn’t always for every mother. It takes work, and it takes dedication and sometimes (like me) there are sacrifices you have to make in order to be successful with breastfeeding.

For example, I LOVE dairy products. LOVE LOVE LOVE milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. Well a few weeks into my breastfeeding journey I realized my baby girl was getting the worst bellyaches from the milk protein in my system. I knew right away that I couldn’t give up breastfeeding. So, I gave up dairy instead. But I have found many different non-dairy substitutions for all the things I love (Ben & Jerry’s even makes a non-dairy ice cream! Eeeek!)

Anyways, back into some of the basics of breastfeeding, breastmilk, etc.

I hope that if you choose to breastfeed, you have the support from the people around you like I do. That’s the first step. You have to be comfortable with doing it. You can choose to cover (or not). I choose not to cover, but there are ways (with practice) to master the art of nursing without exposing your nipple for the world to see. Luckily, I am confident enough in myself that I nurse in public and don’t care about anyone else’s opinion. Breastfeeding is literally what our bodies are MADE TO DO.

If feeding your infant is offensive to someone- they have the problem, not you.

Breastmilk is literally liquid gold.

During pregnancy, your body starts making what is called “colostrum” almost right away. You won’t likely see it until you give birth and the baby gets this colostrum (unless your an overproducer like a friend of mine, and myself). I started leaking milk around 36ish weeks. It wasn’t much so don’t worry you won’t soak through your shirt or anything.

I knew right away that I wanted to breastfeed when I found out I was pregnant. I couldn’t afford formula (I was already on my own at that point), and plus I wanted the bond with my baby. I reached out to anyone and everyone I could to get enough information and make sure I could be successful in my breastfeeding journey. Reach out to your local Women, Infant and Children (WIC) office. Most of them should have a breastfeeding peer counselor. I found an amazing counselor that I talked to when I was less than 3 months pregnant. She gave me so much good information.

Breastmilk has all that good nutrient stuff that is so beneficial for you and for your baby. It has so much more than formula (although my motto is “fed is best” so I’m happy with either route you take). It has all the nutrients and antibodies, antigens, etc. to make your baby get a really good start on nutrition. It can reduce the baby’s risk of type 1 diabetes, childhood obesity, sickness, etc. It is nature’s own antibiotic.

Parenting

Whether you’re a first time single mom, dad, or couple (or even long time parents), you’re here to learn or expand your knowledge for your child(ren).

As a single mother, it is not impossible to manage parenting on your own. You are strong enough to do it! Maybe you just need the resources, support or some other opinions of other parents to develop your own choices when it comes to your parenting decisions.

Just to give you a little background for my future posts: I’m a first time single mother (the other “parent” is not involved) and I have been fortunate enough to have the support of close friends and family to accept and support the decisions I’ve made along the past few months (my “little” is only 3 months as of mid-June). My little babe is exclusively breastfed, meaning she doesn’t eat formula, however she does get a bottle when I am at work. In my Breastfeeding tab under Blog, I’ll touch on some tips and tricks to make it as easy as possible and list some pros and cons of breastfeeding if you’re still on the fence of whether or not you may want to try breastfeeding (I think every mom should at least try it in the beginning- it is the best thing for you and your baby!)
I also cloth diaper during the day. In my future posts under the Cloth Diapering tab under Blog, I will discuss pros and cons, and some tips and tricks as well and how I get along with a budget (I even hand wash my diapers most of the time to save money from going to the laundromat).

Breastfeeding and cloth diapering are two ways to save money when you have a new baby in the works. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I would be happy to share any information I have or try my best to find the information for you!