Hands up if you thought you would be a breastfeeding goddess and had zero worries pre-baby about supply, pumping or broken & bleeding nipples.
Trust me, you’re not alone.
If you’re a new mum struggling to keep up with the demands of your baby and are finding yourself stressed out about your breast milk supply levels, then this one's for you!
Firstly, let’s start with a few potential reasons your supply may be lacking.
Hydration & Self-Care
With a new baby, putting yourself first can be tricky, but it’s important to ask for help if you need it. If you’re exhausted and not looking after yourself with rest, hydration and a healthy, filling diet, how can you expect your body to produce nutrient filled milk to offer your baby.
One of my fav breastfeeding metaphors is: ‘You need ALL of the ingredients for a recipe to work!’ (Check out our postpartum recovery tips here)
Supplementing with formula
Over time your body gets to know the needs of your baby and how often they like to feed. Each time milk is removed from your body via way of breastfeeding or pumping, your body will recognise it and your supply will regulate accordingly. If you offer formula over breastfeeding and do not pump, your body won’t identify it as a feed and your supply can lower.
P.S. One of our previous #AskMamaExperts blogs goes in depth about this topic. You can check it out here.
You might find that your breast milk supply decreases during your ‘hormonal’ times of the month such as ovulation or menstruation. Don’t panic though! Just be very mindful about what is going into your body and educate yourself on how to fuel it (bookmark this blog for future reference).
How is your baby feeding?
Does your baby have a lip or tongue tie that is causing latching issues? If so, make sure you seek professional help & learn the correct way to latch your baby. Incorrect latching can cause your milk supply to drop due to milk flow issues and can actually be quite painful for you. If at any stage the latch is hurting during feeds, take your baby off and start again.
Now if you feel like you are doing everything right and still think your supply is lacking and your baby isn’t getting enough, be on the lookout for signs your baby will give you to let you know that they are satisfied. These include:
- Wet & soiled nappies (4-6/day)
- Baby is gaining weight (babies gain roughly 150g/week)
- Baby isn’t distressed during feeds
- During awake periods your baby is alert
Okay, now it’s time to get into what you all came here for:
TOP 5 TIPS TO INCREASE YOUR BREAST MILK SUPPLY
FEED YOUR BABY… like A LOT!
Any breast stimulation will let your body know to produce more milk.
In the early moments it is recommended to ‘feed on demand.’ If you’ve gotten it into your head that you need to implement a strict feeding schedule straight away, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and a lot of unnecessary stress. In fact, the more your baby feeds in the early days, the better your supply will be. Every time your baby feeds, it sends
your body messages to produce more milk to ensure your baby remains satisfied. It also helps with the whole engorgement thing and can help prevent horrible mastitis issues. A little breastfeeding tip: feed from one breast until your baby pulls away, burp your baby and then offer baby the second breast. You will also want to alternate which breast is offered first at every feed to keep things even.
P.S. Now’s the time to convince your partner to invest in that ‘push present’ piece of jewellery you’ve had your eye on. Tell them you need a breastfeeding ring or bracelet that you can switch between hands after feeds so you always know which one to offer. (Of course you could use something as simple as a hair band on your wrist or having a quick grope, but where’s the fun in that?)
Can we all relate to the sugar craving that slaps you in the face daily at around 3pm? Well that’s how you’re going to feel about drinking water after bub is born. Only it won’t be once a day, it’ll be 24/7! Breastfeeding is thirsty work ladies, and you need to keep yourself hydrated to ensure your body can keep producing that ‘liquid gold.’
PUMP. PUMP, PUMP IT UP
If you’re finding that your baby is satisfied after feeds, but would like to increase your supply to keep meeting their demands as they grow and inevitably want more, you can pump 1-3 times per day. Make sure you pump AFTER you feed your baby to make sure they are satisfied before you start removing your milk.
REST & RECOVER
Who’s heard of the phrase, ‘Forty Days for Forty Years.’? I won’t get into it too deeply, but to sum it up: how you spend the 40 days after birth is how you will spend the next 40 years of your life. So in other words… Rest mama, rest.
Your body goes through hell to bring you your baby. Honour your body by allowing yourself time to recover and surrender to the actual chaos that is motherhood. Your body also needs as many nutrient rich superfoods & proteins as you can stomach… which takes us to our fifth and final tip:
To ensure you are giving your body the best chance at producing enough milk for your baby, you need to fuel it with the right foods. New Mums (actually every human) should try to have a very nutrient rich diet full of veggies & protein. However, as mums sometimes we hardly have 5 minutes to ourselves. We can’t always manage to prepare a nutritious meal 3 times a day, so we end up eating two bags of salt and vinegar chips. Not ideal.
We understand how hard it is Mama, and that’s where we come in.
HEY MAMA was born with the goal of supporting Mamas with functional products infused with superfoods, so they can feel their best and focus on their baby, allowing them to enjoy early motherhood.
Our lactation support protein smoothie is an all-in-one specially designed to help with milk supply and fill in some of the nutritional gaps of a new mum.
AN ORGANIC AND NATURAL BLEND OF:
- Galactagogues to help with milk supply
- Vegan protein to assist with recovery
- Superfoods likes MCT oil and Acai berry
- Sunflower Lecithin to help with stickiness and blocked ducts
Our lactation support protein powder is also vegan friendly, gluten free, dairy free with no refined sugars.
To be honest, we personally tried A LOT of lactation cookies and we found that we had to consume 5 plus cookies a day to receive any results. And look, our milk supply did increase, but so did our weight, which was not ideal when all you want to do postpartum is lose the baby weight. A protein powder like this has been the answer to so many women’s prayers (just look at the reviews) and the key to keeping the numbers at an acceptable number on the scales.
Okay so to wrap it all up:
- Feed your baby more often than you usually would
- Pump after feeds
- Hydrate & maintain a healthy diet
- Source lactation support products &
If for any reason you are still struggling with maintaining a regular supply, please consult your doctor, a lactation consultant or the Breastfeeding Helpline. There is nothing to be ashamed of AT ALL. A stressed out Mama is no good for anyone.
You’re doing amazing Mama. You’ve got this, and we’ve got you.
Peace out mama ✌️