Ok, Mamas. You want to increase your milk supply? Are you struggling to get your milk supply back up after illness? Do you just want to be on your game with increasing your milk supply? I’ve got some all natural ways you can increase that milk supply.

Lets.Get.Real.First.

Breastfeeding is a journey. It wasn’t something that really happened for me. Baby boy never really latched. I did all the things I was told to do (tongue tie snip, lactation consultant who was SUPER aggressive, midwife help and chiropractic adjustments) but at the end of the day a bottle was what worked the best for us. I honestly wasn’t even thinking about increasing my milk supply at this point. You know, I want to say this to those of you who are struggling to breastfeed or if it never happened, with milk or latching: YOU ARE DOING AMAZING!

pexels-photo-235243.jpegHowever you can feed your baby, feed your baby. That is what matters.  I went back and forth with the decision to be done at 12 weeks post partum. Ultimately it was a decision I made for my mental and emotional health because I’ve struggled hard with post partum anxiety since my son was 5 weeks old. I’ll share more on that another time!

 

What was interesting for me was that I had a great milk supply even though I couldn’t breastfeed. So began my relationship with pumping exclusively for the first 12 weeks of baby boy’s life. It was more work than I’d ever imagined. Once I got into a routine with pumping I started to research natural ways to build my milk supply because I was worried it would decrease since baby boy wasn’t breastfeeding.

  1. Drink Water: You will read this in every blog post, website and article on increasing supply because it’s so important. How can you make more liquid if you aren’t hydrating yourself?! I would immediately notice a difference in my milk supply if I drank even a few ounces less of water than my usual. I made it a habit to chug 8 ounces after every pumping session and in between sessions I had my water bottle nearby. 
  2. More Milk PlusI saw immediate results with this tincture, as in within 24 hours I would was pumping at least 2-4 (per side) more ounces a session. It contains galactagogues which are herbs that promote milk production. Makes sure it has goat’s rue in it. That is the key ingredient. This tastes disgusting and I had to choke it down with orange juice. They make capsules which I will get next time. But I took 1 ML 3x a day. I didn’t take the recommended dosage because I had great results with only 3 mls a day. (in the states this is called More Milk Drops, same stuff) 
  3. Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle  These are the most common supplements for boosting milk supply. I had to stop taking fenugreek because it hurt my stomach and also made baby boy uncomfortable. The More Milk Plus has fenugreek in it but it didn’t bother me as much. I took 2 capsules of Blessed Thistle 3x a day. pexels-photo-576831 
  4. Brewers Yeast: another galactagogue! I saw great results when I added brewers yeast to my daily supplement routine. The tablets are kinda gross and I found them a bit hard to swallow so if you hate pills, these might not be for you. 
  5. Nurse, Nurse, Nurse or Pump, pump and pump some more: If you can successfully breastfeed, keep that baby on there as he’s the best option you have for stimulating production and increasing milk supply. If you are pumping exclusively try not to miss a session. Treat pumping as you would a feeding. As often as your baby eats, pump. 
  6. Power Pump: This is an interesting one. I tried it and I was surprised at how much more milk I could get. Pump for 10 minutes, hold off for 20, pump for 20, hold off for a half hour. I would advise waiting an hour after feeding baby, to power pump so you give yourself a chance to build up again.almonds-1740176_640
  7. EAT: Keep yourself fed and eat whole foods. Flax, almonds, oats, smoothies, and protein are all great for milk supply. I never did the lactation cookie thing because that was too much work for me. But if they work for you that is great! 
  8. SLEEP: Obviously sleep is important. Easier said than done right? You have a brand new baby and sleep seems like a luxury. I used to get so mad when people would tell me to sleep when the baby sleeps. I had hard-core insomnia from post partum anxiety so sleeping was a joke! That being said, I found ways to lay in bed and rest my eyes for an hour or two when my husband was home. That helped and it was better than nothing. 
  9. Relax: Taking hot baths was a way I was able to relax at the end of the day. During the first 3 weeks of baby boy’s life I took baths during the day too because my husband was home with us. Self care is important and you aren’t selfish for taking care of yourself! Go say that to yourself in the mirror! Find a way to de-stress and relax because cortisol (the stress hormone) won’t do anything good for your milk supply. I was a really stressed out new mama and I’m positive my supply would have really suffered if I haven’t been proactive in ways to boost it. pexels-photo-269141

Maybe you’ve tried all these things and are still struggling? It’s ok, Mama. I’m with you in the trenches. Our struggles may be different but we find solidarity with each other in the overall struggle of being a mom which is the hardest job on the planet. Be able to come to a place where if it’s time to stop and make the switch to formula, this is ok. Only you can make that decision for yourself and you can trust those God-given mama instincts! They are legit. Talk to your, doctor and partner or husband so they know where you are at and so you have support during this emotional time. I found a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders when I was done exclusively pumping and my husband was such a great support system as well as my other mama friends! I knew I had given it my best and given my son the best I could for as long as I could. You are doing an incredible job, wherever you are at with feeding your baby!

My son is 5.5 months old and almost 20 pounds, so I think he’s doing ok! We will make it through this thing called MOM LIFE. One day at a time. I hope some of this information was useful. What are some ways you have naturally increased your milk supply? What has your journey with breastfeeding been like? I’d LOVE to hear from you in the comments below.

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