Increasing Milk Supply – Baby Tip by Babble SoftMay 1st, 2009 · 8:34 pm · Category: breastfeeding, pumping
When helping my cousin with her new baby during a trip to NYC, I was reminded of some tips to increase milk supply. When my first was born, my milk didn’t come in until over 10-14 days later. I was recovering from an emergency c-section and was exhausted. I was so distressed that I wasn’t able to provide enough food for my son that I often broke down in tears. When he was a week or so old, my mom, husband, and I took him to a local mother’s store and with the help of a wonderful lactation consultant I weighed him, fed him, and weighed him again. I freaked out because he weighed exactly the same as before! Talk about feeling like a bad mommy. However, after a few minutes we all realized that we had forgotten to put his socks back on when we weighed him the second time, and he had actually gained some weight! Phew! I can laugh about it now but boy at the moment…
Well-meaning lactation consultants and nurses told me repeatedly that I shouldn’t supplement. I felt guilty (ugh!) about doing it, but I had to and I’m glad I did. A few weeks later once my milk was in we no longer needed to supplement. When my daughter was born, I had no qualms about supplementing the first couple of weeks of her life because I knew with certainty she would breastfeed exclusively and it gave me some time to recover a bit faster. This time my milk came in within 3 to 5 days. So here are some ideas from my experience and my cousin’s:
Fenugreek. This seed is commonly used in pill form to increase milk supply. Fortunately for me, it is often used in Sri Lankan and Indian cooking and since my mom was here the first couple of weeks my kids were born I got to eat lots of tasty curries cooked with fenugreek. I’m convinced this is what helped bring my milk in faster. I’ll never know for certain but it was a yummy endeavor nonetheless!
Dark beer. My cousin was advised to drink dark beer to help increase her supply. We were both discussing how it was too bad that she wasn’t advised to drink a lot of red wine…which we both love.
Garlic. I also ate a little more garlic than normal in the curries my mother made, but I have heard that some people will eat so much that their milk starts smelling like garlic! They say that babies like the flavor/smell of garlic in their mother’s milk so they suck harder and eat more. Go figure!
Whole grains/Oatmeal. I’m not sure how this works but it’s probably related to why dark beer is helpful.
Rest. Sleep. Warm Showers. Although it’s very hard to get any rest those first several weeks home, it’s probably what the body needs most to help stimulate milk production. When you sleep, relax, and rest your body has time to make milk without added stress. Stress has been shown to decrease milk supply because your body is using it’s energy for things other than making milk!
Founder, Babble Soft
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