Sometimes, we find ourselves producing less milk than baby needs.

Moms: Our bodies are designed to make milk.

Below are some hot tips for pumping up your breastmilk supply, care of Lactation Consultant, Renee Beebe, M.ED IBCLC. But, before you do anything, check with your lactation consultant or pediatrician. She will be able to help you determine if your baby’s weight gain is adequate, or if you have a medical issue. Once you’re sure that all is well with baby and there are no medical issues, try these tips for boosting your milk supply.

Lifestyle

  • Go to bed with your baby for a whole day (8 to 24 hours) – just breastfeed, eat, and sleep. Arrange for help so that you’re not getting up for anything but bathroom breaks. Sometimes a day of unrestricted breastfeeding and rest can give your body a much-needed boost.
  • Less stress. Though it’s not always simple, remove all people and events from your life that are causing you stress. Yes, it’s OK to ask your mother-in-law to go home if that will help alleviate your stress.
  • Take a nap! You need and deserve at least one nap per day. More if you’re recovering from a C-section. It’s amazing how well your body will respond to just a little more rest.

Herbs & Medications

  • Fenugreek* and blessed thistle* have a reputation for helping mothers overflow with milk. Seek professional guidance – there are possible side effects with any remedy — even if it’s “natural.”
  • Seek the help of a professional. There are prescription medications that can help with milk supply.
  • Avoid hormonal birth-control methods. Many of my clients have noticed a reduction in milk supply after using IUD’s and oral contraceptives that use progesterone.

Food

  • Eat generously and stay well hydrated. Now is not the time to try to lose weight. Losing more than 1 pound a week may interfere with milk production.
  • Foods that increase milk supply: oatmeal, lactation cookies, garlic, carrots, fennel, nuts, papaya, sesame seeds, and ginger.
  • Foods that decrease milk supply (use them in moderation): parsley, peppermint/spearmint, sage, oregano, cabbage, and alcoholic beverages.

Pumping

  • Try pumping (double) immediately after feeds for 5 minutes or so. The purpose of this is to tell your breasts you want more milk. If your baby has done a good job at the breast, you will probably only be able to pump a few milliliters. It’s ok if you don’t actually pump out any milk.

Every mom has a story. When we face milk supply issues it hits the core of our being. It’s difficult to question our ability to nourish our children. Some of us can become so distressed that we begin to doubt our ability to nurture. The really tough part is that the more stressed we become, the more we become stressed – and our bodies don’t work well under stress

Go Mom. We’re here to help you any way that we can.