Over the years I’ve been breastfeeding I’ve been lucky enough to talk to so many different groups of people, for breastfeeding mamas to lactation consultants, so I’ve picked up a few really good tips that have helped me maintain my supply with my last two children, which I thought I’d share with you here.
1.) Water is the most important thing for keeping your supply going
You can shovel all the lactation cookies into your mouth that you want (some of the are so tasty!) but it really won’t make much difference if you are dehydrated. Drinking lots of water a day is key to keeping your milk supply flowing, I always have a bottle of water with me that I can sip on throughout the day and filly p as required.
2.) Contact and Feeding
Skin to skin was not invented by someone who just enjoyed snuggling all day, it is a fact that holding your baby close to you, especially with skin to skin contact, can help to stimulate your milk. Feeding is another major contributor to milk supply, keep feeding and keep persisting even if you are struggling and having to top up with a bottle on medical advice. If you want to continue to feed, keep trying to feed.
3.) Snacks and calories
A healthy balanced diet is key to feeding baby but you do need additional calories in your diet (approx 500 on top of your non-feeding diet). These clarifies don’t have to come in the form of sweets or crisps, but with healthy alternatives. I usually try to keep something in my bag for when I start to feel hungry in between meals, which is a lot of the time when Edith is having a growth spurt. I am a big fan of lactation boosting snacks, mainly because they are tasty, things like Freida’s Feeding Food bars* (which are my favourite snack bars that I get from Ocado), lactation cookies and yoghurt pots – all of which are designed to help encourage your milk supply in conjunction with a balanced diet but please don’t think that these will ‘go it alone’ they are a better alternative (for you and baby) to snacking on a packet of crisps!
4.) Avoid stressing, if you can.
Stress can affect your body terribly, so it’s best avoided IF possible. For example, if you have a situation where you will feel stressed out visiting family members but you don’t need to do so, just don’t. In certain instances we can’t avoid stress, a few weeks ago I was involved in a car accident where I wrote off my car in a collision with a motor bike on the way to pick up Roo from school. For days afterwards I felt that my supply was affected – I wasn’t full at the usual times and Edie seemed much more fussy at the breast. My solution was to have lots and lots of cuddles and keep her close to me as much as I could, feeding on demand. It’s sometimes easier said than done, but if you have other children I have found my sling to be the perfect way to keep the contact with her.
I hope that helps someone. It is true that most mothers can produce enough milk for their babies, if that weren’t the case then our race would have died out a while ago, however every mama worries at some point that her baby isn’t getting enough, I truly believe that if you are fit and well, have no medical conditions and you follow these tips, you will have no supply issues.
P.s – *Freida’s Feeding Food bars do contain Fennel, so although they are a really tasty treat even if you aren’t breastfeeding (they are great for carrying in your bags for your little ones to munch too) you really need to avoid them if you are pregnant. If you do fall in love with them and want to try something when you are pregnant, Freida’s Pantry are now making the Fertile Food Bar, which I haven’t tried myself yet!