There’s nothing like a doctor telling you your baby is ‘failing to thrive’ to motivate you to increase your milk production. If you haven’t been following along — we’ve been on a journey the past two months trying to determine the cause of Flora’s extremely bad Eczema. During this time I was on a dairy & soy free diet for 4 weeks, and the last 2 of those weeks I was on a full allergen elimination diet also not eating gluten, egg, chicken, beef, shellfish, peanuts or soy. It was very challenging and essentially I wasn’t eating enough, was overly stressed about the entire ordeal and my milk production plummeted. We aren’t sure if this is the reason Flora isn’t growing at her normal rate, or something else but we’ll find out when we go back for a weight check soon. In the meantime I’ve been doing everything under the sun to try and increase my supply. It is definitely working and while I’m NOT A MEDICAL EXPERT I thought I’d share what I’ve done, thanks to the tips from many other mamas! It’s been pretty incredible to see Flora full again instead of squirming at my breast trying to get more milk.
-Increase my calories. Now that I can eat gluten and soy my diet options are much broader. I’m trying to eat 3 balanced meals with snacks between and eat whenever I’m hungry in general. I’m working with a wonderful dietitian who is also a lactation consultant and will be sharing more on my diet soon!
-Guzzle water. I have this Bubba Keg water bottle and usually fill it twice per day (that’s 3 liters of water a day)!! I never leave the house without a Swell water bottle.
-Drink 2 mugs of lactation tea a day – one in the morning and one before bed. I’ve been sipping on Pink Stork Liquid Gold (I’m a believer) and Oat Mama teas. Liquid Gold is a little pricey but to me it’s worth it because I really think it works.
-Drink BLUE Gatorade. Drinking Gatorade makes sense, but a friend told me her midwife suggested specifically blue and desperate times call for desperate measures. I’ve been drinking the sweet stuff like nobody’s business.
-Extra pumping. For the first few days when I really noticed my supply was struggling I pumped after each feeding. I’d only get an ounce if that but I read that it was important to completely empty your breasts after each feeding. I also added a pumping session before bed, around 10pm and have been keeping that up. I’ve worked my way up to getting at least 4-5 ounces before bed which is great since I can no longer use my freezer stash (a few days here and there are OK — for example my trip next week). You could also check out power pumping which I was going to try but didn’t end up doing.
-There are tons of different supplements you can take to increase milk supply, one of the most common being Fenugreek. I was also debating taking one of these Legendary Milk supplements that I’ve heard great things about– but in the end I decided to hold off because of all of Flora’s allergies, it made me a little nervous!
-Lactation balls & cookies! I made these no bake lactation balls (and used sun butter instead of almond butter) and have been eating them non-stop.
Images by Lauren Swann