Picture the mom who has just returned to work; anxious about leaving her beautiful baby in daycare for the first time, having to get herself and the baby up and out of the house every morning on time, pumping once or twice during her work day (if she’s lucky) and worrying about how much she isn’t getting. Then daycare tells her that they’ve gone through all of the bottles she dropped off that morning, including the extra back-up bottle, and that they think she needs to send more milk the next day… and the supply in the freezer isn’t even beginning to keep up with the demand. Yikes!
Stressing about dwindling milk supply only makes the situation worse, so if you can, try to take a deep breath and trust that you and your body will figure out what to do! Now let’s look at a checklist of things that might be interfering with milk production:
• Return of your period
• Lack of sleep
• Decreased pumping / difficulty pumping
• Foods – mint, oregano, sage, sorrel, spearmint, thyme
Now let’s look at the checklist of things that can boost milk supply:
• Foods – oatmeal, almonds, pumpkin, sweet potato/yam, hummus, coconut, apricots, beet greens, chickpeas, chicken (bone-in), carrots, asparagus, green beans, peas.
• Beer – one per day, the darker the better
• Staying hydrated
• Getting as much sleep as possible
• Practicing conscious relaxation when you pump – breathe, relax your shoulders, and stop paying attention to the pump. Instead, read a book, look at a video of your baby (also helps facilitate a letdown), or just close your eyes and rest.
• Adding an herbal supplement. There are several herbs that will help with milk production, and they are especially effective when used in combination. We love Motherlove Herbal tinctures. You do need to choose an herbal supplement with care; if you have any issues with your thyroid, there some herbs that can actually work in the opposite direction and cause your milk supply to tank! Call us and we can help you choose the right one. We also love Mother’s Milk Tea. Many of our moms drink it iced!
• Power Pump – pump for ten minutes, rest for ten minutes, on and off, for a total of one hour to simulate a growth spurt.
• Bake some cookies!! We have a yummy lactation cookie recipe that is super effective!
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs. flaxseed meal (no substitutions)
4 Tbs. water
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 cups thick cut oats
1 cup chocolate chips
2 Tbs. Brewer’s Yeast (no substitutions)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix flaxseed meal and water, set aside 3 – 5 minutes. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Stir flaxseed mix into butter and vanilla, beat until well blended.
Sift together dry ingredients, except oats and chocolate chips. Add butter mix to dry ingredients. Stir in the oats and then the chocolate chips.
Of course, when in doubt, come to Nini and join a nursing moms group, or call one of our lactation counselors to book an appointment! We can do this and we can help!!