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3 Natural Tips For Boosting Your Milk Supply

I

have read so many posts on breastfeeding support groups from worried moms, with low milk supply. These posts always break my heart because I understand how special breastfeeding is and I would be devastated if I had to stop for any reason.

Throughout my breastfeeding journey I have always had a fantastic milk supply. I hardly pump except to release pressure build up and my baby has not taken one bottle. I am not an expert but just wanted to share what I do to keep my supply flowing for baby:


1: I follow a whole foods plant based diet



Why does this matter you might ask? Well one topic never talked about enough when it comes to breastfeeding is nutrition. What goes into your mouth directly effects not only your milk supply, but the quality of milk as well. If you are chowing down on low nutritional content foods or calorie restricting , chances are your milk supply won't hold up.

Our bodies function best of whole foods and specifically plants! Far too often, I see posts from moms asking about lactation cookies, drinks and supplements. The problem with those products, is that they are highly processed and won't make any difference if the rest of your diet is poor. The best thing you can do to help boost your milk supply is to eat a clean plant based diet. Focus on fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. These are the most nutrient dense foods around and will flood your body and milk supply with all the good stuff.

One final aspect of diet to consider is the sheer volume of calories you need! This is another common topic in breastfeeding support groups and so often I see moms talking about how they are trying to loose weight. DO NOT RESTRICT CALORIES......just eat the right ones! It's normal to be hungry while breastfeeding , your body needs the extra energy to make milk for baby. Listen to your body and eat when you are hungry and don't stop until you feel full. The key is to eat the foods I mentioned above in abundance , not processed snacks or high oil/sodium foods. Focus on eating an abundance of whole plant foods and you will notice a change in your supply. An added bonus, will be all the other health benefits that come from following a plant based diet. A fantastic source of information about plant based diets is https://nutritionfacts.org/ !

2. I Feed On Demand



Breast milk works on a supply and demand basis. The more baby feeds, the more your body will produce to meet his/her needs. I have not given my daughter a single bottle and she is 8 months old. I let baby do all the hard work. She feeds whenever she wants to, even if it seems like she is just using me as a pacifier.

Now, I realize this isn't possible for all moms. I am incredibly lucky to have an 18 month maternity leave in Canada and the opportunity to do this. For all the working moms, I would recommend feeding at the breast as often as possible. When you are away from baby, try to pump whenever you feel full or as often as possible .



3. I don't stress about my supply



This sounds so simple but can be a big hurdle for breastfeeding moms. Too often moms worry about their babies not getting enough milk and end up supplementing , when in reality baby is getting plenty.

I go off my daughters cues and behaviour .....not a doctors advice, the clock or outside opinions . At only a week old, my daughter was already sleeping 5 hours at night! I woke her up to feed as recommended , but it did more harm than good. I ended up with an overtired baby and an over supply. My daughter was gaining weight perfectly, even with the long sleep periods and having plenty of very very wet diapers . After the third night of following recommendations ....I let her sleep and it was life changing .

It was after that experience, I realized how important following your baby's lead is! I stopped timing our feeds, listening to the standard recommendations and fed on demand. It worked like a charm for us and my daughter is already 22lbs and wearing 12-18 month clothing at 8 months!

Keep in mind, she was born at a healthy weight and had zero health issues. Every baby is different and some may need those extra feedings . Listen to YOUR baby and do what works for you. Be sure to make sure your baby is having plenty of wet diapers, is gaining weight and overall is content. Far too often doctors are quick to push formula for weight gain because it makes their job easier. This in turn starts to deplete mom's supply because baby is taking a bottle and not the breast. Do not be afraid to break up with your doctor if they aren't supporting your breastfeeding journey . Find someone who helps support you and your baby.

It's natural to worry about your supply, but try to sit back and let Mother Nature do its thing. Think less is more. After all, we are built to make milk! Every other mammal feeds their babies without supply issues ...why can't we! Taking things back to nature is a great step to ensuring supply .




As I mentioned earlier, I am not an expert in breastfeeding. I am just sharing my experiences of what's worked for giving me a great milk supply. Every baby and situation is different , these are just the things that have worked for me . Finally, remember every drop of breastmilk is wonderful and a big accomplishment ....your baby thanks you!



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