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I have been in your shoes. I had a low milk supply. I was exclusively pumping at the time so I was able to SEE how much I was producing. We were going bottle to bottle with the amount of milk I had for our daughter with no extras. I started to feel like I was failing at this whole breastfeeding thing. I wanted to give up, but decided to push myself to keep going. I knew I could do this. I started googling and reading everything I could. I spoke with other mamas and our local lactation nurses. With the advice and research, I was able to find out what exactly I could do to help increase my supply. And thankfully, they worked! I did each of these until my supply increased to the amount I needed.
Fenugreek is a herb that mothers have been using for years to help build their milk supply. You can purchase it either in a capsule or tea (tea is less potent). It typically takes 1-3 days to see an increase in your milk. You can tell if you are taking enough if your sweat and urine smell like maple syrup. Strange, right? I personally took the capsules at first. I wasn’t a big fan of them (they hurt mine and my daughter’s stomach). So I decided to start on the teas. I LOVE the teas even though they are claimed to be less potent! I drank Mother’s Milk Tea and Pink Stork Lactation Tea. I had great results with both, but I really liked the way Pink Stork tasted. The tea satchel can be used for 3 cups…BONUS! Plus it comes in a cute container!
To this day, I eat oatmeal EVERY SINGLE MORNING. I’ve always been an oatmeal fan anyways and it is a known galactogogue. Most research says to consume one bowl of old fashioned oatmeal a day to see an increase (do not use instant). There are a ton of yummy oatmeal recipes out there as well! I eat mine with peanut butter, honey, cinammon, and blueberries 🙂
3. Healthy Diet
Having a healthy diet is a big plus for lactation. Like oatmeal, there are other foods that can help with your supply. Make sure to eat your veggies, fruits, nuts, and lean meats. Some to consider are avocados, almonds, and salmon.
4. Coconut Water/Milk
I stand by my coconut water! Staying hydrated while breastfeeding is key to success and coconut water is just the thing that can keep you fully hydrated. It is jam-packed with electrolytes and potassium. If you can’t muscle down pure coconut water, try drinking it in sport drinks such as BodyArmour. And for the coconut milk, have you ever heard of the Pink Drink from Starbucks? It was the craze for a while that mother’s swore it increased their supply immediately. And guess what, one of the ingredients is coconut milk! The drink tastes like a pink starburst…yummmmm.
5. Power Pumping
I used power pumping once a day for 3-4 days in a row to help increase my supply, and it helped tremendously! I usually power pump in the morning, but any time is okay to do so! The schedule follows as this for ONE hour:
Pump: 20 minutes
Rest: 10 minutes
Pump: 10 minuets
Rest: 10 minutes
Pump: 10 minutes
This technique mimics your baby cluster feeding, which tells your body to produce MORE milk. I still power pump occasionally to help my supply.