I have mentioned from my previous posts that breastfeeding and pumping do not always come natural to some mothers. Not all mothers are granted with the accessibility of lactation consultants to teach them the proper ways and techniques of breastfeeding. We can countlessly search the Internet on tips on what we can do to increase or maintain supply, and get our baby to latch on properly. Trust me, I’ve Googled everything! A lot of tips helped, while some, not so much.
Here are a few tips that have worked for me and helped me during my 12 months of exclusively pumping. These few tips helped me maintain and increase my milk supply.
1.Drink PLENTY of H2O
Yes, I know you’ve heard this a million times from your OB/GYN when you were pregnant, but same goes when you have your baby. Staying hydrated is a key factor when nursing. It helps the body produce more milk and also helps you feel more refreshed and less tired. I often tallied the number of glasses of water I drank. I was not always consistent, but tallying the glasses helped me push myself. So bottoms up, ladies!
4. Eat Oatmeal!
On top of eating healthy, and having a well-balanced diet. Try eating oatmeal for breakfast! Though there are no scientific evidence that oatmeal increases lactation, many nursing moms have sworn by it. Not only is it healthy, but it’s also versatile and any toppings you add makes it extra delicious! I usually like getting the instant oatmeal from Trader Joe’s. Even though it’s not scientifically proven, it has worked for me. I’ve noticed that having oatmeal for breakfast increased and maintained my milk supply. Whenever I would run out of oatmeal, and sometimes too lazy to go to the store to buy more, I did notice a slight decrease to my milk supply. Also, oatmeal can be considered as a comfort food, helping women feel more relaxed. It is key for nursing mothers to feel relaxed and stress-free (even though it’s hard with a newborn!).
Click here for a list of a lactogenic foods that can also help increase your production.
Personally, what worked best for me was eating oatmeal, and having barley tea!
5. Massage those TATAS!
Before pumping and while pumping, it’s really important to stimulate milk production by massaging your breasts. Here’s a really good article from La Leche League about increasing milk production and incorporating “Massage-Stroke-Shake” technique.
Here’s also a great video from Stanford University for maximizing production!
6. If all else fails, try supplements.
Supplements are not for all, and some say that taking supplements can lead to colicky babies. Please seek advise from your lactation consultant, physician, or child’s pediatrician before taking supplements to see if you should take them. Personally, I did seek approval from the lactation consultant, and she recommended that I take teas or vitamins with fenugreek as a main ingredient. I drank Milkmaid Tea from Earth Mama Angel Baby, and this one really helped increase my lactation within a week! It also made my milk smell and taste sweeter too. Another product, I also tried was the MotherLove More Milk Plus drops. This product, however, did not work well for me. I rather drink a tea and mix it with lemon, than taking the drops. It tasted too bitter and hard to swallow. I will write in another post my reviews for these products.
More tips I would recommend for mother’s who pump exclusively are to:
-Keep napkins, tissues ,and wipes in your pump bag (you never know if you’ll have accidental spills)
-Buy an extra set of pump parts for your pump and keep it in your bag (extra valves, membranes, double A batteries, milk storage bags), just in case you forget! Also, so you don’t have to keep washing and sterilizing constantly.
-Add a couple small snacks and a water bottle in your bag.
-Invest in a hands-free pump bra or make your own DIY pump bra! Having the pump bra helped me multi-task, I could pump and get ready for work at the same time! Here’s a link to another Mommy blogger (Julie) who shows how you can make your own pump bra for free!
-If hubby or your other half is not there to hold or watch baby while you’re pumping, try putting baby in a swing or a bouncer or sometimes on the floor to play. This is where the hands-free pump bra comes in handy. Just in case baby starts moving all over the place you can still pick baby up!
-Make sure you have the right flange size. Most pumps come with the “medium” size flange, and most of the time it’s not the correct size for most mothers. Contact your lactation consultant to be measured. This way, it will be more comfortable for you while you pump, as well as, you’ll get a better output.
Last and final tip I would give all you mamas is just to never give up. Everyday is a different day, and milk output will not always be the same. Just don’t forget your goal in keep your baby healthy and giving baby the best that you can offer. I’ve gotten to points where I felt so discouraged and miserable because I felt as if I was not producing enough for my son, but I kept persisting and just kept on going until he reached a year old! I didn’t think I could do it at first, but if I can do it, you can too!
Hope these tips help! Please message me if you have any questions!
|from Breast is Best Facebook Page|