Now that we’ve got the tough part of breastfeeding out of the way, the next thing most nursing mothers worry about is how to keep their babies full and keep the liquid gold flowing.
With my daughter, my supply was just ok. Although by the time I got back to work, it had seriously dwindled and I had to supplement with formula at 4months. Formula is not evil as most would think. That’s why I don’t judge any mother who chooses to supplement with formula – do what’s best for your baby, that’s my take!
With my son, I am keen on exclusively breastfeeding him for 6 months. I must say that my supply is way better this time and I pray it stays that way for the next 3 months. Here a few tips that have helped me this far in maintaining a good supply.
*Please note, what works for me may not work for you, so do what works for you.
Feed on demand
I know there are mums who prefer to set up a feeding schedule from day one, but I’m all for ‘If baby wants it, don’t deny him!‘ Feeding my son on demand has increased my supply because increased stimulation = lots of milk! The first 6 weeks are especially crucial since baby goes through lots of growth spurts at that time, so let baby have the boob!
I am constantly on fluids to keep the breast milk going. I drink more than I eat (which helps with weight loss *wink*) because breastfeeding can get you dehydrated or give you serious munchies. Thing is, baby is taking lots from you so you need to continuously replenish it. What works for me is water (I drink almost 3L a day); hot cocoa; fenugreek and dill tea and oatmeal smoothies.
I know most Kenyan grandmothers swear by uji (fermented porridge) and njahi (black beans). I’m not a fan of uji and I eat njahi once in a while so like I said – do what works for you! 🙂
A balanced diet is key because what you eat goes into baby’s milk.I know I should be stocking up on fruits and veggies but boy those breastfeeding munchies get you craving some serious carbs! Lol! Oatmeal has helped loads with my supply so I have it for breakfast on most days. There are certain foods though that can give baby gas, so take note of what you eat in case baby gets affected. For me cabbage and really spicy food is a no-no so I opt out of eating those. However, there are times I’ve had spicy food and taken dill tea right after, saving baby any discomfort.
There are tonnes of online resources on what foods to eat to increase your supply so be on the lookout for what works for you.
Pump, pump pump it up!
I return to work in a month (sob sob) so I’ve been pumping a few times a day to stock up as well as have baby on the bottle for some feeds. Pumping has really helped increase my supply as well. For now, I do it two or three times a day and it’s working wonders for me. I intend to follow it through when I return to work so I will definitely share my experience at the 6-month mark.
There you have it, my top 3 tips on how to increase your breast milk supply. I’d love to know what works (or hasn’t worked) for you. Hit me up on my Facebook and Instagram (@kenyanmamatales) pages or email firstname.lastname@example.org