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The Best Products for Nursing Mothers To Increase Milk Production
So you’re a new Mom! Life is overwhelming right now, and you’re not sleeping much. One thing that was a source of constant stress for me was wondering if I had Low Milk Production. Making sure my nursing baby was getting all the milk I could give her was my main goal in life! The thing about nursing is that you never really know how much milk your baby is actually getting per session. It helps to use a bottle from time to time, if your baby will take one. If you’re going back to work or already working you probably have already. Another main concern as a new mom was making sure I had enough milk not only for home but when I returned to work, or left her with Daddy for a little while, making sure there was going to be enough to last while we were apart.
Here’s what I found that totally answered my prayers!
First I made sure I was drinking enough water each day, water is SO important not just for you but for your baby as well, since you’re the only hydration and feeding system for at least the first six months (or 18 if you’re like me 😉 ). Next I checked my diet to make sure I was eating foods that would increase my milk production. My husband being the research guru in our house found a wonderful milk tea to increase milk production from Pink Stork that I ABSOLUTELY ADORE!!! Check out the link below in the Best Products Section.
This tea not only tastes the best out of all the milk teas I’ve tried, but it also has improved not only the amount of milk I make but also the quality and flow of my milk. I still drink this tea to this very day! 🙂 If you’re not a tea person, try the pill form of this magic milk producing formula. On a side note, I love that this company is a run by a Military Mom of Four and she has so many other great products for pregnancy, breastfeeding, and beyond! Check them out here.
I also found a great recipe for lactation cookies, which are SO good that I plan to still use this recipe even after I dry up! Check out this link!
What Causes Low Milk Production
Most new mom’s worry about producing enough milk for their babies to thrive and grow. This is definitely a main concern that I faced when I made the decision to strictly breastfeed my baby. Here are some things that can cause low milk supply:
- Baby isn’t getting to the breast enough-sometimes when your nipples hurt it’s hard to breastfeed a baby! 🙁
- Giving a Pacifier or bottle to soon (most Dr.s recommend waiting till after the first month, or until baby becomes efficient at latching.)
- Watching the clock rather than your baby’s hunger signs
- You’re baby sleeps during feedings (We had trouble with this at first, you just have to be persistent in coaxing them to wake up to feed!)
- Stress/Anxiety/Depression (Please see a healthcare professional or call one of these toll free numbers for assistance: (800) 944-4PPD (4773) OR 1(800)-PPDMOMS (1-800 773-6667)
- Medical Conditions (If you think you have a medical condition affecting your milk supply please contact your local healthcare professional.)
Common Misconceptions about Low Milk Production include the following:
- Breast Size-This actually has little to do with how much milk your body produces believe it or not! I know from personal experience that just because you are blessed in the chest doesn’t mean your milk is overflowing! (I also have friends that are practically flat that can breastfeed an army!)
- Let down reflex doesn’t seem as strong-This will happen as your body adjusts to your baby’s feeding rhythms.
- Milk stops leaking from your nipples-Another sign your body is adjusting to your baby’s feeding rhythms.
- Baby seems to be wanting more milk than usual-In most cases this could be a growth spurt, be sure to check with your Dr. to know when these should be occurring.
- Baby’s feeding sessions are getting shorter-Just like we do, babies get more efficient with breastfeeding over time. As their skills progress often times their feeding sessions become shorter than they were at first.
- Baby wakes up a lot or doesn’t sleep after a feeding-Both of these are due to growing. If you baby wakes up a lot to feed that is normal, babies need to eat frequently A.) Because they have tiny tummies B.) They need nutrients to do all that growing! If you’re baby isn’t sleepy after a feeding it could be that they’ve grown enough to have energy to stay awake a little while after eating, which is again a good sign! 🙂
- Baby will take a bottle after a feeding session-This is usually because babies don’t have to work as hard to get milk from a bottle, so they may take a bottle even if they aren’t really hungry. (Think of going through a drive through just because it sounded good! 😉 )
- I can’t express much milk-keep in mind your baby is more efficient at getting the milk down than any pump will ever be! (This was especially an area that I had to look at my baby and not the pump!)
- Baby is fussy-There are so many reasons this happens, and usually by the time you figure it out, it’s already dissipated. The best advice I got from my dear Mommy friend was to always offer the breast when baby is fussy, breast milk is calming and if they don’t want it you at least checked that off your list of causes!
Why does Low Milk Production happen?
Some factors that can cause Low Milk Production include:
- Waiting to long to begin breastfeeding/not feeding often enough
- Supplementing Breastfeeding with Formula
- Ineffective latching
- Certain Medications/Birth Controls using Hormones
- Hormone or Endocrine Problems
- Previous Breast Surgery
- Anatomical Issues such as “Tongue-Tie”
- Not Feeding at Night
To be totally transparent, in my experience I came to find that I didn’t actually have low milk production, I’m just not an over producer. Looking back after 18 months I can see this clearly now. My body makes just enough milk for my baby for one day at a time, and I have come to a place of acceptance about this. It caused me many sleepless nights and stress which are counter productive for milk production. If you’re stressing about this, one of the best things you can do is to give yourself permission to just make as much milk as your body makes. Don’t stress yourself out by trying to force your body to do something it just can’t do.
Stop comparing yourself to your friends, your mother, or anyone else because your body is unique. Just like every baby is different and has different needs, every woman’s body is different. If you really are worried about this talk to a lactation consultant and your local healthcare professionals to find out if and when you should supplement your baby’s diet. Please hear me, don’t be ashamed if you need to supplement your breast milk with formula, or you aren’t able to breastfeed your baby as long as you thought when this all started out. Give yourself and your body some grace to be who God created you to be. Here are some other great resources to check out on this subject.
Best Products to Help Increase Your Milk Production
This is the MOST AMAZING Lactation Tea!!! I absolutely love the taste, and the results I have personally gotten from using this product! If you don’t like tea, try the pills!!!
Also check out this great product to add to smoothies, lactation cookies, muffins, and beyond!
Here are some helpful tools for when your nipples get sore, this cream really eased my pain and kept my nipples from cracking and bleeding when I first started nursing. 🙂 I also needed Nipple shields for the first month or so, check them out here. There are some differing views on using these, all I can say on this is that I had to use them for the first few months of nursing, and my baby eventually outgrew them and she nurses like a champ for 18 months now! Trust your gut and do what works for you and your little one. Medela also makes some wonderful nursing shields (not to be confused with nipple shields) that help with leaking after nursing. I like to get the big box, as this lasts me a long time!
Another good tool for making sure your baby has the best chance to latch properly is to invest in a good nursing pillow. Here is the one I recommend and use myself! I like it because it can grow with your baby and it securely attaches to you so you’re not having to worry about the pillow slipping once your baby does get a good latch going!
Common Questions/FAQ About Low Milk Production
Question 1: How do I know my Baby is getting enough milk?
This was my main question in the beginning of my breastfeeding journey with my little one. I know so many moms, including my own that chose to breastfeed their babies so it seemed only natural for me to choose breastfeeding, but no one truly prepared me for how hard it would be! I thought you just put the baby to your breast and PRESTO! Nursing baby. . .NOPE!
Once Clara and I figured out a good latch, and got on a good schedule where my body was regulating things got better. I still worried that she wasn’t getting enough from our sessions, so through my research, here are some ways you can tell that your baby is getting enough milk while nursing:
- Your baby’s cheeks are round and full during feeding sessions, not sucking in
- You can hear your baby swallowing (you’ll hear a “ca-ca” sound or soft expiration)
- Your breasts feel soft, not hard after a feeding
- You see your baby release from the nipple on their own, or they fall asleep and let go
- Your baby un-clenches their fists and relax as they feed
- You may feel sleepy after feedings (this happened a lot during feedings for me, especially at night – _-)
- Your baby seems happy and content after a feeding
Question 2: How Can I Regain My Milk Supply?
Here are the Top Five things I have found that worked for me:
- REST-Your body needs time to recoup and produce milk!
- WATER-This is the most important ingredient to making sure you and your baby stay well hydrated!
- ON DEMAND FEEDING-Don’t look at the clock just feed your baby when you see the hunger cues.
- DIET-Eating foods like oatmeal, whole grains, nuts, leafy greens, carrots, molasses, garlic and ginger (which what diet could be complete without these?? In my world there is no such thing as to much garlic! 😉 ) Lactation cookies can also come into play here, see my favorite recipe above.
- PUMP! Have a regular pump schedule and stick with it mama! You can also try Power Pumping, check out this articles for more info!
Question 3: Is Low Milk Production Common?
From my recent research it seems that actual low milk production is rare, about 4-5 % of women. I personally feel from my experience that it can be an issue that feeds itself, meaning that the more you scare yourself into thinking you have this issue, the more signs you are likely to see. I thought from the beginning of my Breastfeeding journey that I had an issue with low milk production, however looking back after 18 months I think that a lot of my issues were stress related and could have been avoided if I was not obsessing about whether or not I was producing enough milk. (Which obviously I did as my baby is now 18 months and still nursing strong! Hindsight is always 20/20! )
However this is a real problem, so please don’t miss-understand my heart. I want you to feel strong and supported on your breastfeeding journey, I want you to be able to breastfeed your baby as long as you desire to do so. If you are not sure if you are suffering with this please find a lactation consultant and get more information before self-diagnosing and switching to formula. Visit the International Lactation Consultant Association at http://ilca.org to find one near you! 🙂
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Low Milk Production
- There can be many causes or symptoms of a dip in your milk production, so before self-diagnosing with Low Milk Production get the facts and find a Lactation Consultant to help you find the truth of your situation. There is no shame in supplementing your baby with Formula, and if you are suffering with Low Production, there are many great products out there that can help you to increase your supply and gain confidence! 🙂
- What other areas are you struggling with in your New Mom Life? Please leave your questions in the comment section below and I will do my best to answer them! I hope this encouraged you in your Journey and added Value to your Motherhood Experience! If you find this post helpful please share this with your friends. Until Next Time, Hey Lexi! Signing off. 🙂