How to Boost your milk supply

***The following blog is for informational purposes only and should not be used as medical advice. If you have medical concerns or questions, please seek consultation with your primary health-care provider or a Certified Lactation Consultant in your area.***

Breastfeeding is based on supply and demand. Your baby demands milk and your body supplies what s/he needs.Your body does this by replacing what your baby takes out. So the less the baby drinks(or less time you baby is at breast), the less your body will produce. The more baby drinks, the more your body will produce.

There are a few steps to boosting your milk supply that Id like to recommend.

1. Nurse frequently. At least once a night when your lactation hormones are at their highest.

2. Stay hydrated! Drink that water(or juice)! Stay away from caffeine if you can. If you cant, limit the amount you consume.

Those are some basic ways to boost your supply.

Select herbs and foods can also help. A milk boosting diet might not turn drops into ounces but it can help to maintain a long-term supply. Most of these you can find at your local grocer or health food store(Whole Foods, Trader Joes, etc…).

Some helpful herbs include:

Nuts– Mono-unsaturated fats found in cashews, macadamia and almonds increase the richness of your milk. Consume up to three servings a day and make sure to eat them raw, not roasted or salted!

Blessed Thistle– This herb stimulates blood flow to your mammary glands and enriches production. It also stabilizes blood sugar. Take three 325 to 390mg capsules three times a day with food.

Fenugreek– The stimulates the secretion of human growth hormones. Moms have been using this for a long time to stimulate milk production. Take three 580 to 610mg capsules three times a day with you meals. A weird side affect is that your urine or sweat may smell like maple syrup! **There is some controversy right now on the safety and side effects of Fenugreek. This can cause stomach troubles. Consult with your doctor before going this route.**

Oats– Oats stimulate the production of pitocin which is a key milk making hormone. Although there is no scientific evidence regarding oatmeal and milk supply, oatmeal does seem to work for some. Many working moms have noticed that on the days they eat oatmeal for breakfast, they can pump more milk than on the days they eat something else. You want to purchase whole oats instead of instant oatmeal but either will work.

Vegetables– EAT YOUR GREENS! No, really! They are essential and contain vitamin B and iron which help increase milk production. You should eat seven raw or cooked vegetable servings per day.

Brewers yeast– This is an ingredient that has also long been said to increase milk supply. Brewer’s yeast is one of the best natural sources of B vitamins, which are essential to overall health of a nursing mom(or any woman). Back in the day, women would drink dark ale(beer) to boost supply because darker beers contain more brewers yeast. You can bake Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies that contain brewers yeast in them!

Flax Seed– The oil from flax seed is considered by many to be a galactagogue. Flax is power packed with omega-3. Human milk has heavy amounts of omega-3 because the brain is dependent on these fatty acids. Omega-3 from fish and flax for mom are wonderful! They not only improve milk quality (and possibly quantity) but also boost brain function, memory, joint lubrication, and help to regulate hormones and decrease postpartum depression. It is unlikely that you could get too much omega-3 today.**

Theres are just a few to get you started. There are SO many more foods and supplements that can help boost your supply and provide you and baby with some great nutrients and nourishment.

References:

**http://www.drmomma.org/2010/08/lactation-cookies-recipe-increasing.html

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