Increasing Milk Supply 101 for Breastfeeding Mothers

I often get comments from parents who have long since weened their children about how difficult it was for them to breastfeed because they did not make enough milk.  Sadly, most of the time not making enough milk was probably not the problem that they were facing.  This is actually a very rare problem.  Most likely, they probably didn’t know enough about breastfeeding to start with in order to increase their milk supply before giving up.  And, on an even sadder note most doctors aren’t as skilled as they should be in helping mom establish a great milk supply.

Since I believe that breast milk is an very important part of an infant’s diet and being a mother/baby professional I want to try to help my clients be as knowledgeable as they can so that breastfeeding can go as easily and smoothly as possible.

The best way to start off with an adequate milk supply is to nurse frequently and on demand for the first 10-12 days after giving birth.  Nursing frequently will help establish your milk supply.  It is always easier to decrease your milk supply once you have enough coming in.  It is amazing how once your milk is established and your infant will take in what she or he needs that your body will regular the milk that you do need.

Other great ways to keep a rich and abundant milk supply is to drink plenty of fluids, mainly water, and eat plenty of calories.  Calories are best from whole food sources like fruits, vegetables, pastured butter, eggs, grassfed and pastured meats.  This way you are assured that what you are taking in is rich in nutrients.  According to the Le Leche League a nursing mom should consume about 500 calories more than she normally did before pregnancy.

Another great way to make sure you maintain and abundant and nutrient rich milk supply would be to supplement your diet with herbs that are great for nursing.  Herbs that are safe for breastfeeding and that can increase a mother’s milk supply are Fenugreek, Blessed thistle, Milk thistle, fennel, Red Raspberry leaf, Goat’s Rue, Alfalfa, Nettle, and Hops Flowers.  You can easily buy many of these herbs in bulk from The Bulk Herb Store or Mountain Rose Herbs and make your own tasty herbal creation!

Just for fun for when your babies are a little bit older I found this great website for making them cold treats from your breastmilk!  What a great idea for teething!  Happy nursing!