While I was pregnant it was 100% decided I was going to breastfeed for as long as I could, that was depending if I could. My next thought should've been to research it a bit because I was left in tears for the first 2 weeks that Bree was born. I didn't know that I would be sore and that you had to get callus's in order for it not all to hurt anymore! The other thing I had no clue about is that not everyone makes enough milk for their babies all the time. And sometimes babies go through growth spurts and eat more, then it's hard for your body to keep up with this ever growing tiny human.
**These are my suggestions that I have found that worked for me off of my own experiences. If you are having trouble contact your nearest lactation specialist.
These are some of the ways that I have used to keep my milk supply up or bump it up for a time when I needed it.
1. Drink LOTS of water. Everything I've read says that you should drink half your body weight in water. Your body is constantly making milk and your body need water to fuel that production. I recently bought this glass water bottle from Target and I love how pretty it is I've been taking it everywhere with me. Also because it's glass I can put essential oils in it to make my water more interesting and less blah. While I'm at work I do my best to make sure I drink one bottle of these before noon, fill it up, and try to finish another one before I go home at 2:30.
2. Essential Oils. along with the essential oils that I put in my water I follow a fellow mom who gives daily DoTerra tips, one was to use these 2 oils to help with your milk supply. Her tip is #1 put two drops of Fennel under your tongue twice a day. (I've also seen that someone put it in honey because it tastes like black licorice, which is too strong for me) #2 Basil. She said to mix 2 drops with 1 Tablespoon of Factioned Coconut Oil (or vegetable oil) and apply to both breasts after feeding. Wipe off before feeding again.
My Tip with essential oils: be SO careful with PEPPERMINT. That dries you up like crazy! My sister in law was using it to help with sore muscles and didn't know this and her supply dropped dramatically. Also watch out for peppermint candy that can do it too!
3. A&W. This one is my personal favorite. While my supply dropped while Bree was going through a growth spurt, I took to the Facebook world and the 4 mom groups I'm apart of and found out this great trick! A&W is made with brewers yeast and if you've ever made lactation cookies then you know that brewers yeast helps with milk production. So obviously A&W will help with that, thank to the goodness. Once I saw a mom post that, I had Jake go get me an A&W, it may have just been my crazy new tired mom brain, but I swear it helped within hours if not immediately. I don't drink one everyday anymore but as long as I drink a couple a week I feel like it helps a bunch.
4. Lactation Cookies. I searched high and low and asked a lot of people which lactation cookies they liked the best, and the verdict came back with a recipe from a girl that I know! Whoo! Sarah's food blog is amazing and so are these cookies. The recipe is for like 36 cookies so feel free to cut it in half but I ate two a day because they were so good.
5. Protein bites. These are the easiest things you will ever make and the yummiest. I have to make another batch because I'm going to eat them all by tonight! The recipe is:
1 Cup Rolled oats
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup flaxseed (I used flaxseed meal)
1/2 Cup chocolate chips
1/3 Cup honey
1 Tablespoon vanilla
You might want to make it and just keep a spoon it cause mine barely made it into the picture.
6. It works Greens. I am not a believer in Itworks. Sorry guys if you are but the wraps are not real. They get rid of water weight, you know what else does? drinking water! -Okay end rant. So when I saw moms posting on the mom groups on Facebook that drinking this greens that they pumped so much more milk after taking it I didn't believe them until a girl I went to high school posted hers. I tried it and it worked for about a month then I saw my supply kind of go back down. Maybe because my body was getting used to it, but now I drink it every other day. What it basically is, is your full servings of fruits and vegetables packed into this drink powder. So if you are eating healthy then I doubt you'd need to even try this.
7. Eating Healthy. I started doing a 90 day health challenge that DoTerra put on, part of it was eating healthy, obviously. That helped me all around. It boosted my supply, I felt more awake, and I felt much better in the mornings instead of dragging my feet and not wanting to get out of bed.
8.Sleep. It is so funny that sleep can effect your supply immensely, but that is the thing that new moms are craving the most. There are times when if I even just take a nap I can see a difference in my supply. So make sure you are catching as many zzz's as you can, and if you need a nap, ask someone to watch that babe while you take a little nap. It will make everyone happier!
Along with all of these I have seen a difference in my supply when I drink a protein drink every morning, and if I eat eggs for breakfast. Again I want to say that these are things that have helped me and everyone is different. Different things with work for different people. Such as fenugreek, mothers milk tea, and other supplements like that have never helped me. If you have other suggestions feel free to share below! I never though I would make it to 4 months and without other moms suggestions I probably wouldn't, so lets share, cause we're all in this together!