When you are a new mum, nothing can be more stressful than worrying if you’re producing enough breast milk to keep your baby happy and healthy. Unlike bottle-feeding, where you can tell exactly how much your baby is drinking, with breastfeeding you can’t know how much milk you have and how much your baby is taking. While you can’t tell for sure how much milk is coming out of your breasts (unless you’re pumping), there is a number of signs that your baby is fully satiated:
- You are changing at least 3-4 diapers filled with large, mustard-coloured poops daily by the time your baby is 5-7 days old. Around 2-3 months old, expect the rate to drop to one poot a day, or even once every other day;
- Each time you change your baby’s diaper, it’s wet;
- Your baby is gulping and swallowing during feedings;
- Your baby’s content after feedings and sometimes ready for a nap;
- Your baby is gaining weight.
However, if you still worry that you have a low milk supply, there are some ways to help maintain and boost breast milk production. Here is what you can do to increase your milk supply.
While the exact number of fluid intake may vary per person, you should aim to have at least eight glasses of water per day. Contrary to what many mums believe, you don’t necessarily need to drink extra water in order to boost your milk supply. According to experts, just making sure you’re adequately hydrated every day should be fine.
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Breastfeeding mums need to eat about an extra 500 calories per day. Give preference for nutritious food that give you energy, such as protein-rich foods like oatmeal, adding flaxseed to smoothies or yogurt, eggs and veggies. Foods rich in vitamin B and C, like leaf greens, salmon and strawberries can help increase your milk supply.
Bake Lactation Cookies
While there is limited scientific evidence that lactation cookies will boost your milk supply, many mothers have seen an increase in their milk supply after eating these cookies. The secret relies on the ingredient list. What ingredients are in lactation cookies, you may ask? They include certain ingredients known as galactagogues, including oatmeal, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, flaxseed, and fenugreek. Together, these ingredients help you boost and maintain your milk supply. Once upon a time, these cookies were made by friends and family and brought over to help support new mums with a nourishing and easy to eat a snack.
These days, you can find a wide range of lactation cookie mix options available on the market. Designed with busy mums in mind, these mixes are made with a unique blend of galactagogues to naturally boost your low breast milk supply. Lactation cookie mix makes baking fresh cookies extremely easy. They are designed to be in your pantry, ready for when you need them, but without the added preservatives or additives.
All you need to add is one egg and 1/4 cup of melted butter or coconut oils, mix it all up and bake for 10-15 mins. A pack of lactation mix will make around 30 cookies that are safe for the whole family to eat. When it comes to how often can you eat lactation cookies, it’s recommended that you take 1-4 servings per day to assist with your milk supply. As to when you should start eating lactation cookies, it can be any time after delivery or as soon as you notice a dip in supply or have a need to increase milk supply.
If your hubby or older children want to eat your lactation cookies, no problem! The ingredients in lactation cookies are healthy and nourishing for everyone and will only help support lactation if you’re already lactating. Having that said, some ingredients such as Fenugreek should be avoided by pregnant or diabetic individuals. And I recommend you always read the ingredients label to make sure there are no allergens for you and your family.
Nurse and Pump
Sometimes your breasts may not feel completely empty after nursing. Adding a pump session right after your baby finishes eating will stimulate your body to produce more and start increasing milk supply. Consider keeping a milk storage guideline on your fridge to help you remember when to refrigerate, freeze and feed your pumped milk to your little one, so none of that precious liquid goes to waste.
Focus on Self-Care
Taking good care of yourself can also impact your breast milk supply, and potentially increase breast milk production. So, try to find time to relax and focus on yourself. Take a bath, take a nap, put on a face mask, read a book, or do anything else that can help you feel relaxed. It may seem nearly impossible to find the time to do these things, but keep in mind that taking care of yourself are taking care of your baby too.