The number one breastfeeding concern I hear from new mothers is “how do I increase my breast milk supply?” Simply put most mommas make the perfect amount of milk for their baby. Most reputable research on the subject shows that only between 2-5% of women do not have an adequate milk supply for their baby. There isn’t a magic secret to increasing milk supply. Breast milk is maintained by a supply and demand relationship. The more you put the baby to the breast to feed and drain the breast the more milk you will make. This being said some mommas do have success with increasing supply by using supplements or galactagogues.
Galactagogues are foods or herbs that in some cases have been shown to have a positive effect on milk supply. A few of the most popular ones are fenugreek, fennel, oatmeal, coconut oil, and brewer’s yeast. Many of the lactation teas or cookies on the market contain one or more of these active ingredients. These products should be viewed as an addition to an already successful nursing relationship. If you feel that your milk supply is on the decline a few things to do first are:
1. Meet with a certified lactation consultant and have your infants latch checked.
2. Make sure your baby is drinking at the breast, not just suckling. The International Breastfeeding Centre with Dr. Jack Newman has great videos that show the very important pause that indicates baby is actually drinking milk.
3. Feed your baby when your baby is indicating he is hungry. If you woke up in the middle of the night thirsty and I withheld water you would probably get upset. So why do this to your new baby?
- If you are sure your baby is latching correctly and drinking at the breast on demand and you feel like your supply could use a little boost here are some things to try.
- Oatmeal (not instant) in the morning with a tablespoon of coconut oil is a great way to add healthy fats and milk boosting ingredients into your diet.
- You can add a tablespoon of Brewers Yeast to a healthy smoothie with full-fat yogurt.
- Lactation bars or cookies are a great way to add these ingredients into your diet on the go.
Here is a recipe for no-bake lactation bites. And if you don’t feel like making these yourself you can order them by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Momma’s Milk Power Bites
No-bake energy bites gives you a healthy snack with breast milk boosting ingredients
1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup Almond butter ( may have to adjust to get correct consistency)
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs (optional)
1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries
2-3 medjool dates pitted
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon hemp seeds (optional)
2 tablespoons brewers yeast (active ingredient)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.) Spread the balls on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. These also freeze beautifully! The true beauty of this recipe is that you can really add and omit whatever you like to customize them to your taste. Makes about 20-25 balls.