Sup. So I’m done pumping completely and it feels so weird at only 2 months. But I’m proud of myself for doing it under so much stress honestly. Between the NICU, Owen’s feeding problems and allergies, and struggling hard with PPD, I just had to stop for my own mental health more than anything.
But before Owen was born, I was prepared to breastfeed or pump for him so I stocked up on some things, had lists of tricks and tips, and basically set myself up to make sure I would make enough milk for him.
10 things I found the most useful and effective for getting enough milk:
1. Lactation Product: Mrs Patels! This is a shop I found out about through Instagram and they kindly partnered with me to give their amazing treats a try. I LOVED them. I could see an entire ounce and a half difference in my milk supply after eating and drinking their chocolate fenugreek bars and the chai spice tea. I consumed these daily, so it’s definitely something you have to keep up with, not a one-time thing! But they are delicious (unlike that nasty Mothers Milk tea you can get from the store haha). Click here to browse their products and be sure to use code FIRSTORDER for 25% off your very first order.
2. WATER WATER WATER. I cannot stress this enough. I think how much water you drink is possibly the number one way to maintain a solid milk supply. I would see drastic differences in how much I would get if I hadn’t kept up my water intake. I easily filled up my 32 ounce water bottle 6 or 7 times during the day and just guzzled.
3. Limit caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine and alcohol dehydrate the body, and that can decrease milk. It’s also obviously not the best idea to consume much of these two things since both get into the baby’s system through your milk! I had one cup of coffee in the morning and one glass of wine at night while nursing and pumping and it was totally fine. More than that probably not, in my opinion. (Always ask your doctor if this is okay. Mine was fine with it and most lactation consultants say these amounts are harmless for the tiny amount that baby will get through the milk as well.)
4. Warm compress before nursing or pumping. This was something I didn’t have to do much, but I did when I got mastitis. Applying warmth to your breasts can get the ducts ready and milk flowing! These booby tubes are specifically made to wrap around the boobs for just this purpose.
5. Don’t skip a feeding or pumping session. One thing I did to ensure I didn’t skip any was invest in a hand pump for on-the-go. I kept this hand pump in my bag with me so that I could pump while we were out and about. It takes longer but was fine. If you’re trying to increase your supply but your baby is sleeping longer stretches, still pump when he/she would usually eat so that you tell your brain/body not to get lazy!
6. After nursing pump session: Pump for 10 minutes after every time your baby breastfeeds. Even if nothing comes out at first, keep at it for a few days. Doing this will trigger your brain and body and tell it “hey, you’re not done making milk right now” and *hopefully* it will get the message and you’ll start to see a boost.
7. Rest. Dude, sleep does not come easy with a baby, if it even comes at all. But you gotta find time for a nap or a stretch of a few hours of sleep, because overexhaustion can absolutely deplete your milk. AND your sanity. And if you’re stressed or overtired, that definitely affects milk supply.
8. Brewers Yeast. Brewers Yeast is known to help increase that milk. These lactation cookies are INSANELY good. They are ridiculously fattening and not healthy at all but WHO CARES. You only live once, you deserve some damn happiness, and they have TONS of milky boosty powers. Not kidding. I made these allllll the time with Quinn and a few times with Owen too. *The oatmeal, flaxseed meal, and brewers yeast are what makes these so helpful so don’t skip those ingredients.*
9. Power Pump. Whether you’re nursing or pumping, doing this once or twice a day is proven to increase your supply. What you do, is you sit for an hour (I know, it’s hard to carve that out believe me) and you pump for 10 minutes, take a 10 minute break, pump for 10 minutes, take a 10 minute break, etc. For an hour. Do it while you watch an episode of TV at night or while your babe is napping next to you. Anything. It helps.
10. Finally, non-restrictive bras and tops. Underwire isn’t usually the best for nursing or pumping and getting good milk because it can cut off your ducts or be too constrictive on the breasts down there. Getting stretchy tops and bras really makes the whole shebang less stressful and more comfy. It’s literally a full time job, so it’s worth making sure you’re at least in some clothing you can do it easily in. I love Kindred Bravely bras, Latched Mama tops, and this Bravado Bra is incredible.