Breastfeeding is a rollercoaster of emotions. That skin-to-skin contact is so important, so life-affirming... but the exhaustion of regular feeding to keep up milk supply is so real. Plus, many mamas feel anxious that their supply could be low, complicating their plans for feeding baby.
Rest easy, mama. "Many women think they have a low supply when in reality they don't, after assessing baby's weight, output, intake, and explaining how milk supply works," says board-certified lactation consultant and wellness coach Sharen Medrano. But if you determine that you really do have a low supply after consulting a professional, there are ways to increase milk production. The good news? They mostly involve self-care, bonding with baby, and getting in touch with your own body.
We've rounded up the best products and methods on the market to help boost your milk supply, mama. Just remember: When in doubt, it's always best to consult a professional.
Nursing is a supply-and-demand process and the portable, rechargeable, easy-to-clean Medela double pump fills in for your baby, helping your body create more milk. It also features 2-Phase Expression Technology designed to produce more milk faster with optimal flow and efficient expression. Also good to know: Medrano notes that the Medela may be covered by your insurance so definitely check in to see if that's doable.
Nursing mamas need to snack often on foods that are rich in protein and calcium. Even better if those foods are delicious cookies. Chock-full of ingredients that may support milk supply like wholesome oats, omega-3-rich flax seed, and B-vitamin-rich brewer's yeast, these lactation cookies are as effective as they are yummy.
A lactation specialist will likely recommend a nursing vacation, where you'll take baby to bed with you for 2-3 days and do nothing but nurse, cuddle, rest and eat. Of course, comfort is key, and if you really want to focus on the vacation part, don't you deserve a cozy, functional new pair of maternity PJs? This set includes an easy-access tank top, pajama bottoms, a comfy robe, and a matching baby gown and hat. (Just be sure to read up on safe sleep practices before you cozy up.)
Always, always check in with your lactation specialist before beginning a galactogogue (milk production supplement) regimen. "Fenugreek, for example, can affect blood sugar levels or interfere with the absorption of other minerals," explains Medrano. That said, if you get the okay from a pro, the Mama's Select Nursing & Lactation Plus Supplement is packed with fenugreek, blessed thistle, fennel seed and marshmallow root to jumpstart your milk flow.
The Spectra pump is another pick from Medrano, who recommends a "double electric [pump]... and learning manual expression." The Spectra pump is rechargeable, and the company is run by registered nurses, board-certified lactation consultants, and mamas like you. Check with your insurance provider to see if the Spectra is covered.
Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother's Milk Tea Bags have been helping mamas up their milk supply for 40 years. This ethically-sourced, medicinal-grade blend of organic herbs like anise, fennel, coriander, fenugreek and blessed thistle has a delightful licorice taste.
Feel like doing a deep dive, mama? Written by leading lactation consultants and updated to reflect the latest in medicine and technology, this "low milk supply bible" can help you learn exactly how your body produces milk, whether your supply is low and why, and how to make more breast milk no matter your situation. As always, consult a lactation specialist who is familiar with your individual needs before making any major lifestyle changes.
This organic and vegan instant decaf latte tastes like the morning jolt you so dearly miss, and includes moringa, dates, spinach, carrots, oats, brewer's yeast and coconut oil creamer, which may get your milk flowing. Moms rave about Milksta's taste and delivery on its milk-production claim. This is truly one potent cup of joe.
MILKFUL was created by a mama who struggled with low milk supply herself and eventually consulted an RD and a board-certified lactation consultant to develop these tasty, wholesome snack bars. They feature lactation-supporting ingredients like rolled oats, flax seeds, black sesame seeds and brewers yeast. And in delicious flavors like Blueberry Almond Coconut, these are one "supplement" you'll look forward to taking, mama. (Note that some of the flavors include fenugreek, so check with your lactation specialist before eating.)
While protective nipple covers don't increase milk supply per se, you have to take care of your poor nipples between sessions to stay on your game! Medela SoftShells provide a soft barrier between nipple and bra to prevent painful friction. Bonus: They also absorb any leakage, so milk stains won't show up on your clothes..
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