I was one of those lucky mums that breastfeeding came naturally and quite easy to me (may be the only perk of having E cup boobs). I mean, Billie was feeding within minutes of delivery and had her first proper feed whilst in recovery. However that went down hill quite quickly when I developed pneumonia. I was getting drilled by my health nurse, doctors and midwives that I had to breast feed. And I definitely wanted to! But between my extreme dehydration and the medications I was on, my milk supply didn’t have a chance unfortunately. But I did find these tips extremely helpful in stretching my supply and increasing a diminishing supply.
- Frequent feeding – I hated the idea of this to begin with because I hated the idea of encouraging cluster feeding. But after leaving it to the last attempt, I realise this probably should have been my first try! In short, basically the more you feed, the more milk your body produces. AMAZING ISN’T IT!
- Cluster pumping – This works similarly to the frequent feeding in the sense the more you pump, your body tells itself it needs to produce more milk. This may not be as effective for a lot of women because the hormones associated with milk production are not always stimulated during pumping (often why breastfeeding mothers can’t pump). Although it may not be as effective, it can be extremely useful for those who can manage it.
- Lactation cookies – Google recipes and there will come up a plethora of options but I just purchased the Franjo’s Kitchen Lactation Cookies from my local stockist. The choc chip cookies taste so good, not like the home made ones I tried. There is no scientific evidence that I know of that proves such recipes work but it definitely helped me.
- Medications – If your like me, you will leave medications to a last resort. There are herbal medications such as Fenugreek as well as prescription medications that can increase your supply. Please speak with your doctor before taking any medications to ensure they are safe for you and bubs. I tried Fenugreek with no success however did find the prescribed Domperidone improved my supply dramatically.
My biggest tip for supply boost is try not to stress over breast feeding. I was an emotional mess as I watched my supply slowly dwindle to nothing. I felt like I was useless, like I was letting my baby down. And the more I stressed about it, the quicker I found my supply decreased. I agree with the saying ‘Breast is Best’. However that is not always the way and that isn’t always possible. Formula options have come along way since my parents days. I was formula fed and I don’t think you can tell by looking at me. Try the above tips, but just know sometimes breastfeeding isn’t for everyone. And that’s OK!