Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful, challenging and amazing parts of motherhood. Many women assume that because it is natural, it should come naturally, but this often isn’t the case. I remember the first few weeks after my own baby bear’s birth – there was painful nipples, engorged breasts, overwhelm, and frustration. After all that settled down and we got into a good rhythm, there was such beauty in the quiet moments spent with my bub, feeding her and connecting with her. It became something we both really enjoyed. There are many factors that can improve breastfeeding and milk supply including the following helpful tips.
Keep Well Hydrated
This is a big one! Many Mumma Bears are dehydrated (both because they forget to drink and they are busy with their newborns). This can have a big impact on your breast milk production. Remember, mammary glands (breasts), are modified sweat glands so hydration plays a key role when thinking about improving supply. If you don’t like water, increase the intake of herbal teas (such as a well formulated Lactation tea). Soups, broths and room temperature filtered water with lemon or fresh herbs are also great ways to keep hydrated.
Avoid Substances That Reduce Breast Milk Production
These include (but are not limited to) caffeine, some herbal teas such as peppermint, spearmint and sage, alcohol, and smoking. Some medications can also negatively impact lactation so keep this in mind too.
Eat Lactation Friendly Foods
A diet rich in protein, healthy fats, iron, wholegrains and B vitamins, can support healthy breast milk production (and it will boost Mumma Bears mood and energy levels too). Conversely, excessive rapid weight loss or calorie restriction (especially those wanting to lose weight fast) can also reduce supply. My Mumma Bear lactation cookie mix and Lactation Tea are a delicious and effective way to boost lactation naturally and effectively.
Make Sure You Have A Breastfeeding Cheer Squad
That’s right, having a close-knit social circle that is supportive of your willingness to breastfeed makes a big difference. This is an important one! I remember during the early days of sleep deprivation, tiredness, pain (as my breasts got used to breastfeeding), and overwhelm, that there were times when I really did think about giving up. Having my husband's support (seriously my own private lactation consultant who was always offering me encouragement and helping with attachment), really made the biggest difference and we got through the tough times!
Ask For Assistance
If you still feel like your breast milk production isn’t where it should be, investigate the services of a lactation consultant. Your baby may have an issue with tongue-tie or latching issues, which may impact on your baby’s ability to feed efficiently. Don’t try to work it all out on your own, there are so many opportunities for assistance. Contact the Australian Breastfeeding Association for support.
I love supporting Mummas during their pregnancy and breastfeeding journey with Naturopathy, which is why I have developed a whole range of teas and cookie mixes for Mumma Bears.
I'd love to know what you thought of this blog! Contact me here with any questions or comments you may have. If you want more naturopathic support from a Mumma who has been through it all before, book an appointment here.