How to Boost your Breast Milk
How to boost your breast milk..
I breastfed my son for 4 years.
Breastfeeding was a wonderful but challenging experience. I never breastfed my daughter, I had her when I was 20. Breastfeeding wasn’t something that particularly bothered me back then. I tried for a few days as you do, but I wasn’t producing much milk, it hurt, I was young, and so I didn’t stick with it.
If it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work for you.. I’ve been on both sides of this. I’ve both breastfed and not breastfed, both kids are healthy, there is no judgement. This is just my experience…
When I had my son I was determined to breastfeed. I was 10 years older and wiser and wanted to give it a go for as long as possible. However mother nature knew what was in store.. At 6 months I was tired and thinking about work, so decided to try him with a bit of formula.. I immediately ended up rushing him to hospital as his face blistered up and he went all lethargic and red.. that was it.. formula was not on the cards, he’s allergic to dairy. My determination to breastfeed.. my food routines.. it was all because my body knew I’d got to breastfeed this time round round.
I practised attachment parenting. I breastfed on demand, I wasn’t very good at sticking to routines, and I co-slept.
This worked for us. I know co-sleeping is a taboo subject, but it made my life easier so that’s what we did.
Due to my son being allergic to dairy and also eggs, nuts, fish and at the time potatoes, I had to cut them out of my diet too, as obviously whatever I ate went into my breastmilk and then into him.. This is part of how I realised his allergies. If I ate any of those foods he would come out in a rash. Therefore I had to think very hard about the food I was consuming to make sure I still got all the right nutrients. I was feeding another human and needed that extra strength.
Your baby is taking a lot of your nutrients so nutrition is key. Whether or not you eat meat, fish and eggs it is still super important to get optimal nutrition and the best way to do this is through plant based foods. So even if you are not vegan I still recommend to eat my recommendations. These helped me through and kept up a good milk supply for 4 years!
Your breast milk is a combination of fat, protein and water so you need to make sure that you are including a good amount in your diet. For non meat eating people the following are good sources of protein.. hemp/sunflower/pumpkin/chia seeds, quinoa, goji berries, lentils, beans, oats, vegetables and vegan protein powder to add to smoothies. Rev Foods do nice protein powders. I’ve tried and tested a few and have found there’s to be the nicest I’ve tried.
Protein is important for healthy growth so you need to make sure you are eating enough.
Healthy fats.. Avocados, coconut oil, olives, olive oil, chia seeds. These can all be added to smoothies (well, not the olives..) or you could make Chia pudding, add avocado to pretty much anything and add coconut oil to drinks and salad dressings.
Superfood smoothies. These were a god send to me and would always get me through the hard days or when tiredness hit. Coconut / oat / rice milk (You could have almond if no nut allergy) chia seeds, hemps seeds, cacao, maca powder, udos oil, protein powder, teaspoon of melted coconut oil, spinach.. Throw it all in a blender. Add whatever you want to.. other superfood powders of choice, berries etc. It’s important to try and keep your energy up as our bodies need energy to produce milk. Superfoods also contain lots of iron which is essential for breastfeeding mothers.
Green juices/smoothies.. As far as getting your nutrients go, green juices and smoothies are a great way of incorporating amazing amounts of goodness into your body. Look how many fruits and vegetables you can blitz up and consume in one go. The nutrients get into your system quicker too as they give your digestive system a break and also help with eliminating toxins, which means healthier milk.I would have a juice first thing every morning.
Tip – Use more veg than fruit.. If making a green juice try.. celery, lime, parsley, kale. If you need to sweeten add one apple.
Eating porridge.. I would have this at any time of the day, not just for breakfast. It was an easy option to keep me full when my hands were full looking after a new baby. A bowl of porridge is so filling, full of fibre and excellent for digestion. The slow release of carbs keeps your energy up. Porridge is so warming and comforting after those long nights of sleep deprivation. Use either coconut, rice or oat milk. I also like to stir in a bit of cacao and maca powder.
Greens.. We all know how good greens are for your health. Spinach, kale, broccoli etc. They boost your immune system..which is essential for keeping your strength up. They cleanse your blood, provide all round wellness and are full of nutrients such as vitamins and antioxidants. I believe these are very important for keeping your milk ‘clean’. The healthier you are and the more nutrients you are getting helps the production of the milk and keeps it toxin free. I would literally have spinach or kale with everything.
Staying hydrated is very important as again your breastmilk is made up of water. Drink plenty of h2o. You need to keep replacing what your baby is taking.
Expressing will also help.. Although I struggled with this. Between about 3 and 8 months I found it easier, I had a big flow going on, but most of that milk was thrown away as my boy wouldn’t take a bottle. However, it is still best to try and express, as the more milk you ‘get rid of’, the more milk your body makes – which is good news for the baby..
This experience made me totally fall in love with my body and what she is capable of. Women’s bodies are so often sexualised and yes damn right we’re sexy AF, we’re sexy AF without being sexualised, but our bodies do incredible things. Who cares about our mum tums, stretch marks, cellulite, small boobs, big boobs, whatever.. Stepping into our power is where it’s at!
Top Tip – Breast massage. Connecting with our bodies. You know to be honest sometimes through my breastfeeding journey I would get anxious.. I would feel like he owned my body, sometimes it felt too much and as he got older I would put vinegar on my nipples in a desperate attempt for him to not want it (little bugger would just toddle off and get a wipe to wipe it off lol). Truth is it took a long time for me to feel like my body was my own again, so it’s really important for us to practice that self love thing we talk about. If your breasts are sore, go around them, as you do so thank your body for what she is doing / has done. You love and appreciate her. If you are too sore and leaky to do at the time of breastfeeding, do it when your journey has finished as a way of reconnecting with your body.
Happy Milk Maiding