Like so many of the tasks that make up the motherhood job, breastfeeding can be bloody hard. So many of us struggle with the whole ‘milk thing’. We are anxious in the days pre-birth about how it will all ‘work’ and then post birth about ‘when the milk will come in’ and during the journey itself - about the quantity… the ebb and flow and how ‘well’ we are ‘keeping up with the baby’.
Talk about PRESSURE.
No wonder one of the first things I help mums with is their super sensitive and depleted nervous system. Stress and anxiety greatly impacts milk supply not to mention the impact of the physical birth and how that went and what your body went through.
The other thing we need to consider greatly is how well mum is convalescing. The event of birth is huge and your body needs to rest and recuperate. We do not do this well. We must work on changing this.
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION
- TO STOP, heal and recover post birth. Get the lists out, get people involved to help and take your time with everything! TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF yourself.
- To go see someone and get help. Don’t try and work it all out from google.
IF YOU ARE FEELING ANXIOUS / OVERWHELMED / STRESSED
- 5min meditation from you tube clips
- take a slow walk at the same time each day, this is YOUR time.
- practice some very gentle yoga
- practice breathing exercise
- get a massage, try some acupuncture, book back in with your naturopath - maybe there are some nervous system herbs perfect for you to help you on your way
Top Tips for bringing in your milk and boosting your supply:
- If you are reading this prior to giving birth, try to express some colostrum at about 38+ weeks – each day, by hand express a bit (it may be just 3-5ml) in to a specimen jar and freeze the milk in syringes in your freezer (don’t forget to take them to the hospital just in case you need it! i.e. if your babe is heading to special care like my little Flo or if you had a caesarean and complications occurred – your husband can give this colostrum to your baby whilst you are recovering)
- Start munching on some lactation cookies / crackers / muesli – not too many, just maybe 1-2 a day or 40gm of muesli
THE WEEK OF GIVING BIRTH
- On the day of giving birth start eating the lactation cookies / crackers / muesli – take 3 biccies or crackers or 60gm of muesli as soon as you can post birth. Then again about 6 hours later. Repeat on day two
- By day 3 if your milk is not in, do the above again. If it is in and your supply is adequate then use the products as and when required
- If after a number of days your milk has not come in then every 3 hours have some form of galactagogue foods / beverages
- Most mum’s notice a boost in their supply 4-6 hours after having a serve of our Tanker Toppers – a serve is 2-4 lactation cookies or 60gm of muesli. So, if you are noticing your milk is a little low late afternoon then after lunch have a few biscuits all at once or have 3 crackers for lunch for example.
- Continue to include galactagogue foods in most of your meals in addition to taking the Tanker Toppers
- You may notice that your supply evens out and things begin to go quite well and you may not need any extra help and that is terrific!
- There may be times during growth spurts i.e. at 3 and 6 months that requires you to get back on the lactogenic food wagon and include products such as the Tanker Toppers and generally increase the galactogenic foods.
- For the first 12 weeks be prepared to be feeding every 3 hours, even if your baby does not wake I suggest you still get up during the night and express to keep your boobs doing what you want them to do
- Find a lactation consultant to pop in and check the baby’s attachment etc on to the breast is correct. These women are amazing and can be lifesavers!
- Consider seeing a naturopath or herbalist to make you up a high potency formula to assist in boosting your supply
- Make sure you are drinking enough water! And not too much dehydrating coffee ;)
- Eat regularly every 3-4 hours of quality, real, whole foods.
- Head to Mama Body Tea or Love Tea to get their lactation tea and drink 2-3 cuts per day.
- HANG in there! It takes time and persistence
Know that you ARE NOT ALONE. So many mums share the struggle with milk which is why we created Franjo’s Kitchen and in particular our Tanker Topper range. We are also here to support, educate and listen to you, you can get in touch with us anytime.
Next week we will be publishing our suggested galactagogue foods / beverages and a daily meal plan that will help you with your milk supply.