A common concern of nursing moms is “am I producing enough milk?” Bottles are easy to measure, you can read how much your baby is getting right on the bottle. It isn’t to easy with breastmilk. The easiest way to tell if your baby is getting enough milk is not by how often he/she nurses but by how many wet and dirty diapers he/she makes.
The healthy amounts are:
After the milk comes in, expect 3-4 dirty diapers and 5-6 wet diapers each day.
So what do you do if your baby isn’t gaining well or not putting out enough healthy diapers? (For healthy weight gain rates, see this info from Kellymom.com)
Sometimes, you just need a boost in supply.
There are lots of things that can contribute to a lower milk supply – stress, hormones, thyroid issues, diet, and health. Here is a very incomplete list of tips to increase supply – for a comprehensive resource see KellyMom and La Leche League. And please share in the comments tips you have!
Drink lots of water! I remember drinking a ton of water when I was pregnant, and you need just as much to keep yourself hydrated and produce milk for the baby after pregnancy. Some moms find it helpful to get a nice big glass of ice water and keep it where they nurse the most – on a table by their easy chair for example – so they can drink while they nurse.
There are different teas you can drink that will increase supply. Bulk Herb Store, for example has a very helpful tea. Or you can go to the organic section of your local grocery store and buy the “Mother’s Milk Tea” from Traditional Medicinals. I have a friend that testified to me that both of those teas increased her supply.
Cookies! Yes, eat your oatmeal, and you can eat it in the form of a cookie. Gypsy Jewels makes some delicious Mama Munchies cookies packed full of milk boosting ingredients. My personal favorite is the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip with Granola – it is soft, chewy and just sweet enough to quiet my sweet tooth. When you eat these cookies feel free to eat as many as, well, you normally eat of cookies. I ate like 4 cookies in one night and didn’t notice a huge change – mostly because to notice a change I’d have to have a problem, and I already make a ton of milk.
Juliea, the owner of Gypsy Jewels, said her cookies boost supply because, “the lactogenic ingredients are Oatmeal and Brewers Yeast. They help the body produce more milk while the ingredients like coconut oil, flax seed meal and hemp protein help to enrich it. These cookies are not only delicious, but they really are healthy, too!” And for only $6 for a half dozen you can afford a bulk supply.
If your life is super stressful it can take a toll on your supply. If you are able to, try and minimize the stress level. When you are nursing, relax as much as you can and enjoy this special time with your baby. Don’t look at the clock, look at your baby. Don’t stress out if your baby wants to nurse for longer than “15 minutes on each side” as some resources say. Every baby eats differently and the more you nurse, the more you will produce.
Please share your tips in the comments – what has worked with you or a friend?
So, you are nursing on demand and the baby demands to nurse while you are at the mall. What do you do? Run to the bathroom? No! There are so many ways you can nurse discreetly and comfortably on the bench in the middle of it all.
How to nurse in public without feeling embarrassed
I remember the feeling. Lizzie was hungry just as I was sitting down to eat my chicken fried steak. Being my first, I was not sure how to nurse at the table, I was still at the fumbling stage. So I excused myself and nursed her in my car. There is nothing wrong with what I did – in fact I was more comfy there than at the table! But I want to share a few things I learned that helped me to nurse without shame.
By wearing a tank top under your shirt your stomach can stay covered – just lift up your top shirt and pull your tank top down with your nursing bra. I am so self-conscious about my stomach and this tip saved me! This is especially helpful for wiggly babies that don’t like blankets on their heads.
Use a nursing cover
This will not work for every single baby. Some babies are so wiggly they flip that blanket right off their head! But a nursing cover was a godsend when Lizzie was an infant. I could put it on and adjust her and my shirts then take it off. I loved it! Gypsy Jewels makes a handy Nursing Clip for only $10 that can turn any blanket or fabric you have in your bag into a nursing cover. It is far more affordable and easier to pack than any nursing cover.
Practice in front of a mirror
This helped me so much – when you sit down and nurse in front of a mirror you can see what other people see when you nurse. And it might surprise you how little is showing when you do. After a few practice sessions in front of a mirror I was able to know how to position baby’s head perfectly and sit in a comfy position for both of us that showed as little as possible.
What are your tips for nursing in public comfortably?
*I received the cookies and nursing clip to review. All opinions about those products are my own.
Stay tuned for a giveaway to Gypsy Jewels!