Eat lactation cookies, drink a special tea, eat steel cut oatmeal around the clock, drink beer, take herbs, drink extra water, sleep… the list just keeps going!
The truth is that there is no magic solution to making more milk. And after you have tried the list above you will likely feel exhausted, frustrated and perhaps defeated. I’m also concerned about the number of herbal supplements that are recommended to nursing moms without a thorough look into that mom’s medical history. I believe there are herbs that can be highly effective BUT depending on your medical history you can have adverse effects such as making even less milk! The only thoroughly researched and backed up SAFE method is to pump and/or breastfeed frequently and effectively.
Newborns eat often and they don’t like schedules. They nurse when they are hungry, thirsty and when they just want a little snack! I often here “but he just ate, he can’t be hungry again” 15 minutes after a baby supposedly finished eating. Yes – he may want to eat a little more – maybe he wants desert with that meal! This doesn’t mean you aren’t making enough milk and that he didn’t get enough milk in his last nursing session.
And if all really doesn’t seem ok then meet with a lactation counselor (ME!) to asses how your baby is nursing. If I can’t help you, you can rest assured that I have a team of professionals in my network that can help guide you even more.
In the meantime, practice some self-care. Try to take a few minutes for yourself every day, make a cup of tea that you like, and if you are looking for a yummy fall treat I’ve got a great recipe I found.
**I made a few adjustments to the recipe – the original can be found here: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/apple-cupcakes-cinnamon-cream-cheese-frosting/
APPLE CUPCAKES WITH CINNAMON-CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
YIELD: 10 cupcakes
Spiced apple cupcakes topped with a cinnamon-cream cheese frosting… A perfect fall dessert!
For the Cupcakes:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk, at room temperature
2 cups shredded Gala apples (about 2 medium apples, peeled)
For the Cinnamon-Cream Cheese Frosting:
½ cup salted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
My little guy just can't get enough of these cupcakes!
One question I always ask "moms to be" is whether or not they would like to eat and drink during labor. There is a huge divide in care providers on this topic and so some families don't even know it is an option.
I found a great article that outlines the research explaining why we have a culture of no eating and drinking during labor... the practice originated in the 1940s when labor and birth looked a lot different than they do today. The article also reveals recent research and outcomes on eating and drinking during labor today.
The following is a quote from the article - please feel free to click on it and read it in its entirety!
"Everyone going into labor is assumed to be at risk of aspiration because it is not possible to predict who will end up needing a Cesarean surgery under general anesthesia. However, the studies above show that aspiration death is extremely rare in the overall birthing population. This is because so few Cesareans require general anesthesia, and when they do, failed airway management deaths are rare."
Happy informed decision making and happy birthing!