Before giving birth I was positive that I wouldn’t have any issue with breastmilk production, it was never even something I considered would happen to me! I was over prepared with tons of nursing pads, milk storage bags, and a pumping schedule for in between feedings. I remember how shocked I was when I pumped in the hospital and got NOTHING out. No colostrum, no milk, nothing. Reagan hadn’t been able to latch so we agreed to give her formula, and I assumed my supply would come in after a few days.
But it never did. Breastfeeding was super painful so I pumped and gave a bottle a lot during those first several weeks. Every time I pumped I would get 0-2 ounces and I’d have to supplement with formula. I was super stressed out because I felt like I never knew if Reagan was getting enough, and I didn’t want to do anything to accidentally decrease my supply.
During my second pregnancy, I prepared way better for the likelihood of having a low supply again so that I could start building up my supply the minute Elliott was born. Here are the tried and true tactics that worked for me, brands and products that helped, and things that I’m still doing 6 months later!
Premama Lactation Drink
This is my number one go-to product for increasing milk supply! I’ve been drinking one per day since Elliott was 2 weeks old and if I take a few days off I notice a huge difference in my supply when I pump. I talk about them all the time on my Instagram because I love them so much, and so many of my friends and followers have raved about them too! They cost about $0.70/packet, and there’s a monthly subscription option that makes them even cheaper!
There are tons of recipes for making these on Pinterest, but if you have no time/energy/desire to make these yourself you can order them from Boob Food Cookies! They taste amazing and I ate 2 per day for the first 2 weeks to help increase my supply. I personally didn’t notice a significant difference from the cookies alone, but I know lots of people who say they worked really well!
The first month is always the hardest for me in terms of supply. I made it a point to pump after each nursing session those first several weeks and to pump if Elliott skipped a feeding or only fed on one side, even in the middle of the night. It was annoying, inconvenient, and tiring but I really believe it kept my supply up by increasing the demand.
There are lots of foods that are supposed to help increase milk supply, and I made sure I was eating as many of them as possible! My favorites were oatmeal and spinach, I could make a bowl of oatmeal in a couple minutes and spinach is really easy to throw in other meals!
Drink TONS of Water
I have a 32 oz Sic Cup that I make sure is always full of water. I go through it at least 4-5 times per day and I still find that I’m thirsty while nursing. This is one of the most important ones and sometimes one of the hardest to stay on top of, but having a large tumbler that I don’t have to fill up as often as a glass made a big difference for me!
Fenugreek vitamins are proven to help increase milk supply, and you can pick up a bottle pretty much anywhere (Walmart has them for about $4)! The Premama drink contains plenty of fenugreek, but if you want to do just the vitamins you’ll have to prepare to smell like maple syrup for a while 🙂 I used these a lot with Reagan and they definitely increased my supply in about a week!
So…did all of these things make a difference??
We only had to supplement with formula once or twice for Elliott and after that my milk was enough! I pump about 6oz every night at work which is way more than I ever got when I was nursing Reagan. I still drink my Premama drink every day, I eat a bowl of oatmeal every morning, and I am very conscious of how much water I drink during the day. I’m SO grateful that I was more prepared this time around, and if you are pregnant with your first I highly recommend making note of these things so you can be ready if you need them.