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Nutrition for Mom

Janel F.
JANEL F.
Registered Dietitian
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Fueling yourself right doesn't have to be boring, mamas! Power through your busy schedule with quick and easy meals you'll actually crave. Led by Janel Funk, Tinyhood Nutrition Expert, Registered Dietitian, and food blogger.

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JANEL ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Bringing my milk back
BRIANA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Hi I’m Briana and I have a 6 month old daughter Sofia. I was exclusively breastfeeding for about 4 months until my Husband had an accident and broke his ankle. So I had to go back to work and I was working 7 , 8 hour shifts a week in 6 days. I was pumping at first but it became harder and harder to keep up. I noticed my milk supply was decreasing and About a month ago I thought that my milk supply was gone. So I stopped breast-feeding and just yesterday I realized that I still have some milk because I leaked a tiny bit and I got hopeful so I pumped today and I got out less than an ounce. I want to know how I can increase my milk supply because I would love to exclusively breastfeeding again, now that I’m back on only 2 days a week.

Janel
JANEL

Hi Briana,

Yes you can bring your milk supply back up!

First, you want to make sure you're pumping as many times as your baby is getting a bottle, and more if you're able. This increased frequency and emptying of the breast will signal your body to make more milk. You can do gentle hand massage of the breasts while you're pumping (using a hands-free pumping bra means you have hands free to do this if you don't already have one!) as this can help increase output. Also, some moms actually have more success getting milk with hand expressing as opposed to the pump. Are you familiar with hand expressing?

After your baby gets a bottle, you can bring her to breast to latch and try to nurse. Even if she doesn't get more than a few drops, the contact with your baby and her sucking will help stimulate the body to make more milk. Think of it like "dessert!" Once your milk starts to come back more, you can bring her to the breast first as her vigorous sucking will help with milk production, and then you can follow up with a bottle if needed. You can also use gentle breast compression while she's sucking to help coax milk out, as she may be frustrated with your supply being lower initially than she was used to. Ideally you'll be bringing baby to breast 10-12 times a day to reestablish breast feeding. This might sound like a lot!, and more than she's used to getting, but it doesn't have to be for full nursing sessions. Remember even non-nutritive sucking is beneficial, so plan on hunkering down and doing lots of cuddling and skin-to-skin with your baby so she has easy access to the breast.

You want to make sure your diet is adequate with 3 meals and some snacks throughout the day, as well as staying hydrated with at least 13 8oz glasses of water. While there is no scientific evidence backing it up, many moms have success with boosting milk supply when including certain foods in their diet. These include whole old fashioned oats, barley, brewers yeast, flax and lactation cookies. Many moms also like Mother's Milk Tea. Make sure to discuss with your doctor any supplements for boosting milk supply such as fenugreek.

BRIANA

Thank you so much! I wanted to get back to nursing now that I can and I was beginning to feel discouraged when I wasn’t making enough. I love the idea of more of a dessert after a bottle while I start!

Janel
JANEL

Great! Feel free to check back as you work on this and I’d be happy to help! Good luck!!