Shortly after your precious little one has arrived, there is a lot of attention on your breasts. Parents may come to realize that it’s not just about making milk, it can be about feeding schedules, the comfort level of nursing in public, engorgement, pumping, latching, and sometimes cracked or tender nipples. Whether a new mama or a seasoned expert, we all want to provide more than adequate nutrition for our baby. At some point during the motherhood journey, most moms will wonder if they have a good supply of breast milk.
We all hope to be that over-achiever. The one with a freezer so full of milk that we end up disparately looking for somewhere to donate or someone to take it off of our hands. Alas, not all of us- and actually very few, will be that lactation champion. Don’t fret, you don’t need to feed an entire army, you just need to feed your baby. So give yourself a break, and if you are wondering if you have adequate supply or want to boost that booby-milk, please keep reading.
Are you asking yourself, is my baby getting enough?
Naturally motherhood comes with many concerns, one of those is wondering if your baby is getting enough milk. Chances are that you are providing enough nourishment for your baby.
However, you will know that your baby is getting enough milk if:
- Your baby nurses every two to three hours on average. A total of eight to twelve feedings a day in the beginning is considered normal. You can expect that to taper off as your baby grows. You will be expressing a higher volume of milk per feeding since your baby’s stomach can hold more as he or she develops. Keep an eye out for excessively frequent nursing as this can be a sign of an improper latch. Frequent feeding can also indicate a growth spurt so don’t let it cause to much worry if it only lasts a few days.
- You can hear your baby swallow. Your baby should swallow at least once per every two to three suckles. Sometimes your baby will sound like he or she is gulping down milk. This is not only normal, but completely adorable. If you are hearing a clicking sound that is an indication that you should seek help from a healthcare professional.
- Your baby is gaining weight. An ounce a day in the first three months is average, and half an ounce from three to six months.
- Your baby has soiled diapers. At least three stools a day during the first month. Stools should be a mustardy color, appear seedy and runny. You can expect this consistency until solids have been introduced.
- Your baby seems to be healthy. Tap into your mama instincts, does your baby seem healthy and thriving? Or, do you have a bad gut feeling about your baby’s health? There is nothing wrong with doing more research if you feel as though something could be wrong.
If you suspect that you are at risk for a low milk supply you should:
Examine your diet
Experts agree that not only can a high-quality diet boost milk production but will help in producing high-quality milk. A poor diet however, can leave you exhausted and stressed, and in turn, can cause your milk to dwindle. If you want to provide the best possible nourishment for your baby, it starts with eating nutritiously yourself. Eating enough good fats are essential too. Fats like coconut oil, butter, olive oil, tallow, and lard are very beneficial to proper nutrition. Avoid oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, and hydrogenated oils.
Eat, eat, eat, then eat some more
Dr. Brewer, the Weston A. Price Foundation, midwives, lactation consultants, chiropractors, and nutritionists, are among the many professionals that advise continuing your pregnancy diet while nursing. As if you needed anymore motivation to eat like an Olympian, breastfeeding will leave you ravenous. Be sure to have smart snacks handy. Something that has little to no prep work, can be eaten with one hand, and is nutritious. Try Go Chews if you need something to give you a boost in a pinch. You could also add foods like; asparagus, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans and peas, dandelion and other dark leafy greens, beets, oatmeal, barley, brown rice, almonds, cashews, and macadamia nuts. These foods are known as golactogogues, meaning that they increase milk secretion.
Don’t be afraid to supplement… your diet
With so many questions surrounding what we should and should not put into our bodies while pregnant or nursing, here are two great ways to supplement your diet that can boost breast milk production and are safe for baby and mama:
Go-lacta – A plant based supplement that has been shown to increase breast milk supply. Made with premium malunggay, it can produce up to 200% more breast milk when compared to mothers who took only placebo capsules. Malunggay (also known as Moringa depending on the region) is an amazing tree that is getting a lot of attention in the health community. Every part of this plant is edible and can offer antioxidants, iron, vitamins A and C, protein, potassium, calcium, and increased energy. Please check out our social media pages for an exclusive give-a-way sponsored by Go-lacta
Mother’s Milk Tea – This tea is a blend of traditional European herbs including; fennel, anise coriander, and fenugreek. These herbs have been used for centuries to boost milk supply in nursing mothers. Try drinking 1-3 cups per day, but wait until after you give birth to start drinking this type of tea. If you are looking for a great tea to drink while pregnant, try Pregnancy Tea.
Seek pediatric body work
Professionals such as chiropractors understand that during delivery, infants can suffer from trauma to the cranium and spine. These practitioners use non-invasive manual techniques called adjustments. When breastfeeding difficulties arise, they often evolve from undetected injuries at birth. Some caregivers fail to recognize these injuries–negatively affecting the infant’s ability to successfully breastfeed. This leads to an incorrect understanding; the consequence can result in poor recommendations for treatment.
Parents should be advised to include chiropractic as part of their infant’s care. Some chiropractors are trained to evaluate tethered oral tissue and can refer patients out for co-management. Together with a medical physician, they can successfully assess the need of tongue tie and lip tie procedures.
Chiropractic newborn exams are essential to your baby’s lifelong wellness and it is important that parents seek a family chiropractor who can offer care for both mothers and infants.
See a lactation consultant
A certified lactation consultant can do much more than simply check for proper latch and recommend a good nipple butter. The visit will usually include examining your baby’s mouth. This is where the consultant will look for signs of tethered oral tissue (tongue tie or lip tie). This can be where the thin piece of skin under the tongue is restricting movement or the upper lip is restricted due to a thin membrane of tissue. The cells of this tissue should die during embryonic development but in some cases this cell death does not occur. A tongue or lip tie will not only make it difficult for baby to get enough milk, it can also reduce nipple stimulation causing milk production to drop or cease all together. Treatment of the tethered oral tissue can include; surgical snipping, laser surgery, revision by electrocautery, management and speech therapy. When the appropriate interventions are performed, treatments usually deliver great results. If your health care provider suggests a surgical treatment for a tongue or lip tie, try soothing baby’s mouth after the treatment with a Tongue Tie and Teething remedy available at, Kadin Family Chiropractic & Wellness Center.
As parents we all strive to do what is in the best interest of our children. For some mothers, ensuring that your baby is supplied with breast milk doesn’t always mean feeding baby from your breast. Dr. Kat has shared her own breastfeeding story here. If you feel as though you may have low breast milk supply or think that your baby may be struggling with breastfeeding, please ask Dr. Kat for her recommendations at your next chiropractic appointment.