Breastfeeding a baby is HARD. I never thought it would be such a commitment to breastfeed as it seems like it would be a very natural thing to do. And it is… for the most part. As soon as I had Brighton, I knew in the back of my mind that I had to pump for two destination weddings we already committed to. Both weddings would have us out of town four days for each.
Luckily for me (and Brighton, I guess, haha), I was oversupplying milk. When I would pump after her first feed, I would get TWO five ounce bottles. At the time, she was only drinking three ounces per feeding. My freezer supply built up quickly and I became proud and confident of my stock pile. I was so confident, in fact, that I backed off of pumping for a few weeks.
BIG mistake. HUGE.
As I’m sure you guessed, my supply dropped dramatically. I went from producing 10 ounces per 10 minute pumping session to only ONE ounce combined total in a 20 minute pumping session. Now that Brighton is eating 25-30 ounces a day… I started to panic. Five days to make ONE bottle?! Unacceptable.
With about 7 full days of milk stored in the freezer I knew I needed to do something fast. These weddings were both in the same month and I only had four weeks to produce at least one more day worth of milk giving me zero leeway if our flight got delayed. It sounds like a lot of time, but it’s not.
I started pumping at the same time every day for about a week and my supply was remaining extremely low. I was maybe getting two ounces total on a good day. After a week of freaking out, I finally went ham on milk boosting tactics. My strategy was to do all of them at once for 2-3 days and I ended up seeing results within 36 hours. Here’s what I did:
I am terrible at drinking water. I decided that I would drink a glass of water every time I pumped or fed the baby. I know I should have been doing this the entire time. Dehydration is real…
I read that adding this supplement into your diet really helps boost milk production. I picked up a bottle of this supplement at The Vitamin Shoppe. I took two 610 mg capsules three times a day. *Note: it makes you smell like maple syrup… I suppose there are worse side effects you could have.
I’ll be honest. I got lazy and stopped taking my prenatal vitamins. Big mistake as the baby is taking ALL of my nutrients! I grabbed a giant bottle of Smarty Pants Prenatal Gummies while I was at The Vitamin Shoppe. One serving is six gummies! It feels like you are eating candy. Yum!
I sort of stumbled across this tactic. I had been hearing a lot about oat milk in general just as an alternative to milk. I’m a big almond milk drinker, but I wanted to see what all the buzz was about. I couldn’t find it at Whole Foods in the refrigerated section (it was sold out), but I googled it while I was at the store to see what the container looked like. You know how google tends to complete your sentence? Well, I typed in “oat milk” and google suggested to add on “and breastfeeding”. Haha. Can you tell what I’ve been googling lately? It makes sense though as breastfeeding moms are encouraged to eat oatmeal for boosting supply. It seems logical that oat milk would produce the same results. I bought a box of it in the cereal aisle. FYI – it tastes so creamy in your coffee. I put 4 oz in my 8 oz coffee in the mornings.
Like I said in the previous paragraph, oatmeal is known to boost milk supply. I had a bowl of instant oatmeal in the morning along with my oat milk coffee.
I am not going to complain at all about being encouraged to eat cookies. Haha. I purchased Milkmakers Chocolate Salted Caramel lactation cookies from Target. The box said to eat 1-2 packages per day. I ate two the first and second day. Then I ate one package per day to maintain.
Alright… this one sucks. [Pun intended.] I found some power pumping resources on Pinterest. I didn’t actually pin them, so unfortunately I can’t properly credit the sources I used. Basically, I tricked my body into thinking that my baby was cluster feeding. I would power pump once in the morning and once in the evening – both times about an hour after she fed from the breast. I pumped for 20 minutes, took a 10 minute break, pumped for 10 minutes, took a 10 minute break, and concluded by pumping for one last 10 minute session. It’s an hour total each time and is definitely a commitment. Breastfeeding is a supply and demand operation, so this tactic probably helped me the most.
I’m OBVIOUSLY not a doctor and am not recommending anyone follow my aggressive plan without consulting with your lactation consultant and/or doctor. Like I said, I freaked out and just created this plan on my own without consulting anyone. I followed it strictly for about two full days, but saw substantial results after 36 hours.
Breakfast – Prenatal vitamins, fenugreek seed supplement pills (2) 610 mg, oatmeal, coffee with oat milk, water
Mid Morning – Power pump one hour after feeding and at the same time every day, water
Lunch – Fenugreek seed supplement pills (2) 610 mg and water with lunch
Mid Afternoon – Coffee with oat milk and lactation cookies
Dinner – Fenugreek seed supplement pills (2) 610 mg and water with dinner
After Dinner – Lactation cookies
Before Bed – Power pump one hour after feeding and at the same time every day, water
I would love to know if you’ve tried any milk boosting tactics and if so, what worked for you! Please leave me a note in the comment section below.