Lactation consultants and most people would tell you there’s no another way to increase your breast milk supply than keeping nursing every 2-3 hours around the clock (24/7). I didn’t follow that advice, but my baby still had more than enough for his feeding.
Actually, there are food that you should eat / drink or should avoid to increase / maintain your milk supply volume. Nutrition wise, breast milk is mostly consists of 95% water and 5% protein, so drinking plenty of water not only makes sure you’re well hydrated, but also helps increase breast milk supply, FAST. Below I’ve organized a list of things that helped me to increase / maintain a good breast milk supply volume, and hopefully, this list can be helpful for you, too.
Food to eat and drink to increase / maintain breast milk supply volume:
- avocado milk
- milk (plain milk may cause gas) or soy milk
- chicken soup
- hot brown sugar & ginger water
- bottom line: drink plenty of liquid will make sure you have enough volume
- Sunflower Lecithin. OK, this is more for preventing Mastitis, a painful infection of breast tissue, but very important to a healthy mom diet.
Food to avoid
- basil (I ate a pasta with Pesto sauce from Costo.. and that killed my supply for a few cycles!)
- banana (this one doesn’t decrease your supply immediately but you’ll start noticing it within a day or two)
- water lemon
As to what are the things that you should do, or not do. The study showed, and I tried it myself too, that breastfeeding or pumping moms needs at least 4 hours continuously sleep in order to keep the breast milk supply. I take this as “enough rest” so that your body is well hydrated, well rested, and have the energy to create milk. On the flip side, if you’re too stressed about certain things (most of the time at this stage, you’d be stressed about your baby’s sleeping or feeding pattern), this will reduce your milk supply. This is fairly straight forward. If you are stressed, your body will not function as well, hence reduce in milk supply. Therefore, the best advice for you is to have someone take care of the baby during one cycle, if you’re pumping every 2-3 hours so that at least you can rest for 4 hours. Also, when your baby’s not sleeping through the night or not eating enough, or he/she is having colic..etc, don’t stress out. Email the pediatrician, google, or talk to friends will help solve the worry and anxiety.
That’s it! Happy pumping!
ps. if you find any other food items that help with milk supply, please let me know!