There are many steps you can take while still pregnant to help your body create lots of colostrom right away, and keep on making a healthy milk supply soon after birth. Ensuring a healthy milk supply once baby arrives is really important for most mamas, especially if you’ve struggled with breastfeeding in the past. If this is your first baby, breastfeeding can seem even more overwhelming. There are some simple, straight forward steps you can take now, that will encourage a healthy milk supply when baby arrives.
Can your milk come in before birth?
No, not really. Technically, the hormone levels won’t allow your breasts to start creating breast milk if you are still pregnant. Estrogen levels are really high during pregnancy, and then they drop very low while breastfeeding. This allows for higher levels of other hormones and chemicals that signal lactation, which can’t really happen during pregnancy.
Here are 5 steps you can take to safely encourage your body to produce milk right away:
Start eating a lower-sugar diet:
Focusing on quality, high protein and healthy fats is really important towards the later stages of pregnancy. This helps with the extra weight gain, and it also will keep your estrogen levels from getting too high.
Sugar not only provides major highs and lows in mood and energy, it can also disrupt one of the most powerful hormones in the body: insulin. And insulin is closely connected to all of the other hormones in your body, including estrogen and testosterone.Women’s Health Network
Of course, the last few weeks or even months of pregnancy sometimes bring the worst cravings, fighting those cravings with healthy foods is essential to your hormone balance, and thus your ability to produce breast milk. Milk production is all about hormone and chemical balance in your body. If you are eating foods that throw things out of wack, your body is going to have to work harder to perform as it should. Our protein powder, Milk Dust, is an awesome protein powder for pregnancy as well because of the essential nutrients, sweet taste and protein. Pregnancy smoothies are an amazing way to help combat these sugar cravings and prepare for breast feeding.
Start using lactation herbs:
Lactation herbs have been studied both with science and anecdotally. This means that there are a few studies proving they can increase milk supply, as well as hundreds of years of use in lactation with women all over the world. It can be said that a women knows her body better than science, so here at Milk Dust we try to combine the two. We chose specific lactation herbs that have been shown to increase milk supply, as well as used for many years to support lactating women.
The herbs that have been shown to help increase milk supply are:
- Fennel Seed
- Milk Thistle
- Red Raspberry Leaf
- Brewer’s Yeast
- Reishi Mushroom
- Flax seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
There are many ways to start consuming these herbs during the end of pregnancy. Of course, you need to check with your doctor for approval to ensure you don’t have any risk of preterm labor. Some of these herbs, like Red Raspberry have been known to help increase the strength and health of the uterus for birth, which is another BONUS. Milk Dust of course has most of these on the list, in a unique blend that has been working really well for many mamas.
Remember that each person is unique and reacts differently to herbs, nutrients and ingredients, but in general, our product has been proven very successful.
There are also numerous teas, pills, powders and drinks on the market with various herb blends shown to help improve milk supply. Most of them work well for most moms, but the key is to find something you like and will stick to. Finding a good product now, to help when baby arrives is a great idea.
Increase Iron Levels:
Many pregnant mamas are low in iron during pregnancy. It is fairly normal, but can be fixed with some natural, plant-sources of iron that are amazing for health. Chlorella and Spirulina are two powerhouse foods that also carry loads of iron. In addition they are full of color, which means very nutrient-dense with antioxidants. Many mamas struggle with eating enough red meat or spinach, so taking a liquid chloryphyll, or drinking our Milk Dust offers a big boost in iron. Iron levels have been linked to a healthy milk supply, and support your body in healing and producing milk post birth. Brewer’s yeast is also high in iron, along with spinach, both of which are in Milk Dust.
Lower Sodium Intake:
Keep a watch on your salt intake, when water retention is particularly high during pregnancy. Throwing your electrolytes off can affect your milk supply as well. Make sure the salt you do eat is sea salt, and try to avoid eating a ton of salty foods. This will help your body let go of extra water and keep your electrolytes and minerals like magnesium and potassium in check. Be aware that many canned foods, deli meats and fast foods have a TON of salt added to them for flavor.
The minerals sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, calcium, phosphates and chloride work as electrolytes in the human body. They are present in all bodily fluid in a specific concentration; this concentration is important to maintain since it is the level at which the minerals work with the fluid to carry out bodily functions, such as oxygen transport through the body, that are essential for survival. When a person sweats, urinates, has a bowel movement or excretes breast milk, some of these minerals are lost. Replacing these electrolytes can easily come from a healthy diet.Live Strong
This is only to be done if you are cleared by your doctor, but a great way to stimulate your milk production as well as labor. You must ensure you are ready for baby to arrive and labor to begin before taking this step. If you are, this is an awesome way to get your body ready to product breast milk. The stimulation can often times put a pregnant mama into labor because it signals the increase of oxytocin, which starts labor as well as playing a role in producing breast milk. Pumping tells your body it is time to start producing milk, even before labor has begun. If this is combined with the other steps we suggest, then your breast milk should come in healthy and strong with the birth of your new baby. This is of course assuming there are no hidden issues.
The first few days of breastfeeding are really important for baby’s growth and development.