This post is for all the pumping mamas wondering how to increase milk supply for pumping. We’ve discussed, asked and consulted our lactation consultant to put together 8 simple steps for increasing your milk supply for pumping. There are 8 keys to unlock more milk supply while you are pumping.
8 Key Steps To Increase Milk Supply for Pumping:
Empty breasts more often
Check flange size and fit
Check pump function
Nightly Pump Sessions
Early Morning Pump Sessions
Single-sided pumping while nursing one side
Milk boosters and diet
Empty breasts often when increasing milk supply for pumping:
The secret code to more milk supply is to empty your breasts more. If you want your body to make more milk, you need your body to think there is more of a demand. You can do this by trying to get your baby to breastfeed more often, and adding more pumping sessions in between feedings. The best times to add in these pumping sessions is when baby usually takes a long nap, or is sleeping in the night. As babies get older, they tend to sleep longer through the night, which unfortunately is a great time to add a pumping session.
You can also empty your breasts with baby during a feeding, wait a bit, then empty them again to signal to your body that baby needs more milk.
Power pumping with a twist:
Power pumping is a great way to increase your milk supply for pumping. What moms forget is that baby’s connection to your breasts is a large part of supply and demand. So we suggest more than power pumping. We suggest power nursing and pumping together.
The key is to nurse baby first, wait about an hour, then pump as much milk as you can. From there, wait another hour or so and nurse baby again. By then, it’s been a couple hours since baby last fed, which means you may be able to get them to eat again. Then pump another hour after that feeding. Your body will be more connected to baby, and required to produce more milk.
While you are power pumping, be sure to drink a Milk Dust shake! Many mamas have experienced a dip in supply just from missing one smoothie in the morning. Add some oatmeal to your smoothie, and you will be able to help keep your milk supply up during these exhausting pumping and feeding sections.
No matter what stay positive. This can be discouraging at first, when the pumping isn’t producing many ounces. Your body will need some time to catch up, so power through it!
Check your pump flange fit:
This is one of those steps many moms think aren’t really that important. But, the fit and size of your flanges can make or break a few ounces. Medela has a great guide on how to get the fit of your flange just right. Here is a great video on that as well to guide you in this process.
Check your pump functions and suction:
It is always a good idea to check your pump function and suction when you are trying to increase milk supply while pumping. If you’ve been using your pump for a while, it could be losing suction. If you notice a drop in your milk supply, and you haven’t changed anything, maybe your pump isn’t sucking well. Here is a guide on how to trouble shoot your pump.
If you aren’t getting the milk supply you want, definitely check into your suction on your pump. Sometimes just switching to a manual pump can help you see if your electric pump isn’t working well. Many moms love the Haakaa pump as an alternative to their electric pump. This one also works well while nursing baby on one side, and pumping milk on the other.
Nightly pump sessions to increase milk supply:
Pumping moms NEVER want to hear how powerful the nightly pump sessions can be for increasing milk supply. No one wants to finally fall asleep, or get their baby to sleep, then wake up in a couple hours just to pump. But, as baby learns to sleep longer, sometimes 4 hours at a time, your body may still be ready to feed the baby in a couple hours. Taking advantage of those moments, when baby is sleeping longer than normal, can really help with getting more milk. Hopefully it doesn’t have to happen nightly for weeks, but hopefully it will be a few nights in a row to get your supply up.
Early morning pump sessions (before baby feeds):
Pumping before baby has their early morning feeding is another key to increasing milk supply. Sometimes this will work without having to do the nightly sessions, depending on how much you need to increase your supply. Let’s say you pump at 2am, and baby usually wakes at 6am. Getting a pump session in at 5:30am, will be super helpful. Your body will be getting ready to provide milk for baby, and then that milk will get pumped into the bottles. Then, your body will still need to feed baby after, which it will. This encourages the extra production, without having to pump tiny amounts at a time.
Single-sided pump and nursing sessions:
One trick to pump more milk is to pump one side, while baby nurses the other. While breastfeeding the baby on one side, the other side will let down. Catching that milk, and stimulating that side as well can really increase the amount you pump. Baby will still need to nurse on that side, which will help stimulate more milk production. Alternate sides with this method to keep it even, and you may find it really helps a lot.
Milk supply boosters and nutrition:
Many mamas don’t realize that just adding a lactation supplement of some kind can make a huge difference. Supporting your body from the inside out is actually really important. Our Milk Dust protein powder, and Milk Dust Bars are really yummy options to add to your diet.
The Milk Dust shakes are either smoothies or just blended with water. They offer hand-picked nutrients for breastfeeding mamas that support lactation and postpartum hormonal balance. Providing your body with key nutrients can dramatically change the amount of milk you are able to store!
Milk Dust is particularly effective for breastfeeding and pumping mamas because it targets nutritional needs as well as offering a unique lactation blend. There are very few products on the market that do this, and we are very proud of our formula.
We offer a great bundle, the Milk Dust Starter Pack, where you get a sample pack and 4 bars to see how they work for you.
Here’s what one mama on Amazon said after using Milk Dust,
My son almost 3 months old, with milk dust, I’ve been able to build up a healthy freezer stash for us as well as donate over 1000oz to other moms and their babies.
I have a milk dust smoothie for breakfast or after a workout. I’m 3 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight. The flavor is great, it mixes well into all my favorite smoothies. I could not ask for a better product! – Trisha Byrd
Hydration can actually make a big difference when trying to increase your milk supply while pumping. Think of breast milk as a liquid, and our body needs extra liquid to produce more liquid. Water is really important, but also low-sugar drinks with electrolytes can be very beneficial. The added sodium, potassium and magnesium these drinks offer can help balance fluid levels. Many mamas find that natural drinks like coconut water, or powerade make a difference within an hour or so. This is because fluid levels are balanced, and our body is well hydrated to produce more milk.
The 8 key steps to increase milk supply for pumping are gathered from pumping mamas and professionals. These are the top 8 steps that have worked for many other mamas.
A Chai lactation latte is the perfect, cozy drink to boost your milk supply, while also nourish your body. Our chai lactation recipe is full of milk-boosting herbs and nutrients from our Milk Dust lactation protein powder, in addition to healthy herbs in chai tea. Chai tea is also a great substitute for coffee, with less caffeine.
Chai is a great combination for additional milk supply because of the added cinnamon, cardamon, coriander and ginger. These are warm spices that actually have many health benefits, so when you combine it with the herbs and spices in our lactation protein powder (cinnamon bark, fennel seed, fenugreek and Turmeric), it makes a delicious combination.
This Chai Lactation Latee is absolutely perfect to drink all fall, and super easy to make! If you don’t have a milk forther, you can use a protein shaker, or stir together the ingredients really well and warm up your milk and tea in the microwave.
Chai Lactation Latte To Increase Milk Supply:
Chai Lactation Latte To Increase Milk Supply
This chai lactation latte will increase your milk supply, and it is full of protein and nutrients to keep you nourished all day long.
Start with your chai tea and Milk Dust.We used a liquid, already brewed Chai Tea concentrate from the grocery store, but you can also brew your favorite chai tea. Pour the tea and the Milk Dust together in a frother, so they mix together really well. Pour mixture into your mug. Pour your milk into your frother next, and froth your milk. Pour your milk on top of chai and Milk Dust mixture. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon if wanted, and enjoy!
Keyword chai latte, lactation, lactation recipe
We have a lot of other recipes here on the blog too! Here are a few, and we have a free smoothie recipe ebook you can download for free anytime! You can use code: LACTATION for 10% off your first order, and try a sample pack if you aren’t sure if it will work for you!
Many mamas think their milk supply is dropping, without understanding the true signs of a low, or decreasing milk supply. There are false signs, which may lead new mommies to believe they aren’t producing enough milk, and then there are true signs that your breast milk quantity is dwindling.
What are some false signs of a low milk supply?
Here are some signs that can lead a breastfeeding mother to believe her milk supply is dropping, but are actually perfectly normal.
An empty/deflated breast(s)
Baby wanting more feedings
Baby waking to feed at night
Fussy feeds (baby seems dissatisfied)
Pumping less after a feeding
Baby wanting a bottle even after breast feeding
Fussy baby in the evening
No feeling of a let down
Many of these are perfectly normal phases of breastfeeding a new born. Babies often want to nurse more for comfort, go through growth spurts, have tummy issues (very normal for new babies), or like to have a bottle after breastfeeding out of habit. These experiences do not mean your milk supply is dropping, or you aren’t producing enough milk supply. There are only a few ways to really tell if you have a low milk supply.
The true signs your milk supply is low, or decreasing:
Baby isn’t gaining enough weight:
This is one of the biggest signs you may not be producing enough milk, or your supply has decreased. Many babies lose weight right after birth, as it takes time for colostrum and milk to kick in. The early weight loss is normal, but your pediatrician will be able to tell you when your baby should be gaining weight, and how much they should be gaining. It is really important that if you think your baby isn’t gaining enough weight, to check with your pediatrician and set some weight goals for follow ups. There are some great tips at the end of this post to help you encourage your body to produce more milk if you really are experiencing a low milk supply, and this has been confirmed by your pediatrician.
This is another sign of a low milk supply, that you can see at home. Babies who eat a lot also have a lot of stinky diapers. This can be a bit more confusing than the weight-gain sign because it is also normal for some babies to go longer between dirty diapers as their digestive system matures. Overall, dirty diapers and blow outs are a healthy sign your baby is getting lots to eat. If you have any underlying intuition that your baby doesn’t have enough dirty diapers, and seems to be gaining weight very slowly, or not at all, check with your pediatrician right away.
These are the two major signs of low milk supply, that can actually be monitored and quantified. It may seem too simple with only two major signs, but it should also leave some peace of mind. Let’s get into some quick and easy ways you can increase your milk supply quickly, to help satisfy baby.
Quick and easy ways to increase milk supply fast:
There is a lot of information out there on ways to increase your milk supply. These are the methods that have been proven to work, and confirmed by science, studies and professionals (lactation consultants, nurses and doulas).
Galactagogues are herbs and foods used to increase milk supply. There is a lot of anecdotal studies proving various herbs to be helpful for milk supply, as well as centuries of Eastern medicine using these herbs for lactation support that give us reason to believe specific herbs are very helpful for milk supply. Our lactation blend in Milk Dust, is based of real research and science backing specific combinations of herbs for the best result. Fenugreek has shown some side effects in new mothers, mainly because it is given in high-doses solely as the one herb to increase supply. Of course in higher doses, and more popularity is going to bring more side effects. We have an in-depth post on the studies proving fenugreek as a powerful herb for milk supply, particularly when combined with other galactagogues like feenel, milk thistle, red raspberry leaf, tumeric and brewer’s yeast. Studies show that combining these herbs, rather than high doses of one herb, seem to produce the best results in increasing milk supply.
Depending on your current diet, you may need to add in more nutrient-dense foods, so your body has more nutrients to give to baby. Eating the right foods, rather than enough calories is something many mothers aren’t educated on after birth. Women’s bodies are designed to used stored fat and nutrients in the diet to produce breast milk. If there is a lack of quality, lactation-supporting foods like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, good fats and high-quality carbs like quinoa and oatmeal, then your body may signal this with a lack of production. Protein smoothies made with Milk Dust are a powerful combination of real foods and nutrients, combined with superfoods in Milk Dust like chlorella, spirulina and spinach, galactagogues and other essential vitamins and minerals postpartum mothers need is a great way to infuse your body with the building blocks of a healthy milk supply.
This is one of the fastest ways to increase your milk supply because your body creates milk based on demand. If you have baby demand more, your body will be encouraged to make more. Keeping a lot of skin-to-skin contact throughout the day and during feedings will keep the pheromones working properly to signal the hormone levels and Oxytocin production needed for lactation. Try wearing baby as much as possible and letting baby sleep on your chest to encourage the chemical connection.
Massage your breasts while feeding:
You can help your baby express more milk by adding in some massage and compression during feedings. This will encourage your breasts to express more milk, then want to replenish that milk by creating more. Baby might get large gulps at first, with some needed burping after, but it will help get more milk out during feeds.
Pump one side, while baby feeds the other:
Many mamas with a low milk supply despise pumping because the amount is so little and depressing. By pumping one side while baby is feeding the other, you are taking advantage of baby’s natural ability to stimulate your let down better than a machine. By emptying one breast, you can use baby on the emptied breast to encourage more milk. At the next feeding, switch the side you pump. Always have baby feed on the side that already pumped. This is a really helpful way to get more milk stored, while also encouraging more milk volume. It will take a lot of the hard work of pumping out of the situation, and babies have an incredibly ability to get your body to product more milk, better than a machine can.
If you are experiencing these signs of low milk supply, these tricks will really help.
Many mamas have had success using our protein powder because it is so much more than a milk-boosting protein powder. It nourishes postpartum mothers properly, to help nourish baby, reduce sugar cravings and aid in weight loss. If you are struggling with eating healthy, getting in the nourishment you need and milk supply, Milk Dust is here to help!
When you have a baby, there is a lot of attention paid to their weight. When your little one is born, people will want to know how much he weighed. At the hospital, the nurse will weigh your baby every day. When you take him to see the doctor for check-ups, one of the first things they do will be to put him on the scale. Your baby’s doctor will plot the weight on a growth chart.
Weight gain in babies is a sign of well-being. However, many new parents are surprised when their baby loses weight in the first few days after birth. However, this is entirely normal and happens to all babies, whether they are breastfed or formula-fed. It is not a free for all though. There are guidelines as to what is normal weight loss for a baby after birth.
The baby who is healthy and full-term will lose an average of seven percent of their birth weight. Most doctors will be okay with a weight loss of up to ten percent.
For those babies who do lose more than ten percent, most health care providers recommend supplementary feedings in addition to breastfeeding. The supplementation can be mom’s pumped colostrum, human donor milk from a milk bank, or formula.
Babies are born with extra fluid and a bowel full of meconium. In their first few days, your baby will pass the meconium and eliminate the excess fluid when he has wet diapers. What they get rid of is going to exceed the small amounts of colostrum he takes in when he breastfeeds.
Mother nature set it up this way. The colostrum actually has a laxative effect to aid them in passing the meconium.
The colostrum is the special name we give the first milk that a woman’s breasts make. Some people think it is not “real milk,” but it is, in fact, just “early” milk. It is full of the things that your baby needs as they make the transition from being a freeloader in the womb to having to eat on their own once they are born.
A newborn’s tummy is very small, about the size of a cherry. So, the small amount of colostrum is just right for their tiny stomach. As each day passes, a mom makes more colostrum/milk, and her baby’s tummy grows and gets used to larger amounts in it. It’s really the most wonderful system.
When should a newborn start to gain weight?
A baby will usually start gaining weight once their mother’s milk comes in. The milk usually comes in between 48 – 72 hours after birth.
Moms who give birth by cesarean tend to take longer for their milk to come in than moms who give birth vaginally.
When Should a Baby Get Back to Their Birth Weight?
The guideline set by the American Academy of Pediatrics for a newborn to return to their birth weight is ten days. Most doctors will allow a few extra days if a baby is trending up with their weight. Doctors generally want a baby to be back to birth weight by no later than two weeks.
What Helps Minimize Newborn Weight Loss?
Babies who breastfeed more frequently lose less weight. Lots of skin to skin and rooming-in 24 hours a day encourages frequent feeding, You can ensure your breast milk comes in fast for baby by using a produce like Milk Dust. Many mamas have had success taking this product in the end of pregnancy, which helped promote lactation immediately after birth.
On their second night, most babies will start cluster feeding. A lot. It’s like cluster feeding on steroids. It is normal healthy behavior. This intense, frequent feeding is so common that it has a name. It is called Second Night Syndrome.
The mom who doesn’t know it is coming often worries that her baby is feeding so frequently because the baby is not getting enough from the breast. It is also a difficult time because moms often have not gotten a lot of sleep since they went into labor.
If I see a mom in the hospital before the second night, I will prepare her for it and encourage an afternoon nap. I also tell her that second night syndrome is a good thing. The frequent feeding helps minimize weight loss, and a mom’s milk often comes in sooner when there is a lot of cluster feeding.
What should you do if your baby Loses More Weight Than Normal?
As soon as your baby starts breastfeeding, learn to watch and listen for swallowing. Hearing regular swallows is an indicator that your baby is getting your colostrum when he sucks.
When a baby swallows, it makes a soft “cah” sound. You will also see a pause in the middle of the suck. The nurses and lactation consultants can show you what to look and listen for. In the first few days, it is normal to see several sucks before a swallow. When the milk comes in, there will be close to an equal number of sucks and swallows.
If your baby is losing more weight than average or not gaining as quickly as he should, doing some pumping after feedings can help increase your milk production, in addition to jumping on a milk-supply booster like Milk Dust. Any milk that you pump should be fed to your baby. If your baby is getting all the milk that you have, you won’t get much if anything when you pump. The stimulation is still helpful. Combininb stimulation with the herbs and nutrients in Milk Dust has been super successful for many mamas needing a boost in supply quickly.
It is always a good idea to have a lactation consultant evaluate how breastfeeding is going when there is too much weight loss or poor weight gain. A lactation consultant can often find small issues right away, and help you correct them immediately to fix any issues early on. Many hopsitals offer this during your stay.
Your baby will lose weight after birth, even if you feel like you are breastfeeding round the clock. Weight loss after birth is normal for newborns. Remember to have your pediatrician keep track of their weight loss, and don’t lett the weight loss stress you out too much.
If you are allowing yourself to get too stressed, you may find that will inhibit your milk supply a bit. Stay calm, take a supplement like Milk Dust, and keep baby close. Skin to skin and herbs go a long way to ensure baby is getting all the milk they need.
I’m not sure why they call it baby weight. Those extra pounds that you put on during pregnancy are still hanging around even after you give birth to the baby. They should call it breastfeeding weight. One of the primary reasons that a woman puts on extra weight during pregnancy is that the stored fat helps fuel milk production.
Weight loss is a very popular benefit of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding burns calories. Depending on how much milk you produce, it can burn close to 1000 calories a day. It’s not a magic wand, though. There are things a woman can do to help or hinder the weight loss process.
FACTORS THAT IMPACT POST PREGNANCY WEIGHT LOSS
It’s wise to remember that every woman is different. How quickly a mom loses baby weight is affected by:
How much weight she gained during her pregnancy
Her level of physical activity
The good news is that a woman has control over all of these. The most important factor is diet. Your diet is going to be the driving factor to your weight loss success.
YOUR BREASTFEEDING DIET NEEDS TO BE NOURISHING AND MILK-BOOSTING:
Milk Dust is an amazing supplement to help mamas properly nourish their body for weight loss and milk supply. The body will not want to let go of weight, if it thinks it isn’t getting enough nutrients. Without the proper nurtrients, the lactation process doesn’t always work as well. Nutrients are the foundation of how your body’s hormones function, and hormones are the key to successful lactation. By cleaning up your diet, you can reduce your calories, yet consume more nutrients. This will allow extra fat to be used as fuel, and your hormones to still function properly.
Milk Dust Encourages Milk Supply, Nourishes The Postpartum Body + Reduces Sugar Cravings:
The key difference with Milk Dust, than most lactation powders is that it reduces sugar cravings using a unique blood sugar blend of herbs and nutrients such as chromium, cinnamon bark and turmeric. All of which have been used to help with diabetes and blood sugar control. Most mothers struggle with sugar cravings while breastfeeding, which is a major road block in weight loss. Milk Dust helps solve this problem, tastes amazing (just check out the reviews on our product page or on Amazon!), and is easy to blend quick with milk or in a smoothie. Make sure to sign up for our 10-day Detox Plan as well, which will help you lose weight in just 10 days, as well as kick the sugar cravings!
It’s important to remember that it took nine months to gain all that weight. It’s going to take some time to lose it.
Slow and steady wins the weight-loss race. It is a cliché, but one that is true. Reducing calorie intake by about 500 calories per day will result in losing about 1 pound per week without resulting in decreased milk production (Source). Research has shown that the combination of diet and exercise is the most effective way to lose pregnancy weight (Source). Your body will be different after having a baby. Your clothes may fit differently, even when you get back to your pre-pregnant weight.
MAINTAINING MILK PRODUCTION WHILE LOSING PREGNANCY WEIGHT
A common concern many moms have is maintaining their milk supply while losing weight. It’s best to wait until your milk supply is established before starting your weight loss program. For most moms, this will be at 6-8 weeks. Although cutting more than 500 calories a day will speed up weight loss, it is not advised. Severe calorie restrictions can affect milk supply. This is especially true when the calorie-cutting is sudden.
Not eating enough also can contribute to fatigue in a nursing mom. Who needs that? Most new moms already struggle with getting enough sleep. These tips will help ensure continued abundant milk production as well as weight loss and good
TIPS FOR A HEALTHY DIET
Food prep once a week.
Slice up your favorite veggies and put them in reusable containers or plastic
Find a friend to do this with to make it go faster. Or at least it might seem to go more quickly. It will definitely be more fun.If you have more money than time you can buy a lot of fruits and veggies already cut up. Nursing moms get hungry.
Strategically locate healthy snacks:
At your breastfeeding station
In your breastfeeding basket
In your purse
In your diaper bag
In your car
At your bedside
Make sure to sign up to be the first to know when our Milk Dust Bars are available! They are so yummy, easy to pack, cut sugar cravings, more protein and less sugar than almost EVERY lactation snack out there!
Ten healthy snacks that don’t need to be refrigerated:
Milk Dust Bars – Lactation Protein Bars to boost milk supply, cut sugar cravings and nourish mamas!
Nut butter packets
Baked veggie chips
Make sure you are getting adequate amounts of protein. This is essential for maintaining
energy levels. Protein also helps boost metabolism (Source).
Eat high-fiber foods
Start your day off with a breakfast smoothie made with oatmeal, flax, and some green veggies like spinach or kale. It will give you energy and fiber. Using a protein powder like Milk Dust helps support milk production.
These power-packed drinks aren't just for breakfast. Having a smoothie for lunch is a great option for busy moms.
WATER AND WEIGHT LOSS
It is essential to keep well hydrated. It helps you make milk. It also helps your body function properly. And drinking one liter of water a day is associated with weight loss (Source). One of my favorite tips for breastfeeding moms is to fill several water bottles every morning and place them around the house wherever you might be. Since you will often be holding your baby,
this gives you one less thing to try to juggle. Put one in the car and one in your diaper bag and one in your purse.
EXERCISE AND BREASTFEEDING
Start exercising once you are cleared by your health care provider. Exercising, in combination with dieting, will help shed those pregnancy pounds. Choosing an exercise program that involves resistance training as well as aerobic activity is beneficial in not only helping you lose weight. It has also been shown to slow bone loss when a woman is breastfeeding (Source).
A study dispelled the belief that babies didn't like the taste of their mom’s milk after exercise (Source). With a plan and patience, you’ll be rocking a post-baby body before you know it.
Losing weight while breastfeeding, without losing your milk is completely possible with small, yet healthy changes.
The holidays are an exciting and busy time of year for young families. It is also a time with elements that are a recipe for a stress-fest.
There are constant disruptions to routines. Families may be traveling to visit friends and family. They may be hosting house guests. Between gift shopping, trips to ship packages and mail cards, and going to parties, a new mom may continuously be on the go. Throw in cooking, baking, and decorating. The thought of being a Grinch and skipping the festivities altogether may cross her mind.
A new mom needs all the help that she can get to not only survive the holidays but to enjoy them. Fortunately, there are many time-saving tips and hacks to help this happen.
Some people look forward to shopping and choosing gifts. It can be nice to get out to the mall to see the decorations. Who can resist getting baby’s first photo with Santa? However, some sleep-deprived mamas may want to take a pass on it this year.
The good news is that there are many ways to get it all done and keep your sanity too.
Take advantage of online shopping. You can do it while you breastfeed at any time of day. You have an endless selection. If the recipient lives out of town, you can have the gift shipped directly to them. Most retailers even offer gift-wrapping!
Buy gift cards. Everyone loves a gift card. You can order them online or buy them at the grocery store. You can get a variety or just choose a store that will work for everyone.
When you do venture out in public, take hand-sanitizer. Those malls and grocery stores are cold, and flu Petri dishes.
Go to places where you know there will be a comfortable place to breastfeed. Pick the mall with comfy couches and chairs.
Take healthy snacks and a bottle of water. Fast food courts are not known for their healthy options.
Holiday Dinner Tips
I discourage moms from hosting major meals if they have a baby under the age of six months. If you are expected to bring a dish to dinners and parties, take advantage of the many prepared foods and baked goods at your favorite grocery store.
If you absolutely feel compelled to be the hostess with the mostest, then consider ordering a fully prepared meal. All you have to do is heat it up. Another easy option is a pre-cut baked ham that only requires you to put it on a platter. Assign side dishes to your guests.
Order meals and groceries online and either take advantage of delivery services or the option of having your order brought to your car.
Maintaining You Milk Supply During the Holidays
Between milk-busting foods and missed feedings or pumpings, the holidays can wreak havoc with your milk supply.
Avoid all the yummy peppermint treats that are popular this time of year. Peppermint is known to decrease milk supply.
Two other common holiday foods that can result is lowered milk production are sage and parsley. The amounts in most stuffing recipes are probably not going to have an effect if you just have one serving of stuffing. But if you are the type who has a little turkey with your stuffing, you might want to dial it back a little when you are a nursing mama.
Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water.
Always start your day with a nutrient-dense smoothie with a high-quality protein powder like Milk Dust.
It is ok for a breastfeeding mama to enjoy a glass of champagne or some spiked eggnog. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends moms wait four hours until they breastfeed. Pumping and dumping do not speed the process up.
Traveling Tips for Breastfeeding Moms
One of the biggest pitfalls when traveling is stretching out the time between feedings. Make sure that you are not going for long stretches without either feeding or pumping.
If pumping is part of your daily routine, make sure you have a manual pump for those times when you don’t have access to an electrical outlet.
Find out if the airports where you will be, have designated nursing/pumping rooms. More and more airports do. Find out where they are located.
Nursing or giving your baby a bottle of expressed breast milk will help with the discomfort the air pressure changes can cause to their ears.
Dress for breastfeeding when traveling. Wearing a stretchy tank top under a sweater that you can pull down from the top will keep your tummy covered when feeding time comes around. Another option if you like to cover up is to wear an infinity scarf. It will both keep you warm and serve as a nursing cover-up.
Follow these tips and make some memories this holiday season.
The decision to be an exclusively pumping mom comes from a variety of reasons. Breastfeeding doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes babies won’t latch. Some babies are too sick to breastfeed. There are moms who don’t want to breastfeed but do want their baby to get their breast milk.
Whatever the reason, exclusively pumping moms have their own unique needs and concerns. If you are struggling with breastfeeding issues, the thought of being an exclusively pumping mom may sound like the perfect answer to your problems.
However, the reality is that it is time-consuming and a lot of work. These tips and tricks will help the exclusively pumping mama make the milk she needs while maintaining her sanity.
How To Have a Good Milk Supply
Follow these rules to build and maintain a good supply of breast milk:
Have a good breast pump! – This cannot be emphasized enough.
A hospital/rental grade pump will be the most effective and efficient to establish a full milk supply.
Are there parts in your pump that are supposed to be replaced regularly?
Are all the connections and seals tight?
How many hours has the pump been used?
If you are using a personal pump, try renting a hospital-grade pump. If your supply increases, a new pump may be needed.
Call the pump company for a replacement if your pump is still in warranty.
Pump Kit Cleaning Tips
One challenge of exclusive pumping is the fact that you have to pump, feed your baby the pumped milk, and you also have to clean your pump parts after each cleaning. The CDC recommends thoroughly cleaning your pump kit after each time you use it.
These pump cleaning hacks can help save you some time.
Have multiple pump kit pieces. This way, you do not have to wash and dry your kit every single time.
You need the breast pump shields and connectors (sometimes these are one piece).
Pumping directly into bags means no bottles to wash.
Use breast pump wipes or sanitizers for cleaning when you are out and about.
Use breast pump kit steam bags to sanitize your pump parts.
Put your pump parts in the dishwasher.
Miscellaneous Tips for Exclusive pumpers
Have a supply of spare parts for your pump. Some things need to be replaced regularly. But even a brand-new part can be defective.
Always have a manual pump on hand for emergencies.
Keep a manual pump in your diaper bag as a back-up when you are out.
You may not be able to find a convenient place to plug in your electric pump.
A battery pack may have lost its charge.
If your budget allows, have a hospital grade pump for use at home, and a personal pump to take when you are on the go.
Time Saving Tips for the Exclusively Pumping Mama
Hands-free pumping bra – moms swear by these. It will free up your hands to do other things while you are pumping.
Hands-free pumps like the Willow and El Vie allow you to pump while you are doing other things. You can pump while you are feeding your baby a bottle, or even while you are in the car.
These pumps plug into an outlet to charge and fit into your bra.
Exclusive Pumping Schedules
The number of times a day a woman must pump to maintain a full milk supply will vary from mom to mom. Some moms have breasts that can store a lot of milk and can pump less frequently. Other moms need to pump more often because their milk production will slow down if their breasts get past a certain point of fullness.
Experiment to determine the number of times you need to pump.
Start with eight times a day.
Decrease to seven times and wait three days to see if your supply decreases.
If your supply stays the same, try decreasing by another pumping.
Continue until you see a decrease in supply. At that point, you would go back to the number of pumpings that produces the amount of milk you need.
Some moms can pump as few as four times a day and still produce e full milk supply. Other moms may need to pump 10-12 times a day.
Exclusive pumping may be a lot of work. However, giving your baby the gift of your breast milk is worth it.
As a lactation consultant, one of the things I talk to new moms about is whether they are eating enough. It takes calories to make milk. Some moms complain they are always hungry, which can lead to poor food choices. I also talk to moms who say that they don’t feel hungry enough. They feel like they are not eating as much as they know they should be. They worry that this might decrease their milk supply. Some moms find it challenging to carve out time in their day to prepare nutritious meals and snacks.
I was excited when I heard about Milk Dust protein powder for lactation support and weight loss.
I routinely recommend smoothies to moms who find it hard to prepare meals several times a day. A product that is made to support milk supply and help moms with weight loss is a welcome addition to the protein powder market.
My breastfeeding days are long over. However, I wanted to try the product before I recommended it to moms.
It has a generous 14 gm of protein per serving and only 2 gm sugar. The sweeteners used are pure cane sugar, stevia, and monk fruit. The monk fruit is listed on the ingredients as luo han guo. I love that Milk Dust uses primarily organic ingredients.
The first time I tried it, I just mixed it with the recommended 12 oz of water. Not surprisingly, this produced a grey drink. I had a hard time identifying the overall taste and finally decided it reminded me of lemonade, with some green food thrown in.
When I added it to a smoothie, I used almond milk, a frozen acai packet, and some pineapple. Even with the acai packet, the color of my smoothie was grey. This has been my experience with any protein powder that has green food in it, so I’m used to it.
It contains spinach, spirulina, and chlorella and I can definitely taste that “green food” element to it. It also has blueberries and raspberries, which help give it a fruity component.
The protein blend is vegan with pea protein isolate, organic brown rice protein, organic pumpkin seed, organic chia seed, and organic flaxseed. This makes it a perfect option for anyone who is either vegan or doesn’t want to have dairy in their diet.
Both by itself and in a smoothie, it kept me feeling satisfied for a good three to four hours.
Ingredients That Support Milk Supply
One of the most common reasons moms stop breastfeeding before they planned to is because they think they don’t have enough milk. For most moms, if they breastfeed enough, consume enough calories and drink enough fluids, they will make enough milk. Milk Dust will help them get enough calories and fluids. It also has a lactation blend that contains ingredients that have a long history of helping moms make milk.
The ingredients that are in Milk Dust that support lactation are:
Milk Thistle: This herb has been shown through scientific research to be effective in helping women increase their milk production. It is also an herb that has been used for hundreds of years to help moms make more milk.
Fenugreek: Another herb that has also been subjected to scientific research that supports its use to help increase milk production. Personally, I have worked with many moms who successfully used Fenugreek to increase their milk production.
Brewer’s Yeast: This is a type of yeast that is used as a nutritional supplement. It is used in the production of beer. It has strong anecdotal support for helping boost milk supply.
Fennel Seed has also had positive results from scientific research in terms of supporting a good milk supply.
Moms who have used Milk Dust have been happy with the results they have seen in a more abundant milk supply. Just check out Milk Dust’s stories on Instagram for constant customer updates, thoughts and reviews saved in their highlights as well!
Milk Dust has cinnamon bark and turmeric to help curb sugar cravings. Both are known to decrease blood sugar levels which can help avoid that sugar crash from sugar-laden foods that make your blood sugar spike.
Milk Dust provides 74% of Vitamin B12 requirements, 91% of Vitamin A, 52% of Vitamin E, and a whopping 100% of folate requirements.
While Milk Dust can provide a quick snack or breakfast when mixed with water, I would encourage moms to make a smoothie with it. That way you can get a couple of your daily fruit requirements checked off. Throw in some spinach or kale, and you can really feel virtuous. Another way that I like to use protein powder is to make protein pancakes.
A container of Milk Dust will definitely be something the mom who is looking for some quick and easy meals to have on her shelf.
Written by Andrea Tran RN, BSN, MA, IBCLC our monthly contributor. Mom’s love to compare. Just listen to a group of moms talking, and you’ll hear it.
“Baby Michael is sleeping eight hours straight every night. And he is only six weeks old. How long does your baby sleep?”
“My little Jessica is in the 90th percentile for weight.”
“This little guy of mine eats 35 ounces of milk every day.”
You think to yourself that you have no idea how much milk your baby eats because you are breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed your baby. But it’s a little mysterious. You don’t know how much is in there. And you don’t know how much your baby is getting out. While some moms will trust the process and have faith that it will work out, there are a lot of moms who worry. If you are that mom, this article is for you.
Your baby needs as much milk as it takes for her to grow at a normal rate. Most moms make more than what their baby needs.
If your baby is gaining 5-7 oz per week in the first three months, then she is getting enough.
By four months, average weight gain decreases to 3-5 oz per week.
By six months it’s 2-3 oz per week.
Most families don’t have an accurate baby scale at home, though. You don’t need to weigh your baby frequently. If you do want that kind of reassurance you can often find a baby scale at these places:
New mom’s groups
Breastfeeding support groups
Some hospitals have scales available for you to weigh your baby
Fortunately, there are other ways to get reassurance that your baby is getting everything he needs from you.
Breast Milk Requirements in the First Week
One of the most important things to remember is that breast milk requirements change over time. And they change dramatically in the first week.
When a baby is firstborn, he does not need a lot of milk. Over a 24-hour period a baby may drink a total of less than once ounce. This is the period they are drinking colostrum, which is very nutrient-dense. Milk Dust is an amazing, nutrient-dense drink for new mommies to help bring in the colostrum.
This amount increases each day, and by the end of the first week, the average-sized baby is taking about 16-20 ounces of your milk.
What this means is that the signs that are reassuring on day 2 would be very concerning at the end of that first week.
Reassuring Signs That Your Baby Is Getting Enough Breast Milk
While weight gain trumps everything, there are signs to look for that give you clues that your baby is getting enough to eat.
This is the easiest way to get reassurance that your baby is getting enough to eat. How much your baby puts out is directly related to how much he takes in.
For the first two months, your baby should have 6-8 wet diapers and 4-5 dirty diapers every 24 hours.
Some babies can have a dirty diaper every time they eat.
Both wet and dirty diapers are important.
Listen for swallowing. There should be lots of it.
You should hear a swallow for every one to two sucks for at least five minutes.
It is a gentle sound, sort of like, “cah.” It will follow a suck.
You can also see swallowing. When a baby swallows, they pause in the middle of the suck. Watch for your baby to hold the suck for an extra beat or two. Imagine it sounding like: suck, suuuuuck, suck, suuuuuck.
Full Breasts – Soft Breasts
Your breasts should fill up with milk between feedings and then get softer after your baby drains them is also a reassuring sign. After a few months, you will notice this happening less dramatically.
If you pay attention to these signs and they are not reassuring, or if your baby is not gaining enough weight, you should meet with a lactation consultant. She can help you figure out what is going on.
When you are the one responsible for producing your baby’s food, you want to do the best job that you can. One of the most common concerns a breastfeeding mama has is whether she is making enough milk for her baby. This is despite the fact that the vast majority of women make plenty of milk.
If you are one of those moms who has a true low milk supply, you will want to do everything you can to increase your production.
Perhaps your supply has been fine, and you have just hit a bump in the road and need a little boost. For moms who work full-time, they often find their supply starts to dip by the end of the week. The truth is that there are many scenarios where a mom might want to know how to make more milk.
Whatever your reason is for wanting to increase your breast milk supply, these tips have been used successfully, time and time again.
Always make sure you start with good breastfeeding basics.
A good latch ensures comfortable nursing and good stimulation.
Frequent breast stimulation is essential. This is that whole supply and demand thing that you have heard about. The stimulation can be from breastfeeding or pumping or a combination. There just needs to be lots of it.
Thorough emptying of the milk. When a lot of milk is left in the breasts, it tells them to make less milk.
It takes a lot of calories to grow a tiny human. Make sure you are eating enough quality calories. On average, you need about 500 calories above what you needed before you became pregnant. Make sure you are getting lots of protein, as well as good fats. Salmon is an excellent source of both, and Milk Dust is an amazing source of protein and quality calories.
Keep yourself well-hydrated. Always have a water bottle nearby.
Pumping to increase milk supply
This taps into that whole supply and demand thing. More stimulation results in more milk.
Pump within 15-20 minutes after a feeding to ensure you don’t take food away from your baby’s next feeding.
There are no hard rules about how long you need to pump. If you only have 5 minutes, then pump for that long.
If you have a full 15 minutes, don’t stop pumping just because you stop getting milk. The continued stimulation after your breasts are empty tell them to make more milk.
Research has shown that moms who massage and compress their breasts during pumping make more milk. This is called “hands-on pumping.”
The right size of breast flange is important for proper stimulation and emptying. Your nipples should not rub on the sides of the flange, and only a little bit of areola should be pulled in.
There are lots of foods that can increase milk supply. Many of them are very yummy and make tasty snacks.
Oatmeal is great for milk production. You can use it in cookies, muffins, energy bites, bread, and even smoothies!
The new Milk Dust Bars an are amazing, convenient snack to get in your milk-boost.
Dates are a tasty treat that helps support milk production (Source). You can keep some in a bag in your purse for an on-the-go snack.
Smoothies – you have to eat breakfast, so make it count. Using a smoothie mix like Milk Dust Protein Powder is going to give your supply a boost. Throwing in a handful of spinach leaves helps you get your daily dose of veggies.
Cookies – This is my favorite one! Use foods that encourage milk production like brewer’s yeast and oatmeal. Adding some fenugreek will give it an extra boost, or a scoop of Milk Dust in the recipe. These Brownie Boobie Bites are AWESOME!
Energy bites – dates and oatmeal make great energy bites with two foods that are good for your supply.
Pinterest is a great place to get recipes for lactation cookies and smoothies.
There are single herbs, and there are blends. You can get most herbs as a tincture or in capsules. In my experience, the tinctures seem to be more effective. They do have a very strong taste, though. You can also brew them as teas.
One of the most common unpleasant side effects of herbs is an upset tummy. Begin with a low dosage and always stop taking anything that causes an allergic reaction.
These can be used topically with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil. Take care to make sure none of it gets on your nipples. If an essential oil is labeled safe for internal use, it can be added to foods or taken in a capsule. Safety for use this way can vary according to the manufacturer of the essential oil, so always check the label.
Avoid foods that can hurt your milk supply
Some foods can actually cause your supply to decrease. Avoid these while you are breastfeeding.
Acupuncture is something I always encourage a mom with a low milk supply to consider. Research has supported its value for increasing milk supply (Source). It has been so effective in the mamas I have worked with over the last 25 years.
Now you have lots of ideas on tips to increase your milk supply in a variety of ways. Pick the one that works best for you.
Andrea Tran is an RN and a lactation consultant (IBCLC). She has her Master’s in Health and Wellness and has been helping moms and babies breastfeed for over 25 years.
These recommendations are for general and educational purposes only. You should always check with your health care professionals regarding your situation.
Increasing your milk supply before going back to work is essential in order to build a freezer stash of milk for baby, as well as keep your supply up while you are transitioning to more pumping. Heading back to work can be stressful, but by preparing ahead of time, you can help your body continue to make lots of milk.
Increasing your milk supply for heading back to work involves a few important steps:
Prepping, packing and eating milk-boosting meals
Adding in pumping sessions and using a well-fitting pump
Increasing on-demand and skin-to-skin feedings
Storing more milk and determining how much to store
We are going to walk you through the best way to prepare your milk supply for heading back to work, so you can successfully continue to breastfeeding your new baby.
Prepping, Packing and Eating Milk-Boosting Foods:
Milk-boosting foods to start eating:
Adding milk-boosting foods to your diet is going to be very important to increasing your milk supply for going back to work. Healthy lactation is the result of a healthy, thriving body. This means that nutrients are partly the building blocks to a lot of milk.
What foods do you need to start eating right away?
Lactation smoothies are a quick and simple way to start adding more nutrients to your diet that will help increase your milk supply. The key is to provide the RIGHT nutrients, which we’ve included in our Milk Dust protein powder. There are specific nutrients that need to be blended in your smoothies to really ensure that you are supporting your body’s needs a breastfeeding mom. These nutrients come from sources like chia seeds, flax seeds, protein, healthy carbohydrates, folate, vitamin b12 and more. Milk Dust is a quick, easy and tasty way to blend everything you need together with some fresh fruits and veggies.
Smoothies are also easy to pack ahead of time and store in your freezer for a quick morning breakfast. You can pack your favorite frozen fruits and veggies (try cauliflower!!) in a sandwich bag and store them in the freezer. Grab, pour, scoop, blend and go!
Moving on from the foods you need to start adding to your diet, pumping and breastfeeding also needs to increase. Increasing the demand will increase your supply.
Increasing Feedings Both Pumping and Breastfeeding:
Increasing your feedings both with baby and the pump are essential to increasing your milk supply. Here are your steps to make sure you are increasing your feeding and pumping sessions:
If you are feeding your baby on demand, with little pumping, start adding pumping sessions
If your baby is sleeping through the night, add a pumping session or feeding session in the night (this is temporary to build supply!)
If you are alternating pumping and nursing, start tracking how often. Add two more sessions each day for a week.
If you need more in your stash, add two more sessions again for a week.
Make sure you are using a good pump:
Not all pumps are created equal. Finding a pump and fit that works best for you is really important. Some moms have better success with manual pumping, while others do fine with an automatic pump. Don’t be afraid to try different pumps to make sure you are getting the most of your pumping sessions.
If pumping isn’t going well, add more skin-to-skin sessions:
This is a really important note for mamas having trouble with pumping. If your body isn’t responding to the pumping well, you can scale back and add in more skin-to-skin feedings. Try this for a few days, then replace your nursing sessions with pumping sessions slowly. This will help your body become adjusted to the demand before using the pump, making it easier to pump more milk at each session.
Tips on storing milk:
Your milk storage bags can be lined up in a soda or pop box for a quick and easy way to keep them from falling all over your freezer. You can organize boxes based on the weeks you pumped them to rotate through. Check out our breastfeeding hacks with some awesome ideas on how to store your breast milk as well as other tricks. Breast milk can last about 6 months in the freezer, and longer in the deep freezer. This means you can really pump up your supply for a while, then scale back when you have enough in storage.
When going back to work, stress can really affect your supply:
The stress of needing to pump and store extra milk, as well as leaving your baby can put a toll on your milk supply. This is a large reason Milk Dust exists.
Milk Dust takes the stress of eating ALL the milk-boosting foods off your plate.
Our formula is specifically made to nourish postpartum mamas, encourage milk supply and reduce the sugar cravings that can make eating healthy difficult. By giving new mommies a tool to help with this process, we hope it makes the life of a working and pumping mom just a little bit easier. Feel free to use code: LACTATION for 10% off your first order!
Breastfeeding requires a lot of time and preparation for new mommies. It is easily considered a full-time job, and there are some awesome tips and tricks to help make the experience much easier. These are popular, tested hacks that many mamas swear by.
Create A Breastfeeding Caddy:
One of our customers posted an awesome nursing station on a rolling cart with our Milk Dust in it. That way she was fully prepared for anything she needed, and with the wheels she could roll her goodies from the kitchen, to the living room, to the couch as needed. Think of this as your opportunity to pack and prep everything you need when you stop to nurse. Snacks, water, remote control, blanket….because once you sit down to breastfeeding, you are kinda stuck. Having a basket or caddy that is easy to carry around or grab is really helpful. Especially if your partner isn’t home to get all the things for you.
What to put in your caddy? Here’s what we suggest:
If you have awesome suggestions of items you put in your caddy, let us know!
Grab a Breastfeeding App:
There are numerous apps to help you monitor your breastfeeding. An app takes the thinking and headache out of remember which side you nursed or breastfed last, or how much you pumped. You can check out a full list of apps to decide which one might be the best for you.
Use Milk Savers:
We mentioned these are great to have in your breastfeeding caddy, and that is because these little inventions will catch the extra milk that comes from the off-side. When breastfeeding, as the baby begins to suck on one side, the other side will also let out milk. This usually leaks into your pads, but you can use catchers to help grab this milk to store for later!
Get a hands-free pumping bra:
Pumping bras that allow your hands to be free are life-saving. You can work on your computer, cook, drive…do all the things while pumping. These inventions are one of the best that ever entered the breastfeeding world.
Store breast milk in soda boxes upright:
Soda boxes with the 12 cans work really well for storing breast milk in the fridge or freezer. There is an in-depth post that goes over all the storing details you need, but save your soda boxes to use. You can also store your breast milk in ice cube trays to make it easier to thaw smaller amounts as needed.
Use quick clean sterilization bags:
These bags are life-saving when it comes to cleaning your pump. What breastfeeding mama has time to wash and sterilize all the pump parts between feedings? When in between feedings, store parts in the fridge if you don’t have time to clean. Then sterilize at night, or after the next feeding.
Most breastfeeding mamas have experienced fumbling around and knocking things over to get to baby in the night. By using a nursing night light, you can use a soft amount of light to keep everyone asleep, yet still allow your eyes to see.
Never forget lactation smoothies:
Lactation smoothies really do work wonders for increasing your breast milk and nourishing your body (get our recipe book!). They are easy to make one-handed, and with our protein powder, you can get in the amazing nutrients your body needs to support lactation. Nutrition is the back bone to healthy breastfeeding, and our lactation-herb blend is a unique recipe to boost your milk supply further. Without the proper nutrients, your body has a harder time supporting another life. Lack of nutrients can also cause sugar cravings, which in turn lead to a carb-heavy diet, rather than a nutrient-dense diet. That’s where Milk Dust is your best friend. And, it tastes like dunkaroos, so many mamas say! You can read the reviews on our reviews page, on our product page and on our Instagram.
Get a breastfeeding arm pillow:
An arm pillow is much simpler, but more effective, than the boppi pillows. These pillows don’t require any maneuvering to get baby in place. Seasoned mothers will tell you these little arm pillows are genius!
Hands-free nursing clips:
These little guys hold your shirt up for you, so it doesn’t smother baby. It is actually helpful to wear your nursing tank under a normal shirt, which means you have to hold your shirt up to access through your nursing tank. These little clips do it for you – genius!
There you have the best 10 breastfeeding hacks that make life so much easier as a breastfeeding mama.
Don’t forget that the most important thing you can do for yourself and your baby is to properly nourish your body, so you feel your best. Spending time skin-to-skin and cuddling is also wonderful for milk supply and healing postpartum. Relax, stock up on goodies in your breastfeeding caddy and enjoy a delicious smoothie.