Boost your Milk Supply, Naturally
Written by: Dr. Kelsey Duncan ND
When I started nursing, I was obsessed with making sure my milk supply was adequate. Heck, I still am obsessed 3 months in – it’s stressful not knowing exactly how much baby needs or how much they are getting when you are exclusively breastfeeding. Now, as I reach out to support new mom’s in my community I constantly get asked how they can boost their milk supply safely.
I’ll start by saying that most of the time, not all the time, but most of the time you don’t actually need to do anything to boost supply except nurse on demand! It may seem like baby is constantly at the breast, making you nervous that they aren’t getting enough (been there), but trust me they are. If baby is not gaining weight, isn’t having enough wet or poopy diapers, and/or is extremely fussy after a marathon nursing session then these are all indications of possible supply issues and you should definitely seek care from a lactation consultant, your midwife, or naturopathic doctor. If baby is nursing for what feels like eternity, but is gaining weight and having lots of dirty diapers then you can breathe easy knowing that bub is getting enough and to just let them nurse. Frequent and long nursing sessions are baby’s way of actually BOOSTING your milk supply pre-emptively. They need more as they go, so by nursing on demand and letting them suckle at the breast, they will boost your supply naturally.
If you still need some help boosting your supply, here are some natural and safe tips to jump start milk production.
Some commonly used herbs include blessed thistle, fenugreek, and goats rue. Each of these herbs act as a galactagogue – which is a fancy herbal way of say milk booster. You can take one or often find a combination of herbs at your local health food store. It’s important to talk to your naturopathic doctor before starting any herbal regiment to make sure you’re getting what’s right for you.
If you’ve ever googled “boost my milk supply” you may notice many posts on lactation cookies. What better way to get baby a little extra while feeding your sweet tooth? Oats are a great way to boost your supply and also increase your fiber intake at the same time. Having a bowl of oatmeal each morning, or finding a healthy oatmeal cookie or muffin recipe, will work in your favour.
Bonus Tip: Brewer’s yeast is another great way to boost your supply – find a recipe that includes this for added production!
Acupuncture is often an overlooked avenue when it comes to combating low milk supply. Acupuncture works by stimulating energy, or qi, at certain points throughout the body. If there are blockages anywhere along the channels in which this energy flows, certain symptoms will arise. Naturopathic doctors use acupuncture techniques to unblock these channels and allow for the smooth flow of qi to resume. Milk supply can often be boosted in a few back-to-back sessions, is safe and effective!
If you have any questions, send them over to Kelsey@naturalchoicemedicalclinic.com - happy nursing!
Dr. Kelsey Duncan, ND
Dr. Kelsey Duncan is a Naturopathic Doctor with a general family practice and love for nourishing mamas from conception to the 4th trimester. She believes healthy moms are the foundation to forming healthy families, and strives to educate and inspire all mamas to fill their own cups so they can give back to their families. To book an appointment with Dr. Duncan, call 519-265-8035 or click here to book online.