Breastfeeding is hard. I just want to start there.
Although its "natural" and "our bodies were made to do it", its still really really HARD. Sometimes our babies don't latch well (I'll do another post soon on reasons why that is, and how to get help!), sometimes our nipples get so sore and chapped that they bleed. Sometimes babies go on nursing strikes. Sometimes we have to go back to work, and we can't find time to pump, or we don't respond well to a pump, or (if you're like me) your baby refuses to take a bottle no matter now much you beg and plead and cry. And sometimes, we have production issues.
I just want to start by saying, there are A LOT of reasons a woman might have trouble producing. The #1 reason a mom has milk production issues is dehydration. Literally, just not drinking enough water. Most women need AT LEAST 1 GALLON of water per day to be hydrated enough to have good production. And how many of us manage to drink that much water? Outside of dehydration, if you're having production issues in the first few weeks, tongue and lip tie may be the culprit. Having your baby evaluated by a professional who is trained and knowledgeable in diagnosing lip and tongue tie is essential to being able to fix the problem and continue breastfeeding. But sometimes, our production is fine for several months, and then when we go back to work, or baby starts solids, or any number of other life changes happen, our production drops. I wanted to give you an easy recipe that I've used for almost 2 years now to be able to continue producing enough milk for my breastmilk-loving toddler.
So here is my oatmeal recipe, in case you're ever needing to increase milk supply. This has worked really well for me. And you can add everything I add, or just whatever sounds good to you or what you have available. Most of these things are shown to be milk-producing, so should help if you ever need a boost. (Side note - this is not to be used in place of drinking lots of water! You still need to stay hydrated for something like this to work.)
1/2 cup quick cook oatmeal (it takes longer to cook if you use the other kind, but you totally can)
1-2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 cup Almond milk (or other milk of your choice, although I don't recommend soy or dairy)
I mix these 3 things and microwave for 2 minutes. Heating times will vary, and you can totally use the stove if you'd prefer. After 2 minutes, I add a handful of frozen blueberries (you could add any fruit, but if its not frozen, don't add until the end). Then microwave for 1 more minute, or however long it takes to finish cooking and thicken a bit. Keep an eye on it though if you're microwaving, so it doesn't overflow!
When finished cooking I add -
1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
1-2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
Cinnamon and brown sugar (or honey) to taste (Ginger is also really good for milk supply if you have that and like it.)
That's it! If you try it let me know if you like it!
And if you're in need of breastfeeding help, I am always available. I will help if I can, or am happy to find you someone who can help you if I can't. In the meantime, keep feeding those babies, mamas. You've got this!