I am not a professional, but I have done my research and these are some ways that have helped me up my supply!
There is a formula shortage and this is in no way saying this is your solution or that you need to keep breastfeeding or go back to breastfeeding, but I am just trying to share what has helped me and how I have been keeping my supply up! These suggestions may not help everyone, but it’s always worth giving it a shot if you haven’t tried it before!
Hope this helps!
Food and Water! You’re losing a lot of calories when you breastfeed! Making milk and giving it to your baby makes you lose 300-500 a day! How crazy is that! Eating nutritious foods and extra calories can help keep up your supply because you are keeping two people alive so you need to eat for two... still! You also need to keep your body hydrated! Water is so important for you anyway and a lot of your breastmilk is water so you need to keep up your water intake to keep both you and baby hydrated!
Some foods to eat: Brewer’s Yeast, Flax seed, chia seed, Sunflower Lecithin, oatmeal, nuts, nutrient dense foods (lean proteins [turkey and chicken], fruits, vegetables, and grains), lentils, and dairy.
Also take note that your baby might be allergic to some types of foods. Like my baby is allergic to milk proteins so I have to be careful with the dairy that I eat because my baby might just spit up and throw everything up that you just gave them. This makes them hungry and agitated and you empty with nothing to give. So just be aware of those needs and that also might be a reason for your baby’s low weight gain even if you have a great supply.
My grandma’s advice to my mother and her sisters was a root beer float! It’s really the root beer she says, but who doesn’t love to add ice cream whenever they have a chance? Ha! But that’s probably just an old wive’s tale.
Extra stimulation is the key here! I learned a lot about pumping while I was doing research and the main thing I got from reading is pumping for 5-10 minutes after baby eats to tell your boobs that baby is looking for more food! If your baby is like mine, then they don’t like to work hard for their food and they will stop nursing once the flow is gone. So, telling your boobs that the baby will eat more by pumping after you feed your baby is a good way to keep that supply going!
You can also “Power pump” as they say. Where you pump for 20 minutes, rest for 10 minutes, pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10 minutes, then pump for 10 more minutes and finish. That’s about an hour’s worth of pumping. which they say do that once or twice a day for about a few days to a week.
I learned for following a lactation consultant on instagram about constant breast emptying. It’s like snacking breast feeding, but it tells your boobs to make more milk. The more frequent your breasts empty the more milk they are going to make because it’s telling them your baby is hungry so you need to make more milk. I tried this for a few days and I saw my babies weight shoot up a few ounces.
She also said that doing this causes the fat content of your breastmilk to go up as well, which also contributes to baby’s weight gain.
We are still having weight gain problems with my baby, but that’s the struggle of breastfeeding I guess. I still do all these things with a few days of rest in between because momma needs a rest. We all have our battles with motherhood and each is different so here’s to hoping we all make it and our kids become functioning adults! Ha!
I have also heard goat’s milk is a great substitute to formula and breastmilk, so that might also be another option that you could try if available to you!