The other day, some simple math made me gasp—in public, at the playground.
I marveled at how seemingly fast my two kids had grown (like most other moms do), but then I realized how long I had actually spent breastfeeding them. I nursed my daughter for 16 months and my son for 18, meaning I was a breastfeeding mom for 34 months total!
I am really grateful that I was able to breastfeed for so long, and I don't take that ability lightly.
But in those almost three years, I hit some frustrating times when I thought the journey had to end due to low milk supply. After some research and talking to some other moms, here are five things that always seemed to boost my supply, almost instantly:
1. Steel-cut oats: Whenever I felt my supply dwindling, I ate a hearty bowl of steel cut oats—not instant oats—every morning. To ensure I stuck with this, I cooked a batch overnight. Here is a recipe and great topping ideas to ensure your oatmeal is tasty.
2. Gatorade: You may have heard to drink more water to increase your supply, but more water never seemed to increase output for me. Whenever I drank Gatorade—even as little as one kids' bottle per day—I noticed an increase.
3. Sleep: Okay, that's easier said than done in those early months. It meant forcing myself not to look at my phone or computer at night because the more I slept, the more milk I produced.
4. Mother's Milk Tea (Fenugreek): I had to drink at least 3 cups of this tea to really feel like it made a difference. Sometimes I wondered if it worked, but I consistently had lower output when I stopped brewing those tea bags.
5. Extra pumping session: It is recommended to go on power pumping sessions to increase your supply, but for me, it was hard to fit this into the day. In fact, it stressed me out more. Adding in just one or two more pumping sessions worked better for me. I pumped at night after baby had gone to sleep for the night, and once more during the day.
Every woman's breastfeeding journey looks different. If it weren't for tips from fellow moms, I don't know that I could have made it so long. I hope one of these five tips can help you.