When you choose to breastfeed, you're making a commitment to your baby to give them the best nutrition you can. What you eat does affect your baby's health and well-being and certain foods and drinks can dry up your supply. There are guidelines on how many calories to consume while breastfeeding in general and a set of guidelines to follow to lose weight.
In general, it is recommended to eat an extra 300 to 500 calories a day, but not all calories are equal.
There are many foods to avoid that should not be ingested by the baby, which can be detrimental to their health (alcohol and fish high in mercury are two examples) but what foods can actually harm milk supply?
Various herbs and spices are some of the items you will want to watch out for. Peppermint, spearmint, parsley, sage, and oregano can all harm your supply.
Contrary to popular belief, drinking beer isn't good for your supply. It slows your let-down reflex and drinking too much will lead to a decrease in production because of that. Of course, breastmilk that contains alcohol should be pumped and dumped, and not fed to a baby.
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Dakota, “mummy say cheese” 😩😍 my husband doesn’t capture moments of me with the girls, but at least my 4 year old does 🙌🏻 this year one of goals, is to help more women that want to breastfeed. I have a few things planned for this year regarding breastfeeding, but my main advice to anyone pregnant wanting to breastfeed is, train for it, fuel your brain with knowledge. If you was going to climb a mountain you would train and research and I don’t think this is advised enough with breastfeeding and it is really crucial to make your life easier. I know how important it is to research because I didn’t do it when I was pregnant with Dakota, I expected it to be this wonderful thing, that was magical and “what nature intended” so it was all going to naturally happen on its own. Don’t get me wrong I think it is all of the above but it took time to get to the, wonderful, magical part. I breastfed Dakota for 19 months but in the early days it was tough, if I had done my research when I was pregnant, it wouldnt have been as tough, and when you’ve just given birth to a baby you want it to be as easy as you possibly can. Second time round when I was pregnant with the twins, I trained and researched hard. Like i was going to climb a mountain, I filled my brain with SO much knowledge, hours of research, buying things like nipple shields in case they couldn’t latch, I could not have been more prepared than I was. Once the twins arrived don’t get me wrong, it was in no way plain sailing, but I knew exactly what I had to do, I knew when their growth spurts were, I was prepared for the cluster feeds, the doubting my milk supply, everything that your never told about, I knew it. We made it to the top of the mountain, we’re enjoying the wonderful magical view. I cannot stress enough to join breastfeeding fb support groups, the support, and advice is second to none, from breastfeeding experts and mothers who understand what you are going through, because they have been right where you are. Message me, I spend a good chunk of my day advising women on my DM’s, and I love being able to help mums!! Message @kathrynstaggibclc she is like a Goddess for any woman wanting to breastfeed ❤️
Cabbage leaves are one of the big recommendations if you're trying to dry up your supply. Eating them doesn't harm as much, but it still doesn't help increase and is best avoided or eaten in extreme moderation.
Spinach, garlic, oatmeal, Fenugreek, apricots and brewer's yeast are touted as being able to help you up your milk supply. Some may cause a bad taste for baby (garlic) but they all add extra nutrients, as well.
Not only can apricots give your sweet tooth the taste you need, but it also helps boost your milk supply and gives you needed calcium, especially helpful if the baby has had adverse reactions to you drinking regular milk or other dairy products, or you're dairy free.
Recently "lactation cookies" were developed that are supposed to help increase your supply. If you don't live around an area that sells them, or can't eat them due to dietary restrictions, there are plenty of recipes to make your own.
Aside from eating or avoiding foods, if you're starting to notice baby eating more often, less time, fussier and it feels like you're not producing as much as you were there are some options.
They make a tea called "mother's milk tea." Drink one cup a day and it can help to increase your supply, feed or pump every 2-3 hours. Milk is supply and demand, if you need to use more, your body will start to produce so if the baby isn't eating enough, finish up with pumping.