Since the day I found out I was expecting, I tried to be conscious of the fact that I was now eating for two. And with breastfeeding, that hasn’t changed since Eleanor was born.
I’m not going to pretend to know the complexities of nutrition and breastfeeding, but I’ve done my best to properly feed myself and my growing baby.
I haven’t talked much about my experience with breastfeeding mostly due to the fact that I’ve been continually developing the unconventional system that works for Eleanor and I (that’s a post for another day). However, I wanted to touch on an issue I found myself faced with this week.
For the first time ever I found myself with low milk supply and a very hungry baby.
Was Eleanor simply going through a growth spurt? Had I totally messed up my block feeding? Was I not pumping enough?
Was this the end of breastfeeding?
While I was unsure of the cause of my supply issues, I decided to focus on the one thing I could control: how I fueled my body. Aside from a balanced diet, I focused on 3 things:
1. Oatmeal for breakfast
This came as a tip from my lactation consultant since oats are believed to help milk supply due to its iron content. (Anemic mothers tend to have issues with supply.) It was an easy addition to my breakfast routine and one that I’ll happily keep through the winter!
2. Almonds as snacks
In the beginning I found myself starving while breastfeeding. I started keeping stashes of almonds in Eleanor’s nursery so I had something to snack on without disturbing her. My appetite adjusted and I had been snacking less often, but this week I reinstated my almond stash! It turns out that they are a common food used to combat low supply!
3. Water ALWAYS
I constantly struggle with this very simple point – hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! It seems so easy, but somewhere throughout the day I forget to push the water. The hospital provided me with a gigantic water jug that I carted around the house the first few months. It was a good reminder and a simple way to stay on top of my thirst. My massive water jug has reappeared and it’s here to stay!
My supply seems to have returned to normal which has let me breathe a sigh of relief. My hope is to make it to a year with Eleanor, but I’m still taking it one day at a time. In the literature I’ve read the jury seems to be out about which foods can really be attributed to better milk supply.
Am I 100% sure any of these changes was the *magic* trick, no. Do I feel better when I have a sense of control over the situation, absolutely!
Which foods have you heard of to maintain milk supply?
Do you buy into the idea that your diet can make a difference?