Having breastfeeding issues? You’re not the only one….
You give birth, baby latches on and out goes the milk…right? Well, not exactly. It goes more like this: you give birth, the nurse pushes your baby onto your boob and the baby struggles to latch on. It may happen in a few seconds…or take a few minutes while the baby cries and you are left dazed and confused.
You hope for the milk to just come and feed your hungry newborn, but it doesn’t. What you do have is ‘colostrum or ‘liquid gold’ as we like to call it. This is the rich goldish substance full of nutrients produced just for your newborn. You produce it before you give birth (your obstetrician/midwife can check whether you have any). It takes about 3-days for your milk to come after your give birth. During this time, all the latching on by your newborn leaves your poor nipples cracked with pain (at least that’s what happened to us with our first child). So, what can you do to relieve the pain?
Use our all-in-one baby Body & Bum Spray to soothe your cracked nipples (you’ll thank us later).
After the end of day 2 or beginning of day 3, your milk finally has come. So what can help you to boost your milk supply?
The old wives tale is to drink BEER! That’s right, B-E-E-R. That seems crazy, but apparently according to our 83 year old yaya (or 'grandma') that’s what they did in her day. Then we heard ‘drink Malt’ because that is what our other grandma or late great-grandma in this case did to nurse her 8 children.
Intrigued, we investigated this a bit further. What do Beer and Malt have in common? What is Malt anyway?
Malt is typically derived from Barley (a type of grain) that is germinated by being soaked in water and then dried in hot air. Other cereal grains such as wheat, oats and rye can also be used to make malt, but the one we find most effective to boost our milk production is Barley.
Beer my friends is typically made out of malted barley. This explains the common practice of drinking beer, way back in the day.
We don’t recommend drinking alcohol while breastfeeding, so let’s look at our alternatives:
- Malt - You can get non-alcohol beer at most grocery stores. If you don’t like the taste, try having some with juice.
- Barley Soup - This did wonders to get our milk supply going. Have some soup before you give birth, and the days after. It's nutritious, will boost your energy levels and your milk supply. You can try a few recipes from allrecipes.com. We like the mushroom barley soup here.
- Milo - if you like to drink chocolate milk, try substituting the chocolate powder with Milo. It contains Malted Barley Extract and tastes delicious with either cold or hot milk. Try having a glass either in the morning or night before going to bed.
- Cereal - try an all grains granola cereal containing oats and barley. Add fruits and milk. You can have this in the morning or at night prior to going to bed.
- Peanuts - If you’re not allergic to peanuts, then have peanuts. It is a Chinese custom for breastfeeding moms to add peanuts to everything to boost milk supply. We like to have a peanut butter and blackberry jam toast on dark rye bread, which works for us.
- Chia seeds - You can get these at your local health store or bulk barn. Chia seeds are full of Omega-3 fatty acids, proteins and fibre that you’ll need to boost your milk supply. We luv luv luv chia. Chia seeds are also full of antioxidants which can be passed on to your baby through your milk. You can sprinkle a teaspoon to your cereal, salad, fruit snack..just about anything.
- Water, water & water - Enough said.
Another piece of advice is to remember that your body is amazing! Milk supply will fluctuate depending on how often your baby is fed. For example, if you decide to use formula one week and then breastfeed the next, then you may find that your milk supply has substantially decreased and you have trouble producing milk. It will be very difficult to get that milk supply back up. Also, the milk you produce is designed specifically for your baby and its needs.
In summary, we found that the above 7 pointers have worked well for us. What about you? Are there any foods or drinks that have helped boost your milk supply?
Leave your comments below.
luv child team