You're still recovering from giving birth and the pediatrician warns you that your little bundle of joy is losing too much weight.
Your milk has come in, but it’s not enough. It can be alarming to hear that your baby isn’t getting enough to eat. So how can you boost your supply?
First of all, don’t give up. Breast milk may be nature’s perfect food, but breast-feeding doesn’t always come naturally. With a little patience, and sometimes a little outside intervention, breast-feeding can be a joyful ritual that bonds you closer to your baby and keeps you both healthy.
If your milk supply isn't as robust as you'd like, here are some things you might want to consider getting.
1. Spectra Baby USA Breast Pump
Breast-feeding is a matter of supply and demand. To boost your supply, you need to create more demand.
In addition to the milk your baby eats, extract more with this hospital-grade pump to keep the milk factory humming. Pumping is especially important if you’re supplementing with formula. Remove milk at least 10 or 12 times a day, either by nursing or pumping. A powerful, hospital-grade pump like this one will be more efficient at stimulating supply and extracting milk than a standard one.
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars, $129.89
2. Eve Alexander Nursing Pajama Set
One great way to jumpstart your milk supply — and recover from childbirth! — is to take a “nursing vacation.” Stay in bed with your baby for a few days and do nothing but breast-feed any time your baby shows the slightest sign of hunger.
OK, you can watch Netflix too.
You’ll want to live in these pajamas during your entire maternity leave, nursing vacation or not.
Target rating: 3 stars, $49.99
3. Camelbak Eddy Glass
You can’t make milk if you don’t drink water. It’s that simple.
A stylish bottle like this that’s easy to drink from, even when lying down, can help you stay hydrated. Drinking more than you need won’t make your supply go gangbusters, but the opposite is definitely true. Dehydration is a quick road to low production.
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars, $20
I know, I know. You’ve endured nine long months abstaining from alcohol and you deserve a real drink. But alcohol can keep your milk from letting down. The barley in beer, on the other hand, can supercharge your milk production. The solution: nonalcoholic beer! This one won’t be high on your midwife’s list, butlots of moms swear by it.
Liquormart: $6.49 for a 6-pack
5. UpSpring Baby Milkflow Fenugreek Blessed Thistle Drink Mix
According to breast-feeding guru Kelly Bonyata, “Mothers generally notice an increase in production 24 to 72 hours after starting the herb, but it can take two weeks for others to see a change.”
This drink includes blessed thistle too, another popular milk stimulator.
Amazon rating: 3.5 stars, $14.99
6. Milkmakers Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookie
These yummy cookies are chock-full of milk production triggers like brewer's yeast, flaxseed, and oats.
Those are all powerhouses in the galactagogue galaxy. Plus, nursing mothers need to eat an extra 300 to 500 calories a day. Cookies to the rescue!
Keep a few by your bed for when your hungry little one wakes you up in the middle of the night and you realize it’s been six hours since dinner. Of course, you canmake your own lactation cookies, but who has time?
Babies ‘R’ Us rating: 3 stars, $2.79
7. Quaker Oats
Oatmeal has iron, and low iron levels can slow down milk production. Pro tip: You may as well sprinkle some flaxseeds in there. Flaxseeds contain phytoestrogens, which can boost milk production. Plus, they have the same omega-3 fatty acids you took in those fish oil capsules while you were pregnant. Brown sugar won’t help you with your milk supply, but it will tempt you into a second bowl.
Amazon rating: 4 stars, $10.51
8. Health Insurance
The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to cover the cost of a visit with a lactation consultant before and after the baby is born. A consultant will be able to evaluate the baby’s latch, diagnose any problems, offer solutions if breast-feeding is painful, and help you get on a feeding schedule that will increase your milk production.
Breast pumps are also free under the law!