Fill The Freezer!
So maybe you are trying to get off of that formula supplementing cycle, build a freezer stash or just up your supply, but you just don't know where to turn? A quick google search can turn up hundreds of supplements - it can be pretty overwhelming. (My favs are here and here).
After 27 months pumping and 40 months nursing, here are my tried and true tips on boosting your milk supply.
#1 - WATER. If you want to go crazy, sure - go try the blue gatorade or the pink drink from starbucks. What it really boils down to is the hydration. You need to hydrate - I'm talking 100 oz per day of water. You can NOT produce milk if you don't consume water!
#2 - FOOD. Sorry, that "breastfeeding helps you lose weight" thing isn't entirely accurate. Yes, breastfeeding burns a lot of calories (20 calories per oz of milk to be exact), but you need to REPLACE those calories with healthful foods.
#3 - Galactogogues. These are foods, herbs or supplements that are known to increase your supply. However - just because you are only pumping a few ounces at a time, doesn't mean you aren't producing enough. Average output is 3-4 ounces TOTAL per session, once your baby is a few months old. In the early days 1-2 ounces TOTAL per session is more likely.
#4 - SCHEDULE. I am 100% an advocate of feeding on demand, but I'm talking pumping here. If you are trying to build a freezer stash or up your supply, you MUST incorporate pumping. And you need to schedule it. The best way is to either power pump or pump after every feed. If you are away from your baby or an exclusive pumper - pump every 2 hrs exactly. And although my friend Sarah can pump 6 ounces in 10 minutes, I had to pump for 45 minutes to get 4. Don't compare yourself to others, and experiment with pump duration.
Julie Burrell is a thirty something mom of 2, wine lover and avid breastfeeding supporter. She accidentally invented the best hands-free pumping option on the market while pumping for her (then) 6 month old. Simply clip on to your nursing bra and pump hands-free! Grab yours here.