Updated: Jul 23
Breastfeeding is a very natural part of having a baby, but it can be surprisingly difficult. Most moms I know, myself included, think that because it is a natural thing and the only way babies can feed (before the invention of formula) it should come naturally.
Unfortunately, this is just not so...
Breastfeeding takes a lot of work and there is a learning curve for both mom and baby. Some of the key things to learn from a Certified Lactation Consultant include but are not limited to: tips for successful (and pain free) latching, timing of breastfeeding, and pumping information.
While I am not a lactation consultant, I am a dietitian and have education on the types of foods that can help promote healthy lactation. The two most important things to focus on when eating for breastfeeding are:
1) Staying hydrated - Drink approximately 3 liters of water daily to ensure you have enough water for you and your baby's milk
2) Eating enough - Breastfeeding requires a lot of energy. Women who are breast feeding need approximately one extra snack from what they were eating in their third trimester.
Below is an info-graphic with just some of the foods that will help with milk production. Know that there is not just one food (or five!) that will "cure" low milk supply. Like everything else with the body, low supply can be caused by multiple factors. It is important to discuss your situation with a lactation consultant, dietitian, and your doctor to help make the best decision for you. The foods listed below are good sources of common nutrients that support milk supply, but are not offered as a "cure".
What have you done to support healthy breastfeeding?