As a nursing mother the second time around I’ve realized something about myself: I’m not a big milk maker. I have a supply that tends to run on the low end (due in part to a thyroid disorder that I developed immediately after having my first son). I rarely engorge or leak (only when my son first started sleeping through the night) and am often trying to find ways to boost my supply. When I was nursing my first son I tried everything they tell you to: oatmeal, wheat beer, frequent pumping, drinking lots of water, even a medication that had some rough side effects. None of that really worked for me. I definitely think that eating enough calories and drinking enough water are the most important things, and nursing on demand helps, but for me those things just aren’t enough. So this time I tried a couple of new ideas, and I found two things that do work for me. They don’t turn my low supply into a major one, but they definitely give me a boost – and every little bit of that liquid gold helps!
The first product that I really like is the Nursing Blend Breastfeeding Supplement from Milkies Fairhaven Health. As you probably know, you have to continue with a prenatal vitamin while nursing. The Nursing Blend is like a prenatal with a nursing supplement boost all in one. You take it three times a day every day. Sometimes I forget and only take it twice (morning and night), but it still works well for me. I still try to drink a lot of water as well, but I can see a definite improvement in my milk supply since taking this. They also make a great Nursing Time Tea, which I prefer to other “mother’s milk” teas I’ve tried (for me, it tastes better and the results are better!).
I’m also a big fan of the Oat Mama bars. They taste delicious (I especially love the chocolate and peanut butter ones!) and are dairy free, which is great with breastfeeding moms who have had to cut dairy due to baby’s food sensitivities. Oh, and they work!
After talking to a lactation consultant friend and a another friend who is a big essential oils user and also a nursing mother, fennel oil kept coming up. So I did my research. According to Donna Murray, an RN and breastfeeding expert, fennel can help boost your milk supply. So I made a little DIY nursing booster of my very own. I keep one on my bedside table and have made one for several nursing friends. I call it my milk magic potion, but it is really just a fennel oil roller. Here’s how to make your own (but be sure to check with your doctor or lactation consultant before using yourself).
What you need:
- Glass roll on bottles
- Fennel oil (I use doterra, but you can use another brand if you prefer)
- Fractionated coconut oil (different from culinary coconut oil)
How to make it:
- Remove the roll on top from your glass bottle.
- Add 15-20 drops of fennel oil to your bottle.
- Top with fractionated coconut oil, filling the bottle halfway.
- Put roll on top back on, pressing down to ensure it clicks and is secure.
How to use:
Roll oil roller on breasts — sides, bottom, top, but avoid nipple area (you don’t want baby to ingest). You can reapply after every nursing session. You will smell a bit like licorice, but it isn’t an unpleasant smell. You can also put a drop or two of the fennel oil into a tea and drink it.
I hope these tips help you boost your own milk supply! You can also find tips on what to include in your breastfeeding arsenal (products I love and have found to be lifesavers in my breastfeeding journey) here on my blog.