To cap of the Breastfeeding Month, let me share to you my best friends that aided my milk supply throughout the 17 months that I have been breastfeeding my son. I tell you, he has no plans of weaning yet, neither do I.
The first few weeks, I had the usual Malunggay-based/ingredient viand. Be it Munggo or Tinola or even sinigang with malunggay, adobo with malunggay, burger patties with malunggay. I don’t know what cued our helper to just cook normal food for the next months. Maybe she thinks I already have good supply.
I also feed on demand. Up until now. I really believe that latching your baby will increase your supply because there is a demand for milk. So the more baby sucks, the more your body will produce milk. Feeding them with bottles is a No-No for me. Not unless you are a working mom and they feed on expressed milk when you are away, at least there is still demand since you express/pump milk at work.
For the next 12 months, I had:
1. 7-10 Liters of Water – With every tip that I got from lactation consultants when I gave birth, from my baby’s pedia and my OB, even if “lumaklak ka ng malunggay capsules” or eat malunggay meals, if you don’t drink enough water. It will all be useless. We BF-ing moms need fluid inside our bodies. Even non-breastfeeding people needs to drink water, at least 8 glasses remember? From day 1, my 1.5L water bottle is always next to me. I drink water before and after nursing to “refill” and to keep me hydrated. After feeding, I actually feel thirsty and feel dry.
2. Malunggay Life Oil – During the first few months, I take 2 caps a day. When I feel that I am satisfied with my supply, I take one. Then, there will be days or even weeks and months that i don’t even take them. But since around 12th month, there are days in a month when I feel dry, I would take at least 2 caps a day.
3. Milo – Anything with malt could thicken/increase your milk supply.
4. Oatmeal & Oaties – Actually, there is no scientific explanation for if there is really an increase in supply when you eat oatmeal. But based from experience and from the experience of other mommy friends, everytime I eat oatmeal or anything with oatmeal (like cookies) there is an increase in my milk supply. This is my comfort food, I feel relaxed when I eat oatmeal. So I think it may also influence my milk supply, because I am happy with what I am eating. Oatmeal is also a good source of iron. And if you have low iron levels, it could cause a decrease in your milk supply. Oishi Oaties Milk is also my power drink. (photo from google)
5. Lactation cookies/cupcakes – The first time I tasted a small cheese cupcake from Mama Chows was around September 1st week and was breastfeeding for around 5 months already. By that time, I believe my supply has already stabilized. I don’t have booby leaks by then. I also stopped pumping because I’ve given up with bottle feeding Coco when I am away because he really won’t take it. Really, I felt a zap in my boobies’ veins like there is a a strong flow coming, a few minutes later there is a leak. Good thing, I was baby wearing Coco that time so my top was covered. I only bought a few times from them as I felt I didn’t really need a boost. Once is a while for me is enough. My favorite is the oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies. BTW, these cookies or cupcakes has fenugreek (that help nursing moms to produce more milk), flaxseeds (are rich source of minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients, rich in omega3 and high in fiber. There are other lactation treats bakers, so you can choose where you want to buy. I’ll post them next time. (photos from Mama Chows FB)
6. Eating healthy or at least don’t rely on fast food always. Eat well. Eat more. Since the baby feeds from us, we need double or even triple more calories. I eat more now compared from pre-baby days. I mean, a lot. I am on a Sea food diet. I see food, I eat food. LOL. I stopped worrying about the my weight gain nor the fat hanging around my waist. Only doing this for my son. I’d just have to wait for when he weans to get back in shape. It is true that in a few months time after you give birth, you’d be back to your pre-pregnancy body because of breastfeeding. BUT actually, if you don’t take care of what you are eating, you’ll get bigger too. This is what happened to me. But I am hungry, what can I do? haha! Now that my son is already 17 months, I’m trying to go back to my pre-preg body again. So, I am still thinking of ways on how to do it without compromising my food intake.
7. Relaxing, Resting. Napping. Have a positive outlook. Hard ano? If I can, you can too!
8. Determination as well as a support system that will be there for you when you need a hand or cheerleading when you are doing a great job. Don’t ever doubt your supply too.
9. Beer – As I’ve mentioned above with malt. Though many people will raise an eyebrow for nursing moms who drinks beer, it is actually good for your supply. A bottle won’t hurt. Just make sure that you won’t nurse your child for an hour or two for every bottle that you consume. :p I started trying a bottle when Coco was 9 months.
10. Fenugreek caps – I mentioned it above at the lactation goodies part. I only started to take them by 13th month. I take a cap a day for a few weeks and 2 when I feel dry. There are also days or weeks that I don’t take them.
11. (Updated: 2015) My recent discovery is a bottle of M2 Tea Drink (Malunggay concentrate) I don’t know, but since it’s been more than 2 years already and at times I feel like I don’t have milk anymore, and I started drinking this. I just chanced upon this in Greenhills Shopping Center, it’s near Mercury Drug, yung stalls ng mga food sa gitna. I got curious and tried it out. It’s really effective for me! I drink this cold because I love cold drinks and also because of the weather. I also usually buy their moringa based shing-a-ling and camote chips for my snacks! (Photo from Google)
The above tips I have mentioned are those that I did. Of course there are other tips or food that you can eat but I didn’t try those so I don’t know the effect. I don”t pump so I wouldn’t know the quantity of milk I could produce. But I know my son is satisfied by the output when he feeds. So…
No one said breastfeeding is as easy as 1-2-3. It is a lot of hardwork, determination and perseverance to most. But I am pretty sure that it will be worth it. Aside from the convenience of not bringing a bag of bottles when out or cleaning used one, as well as setting aside budget for formula, the best part of breastfeeding are 1.) he is really healthy and 2.) our exclusive bonding.
So I hope this would encourage you to breastfeed your child and if you have other tips, you can comment it below.