Many Sleep Shop moms breastfeed their babies (yes, it is possible to breastfeed and keep baby on a schedule!) and one of the most common questions we get asked is around the topic of breastfeeding: When baby starts sleeping through the night, how do I maintain my milk supply?
Thanks to walking hundreds of mamas through fears of losing their milk supply, we’ve come up with a few (non-scientific) ways to maintain your milk supply. These tips also work for moms struggling with a low milk supply.
How to maintain your milk supply when baby sleeps through the night
- Add in a pumping session – After baby is sleeping through the night, some moms find it helpful to add in an extra pumping session (or two). Bonus: milk to store! Some moms feel overwhelmed with adding more pumping during the day so maybe add an extra one day and night — or whatever works best for your schedule! We have also found that adding in a quick pumping session immediately after you feed or within that hour will increase demand over time.
- Eat fattening foods – Yes, we’ve seen it work over and over again! While we can’t tell you the science behind it, the proof seems to be in the ounces. Breastfeeding can burn 300-500 calories a day and the extra calories are going to a good cause (your baby), right? J
- Eat warm foods – Some moms swear that switching from smoothies and salads to warm foods like soups, oatmeal, and French fries changed the quantity and quality of their breast milk. Perhaps the reason is that your body can focus on lactation as opposed to digestion (digesting raw foods can be more challenging for some).
- Get herbal – some herbs are considered ‘galactagogues’ and have been shown to increase a mother’s milk supply. These herbs include fenugreek, blessed thistle, milk thistle, and Goat’s Rue. Talk to your lactation consultant or another medical professional about which ones could be right for you.
- Drink Beer – And the darker the better, or so we hear! How does it work? Some claim it’s the hops found in dark beer, other swear it’s the yeast.
- Make lactation cookies – and load them up with Brewer’s yeast! Probably the second most popular galactagogue after fenugreek, Brewer’s yeast can be added to cookies, oatmeal, and smoothies. Slip in a little flax seed while you’re at it.
- Drink lots of water – If you think you’re drinking enough water, drink more! Remember, you are now drinking for two. Many moms we know see a noticeable increase in output after drinking lots of water the night before.
- Rest – Now that baby is sleeping through the night, Mom is hopefully using this time as a much-needed opportunity to catch up on lost zzz’s. We’ve found that rested new moms (yes, there is such a thing!) often produce more milk.
Breastfeeding while keeping baby on a schedule is absolutely possible! Feel free to contact us to learn more about sleep training and breastfeeding.