I exclusively pumped for the first three months of my daughter’s life. It wasn’t a choice. My hospitalization post-delivery meant that she and I were not able to establish a latch right away and so to make sure she still got the benefits of breast milk, I pumped. Shortly after she latched, I got sick again and had to stop breastfeeding for a week while pumping and dumping due to my medication. Thankfully she had a freezer full of pumped milk that she ran through. Back then I pumped 6-8 ounces regularly and 10-12 ounces on my best days.
With my son, I’ve been pumping a minimum of 12 ounces since the third day after my milk came and averaging 20 ounces a pump. I have three full freezers of milk after 2 months and we aren’t stopping anytime soon. This is in addition to the milk he gets directly from me through breastfeeding. The difference in milk increase is astounding but I’ve figured out what helps my milk to flow and I’m happy to share it with you. Here is how to increase your milk supply.
- Coconut Water
Coconut water is jam-packed with nutrients that replenish all you’re losing through the postpartum and breastfeeding process. I drink a minimum of 4 8oz cups a day. I live on an island so mine comes directly from the trees but if you don’t have access to that try organic coconut water options in your local store.
2. Antenatal Vitamins
Keep taking your vitamins. I still use prenatal vitamins I was prescribed during pregnancy. I’ve found that taking these consistently along with the coconut water has helped.
3. Oatmeal Must Be a Meal
Eat oatmeal. Whenever I’ve gone too long without oatmeal or coconut water my supply dips from 24oz to 12oz. I won’t lie. My sister just casually revealed she hates oatmeal and I couldn’t help feeling slightly betrayed. If you aren’t a fan, get your oats my favorite way, with cookies.
4. Water, Water, Water!
Drink at least 8 cups of 8 oz water each day. I drink a minimum of two 24 oz cups each day but I aim for four 24 oz cups. Breast milk is LIQUID gold for a reason. It is necessary to have all that liquid going in to get all that liquid out.
5. Pump It Up
Set a pumping schedule and stick to it. The more you feed directly from the breast and pump as early as possible, the more your body thinks it needs to produce and therefore produces.