Random, but hopefully helpful, lactation tips for the breastfeeding or pumping mom:
To increase milk supply:
Aside from the obvious wellness practices we're always told (drink water, get lots of rest), which will generally ameliorate any condition, there are a few things you can imbibe or ingest which are said to increase the amount of milk your body can produce. The most common are:
- Fenugreek capsules or tablets
- Brewer's Yeast
- Oatmeal (the real kind)
See Kellymom.com for more information on "galactagogues". Then try to pronounce that word.
A yummy recipe that was shared with me for increasing your milk supply follows:
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies
Indubitably, your spouse and other family members may eat these too because they're so tasty. I can assure you that they won't immediately start lactating, but there are other health benefits from the flaxseed, oatmeal, and brewer's yeast for them too!
[I have found brewer's yeast and fenugreek at a local health food store (Nutrition S'mart for Tampa peeps). I actually inadvertently found flaxseed mill at Super Target (one of my favorite places), but you can probably find it more easily at most grocery stores.]
If you freeze your pumped milk in special breastmilk storage bags (which I would recommend as they do not leak or latch on any weird chemicals into your precious pumped liquid gold), it is good in a regular freezer for 3-4 months. You should rotate your frozen milk so that the oldest in the stash is used first, so that you never have to dump expired milk. In a deep freeze, the milk is good for up to 6 months. It is a good idea to constantly rotate it, because one of the amazing things about breastmilk is that the antibodies in the milk change every month as your baby grows, so is is helpful if they receive what they need, when they need it.
Also, thaw the milk in the fridge or under running water. Never heat up milk in the microwave. It could develop hotspots and burn your baby's tongue/mouth, not to mention, it changes the structure and nutrition of the milk -- not a good thing! To warm it up after thawing, we always just heated up a glass of water and soaked the bottle or bag of milk in the water until it was the appropriate temperature. Mia's such an old bebe now, she takes it straight outta the fridge. Babes sure grow fast.
If your frozen milk is not all used up at the same feeding, it may be refrigerated and offered one more time again before discarding. Frozen milk should be used within 24 hours of thawing.
If you have any other questions, feel free to shoot them my way. Or check out kellymom.com; they have so many great tips there. The Birth Center was always recommending that website to me, and I thought it was some random girl's blog whose named happened to be Kelly & was a mom (I should've been a detective). In reality, I guess that's just who she is, but nonetheless, her website is full of spectacular resources! And now kudos to me for finding a way to use the word "spectacular" for the first time since elementary school!