Think you’re all done growing your baby once they’re born? Not quite! If you chose to nurse you will continue to be responsible for every delicious ounce of baby fat on those chubby thighs! Watching your baby grow on your milk alone is an amazingly powerful experience, but it’s not always easy. In order to produce an adequate supply of milk for your growing baby your body needs a little bit of help and extra care. Breast milk takes about 500 calories a day to make so this is not a time to diet! These milk-making tips will help ensure both you and your baby are well taken care of.
Breast milk is composed of mostly water. Remember how thirsty you were when you were pregnant? Expect the constant desire for a drink (not that kind!) to stick around as long as you are nursing. Keep a full water bottle with you at all times to make sure you are staying adequately hydrated. If you don’t flood your body with hydration your milk supply will soon suffer.
Your body needs a good supply of healthy fat to make milk for your baby. Plant based fat sources such as nuts, seeds and avocados are great foods for nursing mamas. A handful of almonds is not only a super healthy nursing snack but can also be eaten with one hand! As a nursing mom one-handed foods will quickly become your friend, especially in the early weeks when it feels like you are constantly nursing your baby.
Just like when you were pregnant, it is still important for a nursing mom to eat plenty of dark, leafy greens. Spinach and other dark leafy greens contain tons of phytoestrogens, which promote healthy breast tissue and lactation. Ask your partner to make you a green smoothie with spinach, avocado, almond milk and banana while you nurse the baby. Green smoothies are not only delicious and nutrient dense but can also be consumed with one hand!
Certain herbs are known galactagogues aka milk makers. This Nourishment Tea is packed with milk promoting herbs and is quite easy to make. You can order all of the loose herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs for about $20. Then simply mix all the herbs in the right proportions in a big jar or other sealed container. A cup or two of this tea each day will not only help your milk production but will also help balance out those post-partum hormones!
- 2 parts Red Raspberry Leaf
- 2 parts Nettle
- 1 part Oatstraw
- 1/2 part Alfalfa
- 1/2 part Rose Hips
- 1/4 Red Clover
- 1/4 part Spearmint Leaf
1. Place 1/4 cup of mixture in a sealable 1 quart jar (such as a Ball Jar).
2. Fill jar with boiling water.
3. Steep for 30 mins.
4. Store jar in fridge and drink 1-2 cups per day.
Nurse on Demand
By far the most important tip for healthy nursing is to nurse your baby on demand, especially in the first few weeks. If you allow your baby to nurse whenever they desire your body will get in tune with how much milk your baby needs. Do not be tempted to try and stretch out your baby’s feedings in the beginning. The more milk your baby drinks, the more you will make. So, if you are concerned about your milk supply snuggle up with your baby for a nursing marathon!
Sara Jane Mercer is a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach, Vegetarian Chef and Food Writer and the vibrant, creative spirit behind her eponymous blog that is the go- to source for Clean, Pure and Simple living. After countless hours developing healthy recipes in her own kitchen and sharing them with friends around the world Sara realized that all people needed were the right tools, simple steps to follow and easy, quick recipes. Her mission was to educate and to simplify and thus the Clean, Pure and Simple way of life was born. Sara lives in New York City with her husband, baby daughter and dog and enjoys exploring all of the healthy hidden treasures the city has to offer from local food markets and vegetarian restaurants to natural beauty finds and fun new fitness classes. All of her favorites can be found on her website www.sarajanemercer.com.