Low Milk Supply and How To Boost It

Low Milk Supply and How To Boost It

Most women who breastfeed do not need to generally worry about low milk supply, however there can be moments when they notice a dip in their supply.  This is usually ok and normal, but supply should still be monitored to make sure that baby is getting enough breastmilk to sustain ideal growth.  There are signs to look for that indicate low supply and things to do to help increase the supply.

Mother holding babyYou may think you have low milk supply if your baby seems hungry or unsettled after feeding, or if he wants to feed often with short pauses between feedings, but this is often times not the case.

Signs You May Have Low Milk Supply

There are however, actual signs that let you know your baby isn’t getting enough milk:

  1. Baby has poor or really slow weight gain
  2. Baby is not producing wet/dirty diapers, meaning they are passing small amounts of concentrated urine
  3. Baby is showing signs of dehydration such as a sunken soft spot or low energy levels

If you notice any of these signs then it’s more likely that your baby isn’t getting enough milk to maintain optimal health and you should contact your doctor right away.

All babies will lose some weight within the first few days after birth. Babies are born with supplies of fat and fluids, which will help them keep going for the first several days.  A healthy newborn is expected to lose 7% to 10% of their birth weight, but should regain that weight within the first 2 weeks or so after birth.  During their first month, most newborns should gain weight at a rate of about 1 ounce (30 grams) per day.  You can read about other reasons for weight-loss in breastfed babies here.

How To Boost Milk Supply

To help you with your breastfeeding, here are some ways that you can increase your supply of milk:

  1. Be sure that your baby is positioned correctly and attached to your breast.
  2. Let your baby feed for as long and often as he wants.
  3. If you feel that your baby isn’t breast feeding enough, offer him more breast feeds.
  4. During each breast feed, make sure you feed from both breasts.
  5. If your baby has been using a dummy, try to stop him.
  6. Some babies may be sleepy and reluctant to feed, which may be the cause of problems with milk supply.
  7. If baby is sleeping more and not feeding as much you can pump and freeze the milk.  This will stimulate the breast to keep it on its natural rhythm of milk production and you will have extra milk on hand for future use.

By following the above tips, you’ll do your part in making sure you have enough milk when it comes time to breast feed. If you are uncertain or have other questions, be sure to ask your doctor, as he can answer any type of question you may have.

Other Tips to Increase Milk Supply

Stay hydrated!  The number one ingredient in breastmilk is water so make sure you give your body enough water each day.

Talking to a lactation consultant can help with getting baby to latch properly, positioning yourself and baby correctly for optimal feeding, they may also suggest a schedule for feeding/pumping to increase supply.

Maintain a healthy diet.  There are certain foods that can help promote milk production.  Try these next time you think you may have a dip in your milk supply:Oatmeal for breastmilk production, nuts for increasing milk supply, fenugreek tea to boost milk supply

  • Fenugreek – you can take supplements or herbal tea containing fenugreek
  • Oats – grab a bowl of oatmeal
  • Brewers yeast – put some on your oatmeal 😉 or I like to sprinkle it on my popcorn – or treat yourself to a beer
  • Fennel
  • Nuts – I have definitely used peanuts to help elevate my supply from time to time
  • You can also try my No Bake Lactation Energy Bites – awesome for a quick grab and go option
  • I also created the Best Lactation Cookie Recipe Ever – who needs an excuse to eat cookies?!

Essential Oils for Milk Production

  • Fennel
  • Dill
  • Cardamom
  • Lavender
  • Clary Sage
  • Slave for increasing milk supply – contains Geranium, Clary Sage, and Basil

The Wrap-up

It is natural for your breastmilk to ebb and flow and a lot of it is determined by baby.  They go through growth spurts, illnesses, days of sleeping a ton, and just plain fussiness.  These things are all normal and the best thing you can do is adapt, take baby’s lead and most importantly, don’t panic or stress about it because that can only add to the issue.  Baby and your breasts have a relationship and they get each other, just make sure you are a loving, caring, attentive facilitator of that beautiful relationship and don’t give up, you can do it!

Essential Oils and Pregnancy

Essential Oils and Pregnancy

Congrats, you're pregnant!!

This is a wonderful and crazy and magical time in your life right now!  If this is your first you’ll find yourself researching a ton and looking for answers about things you can and can’t do while you’re pregnant.  At least that’s what I did.  If this is your second, or third or more, you’re probably more relaxed about all the things you Googled the first time around.  One thing I did find myself researching when I was preggers with my second was safe essential oils and pregnancy.  Oils are something I only found on my second go around and I’m sooo glad I did.  I honestly wish I knew about them during my first.  I’ve put together my list of the top oils that are safe during pregnancy that I think you’ll love.  And whether you’re in your first or fifth pregnancy, you’re growing a person inside of you and that is absolutely and purely amazing!

This topic of essential oils and pregnancy is near and dear to my heart because when I was pregnant with Charlie I was experiencing the same, if not worse, morning sickness than with my first.  I was on the medication (again) and that was only (mostly) keeping me from barfing, but I still felt the nausea all day every day.  If you’ve ever been in a state of constant nausea then you know it can take a huge toll on you, not only physically, but also emotionally.

Essential Oils and Pregnancy:
get in the know!

I was searching for answers online again one day, looking for anything that didn’t recommend dry toast for the hundredth time, and I came across a video blog of a girl in Australia talking about this dōTERRA oil called DigestZen.  I rang my friend, Jaslyne, immediately and asked if she had any on had.  Thank God she did and I had DigestZen essential oil doterrathat little bottle in my hand in a few hours.  I followed the instructions from the video blogger and rubbed a couple drops on my tummy and OMG if my nausea didn’t stop in less that 60 seconds.  Now, of course I thought that it was coincidental, but when I tried it again and again and I got the same results, well, then I had a pattern and results and that little bottle never left my side for the rest of my pregnancy.

I wanted more!

After my stellar experience with DigestZen I launched into research about dōTERRA and their other oils.  What I found was amazing!  I have never seen a more transparent company.  And because they are the ones managing the crops, the distillation, and the bottling, I know with certainty they aren’t adding any impure fillers.  These oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils.  That’s what made me confident in the oils and made me feel safe to put them on and in my body.   I began to use many other essential oils that are safe during pregnancy and oils that help your body and mood during pregnancy.   I’m giving you my cheat sheet of oils that every pregnant mama (and even after delivery mama) should have in her collection:

  • Morning sickness:
    Put a drop of DigestZen and/or Peppermint under the tongue, rub a few drops on your tummy, put a few drops in a capsule a couple times a day to ingest, or rub it on the bottoms of your feet.  You can also drop 3 drops of Peppermint and/or DigestZen essential oil into the palms of your hands, cup your nose and mouth and inhale deeply.  Another option, if you can tolerate it, is to add 3 drops of Peppermint essential oil in a glass of water and sip it throughout the day.

  • Swelling and water retention and Pregnancy Edema:
    Lemon is considered “liquid sunshine” and has super antioxidant and antibacterial properties.  Put a few drops in your water daily.  Drink lots of water throughout the day.  Create a roller bottle with 3 drops each of Geranium, Ginger, Lemon, and Lavender with fractionated coconut oil and roll on ankles and feet a few times a day, especially at the end of the day.  After application massage feet and ankles in an upward movement toward the heart.  And place a drop of each over your heart ❤

  • Restful Sleep and/or insomnia:
    Diffuse Serenity especially nearing delivery.

  • Sciatica:
    Mix 3 drops of Geranium with 1 tbs carrier oil, apply, and rub the painful location.  Then soak in a bath of epsom salts w/ Lavender.

  • Congestion:
    Add a few drops of Breathe to your diffuser, cup of your hands or bowl of hot water and inhale steam. Place a drop of Clove and Thyme on the tips of your middle finger and fingerwalk middle of the nose up and out towards the cheek bones.

  • Depression:
    Mix 3 drops of Lavender or Elevation with a carrier oil and massage it into upper back, neck and face and avoiding eyes. Wear as a perfume or diffuse Citrus Bliss.

  • Avoiding Stretch Marks:
    Combine 2-3 drops of each Helichrysum, Lavender, Frankincense with 1 cup Virgin Olive Oil, liquid from 6 capsules Vitamin E, and 4 capsules Vitamin A. Apply a couple times a day starting when you feel like it.

  • Emotional Stress:
    Add 2 drops of either Lavender or Elevation or Cheer to a carrier oil & massage into wrists, neck, and around ears.

  • Gas (flatulence):
    Mix 1 drop of Peppermint in 1 tsp. of honey. Stir into a small glass of warm water.

  • Group B Strep:
    Mix 3 drops of OnGuard + 3 drops of Oregano on soles of feet am/pm

  • Hemorrhoids:
    Combine 3 drops Aromatouch and 5 drops Geranium with 1 tbsp. carrier oil and apply to the hemorrhoids. Can be followed by a soak in a sitz bath.

  • High Blood Pressure:
    In a warm bath mix 3 drops of Ylang Ylang and 2 tbsp of bath salts. Bathe in the evening 2x week.

  • Insomnia:  Add 3 drops of either Lavender or Ylang Ylang to 1 tbsp carrier oil and do a full body massage. Diffuse either of these oils in the air. You can also spritz your pillow with Serenity.

  • Yeast Infection: Mix 3 drops of Melaleuca and 1 drop Lavender with 2 tbsp of bath salts. Add to warm water and soak for 10 min.

Here are the quick links for the oils mentioned above:
AromaTouch
Breathe
Cheer
Citrus Bliss
Clove
DigestZen
Elevation
Frankincense
Geranium
Ginger
Helichrysum
Lavender
Lemon
Melaleuca (Tea Tree)
OnGuard
Oregano
Peppermint
Serenity
Thyme
Ylang Ylang

There are so many more oils for so many more things that happen to our bodies during this time, but that list should give you a good start.  You can download the app Essential Life for further research into any oil or any ailment.  It is subscription based but it’s only $3.99/year and it’s totally worth it!

I hope that was really helpful and gives you some good ideas on a healthy and natural ways to alleviate some of the uncomfortable things you may be experiencing during this time.  Essential oils and pregnancy can go hand in hand.  Take care of yourself and that beautiful little baby inside!  If you have other questions about what oils are safe to use during pregnancy please comment and get in touch!

Till next time!

Amazing dōTERRA teething relief blend

Amazing dōTERRA teething relief blend

Make your own natural teething remedy with these dōTERRA essential oils.

If you’ve experienced a teething baby chances are you’ve tried a lot of things to soothe their pain.  One of the things in my arsenal of teething pain relief is this roller bottle of essential oils that help make teething easier for them.

It’s a simple recipe of just 3 of my dōTERRA essential oils.  These oils are certified pure therapeutic grade so I am 100% confident in using them on my baby.  Even if he gets some on his tongue I don’t worry about it because the oils are so pure they can’t hurt him.

For this recipe, I used an old dōTERRA Lavender Touch 10ml roller bottle that I had since Lavender is one of the oils in the blend.  You can also buy a pack of roller bottles on Amazon to make this blend or your own other blends.

For this teething blend you’ll need the following oils:

  • Lavender – among it’s many other uses this oil is great for easing tension and stress with it’s calming effects
  • Copaiba – this oil also contains soothing and calming properties and it also supports the nervous system.
  • Roman Chamomile – another oil with calming properties and benefits for skin
  • Fractionated Coconut Oil – an absorbant and light carrier oil that helps increase oil distribution and it dilutes the oils making it safer for babies.

Add 3 drops of each oil to the 10ml roller bottle and then top up with the fractionated coconut oil.  All of these oils have skin healing properties which is important for the gums.  Don’t put it directly on their gums, just roll it on the area below the lips/on the chin.  The oils will penetrate the skin and enter the tissue to offer their healing effects.

Let me know if you have any questions about this little bottle of magic.  When Charlie is having a bad day with teething I just keep this roller bottle in my pocket and reapply when he gets fussy.

I really hope this helps your little one they way it helps my Charlie.

Xo,
Emmy

No Bake Lactation Energy Bites

No Bake Lactation Energy Bites

I’m in love with these little lactation energy bites!  They are so easy to make and they taste great too.  I do fancy my lactation cookie recipe, but these have some of the same great ingredients in them that help boost milk production and they take a fraction of the time to make.

At some point in your breastfeeding journey you may notice a decrease in your milk production.  This can happen for different reasons, but don’t fret, you can eat certain foods that will help boost your supply.  Eating milk producing foods is just one way to help your supply.  There are teas and other techniques that can help boost your breastmilk too, but having some of these no bake lactation energy bites on hand will be one thing you can eat as soon as you sense a dip in your production.

These no bake lactation energy bites include the following milk boosting ingredients:

  • Peanut butter
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Flaxseed
  • Oats

Peanut butter is the perfect snack even on it’s own when you’re hungry and breastfeeding.  It is a great source of protein and will give you a boost of energy and the healthy fats it contains help to boost milk supply.

Brewers yeast contains B-vitamins which help boost energy.  It also contains chromium, selenium, iron, and protein.  Along with the B-vitamins, the protein and iron will help with energy and even elevate mood.  I wasn’t able to find any brewers yeast on island, but I used this nutritional yeast instead.  Yeasts are from the fungi family.  Brewers yeast and nutritional yeast are deactivated so they won’t have any frothy or leavening ability.  You can use these 2 yeasts (brewers or nutritional) in your recipes, but don’t use baker’s yeast!

Flaxseed is an amazing superfood and is chalk full of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, B-vitamins, and lignans that fight cancer cells and lower the risk of heart disease.  And flaxseed helps boost milk production!

Oatmeal is a good source of iron and it’s known that an anemic mother can see a decrease in her milk supply.  It therefore makes sense that eating foods rich in iron will help to increase milk supply.  I actually used Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli because it has the oats, but also a lot of other yummy bits like raisins, dates, sunflower seeds, rye, barley, flaxseed, and walnuts.  If that’s too much for you just use regular oats – dry, not cooked.

No Bake Lactation Energy Bites
 
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These little balls of goodness are full of great milk producing ingredients. When there's no time to bake whip up a batch of these and you'll be set!
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 15 balls
Ingredients
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups oats (or muesli)
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 2 tbs ground flaxseed
  • 2 tbs brewers yeast (or nutritional yeast)
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 tsp almond extract
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in your Kitchenaid Mixer with the paddle attachment and set to stir until ingredients are combined.
  2. Use the tablespoon measure to scoop out the mixture and make balls.
  3. Eat immediately or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Notes
Add a handful of chocolate chips to add some flavor and texture!

The cool thing about these no bake energy lactation bites is that while they will help to boost milk supply of a breastfeeding mother they can also just be eaten by anyone for their healthy and energy boosting ingredients!  It’s a healthy snack full of protein, iron, fiber, and B-vitamins.  So even if you’re done breastfeeding I highly recommend keeping some of these on hand.

I’d love to hear what you think!  Did you make this recipe?  Tell me in the comments below.

Xo,
Emmy

 

3 Ingredient Dill Dip

3 Ingredient Dill Dip

You. Guys.  This dip is so easy and it’s very handy!  I absolutely love it! This delicious dill dip is perfect for when you need something to bring to a party or just a snack to keep in the fridge for yourself.  This 3 ingredient dip is a breeze to whip up and it actually tastes better a day later when the dill really sets in.  I like to eat it with pretzels or fresh cut veggies for a healthier option.
3 Ingredient Dill Dip
 
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This is a super easy recipe that I use if I need to bring something to a party or if I just want a snack in the fridge.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Sour Cream
  • ½ cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbs dill weed
Instructions
  1. In a sealable container combine all ingredients and chill in the fridge.
  2. You can add a dash of salt if you want, but I find the salt on the pretzels is usually enough.
  3. This dip gets better with time so if you can, let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours before serving so the dill flavor can really come out.
Notes
This recipe is really easy to play with the ratios. If you find you like more of a sour cream taste than mayo simply adjust the amounts accordingly.

Can be served with pretzels or fresh cut veggies for a healthier option.