I recently saw a social media post about how breast milk supply is a lot like the ice maker in our household refrigerator:
The more ice you remove from your ice maker,
the more active your ice maker will remain at producing ice.
I thought this analogy was brilliant for breastfeeding mothers to understand the big picture of how our bodies interpret milk supply. As a current breastfeeding mother myself, I honor all types of feedings whether it is solely formula feeding, strictly breastfeeding, or a combination of the two. Bravo for feeding our babies in whatever form that may look like! There are many unique challenges that come with breastfeeding and every one’s journey will look different. Personally, I struggled with maintaining a consistent milk supply; this led to many feelings of inadequacy and anxieties over trying to feed my baby. It also led me down many (late night) internet rabbit holes of how to best boost the ol’ milk supply.
The ice maker analogy is perfect for depicting how our babies signal to our body the need to produce more milk.
But it is the mother’s intake that, in turn, produces the milk.
As a new mother, it can be hard enough to take a shower let alone try to imagine feeding ourselves well-rounded meals multiple times a day, so I will make this short and sweet on my top tips to keep up with your supply.
Incorporate these eating strategies:
Easier said than done, I know. A few quick and easy combos that have been my go to are: eggs with veggies and avocado for breakfast, an apple and nut butter for a snack, loaded baked potato for lunch, a small protein smoothie for an afternoon snack, and a steak and roasted veggies for dinner. Snacks are things such as trail mix, veggies and hummus, tortilla chips and guacamole, or some whole wheat toast with nut butter and banana. Keeping up with an adequate whole food intake during breastfeeding will ensure your body has enough vitamins and minerals to produce milk for your baby.
I am going to leave you with one last analogy, one in which we need to hear a lot more of as mothers.
Just like before take off on an airplane,
we must first apply our own oxygen masks before
we can assist others with theirs.
The same applies for much of motherhood, but especially breastfeeding.
Focus on nourishing your body with real foods and this will, in turn, nourish your baby.
If you feel you are having supply, latch, or general breastfeeding concerns please reach out! Not our patient? Give us a call and we will help guide you, whether it means talking with a nurse or getting scheduled with a provider for a visit.