Updated: May 20
With the birth of my third baby, I encountered a new parenting challenge that I hadn’t anticipated: a diminished milk-supply. With my first two children, I always had exactly enough to keep my babies fat and happy, and so couldn’t really relate when women would express frustrations about their supply. This time around I got to eat a slice of humble pie - Baby Micah had some issues latching, a mild tongue and lip tie, and a huge appetite that wasn’t getting met. I started supplementing with formula, but wasn’t satisfied that I couldn’t meet his nutritional needs on my own. I met with a gifted lactation consultant, Heather Dvorak of A Baby Place, to work on Micah’s latching challenges, and also received some phenomenal nutritional advice from Certified Nutritionist Leina Sultan of Bluenu Health & Nutrition that created an immediate (and I mean IMMEDIATE) increase in my supply.
In the midst of the baby formula shortage, I am so happy to share access to this knowledge and wisdom for any other mothers out there that have struggled with low supply, and are now unable to find the formulas they’ve relied upon so heavily. My hope and prayer is that the information below can help all the mamas create a bonafide baby-feast, without the formula!
Leina Sultan is a certified Nutritionist with her BS in Food and Nutrition from the University of Alabama. She is the founder of Bluenu Health & Nutrition, and looks forward to completing her CDR exam as she begins her next professional chapter as a Registered Dietician.
“I can’t find formula anywhere!!”, “What am I supposed to feed my baby?!!”, “I can’t produce enough on my own to keep my baby from going hungry!” are just some of the heartbreaking sentences I've been hearing from our clients recently.. Many moms have been calling us and expressing their frustration, as well as their eagerness to find ways to increase their breast milk supply. Manufacturers have been promising that this issue would be resolved within days; and yet it has now been over a month of a nationwide shortage of basic infant food. A major blindspot for most mothers (and one that many healthcare givers do not highlight), is that breast milk is highly reliant on mom’s diet. Without the proper nutrition, mom’s milk supply may diminish, which in turn may compromise baby’s growth. Human breast milk contains about 87-88% water, 7% carbohydrates, 3.8% fat, and 1% protein. A healthy and well-balanced diet that comes from all five food groups (and doesn’t skimp on carbohydrates and healthy fats) will greatly help in supporting breast milk composition. Furthermore, research has identified the importance of adequate nutrition for baby’s “First Thousand Days” of life, which is the time from conception through age two. Achieving adequate DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), essential amino acids, fat vitamins (A, D, E, K), vitamin B, and minerals such as Iron, Calcium, and Zinc are vital for cognitive skills, optimal growth, and the general health of infants and children. Adding such nutrients into mom’s diet may have a positive impact on the quality and quantity of the breast milk, allowing mom to rest assured that her milk supply is rich with all the required nutrients for baby’s growth. But many busy moms don’t have the time or energy to prepare three nutritionally packed meals and snacks for herself daily while taking care of her baby’s endless and urgent demands. This is where the use of supplements would come in handy! One single tablet may contain up to two or three times the nutrients needed for mom’s health, which in return may help increase her breast milk supply. Products I personally recommend that contain sufficient amounts of those vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for breastfeeding mothers include:
Though the name ‘Muscle Multiplier’ sounds like it's for body builders (aren’t nursing mamas the original body builders??), the nine essential amino acids it contains are the building blocks for muscle cells, are integral to every aspect of our health. and can play a huge role in milk production. They also contain a number of proteins named “glucogenic amino acids”, the only amino acids that can convert into glucose (which is the main fuel for the brain and makes up 7% of the breast milk) inside the human body when needed for additional energy. Glucogenic amino acids have great potential to enhance milk synthesis by the lactating mammary glands, which translates to assurance in a production boost for mom and her breast-feeding baby.