Keeping Up Your Milk Supply During the Holiday Season

Since Winter Break has descended onto our homes, Ashley and I are taking the next few weeks off from blogging to spend some quality time with our families.  However, that doesn't mean that you'll be left without our breastfeeding support until the new year!  We have over 300 articles on the San Diego Breastfeeding Center blog, which means there is no reason for you to google 'sore nipples' at 3:30am.  Just check out our extensive article list and you will be well on your way!

Here are some of our favorite tips for keeping up your milk supply during the holidays

  1. Holiday recipes often include herbs that can affect supply.  Don't eat too much sage or mint - these are herbs used to temper down or dry up a mom's milk supply.  One mint cookie won't do it, but be aware of the amounts you are consuming.
  2. Continue to breastfeed or pump at regular intervals.  It's very easy to skip feedings and/or pumping sessions with all of the holiday festivities, which can lead to plugged ducts and mastitis.  Yuck! Try to stick to your regular breastfeeding/pumping schedule to prevent your breasts from getting overly full and uncomfortable.
  3. Traveling during the holidays, expecially with a baby or toddler, can really wear your body down.  To keep up your milk supply, stay hydrated, bring tons of nourishing snacks for the trip, and do you best to get good sleep.  Plus, follow your child's lead and squeeze in a nap or two throughout the trip.  Your immune system will definitely thank you for it!
  4. Find your comfort level with breastfeeding around family members.  Enlist your partner as your cheerleader and advocate so that you can feel comfortable breastfeeding your baby in all holiday situations. If you feel timid around certain family members and friends, invest in a breastfeeding cover, like this one from Bebe Au Lait, so you don't have to leave the room everytime your baby is hungry.  It's also a good idea to practice at home in front of a mirror, you'll see how very little of your breast is actually exposed and this may help you to feel more comfortable.
  5. If you start feeling under the weather, stick with herbs and over-the-counter medications that don't dry up your mucus membranes, as they may dry up your milk supply as well.  Herbs that support your immune system, that are safe to take while breastfeeding, are echinacea and vitamin C.  If you feel like you are coming down with a cold, you can take homeopathic oscillococcinum and yin chiao to build your immune system and speed up your recovery.  For over the counter medications recommendations, listen to our Boob Group podcast with Dr. Frank Nice, Breastfeeding and Medication.  You can also contact your local lactation consultant and ask her to look up a particular medication to see if it is safe to take while breastfeeding.

Lastly, here are some of our most popular breastfeeding articles to help you through the holiday season:

Advice for the Newly Breastfeeding Mama's Partner

Help A Mama Out; Ways Partners Can Bond with Baby Besides the Bottle

Help A Mama Out: Overcoming Nursing in Public Anxiety

Common Concerns While Breastfeeding: Sore Nipple Therapy for the Breastfeeding Mom

Common Concerns While Breastfeeding: Yikes!  Why are my Nipples Burning?

Common Concerns - Do I Have Mastitis?


We wish you a beautiful, peaceful holiday season and look forward to sharing more judgment-free breastfeeding resources with you in the new year!


Robin and Ashley