One of the hardest things about Cali having all of her food intolerances is keeping my milk supply up. I'm on what a lot of people call a "Paleo" diet (except I can't have eggs either) but more for health reasons as opposed to trying to eat the way the cavemen ate. Since taking out all grains, eggs, dairy, soy, and cutting back on tree nuts, Cali's stomach issues have disappeared. Yes it's hard but totally worth it.
Back to my milk supply.
I have to be extremely conscious of how much and what I'm eating every day or my milk supply dwindles fast.
Low milk = irritable Cali.
Irritable Cali = tired Me.
So I thought I'd list some of the things I try to do to make sure that Cali has plenty to eat and I'm not caught making up for it by having to feed her every hour.
Eat Lots of Fat
Healthy fats that is. Avocados are my 'go to' but coconut milk, olive & coconut oil, nut butters, and nuts are good too. As a quick snack I normally take an avocado and cut it in half. Then I drizzle oil (I love hazelnut but olive works too!) and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little onion powder. Voila! It's delicious and quick. Not having all of the usual carbs as "filler" calories, I really don't worry about getting too many fats in my diet as long as they are the good kind, and I've found that they're vital to keeping up my milk.
These are really the only "typical" carb that I eat. Technically everything has some amount of carbs (even broccoli!) but when it comes to carb dense foods, sweet potatoes are what I rely on. I try to get in at least one a day.
Grab & Go Snacks
This is probably the hardest for me. Not being able to eat the traditional quick foods, I have to make sure that I'm pre cooking things so that when I need a fast option, I have them. There are a million ideas but some of my favorites are bacon wrapped dates, turkey meatballs, hamburger patties, homemade "Larabars", or pre cooked stir frys. Fruits are also a good option because of the carbs but I try to limit them to 2 servings a day because of the sugar content.
Don't Skip Meals!
Sometimes I get lazy and am guilty of this. Calories are essential for making milk so making sure that you're eating enough is a definite "do". I have to make sure that, not only am I not skipping meals, but that the meals I am eating are dense in calories. Good calories.
There is debate in the nutrition world about whether or not this actually can increase your milk supply. Whether or not more water directly effects your milk, taking overall care of yourself never hurts. The better care you take of yourself, the better shape your body is in to provide nourishment.
Second Helping of Fruits
I try to limit my fruit intake to 2 servings a day but I also make the effort to actually get my 2 servings in. Whether it's the carbohydrates or the insulin spike, I'm not sure but I've found that if I eat more fruits than normal it seems to help me produce more milk.
I'm currently not eating any grains but before I cut them out, oatmeal was my go-to when I was low. Mix it with a nut butter and you're good to go. For me (and I imagine everyone is different) oatmeal was an overnight success when it came to increasing my milk supply. I'd have a bowl at night and by the next morning I could tell a difference. No joke.
There you have it. I know most of you probably couldn't care less about me and my milk (it's still strange to me that I even have any) but for you nursing - or soon to be nursing - moms out there, I hope this helps. The most important thing you can do for you and your baby is to take care of yourself! Eat real foods, exercise, and go get some (natural) Vitamin D!