" What foods should be avoided?" "Can nursing mothers have caffeine, alcohol, milk, or other foods that are common allergens?"
The good news is that 95% of the time, nursing mothers can eat and drink anything they were having before they were pregnant. A baby having a reaction to something in the mom’s diet is VERY rare. Cutting out food groups (such as milk/dairy) from diet can be incredibly limiting, so I don’t jump to that recommendation quickly.
"Do lactation cookies, brewer’s yeast, oatmeal, water increase your supply?" "What about supplements like fenugreek, mother’s milk tea, or blessed thistle?"
If a lactation cookie can help a mom feel relaxed and confident about her milk production, then that can help her supply. However, most foods and supplements won't make a huge difference if mom is having true low milk supply. In this case it’s best to work with a Certified Lactation Counselor, or Lactation Consultant to help identify the cause of low milk supply, and come up with a long-term solution.
In my experience, supply and demand is a much bigger factor to a mom's milk production than what she eats. Nursing baby more often, fixing a shallow latch, and helping moms notice babies early feeding cues can be helpful. Pumping between feeds can also be helpful for increasing a milk supply. Again how often to pump is a great discussion to have with a lactation professional.
If you have questions about what you can do to increase your supply, or what foods to eat or avoid, send me a note. I love doing breastfeeding home visits for families in the Indianapolis area. I can’t wait to meet you!