Why Is Breastfeeding So Important?
There is no doubt that breast milk is the best food for infants. Breast milk provides nourishment to the baby by providing all the necessary nutrients required for their growth.
Since breast milk contains antibodies, it has an inevitable role in providing immunity to the baby. In the first six months, doctors recommend, breast milk as only baby food. Breastfeeding can be continued for up to two years or more along with other food.
Reason for low milk supply
Sometimes you may not have enough breast milk to feed your precious ones. This may be due to the time lag occurring to start breastfeeding, side effects of certain medications, long gaps between breastfeeding, premature birth, maternal obesity, high blood pressure, and several other reasons. But this is never a matter of anticipation. You can boost breast milk production.
How Can I Increase My Breast Milk Supply?
Here are some ways to boost your breast milk supply:
Feeding the milk without long gaps is the first and most important measure to increase breast milk supply. Ensure that milk is pumped well and the baby gets enough milk.
Breast feed more often that is, every 2 hours during the day and every 3 to 4 hours at night. Feeding shouldn’t be confined to one breast, offer one breast after another at intervals of fifteen minutes.
When the baby isn’t sucking the milk properly or delayed period to initiate nursing or a chance of relaxation there is a chance that the body produces less milk. Low breast milk supply can be rectified by using a breast pump to remove the milk. Removal of breast milk followed by the usage of high-quality breast pumps stimulates the body to produce more milk.
Drink water to replenish the milk supply:
Your body cannot produce enough milk if you are dehydrated. The fluid content of your body is the determining factor in producing breast milk. Mother needs to hydrate the body with fluids to compensate for the water loss in the body as breast milk. You need to drink at least 16 ounces of water every day to keep hydrated and boosting breast milk supply.
Breast massage for milk production: Lactation massage
Massage can unclog milk ducts and produce oxytocin which relaxes the milk duct muscles.
Massaging the breast with fingertips and a circular massage over the nipple can pump more milk and thus increase milk production. Application of moist heat before massage and usage of natural and organic lubricants like virgin coconut oil or almond oil can produce better results.
Little care on fabrics that you wear
Wearing the wrong bra, tops or slings that exert pressure on the breast affects the milk flow and supply. Try to wear nursing bras for a smooth nursing experience (provide an image of the right nursing bra)
Food that can boost the milk supply
Certain foods can stimulate breast milk production. Galactagogues are foods that can increase breast milk production. Having lactogenic foods during post-pregnancy is very helpful. Green and leafy vegetables, fennel and fenugreek seeds, barley, whole grains, turkey, chicken, papaya, apricots, drumsticks, seasonal fruit and salad, nuts and sweets, and dairy products are some foods that increase breast milk supply. Even though they are not scientifically proven, they are found to be very helpful to lactating mothers. (provide an image of some galactagogues)
Avoid anti-lactogenic foods
Freeing your diet from anti-lactogenic food is vital to improve breast milk production. Overdrinking caffeine and carbonated drinks can adversely affect milk production. Drinking alcohol can inhibit milk ejection. Some the anti-galactagogues are peppermint, spearmint, parsley, astringent foods, etc
Also, read- Ashwagandha While Breastfeeding: Dosage, Timing, and More
Stress can severely deplete the breast milk supply. Many mothers who feel anticipated or stressed seems to have less milk supply than happy mother. Since you are shifting to a new phase of life, there’s a high chance to feel stressed or anticipated.
Lack of sleep and increased levels of hormones such as cortisol are the main reason behind stress. Try to maintain good mental health then only you can feed your tiny tot with the best food that you can give, breast milk.
Frequently Asked Questions And Answers About Ways To Increase Breast Milk
1)How can I understand that milk production is decreasing?
You can understand it by checking the baby’s weight or the diaper. If there is a sudden decrease in the
the weight of the baby, it’s an obvious sign that the baby isn’t getting enough milk. If they are wetting the pampers less than they did before it’s also a sign that you have low breast milk production.
2)Does hormonal shift affect milk production?
Yes, hormones play a key role in the production of milk. Sometimes shifts in hormones can reduce milk production. Consulting a doctor would be the best option in this case.
3)What are the signs that the baby is getting enough milk supply?
Weight gain in babies, around 5-6 wet diapers in a day, healthy skin color, good muscle tone, very pale-colored urine, and runny bowel movements in young infants are some indications that your baby is getting enough milk.