Increase Lactation: How to produce more breast milk?
Your breast milk should be the one and only food for your baby for the first six months of your infant. During this period, you should not give any other food without breast milk, but in some special cases, you can go for a formula by consulting with your pediatricians. As I said “special case”, it often can be due to the lack of the production of breast milk and baby does not get enough. So, the article is basically on how to increase breast milk supply and how to produce more breast milk. Moreover, you will come to know about some foods or food supplements, exercise tips as well as home remedies if there is a problem with breast milk supply or production.
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Why breast milk is too important for a baby?
For a baby, no other food is like as mother’s breast milk. The only way to get valuable nutrition for the first 6 months of a baby is mother’s breast milk. Moreover, the antibodies present in breast milk, develop the baby’s immune system where any other formula cannot do so.
Breast milk supply can be lower due to two major reasons and they are 1. Poor latch breastfeeding and 2. A scheduled breastfeeding.
If you feel that, your breast milk supply is low, then you have to follow some ways to increase breast milk supply. Now, I will show you some tips regarding on this.
How to increase breast milk supply?
Many women are concerned about their breast milk supply and they want to know how it can be increased. Moreover, they might suspect their breast size if enough milk is not produced, but breast size is not related to milk supply or production. So, several ways to increase breast milk supply are as follows:
- Maintain a breastfeeding routine: Feed your baby when he/she seems to want breast milk. Your baby may cry if hungry and you can prevent crying by realizing the early signs of his/her hunger. Moreover, the more you breastfeed your baby, there will be a more supply.
- Check your nipple mouth: Your baby will not get enough if there is a narrow opening of the nipples. Therefore, if you feel that, you should consult with the doctor.
- Breastfeed your baby when your baby needs: Do not always maintain a time schedule. Try to understand your baby and feed him/her when wants, because, your baby has a natural survival technique and knows what is needed.
- Switch sides: After sucking a nipple for a while, your baby will gradually move to sucking slowly, so change the side and give him/her another one.
- Gently message your breasts: After some time, you may feel slowed down of the flow. Then you slowly message your breast and it will increase the flow milk supply. Moreover, it is a very useful technique to feed your baby more milk.
- Follow proper technique: Before breastfeeding, make sure that whether you are following the right way or not. To ensure enough supply of milk, you need to maintain the proper technique. If you do not know the techniques, you can see tutorials and there are lots of breastfeeding tutorials are available in online.
- Do not use formula without any valid reason: I said earlier that, the more you breastfeed your baby, the more milk will be produced. So, if you offer a formula to your baby, he/she may refuse breast milk later on.
- Try to stay available to your baby all the time: You need to be available for your baby all the time and keep him/her close to you, because, a mental relation also helps to increase breast milk supply.
- Drink enough water: You need to drink plenty of water because you may feel thirsty after breastfeeding. Moreover, drinking enough water is necessary to increase breast milk supply.
- Eat nutritious foods and supplements: To increase your breast milk supply, you need to eat will, also avoid some foods while breastfeeding. You will get details about it later on.
Breastfeeding and exercise
Although there are lots of health benefits of doing exercise regularly, but there are no significant impacts on breast milk supply. A small scale study shows that, there is just a little amount of increased breast milk by doing exercise, but the result is not much mentionable.
So, it can be said that doing exercises has not much relation in breast milk supply or production, but doing exercise to exhaustion may pose a short-term effect on the IgA and lactic acid percentage of mother’s breast milk.
Breastfeeding mothers exercise tips
- Before you start your exercise, try to wear a comfortable wearing.
- After doing exercise, you will get sweaty and that time you should nurse your baby. So, take a shower or wipe your breasts before breastfeeding.
- Avoid hard exercise, rather do some light exercise.
- Most importantly, drink enough water to keep yourself hydrated enough.
Supplements to increase breast milk supply
There are several supplements available in the market which can increase breast milk supply. But, before introducing any supplements, you need to be concerned about the consequences.
Several herbal supplements such as fenugreek, red raspberry and brewer’s yeast have been used traditionally for a long time by the breastfeeding mothers. Although none of these supplements have no scientific evidences to increase breast milk supply, but they have been used for centuries by breastfeeding mother with success.
Therefore, if you want to increase your breast milk supply, you can take fenugreek capsules according to your doctor’s advice. Moreover, you also can take brewer’s yeast capsule with your meal. Red raspberry tea or capsules can also be a nice option to add to your meal as a supplement.
However, the list of herbal supplements may seem a lot to you. Therefore, if you do not want to take all of them, you can try fenugreek, because consumption fenugreek has been identified as the most effective. Moreover, fenugreek is generally regarded as safe. But, you should take fenugreek supplements in a particular dose, because an overdose can create problems such as reducing blood sugars. Therefore, you should consult with your doctor before taking fenugreek supplements if you are a diabetic.
Besides these, you also can take galactagogues mediction as a supplement. Galactagogues are herbs or medications that help to increase breast milk supply. These help to increase the prolactin level in women and thus function in enhancing milk supply.
Galactagogues medications: Metoclopramide and Domperidone are drugs which have a potential capacity of increasing breast milk supply along with treating gastrointestinal problems. However, some studies have found some side effects such as cardiac problems or problems in central nervous system. Therefore, women with depressive disorder and a family history of cardiac problem should avoid this medication.
I suggest you to avoid spending money on buying “lactogenic” supplement. Although, the manufacturers claim that lactogenic supplements can increase milk supply, but actually there is hardly an impact or no impact in most cases.
There are some brands of other supplements also available in the market. But, before buying and starting a supplement, you should consult with your doctor, because you need to check your health and you need to avoid the unusual consequences.
You can check the information on iron supplement for pregnancy and calcium supplement in pregnancy . Also we have a detailed post on Iron supplement for babies.
Foods to increase lactation / foods to eat while breastfeeding to increase milk supply
To increase your lactation, you need to add some foods in your diet and if these foods already exist on your diet, eat them in a certain amount. Here is a list of foods which will help you to increase your breast milk supply.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a food with energy and fiber. Along with increasing lactation, it will improve your digestion.
- Garlic: Garlic contains chemicals which help with lactation. Moreover, consumption of garlic can prevent cancer. Take 2/3 cloves of garlic and eat with your meal or add it in soup.
- Carrots: You can eat carrots as juice, raw or cooked. Carrots have a nice lactation enhancing capacity.
- Water and fresh fruit juice: Try to drink water as much as you can, because it will increase the volume of milk every feeding as well as promote lactation. Moreover, you can drink some seasonal fresh fruit juice also.
- Barley: You always need to be hydrated and barley prevents you from getting dehydrated.
These foods have better capacity of promoting lactation. Moreover, eating other vegetables such as bottle gourds, pumpkins, raw papayas are also good for lactation. Besides these, eating fish can also do so.
But, you need to avoid gas forming foods such as raw banana, raw mango or potato, etc. See the list of gas generating foods and exclude from your diet.
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How to increase breast milk supply home remedies?
I have already talked about how you can increase your breast milk supply and I have given you a list of food as well as I suggested some supplements to facilitate lactation. So, you can follow as I discussed above.
Finally, I want to say that, since your breast milk is the most important food for your baby for the first few months, you need to ensure the sufficient supply of breast milk to your baby. I tried to provide you with some tips that you can follow to increase your milk supply and hopefully these tips will provide positive results. I believe the post will be helpful for you.