Having a baby is a wonderful experience, as is the joy and emotional and physical attachment you feel with your baby as you breastfeed him or her. It is important to feed your baby breast milk for the first few months of their lives, as they receive vital antibodies from mothers’ milk that they need to boost their immune systems. It also ensures that close bond between mother and child. Some mothers have a difficult time producing enough milk to keep their baby gaining weight, due to a variety of reasons, and there are things you can do to increase the supply of breast milk you are able to make for your baby.
If you are experiencing a low supply of milk, there are a few things you can do to increase your body’s production of the fluid.
If you schedule feedings for your baby more frequently, this can stimulate your body to produce more milk to try and keep up with the demand. The act of breastfeeding, when your baby suckles at your breast, stimulates your body to produce more milk if you do so more often. Schedule feedings with less time between each bout, which increases the time that your baby is in the act of suckling and stimulating your milk production. This should increase your milk supply as you feed more often.
If you find your baby is not hungry as often as you would like to feed them to increase your milk supply, you can also pump your breasts for milk in between feedings, to stimulate their production of milk. Pumping stimulates the breasts to produce more milk in the same way that frequent feedings can. Your breasts are drained of milk and convinced to make more, and you have the added bonus of an ongoing supply of milk in the fridge if you are unable to be there for the feeding of your child, your husband or babysitter can do so, with your own breast milk.
Herbs and Other Stimulants
Many herbs are reported to increase the supply of milk, as is drinking a very moderate amount of beer. Please be sure to consult your physician before trying any of these, however, as some may be detrimental to you or your baby’s health. Only use safe herbs and stimulants that are approved by your physician or lactation specialist. Finding a good lactation specialist is important in all cases.
Increasing Breast Milk Supply
Increasing breast milk supply is one of the most common concerns of many nursing mothers. When methods such as frequent feedings, expressing milk by pump or by hand have failed, mothers have other options they can be able to refer to.
Infant formulas can be used to substitute breast milk. They are available in wide ranges such as flavors in today’s market. Just like breast milk, infant formulas are able to maintain and support growth of infants under six months of age. Infant formulas, although provide an imperfect approximation of breast milk, can be used as a substitute when necessary such as low breast milk supply by the mother.
Infant formula is generally of a lower nutritional standard than breast milk. Other animal substitutes however are not recommended due to the possibility of developing illnesses such as a baby becoming lactose intolerant if they have been introduced to cow’s milk too early in their stages of life. This leaves the safe use and availability of infant formulas. Besides breast milk, formula for infants is the only medically nutritionally acceptable milk product for infants under the age of one. Solid foods can also be introduced to the baby to add nutrients to the diet.
The mother can take herbal medicines such a galactogogues that can stimulate breast milk supply. These herbs are Fenugreek, Goat’s Rue, Milk thistle, Blessed Thistle leaves, Borage leaves, Fennel and Barley Water, Hops, Alfalfa and Anise.
Oatmeal, even in the form of cookies, has been known to increase lactation. Quinoa is a type of grain used during lactation to increase milk production. Milk teas are herbs that are used to boost lactation production. Fenugreek is a herbal supplement. During ur intake of this herb, when your sweat smells like maple syrup you know you have taken enough.
A high nutritional diet makes a higher quality of milk. Increasing fat intake, this is ‘good fats’ such as coconut oil, olive oil, tallow, etc… improves the quality and supply of milk. Unhealthy foods should be avoided such as excessive carbohydrates, sugars etc. If you are still hungry, snack in between meal times. Dehydration is a cause of low milk supply. It is also important to get plenty of fluid intakes.
These dietary improvements though are not a miracle cure, are beneficial to your overall health. Overexertion of your body can result in low milk supply and so it is important to get lots of rest to supply your body with enough energy to produce milk. Nursing frequently will also stimulate the body to produce more milk.