Boosting Breast Milk Production
March 26, 2016
While some mothers may be blessed to have a never ending fountain of milk, some face a challenge producing enough milk for a single feed. This is quite common and if not resulting from any underlying medical condition, can often be easily resolved. The first thing to always bear in mind is KEEP CALM. Stressing out over the situation often makes it worse. Here are some five simple ways to boost your breastmilk production:
1) Manage the Stress
Breastfeeding is more than a physical process, it is also psychological. Stress is unavoidable, but it can be managed. The brain being one of the three B’s in breastfeeding- baby, breast and brain is a key player in managing the level of breastmilk production. Keep the stress in check to avoid your breasts from drying up. In case you suspect that you might be suffering from post-partum depression it’s important to see a psychologist to help you manage the condition.
2) Drink Up
This is probably the most important thing you can do to increase your milk supply. Breastmilk is mainly comprised of water and as such it is dependent on your hydration level. In order to sustain adequate, continuous flow of breastmilk, ensure you drink at least 2 liters of water every day. You’ve probably been told to drink cocoa, or drink bone soup to increase your milk- and it worked. The principle behind this is simply improvement of hydration levels and not because of specific ingredients found in the aforementioned fluids.
3) Increase your calories
The quantity of your breastmilk is highly dependent on the amount of food you eat. However, this doesn’t give you leeway to gorge on all the food you can find. The standard caloric requirements for a nursing mother depends on the number of children you’re nursing. When nursing one child, increase your caloric intake by eating one more plate of food than usual. In case of twins, increase the calories by eating two more plates of food than your standard amount.
4) Feed your baby more frequently
Each time you breastfeed, a hormone called oxytocin is released in your brain that triggers the production of breastmilk. The release of this hormone is triggered by your baby’s suckling reflex. As a result, the more you place your baby on the breast, the more frequently breastmilk shall be released.
5) Eat a Variety of Food
The flavor your breastmilk takes on depends on the kinds of food you eat. If you eat the same types of food over and over again, your baby may reject your breastmilk as a result of boredom. We have already established that the more your baby suckles, the more breastmilk is produced. For this reason, eat a variety of foods to keep your baby interested in suckling as well as to offer them an array of nutrients.
If you still end up struggling with low milk production we advise that you consult your nutritionist, lactation consultant or other relevant medical practitioner to offer you further assistance and/or establish if there might be any other underlying reason for the low milk production.