When you are just about to have a baby, you experience a lot of emotions. There surely are a lot of questions that circle in your mind. As you prepare for motherhood, you will realize that there would be a lot of changes in your life and you will be prioritizing your baby’s needs more than your own. One of these needs is nutrition and milk, and it is definitely important for you to know how to increase milk supply.
8 Tips to Increase Your Milk Supply
One of the best ways on how to increase your milk supply is simply to nurse, wherever and whenever. The more you nurse your baby, the more milk your body produces. Nurse your baby for as long as she likes. You should also know the hunger cues that your baby produces so you can feed her immediately.
Take time to rest
Even if you just had a baby, your role as a caretaker of the home does not stop. There are chores and work that you still have to accomplish. These things may leave you feeling tired and can thus affect your milk production. As such, try to do as little as possible and know how to relax and have a good sleep.
Drink Plenty of Water
If you want to know how to increase milk supply, always keep yourself hydrated. Breastfeeding is tiring and would make you thirsty. When you are dehydrated, milk production would slow down. As such, it is important to keep a bottle of water at the side while you are nursing.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Although you may have gained a few extra pounds when you had your baby, it is not the time to limit the food that you eat. As a breastfeeding mother, it is important for you to eat more as you are also providing nutrition for your baby. Eating nutritious food will help you produce enough breastmilk.
If you experience a lot of stress, it would most likely be difficult for you to increase your milk production. Your body may not prioritize milk production and this will make it difficult for you to nurse your baby. To avoid stress, seek help from your family and try to do as little as possible.
Stay away from alcohol
When you were pregnant, you were told by your doctor to stay away from alcohol as it will affect the development of your baby. This still holds true after giving birth. Drinking alcohol lowers milk production and may affect the nutrition of your baby.
Seek help from others
There are many others who have gone through the same experience. Ask your relatives for some advice or go to a forum for mothers to know what strategies help in breastfeeding. Doing so will help get a better sense of what you are doing and thus increase your milk supply.
Avoid a formula
This is one common problem among new mothers. If you really want to know how to increase milk supply, you have to avoid formula feeds. If you condition your baby to drink a formula, she would soon start avoiding the breast, thus affecting the amount of milk your breast produces.
8 Foods That Can Increase Your Milk Supply
If you want to know how to increase milk supply, you have to eat oats. Oats have saponins that are anti-inflammatory and strengthen the immune system. They also empower your milk-making hormones, thus affecting your milk production. Add this to your diet by eating oat cookies or having oatmeal for breakfast.
Garlic is known all over the world for its medicinal purposes. One of its benefits is its lactogenic effect, as babies may like the flavor of garlic. Studies have shown that babies nursed more when their mothers had eaten something garlicky before nursing. Add this to your diet by eating more meals with garlic or taking a garlic supplement.
When you are breastfeeding, it is important for you to take in a lot of healthy calories. Folate, along with all other nutrients, is essential for lactating mothers. A good source of calcium, iron, Vitamin K and A, and folate is spinach. Spinach also has phytoestrogens, a plant-based chemical that helps lactation.
As you may know, carrots are known to have Vitamin A and beta-carotene. These nutrients are actually helpful for lactating mothers as they provide extra energy and can enhance the quality and supply of breast milk. Add this to your diet by drinking carrot juice or by using carrots in your meals.
Sesame seeds are actually high in calcium and can increase milk supply. To get the full benefits of sesame seeds, opt for husked and light-colored ones or large black ones and crush them for easier digestion. Add this to your diet by showering them on your crackers and vegetables.
If you want to know how to increase your milk supply, eat nuts. Nuts are known to be high in protein and fatty acids. Nuts produce serotonin, which helps a lot in lactation. To increase milk production, opt for almond nuts as they are the best nuts for this purpose. Add this to your diet by sprinkling them on your food or by eating them raw.
If you are not familiar with this yet, there are now teas that are marketed especially for lactation. Some ingredients may include black tea, alfalfa, red raspberry leaf, anise seed, fenugreek, among others. These teas have galactagogues and the best ones are made from organic and fresh ingredients.
As you may know, whole grains are healthy. One type of whole grain that is healthy for lactation is brown rice. Aside from being a complex carbohydrate that provides energy, it also helps produce serotonin that can help regulate your mood and appetite. The production of serotonin helps secrete prolactin which is a key hormone in lactation.