Breastmilk is the most natural nutrient that you can ever give your newborn baby. Most mothers face similar problems during the initial days of breastfeeding. The baby will either find it difficult to latch correctly, or you will find it difficult to feed because of pain and discomfort. But once you learn how to increase milk supply, you will be able to feed the baby without much difficulty.
One of the greatest worries that most of the breastfeeding mothers have is whether the baby is getting enough milk. One thing that you should understand is that breastmilk production depends on demand. As long as you continue feeding the baby, the breast will automatically produce milk.
How do You Know Whether the Baby is Getting Enough Milk?
If you notice these three signs, then you can conclude that the baby is getting enough milk.
- Whether the baby automatically releases the breast or fall asleep after the feed.
- Whether the baby is happy and contended after feeding.
- Whether your breast is not hard and is soft after the feed.
How to Increase Milk Supply?
- Increase the frequency of feeding: As mentioned earlier, the breast milk supply depends on demand. The more you feed the baby, the more the milk produced. Breastfeed your newborn baby every two hours so that the milk supply can be maintained.
- Pump in between feeds: You should pump the breast even when your baby missed the feed. Thus, even when the baby is introduced to bottle milk or other solid feed, you should pump milk during the feeding session so that the milk production continues at the same pace. Learn about how to store breast milk properly here.
- Do not offer pacifier: Though pacifiers help soothe the baby, providing pacifier for too long will reduce the baby’s interest in the breast. Whenever you want to soothe the baby, offer breastmilk.
- Do not offer solid food: If the baby is less than six months of age, do not provide any solid food. Solid foods are filling, and the baby will drastically reduce milk consumption. This can adversely affect the production of milk.
- Feed both the breast: While feeding the baby, you should feed from both the breast. Once the baby has released from one breast, you should offer the other breast. When both the breasts are fed one after the other the instance of milk production increases.
- Increase the consumption of lactating food: Certain food items increase milk production. Similarly, certain herbs also have the power to increase lactation. Including those items in your diet will help increase breast milk production. You can either have it as such or use it as a cooking ingredient.
- Take proper rest: Mother’s physical and mental condition can also affect milk production. Take adequate rest and eat healthy and balance diet. Try to remain calm and relaxed. This will help automatically boost milk production.
Food Items That Increase Milk Production.
- Vegetables: Vegetables like carrot and green leafy vegetables like spinach are not only good for the health of the mother but also helps in increasing milk production. You can have the vegetables as such or in a boiled form. Drinking carrot juice also helps in increasing breastmilk production.
Also, try to include vegetables with a lot of water content like bottle gourd and cucumber in the diet. This will help the mother to stay hydrated and thereby increase milk production.
- Oats: Oats are a rich source of iron that helps in boosting milk production. You can either consume a bowl of oatmeal or include it in your diet in some other form. Oats can be included in your diet in the form of a smoothie, oat cookies, soup or bread.
- Garlic: In addition to the various health benefits of garlic, it also helps in boosting milk production. You can include garlic in your bread or soup. If you do not like the taste of garlic, then you can try garlic pills that contain garlic extract.
- Fennel seed: Fennel seed contains an ingredient that is similar to estrogen which is naturally produced in a woman’s body. When fennel seeds are included in your diet, it helps in increasing this hormone content which helps in boosting milk production. You can use fennel seed as a flavoring agent while preparing tea.
- Dry fruits: Dry fruits that are rich in calcium like apricot, fig and dates help in boosting the milk production. These fruits can be had as such or can be included in smoothies and cakes.
- Fish: Fish like salmon and sardines contain Essential fatty acids and Omega-3 fatty acids that help in boosting the mother’s health. This, in turn, helps in better breastmilk production. Fish can be consumed in the cooked or baked form with a lot of vegetables.
A well-balanced diet is highly essential for milk production. If you are a vegan, then consume nutrient supplements so that you do not face any deficiency. Similarly, drinking plenty of water will also keep you hydrated and helps replace the fluid lost through lactation.