The term “breastfeeding” is one of the most searched words on the Internet. And understandably so. As a new mother, you want to give the best start to your baby by making sure you produce enough milk for her.
Contrary to popular perception, there are no specific foods that stimulate production of breast milk. However, there are things you could do to ensure your baby is receiving enough milk.
Latch on right
The first thing to do is to help your baby latch on right. While some babies are born with a strong suckling instinct, others take time. You need to ensure your baby is positioned properly and suckling effectively. The longer a baby nurses at the mother’s breast, the more milk will be produced.
Bust the stress
Stress can negatively affect milk production, so avoid stressful situations. Make sure you get ample rest, which means you shouldn’t be fretting over unfinished household chores, for instance. Assign the task to someone in the family or keep it for later.
In the initial days, your body is establishing your milk supply. The more frequently you feed your baby, the more your breasts will be stimulated to produce milk.
While your body is capable of producing milk, if your diet lacks the essential nutrients, your body will tap into your own stores to fuel milk production. In the process, sapping you of essential nutrients and leaving you feeling tired. This will affect your milk production.
You need to continue with your pregnancy diet. Have wholesome meals, which provide the required calories, proteins, calcium and iron. Eat whole grains and cereals, legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables. Include healthy drinks like buttermilk, lassi, coconut water, fresh fruit and vegetable juices.
Having enough fluids is important. Fluids may not make the mother produce more milk, but it is important to replenish the lost liquids.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol and fish high in mercury.
Herbs like Fennel and Fenugreek are known to improve milk production. They also promote digestion and stimulate appetite.
Most doctors recommend a dietary supplement to be taken along with vitamin supplements. A dietary supplement helps bridge nutritional gaps and ensures optimum nutrition during lactation.
However, remember a dietary supplement is not a substitute for food. It needs to go hand-in-hand with a healthy, well-balanced diet.