Both good diet and efficient breastfeeding are some of the best ways to give your bundle of joy a boost in life. Some of the best foods that increase milk production also make the mother healthy.
Benefits of Breastfeeding Your Baby
Breastmilk contains exactly the nutrients your child needs at every stage and every meal. Breastfeeding nourishes your baby’s brain and promotes its physical and emotional development.
All the essential nutrients the baby needs come from the foods that you eat during the breastfeeding period. If you are breastfeeding, your breastfeeding diet should take into consideration the health needs for you and your baby.
Some say nursing mothers should add 300 to 500 calories to breast milk daily.
Foods That Increase Milk Supply
You need carbohydrates to provide a high percentage of your calories and nutrients. Whole grains are so important for breastfeeding mothers; there is a better diet than whole grain cereals. Multigrain bread, cereals, and pasta should be an essential part of your diet.
As a nursing mother, fresh fruits and vegetables should be part of your daily diet. A selection of fruits and vegetables should be consumed throughout the week. Options include broccoli, carrots, and leafy greens, and berries, citrus and other popular vegetables. These provide the vitamins and minerals that you and your baby need.
Do not eliminate fats
Fatty acids play an essential role in the development and brain function of your baby. However, if you do not include this in your diet, it will be taken from your body.Mothers who do not consume enough omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can be hard-pressed. This diffuse mental sensation can be avoided by using fish, linseed oil and flaxseed as part of your diet for breastfeeding. You can sprinkle flax in your cereal, yogurt, and salads to get essential fatty acids the body needs.
Proteins strengthen the muscles of the baby
Proteins play an important role in muscle growth. Meat, nuts and brown rice are good sources of protein. Breastfeeding moms do not require large amounts of protein. So you get iron from the meat in your diet. You may need to take an iron supplement to make sure you get the right iron to keep you and your baby free from anemic.
Calcium is vital for bone growth. If your diet doesn’t have sufficient amounts calcium, it will be taken off your body. There is a risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Dairy products are a good source of calcium for most people. Soy, broccoli, and juices can be other calcium sources.
Water is perhaps the most important element of your maternal diet. Your body needs water to remove impurities from your system and provide it with moisture. If you do not drink enough water, your milk production will drop. Make sure to increase daily water intake while breastfeeding. The best way to know if you drink enough water is when you and your baby urinate.
It would help if you continued to take your prenatal vitamins while breastfeeding. Many of our foods are processed and lack nutrients. Daily supplementation with vitamins and minerals is the best way to ensure that all the essential nutrients you and your baby need are present.
How to increase milk supply when exclusively pumping
If your baby feeds more than what your body produces, it can be exhausting! Many breastfeeding sites recommend staying in bed and doing nothing more than breastfeeding you stimulate nipples and rest at the same time.
Even though this is good advice, it will not be helpful to women who pump exclusively.
If you are producing less milk than what your baby feeds here are six ways to increase your milk production as an exclusive pumping mom.
1. Take fenugreek, and other herbs help in breast milk production
Many women use herbal supplements to increase the supply, and I personally have been very successful using some of these herbs.
Fenugreek is a common natural herb for increasing milk supply, and some mothers report an increase in pumping power after 24 to 72 hours. You can buy it online or at the grocery store. Usually, you can start with two capsules three times a day and wait until it starts to smell like Maple Syrup and if you do not, you may need to increase the dose
The maple-like smell means that the herb is working. Once milk production has increased, fenugreek can usually be abandoned and the increased supply maintained (as long as it continues to breast pumping).
Another option is “Mothers Milk Tea.” Herbal teas contain a blend of herbs (such as blessed thistle, fenugreek, and fennel seeds) and are designed for continuous use as their dosage is much lower than that of herbs such as capsule fenugreek.
2. Eat Plenty of Oatmeal
Although there is no scientific research, nursing mothers swear that Oatmeal results to a significant increase in milk production. You can take a bowl of traditional oatmeal for breakfast, cook with it (e.g., oatmeal cookies, pancakes, etc.) or try a still-bare (I would like to do that) peanut butter-chocolate).
3. Pump more often or longer
It is imperative to pump milk as much as possible (which causes the body to produce more) and to stimulate the nipple. You can try adding extra pump sessions or adding time to existing sessions. At first, the amount of milk you will produce is likely to remain the same; but you will notice an increase after some period. After a few days, however, you will notice an increase in production. Make sure you get the most out of your pumping sessions by performing your pumping sessions.
However, I recommend that you do not overdo it. If you are pumping more, it is best to pump with it for two hours a day. If you need to produce more milk, I would not recommend going more than three hours a day.
Before you start pumping, you should replace the membranes for your breast pumps. If you’ve small breast- here are some of the best pumps for small breasted women. Replace these parts especially if you are using them for more than two months. I changed my membranes in my Medela Pump Style Advanced Breast Pump and was surprised by the big difference.
4. Try Domperidone or Reglan
Two drugs should increase milk production even though their initial purpose is not to increase milk supply. These are Domperidone and Reglan. These drugs act by blocking the dopamine receptors, leading to an increase in prolactin levels. These drugs do not work in women who already have normal levels of prolactin. Both drugs usually work within 3-4 days.
A few precautions regarding these medications: Reglan is contraindicated for women with a history of depression, as one of the side effects is severe depression, but on the other hand, Domperidone has lesser side effects and is commonly used in Canada but also available in other countries. However, in 2004 the FDA issued a heavily criticized these drugs. Your doctor may prescribe it, and you must refer it from a specialized pharmacy.