Breast milk is the best milk for newborns as it provides the needed nutrients for growth and development. After delivery, one of the main concerns among moms is that “Am I producing enough milk for my baby?”.
Every new mom goes through this especially if the baby is continuously crying, waking up often and looking for the mother. To make matters worse, the constant questioning from those around us can also make us doubt our ability of producing enough milk for our little one. Does this sound familiar?? Fret not, been there done that!
In actual fact, mothers produce sufficient breast milk for their babies and milk production increases with time and demand of the baby. Constant feeding and emptying of the breasts signal the brain to produce more milk. Switching sides while feeding also aids the milk production process as both sides are utilised equally. There are cases where moms produce too much milk or too little milk due to certain medical conditions they might have. In such instances, medical intervention might be required to solve the issue. However, there are some natural ways that you can use to boost your breast milk production.
Firstly, a happy mom is the best mom and the crucial mood for milk production. Stress is said to decrease milk production hence staying calm and relaxed is key to boosting milk production. When we worry about it, we are channelling the wrong energy to our body which then picks up the message and slows milk making. Getting enough rest is equally important too. When you’re burning the midnight oil doing dual shifts, your body gets worn down. A good night’s sleep helps the body operate at its optimum which then boosts milk production.
Next up, you can try lactation cookies. These are special cookies made with ingredients that are galactagogues to stimulate lactation. Some of these include whole oats, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast and flaxseed meal. You can purchase them and consume daily,
but the results vary from person to person. Some people find no reaction to the lactation cookies in helping with milk production while some see a significant difference. Do get a few samples to try first to see its results on you. If you enjoy baking, you can bake them yourself too!
Furthermore, certain herbs like fenugreek, fennel and basil are said to be able to aid with milk production. Some people like to soak these seeds in warm water and drink throughout the day. You can get them in tablets/capsules form too. There are also essential oils readily available in the market (of therapeutic grade of course) which can be used to massage the breasts (avoiding the nipples area) to stimulate milk production.
Another important point is daily water intake and a healthy diet. It is utmost crucial that a breastfeeding mother eats nutritional food which nourishes her body to help produce enough and quality milk for her baby. Some of the foods that can be incorporated in your diet are nuts (almonds, cashew, macadamia), cheese, fatty fish like salmon, dates, bitter gourd, moringa leaves and green papaya soup. Eating right keeps the mother feeling right too.
Last but not the least, frequent pumping between feeds or doing a power pump session at least once a day can stimulate milk production too. Emptying of the breast indicates more milk is needed by the baby, which sends a signal to the brain to make additional milk. A breast pump is designed to imitate the sucking motion of your baby which makes it a good tool to extract milk from your breasts. You can do this immediately after nursing or when your baby is sleeping.
As mothers, we constantly fear not having enough milk for the baby but rest assured your body produces enough milk for your baby as needed from time to time. Just go with the flow, do the best you can & enjoy your breastfeeding journey while it lasts!