Mother’s milk remains the most important source of nutrition for the baby for the first six months. The baby’s mother carries the onus of ensuring that he receives sufficient milk during this time. However, there are several factors owing to which women are unable to produce sufficient milk for their babies. Hormonal changes and insufficient secretions, producing sufficient breast milk turns out to be a challenge for many women. However, just as there are challenges, there are potent ways to beat these challenges as well.
What do you do to increase the supply of your milk? We will dive into answers in the course of the post.
How can you increase your milk supply fast?
Before digging out answers, however, it is important to ascertain whether at all your milk supply is actually low or not. There are multiple instances where moms think that their milk supply is low but it’s actually not so. Contrary to what many believe, the feel of the breast, the frequency of nursing and the baby’s behaviour are not the ways in which you can determine whether you’re producing sufficient milk for the baby or not.
Generally, if the baby is not showing signs of abnormally slow or no weight gain, then the following symptoms do not necessarily mean that your lactation is affected.
Your baby nurses frequently or have suddenly increased the frequency of nursing: Many breastfeeding mothers aren’t aware of the fact that breast milk is digested more quickly as a result of which breastfed babies need more milk than formula-fed babies. The sudden increase in nursing is also attributed to a growth spurt.
Before acquainting yourself with the ways to increase milk supply, make sure you’re unravelling the right causes behind lower milk supply:
Increased supplementation in the form of juices, water, formula, etc
Frequent usage of pacifiers and bottles affecting the amount of time your baby is spending at your breast
Sleepy baby, who is not interested in nursing frequently – affecting the demand-supply cycle
Anatomical problems preventing the baby from removing adequate milk from your breast thereby lowering milk supply (removing more milk frequently from your breast is vital for facilitating milk supply because in that case, lower milk accumulates in between feedings).
Effective Nursing is Important
Efficient nursing is key to increasing your milk supply. And, efficient nursing is primarily about removing milk frequently from your breast with the help of proper lactational positioning and making sure that the baby is transferring milk to his body frequently.
How often should you pump to increase milk supply?
Pumping remains a very effective answer to your woes. If the baby is not nursing frequently or efficiently, you can squeeze in pumping sessions after or between nursing sessions. This leads to the more frequent emptying of breast thereby facilitating the demand-supply cycle. Keep pumping 2-5 minutes even after the last drops of milk have been removed from your breast. Do it 8-10 times in 24 hours.
Have you Considered these Food Items Yet?
Besides efficient nursing considers the following food items to increase the supply of breast milk:
Fenugreek (efficient galactagogue)
There are no studies that have reflected a link between oatmeal and the increase in the supply of breast milk. However, oatmeal contains liberal doses of iron, something which a breastfeeding mom needs on a regular basis. Similarly, lean meat like lamb, pork, and beef are potent sources of iron.
Garlic also deserves special mention here, though there are no studies backing claims of efficacy. A lot of lactating moms have actually vouched for its effectiveness.
How about herbs?
Shatavari, an efficacious galactagogue is widely advocated for women seeking lactation support. The roots of Shatavari have phytoestrogen that governs the presence of oestrogen in ovaries and skin. Oestrogen facilitates lactation by increasing the production of corticoids and prolactin that shore up the quality of breast milk produced.
Shatavari is widely marketed in the form of capsules and powder since the herb in its rawest form is neither palatable nor presentable. However, tablets and capsules have their own compliance issues to contend with. Powder, on the other hand, is not easy to carry along.
Shavari – the granola bars containing Shatavari – complete with its health and taste benefits – remains a one-of-its-kind line of products available in India. It is one of the potent ways with the help of which you can address your lactational issues.
Expect to see an increase in 3-5 days after post taking the aforementioned steps.