- Family and Parenting
Breastfeeding. Maximizing your breastfeeding potential.
How to increase the supply of breast milk.
Breastfeeding gives mothers the perfect opportunity to bond with their babies while at the same time nurture them by providing the most essential nutrients needed for their growth and immunity. Breastfeeding is a common motherhood practice that starts from birth till a certain age depending on the preference of the mother.
A mother will enjoy breastfeeding if the baby is getting enough milk from her and breastfeeding ensures that the mother and child bond as the child grows with an effective immune system that makes her strong, healthy and happy.
It is crucial to have milk that will be enough for the baby; otherwise it is advisable to feed the baby on appropriate formulas so as to ensure it does not become undernourished and weak.
Lack of adequate milk can be quite a nightmare to breastfeeding moms and thus it is wise for one to know ways on how to promote and increase the production of breast milk in the mammary glands.
1. Food. It is very important for nursing mothers to consume healthy foods that are rich in a variety of nutrients. This is because food helps in the production of milk and the nutrients will pass down to the baby through breast milk. A breastfeeding mother’s diet should consist of a lot of legumes, vegetables, fruits, porridge, water, dairy products and meat.
2. Proper rest. The mother should always find time to relax and unwind her body to enable the proper functioning of various organs in her body, including the mammary glands. A member of the family or friend should chip in helping around the house as the mother takes a nap or just sit back and relax.
3. Alcohol, smoking and other drugs usage. It is common sense that a mother should cease drinking and smoking while pregnant and should continue avoiding them till she is done breastfeeding. Apart from interfering with the production of breast milk, it does no good to the baby.
4. Porridge and cocoa drinks. Porridge made from oats, sorghum, millet and other ingredients are rich in nutrition and are effective in increasing the flow of nutritious milk. Hot cocoa drinks have the same effect of increasing the flow of breast milk.
5. Fresh fruits and juices. A nursing mother should take several portions of fresh fruits and fresh juice on a daily basis.
6. Exercise. To promote blood flow and body functioning it is vital that a breastfeeding mother should always engage in physical exercise for twenty to thirty minutes every single day.
7. Adequate meals. Forget about dieting and focus on your child. Eat adequate food; eat in plenty and several times a day. Never resist the urge to eat. Eat and eat. But stay away from foods that have no nutritional value, remember that the baby is depending on you for its daily nutrients.
8. Contraceptive pills. Before taking any pills it is wise to talk to a medical practitioner to advice you on the contraceptive method most appropriate for you at this time. This is because some contraceptive pills (taken from birth to six months after birth), cut down the production of milk in the mammary glands. This is likely to end your baby’s breastfeeding period.
9. Intake of Coffee and other stimulants should be reduced. In addition to this carbonated and artificial drinks should also be avoided. They add no value and furthermore they just heap more unwanted chemicals into the mother’s body and might have negative effects on the baby.
10. Chilies and spices. Excessive consumption of chilies and spices in food tend to prohibit the proper and smooth functioning of the glands that produce milk.
It is worth noting that the primary source of nutrition of a baby from birth till a certain age before weaning is breast milk or bottle feeding (formula). It is very important for every breastfeeding mom out there to do whatever it takes to ensure that her child is getting the best deal (an adequate supply of rich milk) while breastfeeding.