Yes, it can be quite a worry to always wonder if your baby is getting enough milk. They really aren’t helping matters by not being able to vocalise their hunger. Who can really tell if they’re crying because they’re hungry or if they’re feeling under the weather or if they need a change of diaper?
Right off the bat, let’s clear up a few things regarding this magical biological act of producing milk that we call lactation. It does not help anyone to have the following in their system whilst trying to turn food and liquid into milk:
While there are more things that you should try to avoid especially during the first month or so because it might affect your recovery as well, these aforementioned compounds can adversely affect the quality as well as amount of milk you are producing (not to mention they may also adversely affect your infant’s development).
So, that’s all you need to start the Niagara Falls of lactation, right? Staying away from stress, alcohol, and cigarettes? That’s actually where it starts getting a bit more murky…the process, we mean, not the colour of your milk.
You see, while it may be easier to abstain from alcohol and cigarettes, the thought of your baby not getting enough milk will be a constant nagging thing at the back of your mind which means that stress wouldn’t be entirely eradicated.
What we can recommend here will be the first tip that you can try out.
1. Massage Therapy
Well, in all honesty, you knew that this would have made an appearance somewhere in our list if not right up at the number one spot. Truth be told, we did not order this list in any particular way whether to reflect efficacy or otherwise. It’s just us going with the flow (lactation pun intended).
While this may not rid all stress from your body, it most certainly will help you relax and put you in a better frame of mind. What is more interesting is that there are breast massage therapies which are packaged as being able to help unclog milk ducts and get your milk production flowing once more. If any of you breastfeeding mummies have gone for such a massage, please do let us know if they work or not.
However, say that you don’t want to go for a massage (that’s perfectly fine, not many people like being touched) and would like a more natural way of increasing your breast milk supply, and, no, you do not have to massage yourself for this.
2. Drink More Fluids
Yes, we understand that alcohol and coffee are liquids, but, no, they’re not good for your baby! For this tip, we’re talking about good old H2O or water, for those of you who aren’t happy with your Chemistry teachers.
What happens when you produce milk is that whatever you consume gets absorbed nutritionally and then gets produced into milk. Yes, we know that’s a very simplified version of events, but if there are those of you who didn’t like Chemistry reading this article, we felt there might also be those who didn’t like biology and so, opted to keep things simple this time.
We have it on good authority that human milk is primarily water. Therefore, if you lack this substance, you won’t be able to produce as much temporarily.. What you need to do is to keep yourself hydrated throughout this process.
When you are sufficiently tanked up and ready to go, we’ll proceed to our next tip.
3. Order Up!
If you’re exclusively nursing, you’ll need to consume anywhere from 300 to 500 calories per day more than you did before pregnancy in order to support you while breastfeeding. A typical, nutritious, balanced diet rich in protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is the healthiest diet for a nursing mother.
In addition to this, you can also add in some ‘secret ingredients’ called “Galactogogues” (fun side story, we tried asking everyone around the office to pronounce the word and we all had different pronunciations. Of course, the only one who was able to pronounce it correctly was our professional certified in-house dietitian!). Some of the more popular lactogenic ingredients we use here at ReLacto include – Fennel, Green Papaya, Ginger, and Garlic, just to name a few.
Speaking of food, let’s not forget about your baby’s food, which happens to be our next tip.
4. Pump It!
We all love our “nom noms” and babies are no different. They are ravenous little machines that can be fed every 2 to 3 hours or roughly 8 times or more in 24 hours. What you might be less aware of is that your body is also programmed to be attuned to their feeding habits. So, the more they feed, the more your body knows that your baby is in need of sustenance and it will produce more on the off chance that your baby feels peckish in the middle of the night (hey, we all love a late night snack, don’t we?).
While we are on the topic of late nights, this brings us to our next tip.
Sleep deprivation has a negative impact on milk production. Where possible, maybe take the weekend to have a sort of mini “nursing vacation” if you can. Just a day or two where you can forget the stresses and pains of work life…and maybe have the hubby pamper you while you relax with your baby, rest, munch on your favourite healthy snacks, and breastfeeding (of course).
However, should that be impossible with a full and hectic work schedule, then might we suggest the simpler joys in life like learning latching while laying down, proceeded by some heavy snoring? Should that be a tad out of reach, then let that nesting urge take flight once more as you redecorate one corner of your room to be your dedicated feeding corner where you can feed your little one and also pump ahead for their next meal.
Also, here’s a pro-tip: Your hubby isn’t just for decoration, you know (husbands, we’re joking, don’t worry). Get him to take over the night shift feeds where possible while you rest up. Sure, he may complain a bit, but you both can find peace in knowing that night feeds will not last forever as when your baby grows bigger, night feeds will soon be a thing of the past.
We feel rather upbeat today and so we’ve decided to let you in on one more bonus tip that we have – lactation drinks!
Yep, that’s right. We have the best lactation drinks to help you through this breastfeeding journey that you are on.
Why is it the best, you might ask. Well, the answer is simple. They give you the fluids you need in order to help your body in producing the milk your baby needs. In addition to that, it’s the best because we have lactation drinks, that’s plural, as in more than one.
When you sign up for a lactation meal plan, you will get a daily lactation drink which changes every day, just like your meals. This ensures that you won’t get bored of what you’re eating. That being said, do drop by our website to peruse our menu and see for yourself what our foods that boost breast milk can do for you!