As my son never became comfortable with me feeding him directly, I had to go head over heels to increase my breast milk production. Actually the baby latching on to your breasts, sucking your nipples, the emotions, the cries of your baby you hear and of course a good diet, all are responsible for the mother’s milk production. And out of all these, our baby latching on to our breasts perfectly and sucking the milk directly by his/her mouth is very much important for our body to respond and feed him/her.
And in my case even though my baby was not helping me but I was hell bent on providing my milk to him as much as I could. I was hence dependent on formula and fully on my breast pumps for my milk extraction. I had Medela Swing Maxi Breast Pump and Chicco Electric Breast Pumps. My personal preference was always Chicco as the way it exerted pressure on my nipples to draw out the maximum milk which was my goal, although Medela’s pump’s pressure somehow was softer on the nipples. It may be more beneficial in case of sore nipples. But I could drain out my max only using my Chicco breast pump.
Now lets see what are the things a lactating mother needs to do to boost her milk production.
1 – A Good Diet
If you are a lactating mother all you need to do increase your calorie count. A lactating mom needs around 5000 Calories more than others and with loads of nutrients, calcium, proteins. Whole grains, cereals, pulses, dry fruit, eggs and chicken can all be good for the mother and baby.
Keep in mind your baby is eating through you. So, the precautions which were taken during pregnancy are to be continued. This means still NO alcohol or smoking.
2 – Feed More to Produce More
The first tip any new mother gets is the more you nurse your baby, the more production of milk will follow in your body which holds 100% true. Whenever you hear your baby crying, your hormones automatically react and within seconds you can feel your breast oozing out milk which is normal for every mother. So I used to pump in every 2-3 hours for like 45 minutes easily till the last drop each time, alternating each side one by one to produce the maximum amount I could.
3 – Keep yourself hydrated
Make sure to keep yourself hydrated as much as you can. Drink enough water, or go for some fruit juices, lemon water, tender coconut, milk, yogurt but avoid aerated drinks and alcohol because keep in mind whatever you are eating is going to your baby too. In my case even with 8 glasses of water my throat used to dry up fast. And a water bottle at bedside becomes a must for breastfeeding mother since you will definitely go thirsty while nursing your baby. Hence it is always advised to keep your water bottle handy while feeding the baby or pumping your milk.
4 – Pump in the early hours
Another tip is to try to find some time in the morning hours (as early as you can) to pump your milk and make it a routine. The milk production is apparently maximum at this time. So you can pump and refrigerate the milk in these bags for later use.
5 – Papaya- Your best friend
Make Papaya especially raw green papaya your favourite fruit during your period of lactation. As it boosts the production of oxytocin which in turn boosts the milk production in your body. To know the best way to have raw papaya daily… click here (link).
7 – Goodness of Oats
Another must to do is to include oatmeal in your breakfast topped with some fresh fruits and dry fruits. It will give you immense calories and prepare your body to produce more milk.
8 – Fresh Fruits
A lactating mom should include lots of fresh fruits, dry fruits and nuts in her diet. As fruits are an immense source of variety of vitamins and nutrients for the mother and the baby.
9 – Best Veggies to have… Spinach, Asparagus and Garlic
Another must have vegetables in your diet are spinach (palak), asparagus and garlic (lahsun). These are known for boosting the milk production hormones in lactating mothers.
10 – Don’t forget Carrots
Include carrot juice too. If not a juice you can opt for carrot smoothie. Carrots contain beta-carotene which boosts the milk production for nursing moms.
Now, here comes my grandmother’s secrets. Partaking some of these as a new mother have become a tradition in various parts of India . So, many new moms in India actually follow these to boost their milk supply and have good digestion for the mother and baby without even knowing.
11 – Dry Ginger Powder
In many parts of south India this is well followed. Mix a spoon of dry ginger powder with some boiled rice with a bit of salt may be, and include this to your meal. That increases the milk production for lactating mothers as well.
12 – Cumin Seeds
Cumin seeds (jeera) have been given to the new mothers and especially lactating moms since ages in India. They not only boost the breast milk supply for lactating mothers but also helps in acidity regulation, better digestion for the mothers and babies too.
Some older women also advice to take cumin seed in warm water (jeera water) to lose the baby weight.
13 – Fennel seeds
Another miraculous substance from our kitchen which immensely boosts the milk supply in new lactating mothers are Fennel seeds (saunf). These are again helpful not only in increasing breastmilk supply for breast feeding mothers but also helps in digestion and reduces constipation for the mother and child.
14 – Fenugreek Seeds
One more hidden gem from our kitchen’s pharmacy is Fenugreek seeds (methi). They also boost the milk supply for new breast feeding mothers.
15 – Iron and Calcium Supplements
Also continue taking the additional Iron and Calcium supplements as long as you are lactating. Even your new born needs them through you.
16 – Milk Boosting Supplements
Drink as much milk and as much water as you can. It elevates milk production in your body for the baby. I was also prescribed something called Lactare (chocolate flavor) to boost my milk production as the baby sucking was not happening from me directly. This Lactare tasted yum in milk with a little of coffee powder (just for flavor) and some sugar.
Lactare, and there was one more name Galact; so these products constitute nothing but Asparagus as key ingredient which as we know now immensely boosts the milk production for lactating mothers.
How to deal with sore nipples
Massaging the breasts helps in avoiding the engorgement or hardening of breasts which happens due to excessive milk production. And massaging of breasts also helps in case of sore nipples for nursing moms.
In the first 2-3 days when my lactation started I had to do the warm water massage and milking under warm shower too to clear of the engorgement and the hardened milk.
In case of sore nipples, my mother told me a remedy- to put some 2 beetle leaves inside of my bra on each of the breast, as that relieves the pain of a sore nipple. Sure it calmed me down.
So, go ahead and feed your baby as much as you can. It’s a natural blessing to a mother to bond with her new born baby and feed him/her the purest substance of nature, her own milk. So let’s DO IT.
Need help to put your little one to Sleep !!
Another difficulty a new mom faces is the lack of sleep. Somehow after feeding your child when you would wish to lie down a bit, oh no! it’s still not your time to sleep, it’s the baby who needs to burped and put back to bed. So, to make a new mother’s life easier, here’s what I suggest
A Child Psychologist’s advice to put any baby to sleep instantly