How to produce more breast milk
Breastfeeding is the natural process of feeding a newborn baby by the mother. Breastfeeding, when done right, can be beneficial to both the baby and the mother. During the first few months after birth, a baby can feed up to 8 times a day. To satisfy the baby’s high appetite for milk, the mother has to employ a number of techniques to produce the adequate amount of milk. In this article, I will outline a number of such techniques that will help the mother with this demanding task and hopefully make her journey the most pleasant.
Techniques and methods for breast milk production increase
The power of a good dietMilk production is highly tied to the mother’s diet. Unfortunately, to date there is not enough medical research that provides clear guidelines on what diet enhances milk production. However, there are common practices that women have been using that had positive results on milk production. An adequate diet is one of these practices. So what are the foods that increase breast milk production?
- Mother should keep well hydrated and drink plenty of “good” fluids such as water, juice as well as milk. Mothers should drink as much water as they can. The recommended intake is between 6 and 8 glasses of water daily.
- However, soft drinks and coffee should be avoided if possible. Actually, all drinks that have caffeine in them are thought to have a negative effect on milk production
- Some vegetables and foods are known to increase milk production: green vegetables, especially green beans and chicken
- Some herbs and other foods are known not to help including cabbage, kidney beans, shellfish, sage, mint, parsley,
- Vitamin supplements are believed to enhance milk production
Useful nursing techniquesOther than a good diet, mothers should be well aware of other ways to produce more breast milk:
- Breast milk production is very tied to how often the baby feeds. The more the baby feeds, the more milk is produced. So mothers should try to nurse as often needed and this by itself will stimulate the production of adequate amounts of breast milk.
- Another option available for mothers to help produce more milk is milk expression. It might be wise for parents to invest in a good quality breast pump. Mothers can use the pump to express milk and store it to feed their babies at a later time. More on how to store breast milk in here.
- Another useful technique that mothers should employ is to nurse their baby from both breasts at each feeding. This allows milk to flow into both breasts evenly and avoids the situation where milk is concentrated in one breast or another. Also, mothers should feed their baby from one breast at time until there is no milk in that breast. This is important to allow the baby to benefit from the “hindmilk” which is breast milk that is higher in fat is available at the end of the feeding.
- Mothers should nurse their baby starting with the breast that was offered last during the previous feeding. This helps keep the milk flowing evenly in both breasts. Employing this recommendation enables both breasts to function at full production if needed.
- Babies need to latch correctly to the breast to get adequate supply. If mothers have problems with latching, they should seek the help of a lactation consultant.