Winston Churchill called breastfeeding the most profitable investment. And, of course, he was right. We’ve already talked about composition of breast milk and its benefits for your baby. But in some cases, especially right after childbirth, a newborn can lack nutrition. No need to panic, and do not hurry to feed her baby formulas, but find out how to increase breast milk supply.
Why the problem arises
Even during pregnancy, colostrum begins to develop in the body of a woman – very thick and almost transparent sweet liquid. It’s it that will become the first food for the little one right after her birth. Don’t you worry that the baby will feel hungry – since a baby’s gastrointestinal tract is not adapted to food, even a few droplets of nutrients will be enough. It will saturate the small organism with proteins, which will become the first bricks to lay the foundation of the kid’s immune system, to facilitate digestion, to protect against yellow matter.
Only on the third day after a natural childbirth and a week after Cesarean Section, there is a real, as doctors say, mature milk, which will become food for your newborn. According to statistics, only 3% of women cannot breastfeed their baby due to little amount or complete absence of breast milk caused by serious diseases or hormonal disorders. In fact, the problem is much more serious. 70% of young mothers are concerned about insufficient milk production, especially within the first months of their child’s life.
The following factors suppress lactation:
– intake of diuretics, antibiotics, antihistmines, vasoconstrictive as well as some other medications;
– usage of estrogen based contraceptives;
– bad habits: alcohol abuse or smoking;
– improper diet or rigid diets. Moreover, they decrease fat and nutrients in breast milk;
– improperly organized feeding process;
– stress, depression, nervous tension or mom’s sickness;
– lack of prolactin or oxytocin – hormones responsible for breast milk production and supply;
– lactostasis – an unpleasant condition caused by secretion stasis in one or several lobes of the breasts. It is accompanied by the appearance of seals, redness of the skin, increased body temperature. Feeding at this moment is very painful for a woman and difficult for the baby because she can’t grab the swollen breasts.
In the fourth week of a child’s life, a lactation crisis begins. The baby, who has experienced a sharp leap in development, lacks the amount of milk she used to get, and the female body will need some time to adjust to the new baby’s requirements.
Boosting milk production
It’s very easy to understand that the baby lacks breast milk.
1. The number of wet diapers is reduced. Normally, a baby should urinate 10-12 times a day. If she gets less food, she then urinates 5-6 times a day.
2. The monthly weight gain is less than 500 grams.
3. Your little one becomes nervous, capricious, sucks breasts for a long time.
Such symptoms should be the reason you immediately visit the doctor, who tells you how to make your milk come in faster. There are enough ways to help you change the situation.
The quantity and quality of breast milk directly depends on the nursing mother’s diet. Therefore, you should, first of all, pay attention to the high-calorie and balanced foods. Prefer the products with a high content of vitamins, protein and minerals, since they promote a good work of your kid’s body.
The following products will increase your both lactation and fat content of the breast milk:
– buckwheat, rice or oatmeal;
– cow’s milk, slightly diluted with some boiled water, since when pure it can cause an allergic reaction in the newborn;
– hard cheeses;
– cottage cheese;
– dairy products;
– some berries (but not red!): gooseberries, black currants and blackberries;
– veal, beef or chicken soups and broths;
– low-fat meat and fish;
– fresh and boiled carrots;
– bran bread;
– leaf salad;
– green onions;
In this case, you should avoid the products that retain liquid in the body and reduce lactation:
– all kinds of smoked meat;
– canned food;
– mayonnaise and spicy sauces;
– pickles and marinades;
They not only inhibit the production of breast milk, but also spoil its taste and suppress the baby’s appetite.
A nursing mother needs to drink as much fluid as possible. Warm beverages make your breast milk come in faster. But this does not mean that you need to drink everything you see – you better buy special well-known tea brands that stimulate lactation.
But if you want to make a drink by yourself, the following ideas will help you.
Decoction of dried fruits is an excellent tool to activate the functioning of the mammary glands. Rinse the dried fruits thoroughly, soak for a little while in cold water. Then cook them for 15 minutes over a low heat. Do not add sugar.
Carrot mix will increase the amount of milk and improve the sleep and nervous system of a woman who has just given birth. Rub the vegetable on a grater, pour some milk in it and add a spoonful of honey. Eat warm before dinner.
And this recipe is considered to be the best means to improve lactation: fill 1 teaspoon of cumin with a glass of hot milk. Cover and infuse it for 2 hours. Drink half a glass a few minutes before feeding and the result won’t keep you waiting.
Fill a spoonful of pine nuts with a glass of water for the night time. In the morning, bring the infusion to a boil, add some honey.
Such recipes are easy to cook at home, they are accessible and simple, and their efficiency is time-tested.
How to improve lactation within 3 days
There are also some methods that will help you to improve your lactation fast. Therefore, if you began to lose milk – do not switch the baby to formula, but, first of all, try to immediately restore your lactation:
1. start your mornings with a contrast shower;
2. half an hour before breastfeeding, drink a glass of tea with milk;
3. smoothly massage the breasts clockwise;
4. before going to bed, have your mammary glands to have a hot bath for 15 minutes. After the procedure, the main thing is that you do not catch a cold.
Special gymnastics help to increase lactation
1. “One” – hands spread widely. “Two” – cross them in front of you, hugging your shoulders.
2. Join the hands at the chest level, the fingers point up. “One – two” – strongly press the wrists against each other. “Three – four” – relax. Repeat the exercise minimum 5 times.
1. Bring your hands through the sides up. Then connect them over your head. Repeat 4 – 5 times.
Do not forget about special herbal mixtures with anise, fennel or caraway and proper nutrition. In a few days, you will notice that your lactation gets back to normal.
A few more tips
Pediatricians recommend that you pay attention to the following rules that should become a must for you to make your lactation time better:
– eat properly and on time;
– drink at least 1.5 liters of fluid per day;
– if possible, sleep well;
– be sure to be out in the fresh air;
– get rid of bad habits;
– do not be nervous, avoid stress, anxiety and negative emotions; in any situation, try to keep a positive mood.
Close people should support a young woman in these moments by helping her to take care for the baby.
And the more mother’s milk the baby eats, the more actively it comes in. Since the synthesis of the prolactin hormone is stimulated, which is responsible for enhancing the production of breast milk. Therefore, a mother should:
1. apply the baby to the breasts more often;
2. avoid too long gaps between feedings;
3. give your baby a pacifier as rarely as often;
4. within the first days of the newborn’s life, apply the child to the breasts for 20-30 minutes. A week later, when your lactation increases and the baby learns to suck, you can reduce the duration of each feeding by 5-10 minutes;
5. watch the child grabs an areole in her mouth: this will facilitate the extraction of milk and will save you from painful injuries and cracks;
6. express the breast milk manually or with a breast pump so that the breasts are completely empty.
Remember about the importance of physical contact with your child. When gently hugging your warm little one, you thus, unwittingly, stimulate the production of hormones of motherhood and fill the breasts with nourishing milk, which gives your baby life, health and happiness of communication.