Breast-milk is undoubtedly the best food for your newborn.
Here are some natural and safe ways that can help you improve your breast milk supply to a great extent:
This is the best way to increase your milk supply. When you nurse your baby, your body produces the hormone oxytocin, which in turn stimulates the brain to make more milk. It’s a kind of demand and supply cycle.
The more your baby breastfeeds, the more your body is going to produce milk. Feed your baby every 2 hours, and feed for a longer duration of time. Switch between breasts at intervals.
You may also consider pumping out the extra milk at regular intervals, for example when baby sleeps, for later use. As the breasts empty, more milk will keep coming in.
To ensure a good nutritious supply of breast milk, you should consume a well balanced diet with protein, whole grains, calcium, iron, fruits and vegetables, and around 400-500 additional calories daily.
Never try to go on a diet during this time, because not only will this secrete your body toxins into your milk, but dieting will also not provide your body with energy needed for milk production.
Since breast milk is liquid, it’s very important to drink 10 to 12 glasses of water every day. This will also make up for the loss of fluids from your body. You could also drink juices, buttermilk, soups, milkshakes, ajwain water, and plain or almond milk instead of plain water.
While it is important that you prioritize breastfeeding, it is equally important for you to rest and take it easy. A tired and stressed out body doesn’t have enough energy to produce milk. Get a good sleep and take naps during the day. Massaging your breasts gently is also said to bring in more milk.
Certain foods are known to increase the supply of milk, however only to a certain degree. They are called galactagogues. Of these, fennel (saunf) and fenugreek (methi) seeds are the most time-tested and even scientifically proven.
Others include oatmeal, Basil (tulsi) tea, apricots, cumin seeds, peas, carrots, bottle gourd (lauki), Ridge gourd (tori), til ke laddoo, garlic, carrots, beetroot etc.
Avoid Other Sources of Milk:
There may be times when you feel you are not providing enough for your baby. Don’t give in to the temptation of formula feeds unless absolutely necessary. Also avoid giving nipples and pacifiers to baby when he feels like sucking.
Breastfeeding is a natural process. It’s best not to worry and to let nature guide you in deciding whether you are making enough for your baby’s needs.