Breast milk is the most complete form of nutrition offers a range of health, growth, immunity, and development benefits. Because of the long-term benefits of breastfeeding for both you and your baby, the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for at least six months (and up to two years and beyond). I fed Riaan till 2.5 years and we both were very happy with our journey. We had a tough time trying to learn the latching technique in the first month of his birth. There was a point where I would have given up but, my entire family gave me immense support to stick to this wonderful journey and I persisted.
WHO urges mothers to exclusively feed their children till six months of age and recommends supplementary feeding till the age of two. Breastfeeding has immeasurable benefits for both the mother and the child.
However, some women face issues with breastfeeding due to their low supply. There are a number of reasons for the low supply. Some of the reasons are:
- Emotional troubles – Anxiety, stress, and even embarrassment can interfere with the let-down reflex and cause you to produce less milk. A good idea is to create a private and relaxing environment for breastfeeding and making the experience enjoyable and free of stress.
- Medical reasons – The production of milk may interfere with certain medical conditions. These conditions include: diabetes polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) induced by pregnancy.
- Some type of medication – Medicines such as sinus and allergy medicines, and certain types of hormonal birth control may reduce the production of breast milk.
- Alcohol and smoking – Moderate to heavy amounts of alcohol smoking and drinking can reduce your milk production.
- Any surgery on the breast – Because of breast surgery, such as breast reduction, cyst removal, or mastectomy, not having enough glandular tissue may interfere with lactation. Breast surgery and nipple piercings can damage the nerves associated with the production of breast milk.
The following are things you can do to increase the production of breast milk. How long it will take to boost your supply of milk depends on how low your supply is. Most of these methods should start working within a few days as low supply has become a very common issue these days. Unless you do not have any major health issue, these tips to start working for you.
The more you breastfeed, the better
Frequently breastfeed and let your baby decide when to stop feeding. Hormones that trigger your breasts to produce milk are released when your baby sucks your breast. That’s the reflex of “let-down.” When muscles in your breasts contract and move the milk through the ducts, the let-down reflex occurs shortly after your baby starts breastfeeding. The more milk your breasts make, the more you breastfeed. Breastfeeding your new baby 8 to 12 times a day can help in the production of milk. But this does not mean that there is a problem with more or fewer feedings.
Pumping between feedings is a good option
You can also help to increase milk production by pumping between feedings. Before pumping, heating your breasts can help make you more comfortable and also make pumping easier. Try to pump whenever possible;after a feeding or if you have milk left over or if your child has missed a feed.
Switch sides regularly while feeding
Have your baby feed on each feeding from both breasts. Let your child feed from the first breast until it slows down or stops feeding before the second breast is offered. Stimulating the breastfeeding of both breasts can help increase the production of milk. It is also a good idea to pump milk from both breasts simultaneously to increase milk production and result in increased fat content in milk.
In stores and online on Amazon, you can find lactation supplements or supplements aiding lactation. There are galactagogues in these foods and herbs that can promote lactation. Always talk to your doctor, especially when breastfeeding, before you take a new supplement. Even natural remedies have the potential to cause side effects.
Breastfeeding is one of the best gifts that you can give your child. So, try to do it as much as you can. I assure you that it will be a wonderful experience for you and your child.
Myself, with a group of fantastic mommies are on a blog train hosted by Prisha Lalwani. I would like to thank Sweta for introducing me. You can read her blog here. It gives me pleasure to introduce my fellow mommy blogger Kanika. Head here to read her blog.
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