One major concern of a breastfeeding mother is milk production. They want to make sure that there’s enough milk for the baby. And many times, there’s very little milk production. So what can you do as a mother to increase the production of milk? Well, there are many home remedies to increase breast milk. And people that have tried these remedies can tell you that they are effective. That’s why we’ll be looking at some of these home remedies. So that you would go try it out and see if it works out.
According to data, it has been found that about 75% of breastfeeding mothers stop breastfeeding after the first few months. This could be partially or completely. And one of the many reasons give is insufficient milk production. So you’re not alone if you’ve been having a hard time as to producing milk. There’s no doubt that milk production is a hormone thing. But there are other factors that also cause insufficient production of milk. Keep reading so that you would find out what these causes are.
Home Remedies to Increase Breast Milk Production
Drink enough water
It’s important that while you’re breastfeeding you’re well-hydrated. For different people, there are different requirements as to the daily consumption of water. But on average you should take at least 8 glasses of water a day. Milk is fluid and the amount of water you consume has a great role to play in the production of milk.
When breastfeeding makes sure you’re eating a well-balanced diet. Also, eat more. Because these nutrients are needed for the production of milk. Actually, a breastfeeding mother tends to consume an extra 500 calories in a day.
Go for foods that are nutrient-dense and rich in protein. Opt for foods that would provide you with enough energy. Certain foods according to breastfeeding mothers have helped improve the production of milk. These are some of the foods you can opt for:
- Blessed thistle
- Brewer’s yeast
Make sure that before you opt for any of these, you talk to your doctor. That’s because even some natural remedies come with some side effects.
Take more vitamins
While breastfeeding, your vitamins aren’t one thing you should forget. Vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, vitamin D and folic acid are important. They are important to the breastfeeding mother and even the baby. Because most of the nutrients are passed through breast milk to the baby.
Make sure that you breastfeed as often as you can. And let your baby make the decision as to when you should stop. The suckling action by the baby helps release hormones in the body. That triggers the production of milk.
There’s something called the let-down reflex. And this happens when the muscles in the breasts contract. When they contract, milk moves through those ducts. And this happens when your baby is sucking the breast. So the more your child sucks your breast, the more milk would be produced.
When you pump between feeding your baby it also helps increase the production of milk. Also, try to warm your breast before you try to pump. This would help increase milk production and make pumping more comfortable for you.
You can try doing this when there is still milk left after you’re done breastfeeding. Or when your baby hasn’t been breastfed. That way your baby would still have breast milk to feed on later on. This is quite efficient for people that have to go to work.
These are available in many stores online. You can as well make this at home. Check out for different lactation cookies recipes and try it out. There’s no scientific backing as to the effect of this cookie. But the ingredients used in making it contain galactagogues. And these are known for improving lactation.
Breastfeed with both breasts
This is very efficient in increasing the production of milk. When your baby stops feeding on one, try feeding with the other breast. When both breasts are constantly stimulated there would be increased production of milk.
Causes of Low Milk Production
As mentioned earlier, there are possible causes of low milk production. Let’s have a look at some of them.
Some emotional issues are known to affect a let-down reflex. Some of them are anxiety and stress. For some, it could even be as a result of embarrassment. That’s why it’s important that while breastfeeding you’re in a cool and relaxing environment. If possible make sure you’re in a private place. This would help increase the production of milk.
There are certain medications that affect the production of milk. Such as medications for allergic reactions and sinus. Also, there are certain birth control pills that would lower the production of milk. So make sure that you’re not taking any medication that is affecting the production of milk.
There are some medical conditions that can affect the production of milk. Some of these conditions are:
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
Smoking and alcohol
Smoking heavily while breastfeeding can affect the production of milk. Also, consuming moderate to large amounts of alcohol would also affect the production of milk.
Previous breast surgery
When there is not enough glandular tissue in the breast due to breast surgery, there would be low production. The surgery could either be cyst removal, breast reduction or mastectomy. All of these can affect the production of milk. Also, nipple piercings can also damage some nerves. And when these nerves are damaged it would hinder the production of milk.
With these home remedies, it’s expected that the production of milk would increase. Most women that have tried this out have seen great results. But just in case there are no changes then you might have to speak to your doctor. If possible get a lactation specialist to talk to. So that they would proffer solutions to the problem. But make sure you try out first the home remedies to increase breast milk.