Are you breastfeeding your newborn or infant? Fun Fact: Almost half of all US babies born in 2015 were breastfed during their first 3 months. Today many women are breastfeeding instead of giving their newborns a milk formula. If you want to increase your milk production you have many options like a supplement for breast milk. The makers of these products claim the ingredients can increase how much mother’s milk is produced. They include ingredients like dates and fennel that supposedly help to increase how much milk is produced. There’s some debate about whether or not these products are effective and if so, how they can boost milk production.
The real issue about the products is whether they work. They can include some exotic plant-based ingredients that many people haven’t heard about. This doesn’t mean they don’t work. However, the big question is if the products can do what the supplement makers say they do. So even if you don’t know what “Coleus Amboinicus,” for example, that’s OK. You’ll still want to know if studies have been done about the plant and its effectiveness in boosting milk production. If it’s able to do that then you might want to go with a dietary supplement product that features it.
What Causes Low Breast Milk Supply?
One factor is high blood pressure or obesity. It’s important to note that when these factors affect the supply of breast milk it’s related to obesity and high blood pressure related to the pregnancy.
Studies show that health conditions can affect how much milk is produced for breastfeeding. So, after giving birth, it’s a good idea to start doing regular exercise to deal with these conditions.
You should also avoid breastfeeding on one side. Experts recommend that a baby should feed on one side until their feeding slows down. Then you should switch sides.
Studies show that stimulating both breasts during breastfeeding helps to boost the production of breast milk. Pumping milk from both sides also seems to increase the production of milk. It also helps to increase the milk’s fat content.
Not breastfeeding often enough probably doesn’t seem logical. How can breastfeeding less often cause a decrease in milk production? When the baby consumes breast milk this triggers a hormone in the mother’s breast. The result is more milk gets released.
The fancy name for this reflex is known as “let-down.” It results in the breast muscles causing the milk to move through the channels. This happens right after the newborn starts breastfeeding. The result is when you breastfeed more often it results in more bread milk being produced.
Health experts recommend that mothers breastfeed their babies up to 12x per day. This helps to increase milk-making. On the other hand, it’s important to note that if feedings increase or decrease it’s not a sign that there’s a major problem.
Starting breastfeeding late can also be a problem. It’s a common problem. In some situations, a mother starts breastfeeding later after having a baby. This can have an effect on the amount of breast milk that the body can produce. So, it’s better to start early to help avoid this problem.
Taking a Supplement for Breast Milk
Studies show that consuming different foods/drinks can help to boost the supply of breast milk. One of the main ones is water.
Another option is a supplement to boost the supply of mother’s milk. The fancy term is “lactagogue.” Health experts explain that it’s important to use them carefully.
One of the possible issues is side-effects. A major reason is there’s been little research done about these supplements. Fun Fact: The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has only given a thumbs up to fennel and fenugreek for increasing boost milk. However, there are several options including:
This herb is from the Mediterranean region. It’s famous for treating colic. This is a condition that causes babies to cry for 3+ hours, days, or weeks. Some studies show that it seems to help increase the production of mother’s milk.
This herb has several nutrients including:
- Vitamin C
The plant seems to be an effective ingredient for supporting breastfeeding women. However, health experts don’t agree on how much or how often women should consume food when breastfeeding.
This plant is in the pea family. It’s used for several functions including overall health/wellness. Various studies show that the plant is effective in increasing milk supply among mothers. Besides increasing milk supply it’s also used for treating health conditions like arthritis and inflammation.
This Middle Eastern fruit is full of nutrients and is actually one of the oldest ingredients used in breast milk supplements. The fruits are low-fat/protein and high-sugar. Research shows a serving of dates (100g) provides up to 300 calories.
Palm Dates provide many nutrients. That includes 10+ important minerals. The food also contains several vitamins including Vitamin C. Dates are also a good source of fiber. Another plus of palm dates is their antioxidants.
How to Naturally Increase Breast Milk Supply
Watch your baby’s cues
When you’re breastfeeding make sure to watch any signs from your newborn. One approach is to only feed your little one when he/she is hungry. In other words, follow the laws of supply/demand.
There are times when you won’t be able to do that. It includes working mothers who aren’t with their babies all the time. There are other factors to consider like your mental state. You should never give that up just to keep your baby happy.
However, it does seem that “feeding on demand” seems to be very effective. That’s because your infant is only being fed when they need to be. This will help to avoid issues like overfeeding.
Boost your calories
It’s best if breastfeeding mothers consume about 500 more calories every day. Some of the best options are foods that increase energy. They include high-protein foods like flaxseed, oatmeal, and brewer’s yeast.
These foods are easy to add to your diet. For example, you can add some if you’re making foods like yogurt, smoothies, veggies, or eggs. There’s more! It seems that consuming these foods might also help to increase your supply of breast milk.
Drink enough water
This is something you should be doing anyway. However, it’s especially important when you’re breastfeeding. Make sure you’re daily drinking 8+ 8-oz. cups/glasses of water. Health experts explain that this is one of the most important steps to take to boost your body’s production of milk.
Get enough vitamins
Food is always the best source of vitamins. Some of the most breastfeeding-friendly ones include Vitamin D, calcium, folic acid, and iron. These are critical vitamins/minerals that breastfeeding mothers require.
Why are these nutrients important? Studies show that consuming them can improve the quantity and quality of breast milk like taking a supplement for breast milk.