The best food for babies is breast milk. Аll conscious moms know that and try to breast-feed their babies as long as possible. However, what to do if you feel that every day the amount of breast milk is becoming smaller and the baby becomes moody and restless? How to increase lactation and cope with lactation crisis?
The main thing is not to panic and not to give you baby infant formula, otherwise you run the risk of completely losing the breast milk, to which the substitute, equal in value, as we know, does not exist. Only breast milk contains substances necessary for proper growth and maturation of the baby’s nervous system and brain. Only breast milk promotes the development of all functional systems of the body, protects the baby from diseases and lays the foundation for a strong immune system. In addition, breastfeeding plays an important role in establishing close emotional contact between mother and child.
Why does breast milk disappear?
True hypogalactia — low production of breast milk — is extremely rare, not more than 5% of mothers suffer from this condition. Hypogalactia is usually connected with serious hormonal disorders. In all other cases, the lack of milk is mostly caused by disposable reasons:
- reluctance of a woman to breastfeed;
- rare attachment of the baby to the breast;
- malnutrition during gestation and lactation;
- attachment of the child to the breast, not on demand but on schedule;
- adverse psychological conditions: constant stress, lack of sleep, quarrels, necessity of returning to work soon after childbirth;
- early introduction of non-dairy foods and food substitutes.
On any stage of breastfeeding, the amount of milk produced may suddenly decrease. Basically this phenomenon is temporary and occurs in the 3rd -6th week, and in the third, fourth, seventh and eighth months of lactation. Such periods are called lactation crises. They deal with the increasing need of the growing organism in the food and stepwise increased appetite of your baby. Your body just needs some time to adapt.
The most common mistakes moms make in this delicate period are:
- early introduction of complementary feeding,
- supplementary feeding with an infant formula;
- full transition to bottle-feeding.
The first lactation crisis is the most difficult. Having overcome it, you will know how to solve the problem of milk supply.
How to increase lactation with the help of proper nutrition?
Nursing mother does not have to eat for two. The main thing is that her food should satisfy her needs in mineral and protein-vitamin components. Every day you should eat up to 100−150 g of cottage cheese, drink up to 250 g of milk or yoghurt. Nursing mother should eat no less than 200 g of protein products (poultry, fish, veal) and 20−30 g of cheese daily.
It’s highly important that you have at least two liters of fluid per day, including soups. The diet can also be replenished with special vitamin-mineral complexes, and special herbal teas, produced to stimulate lactation (milk supply) in nursing mothers. It is recommended to drink a cup of warm tea with milk 15 minutes before breastfeeding.
Drinks increasing lactation (milk supply).
How to increase lactation with the help of different drinks? Many plants have lactogenic properties. Therefore, these plants are used in the form of decoctions, infusions, juices, teas. These plants and herbs are: licorice, carrot, radish, lettuce, dandelion, nettle, fennel, cumin, fennel, lemon balm, yarrow, marjoram, rose, anise and mint.
- Carrot juice.
Rub carrot on a small grater, squeeze the juice and take twice a day for half a cup. To improve the taste, you can add a little honey, cream, milk or fruit juice.
- Grated carrot with milk
Pour three or four tablespoons of finely grated carrot with a glass of warm milk. Drink a glass of this mixture twice a day. To relieve nervous tension, you can also add a teaspoon of honey and drink the milk before going to sleep.
- Anise infusion
Pour two teaspoons of anise seeds with a glass of boiling water. Let them brew for an hour. Take two tablespoons of infusion three times a day 30 minutes before meals.
- Infusion of anise, lemon balm, fennel and galega
Take 20 g of lemon balm leaves, 10 g of anise, 30 g of herb galega and 40 g of fennel. Mix them. Pour one teaspoon of this mixture with a glass of boiling water. Take a glass three times a day 15 minutes before meal. Galega is a very powerful lactogenic tool that is well tolerated by nursing mothers and babies.
- Caraway drink
Pour a teaspoon of cumin (caraway) with a glass of boiling milk. Let is brew for two hours. Take half a cup 25 minutes before breastfeeding.
- Fennel seeds infusion
Pour a tablespoon of fennel seeds with a glass of boiling water. Brew for two hours. Take half a cup twice a day. Drink the infusion in small sips, briefly trapping the liquid in the mouth.
- Infusion of anise, fennel, fenugreek and fennel
Take 40 g of fennel, 20 g of anise, 30 g of fenugreek seeds. Mix them. Pour a teaspoon of prepared mixture with a glass of boiling water. Brew and then strain. Take a glass twice a day 15 minutes before a meal.
- Infusion of anise, oregano and fennel
Take 10 g of anise, marjoram and fennel. Pour a teaspoon of the prepared mixture with a glass of boiling water. Brew for two hours. Take half a cup twice a day.
- Walnuts with milk
Grind 12 walnut kernels. Pour them with two cups of boiling milk. Brew in a thermos two hours. Take 1/3 cup 15 minutes before breastfeeding.
- Extract from the seeds of lettuce
Take 20 g of lettuce seed, which is one of the most powerful natural lactogenic products. Pound the seeds in a porcelain mortar and pour with 200 ml of boiling water. Brew two to three hours and take half a cup twice a day. To improve the taste, add a couple teaspoons of honey.
How to maintain and increase lactation (milk supply)
Stimulation of lactation by frequent breastfeeding.
Hormone prolactin is responsible for lactation in the female body. The best way to stimulate the production of prolactin is frequent and productive breastfeeding. At first sign of lactation crisis — attach your baby to the breast as often as possible that will help to increase milk supply, because demand creates consumption!
Night breastfeeding (from 3 to 8 o’clock) are most useful for preservation and restoration of lactation, because at this time your body produces prolactin most actively. Breastfeed in close contact with the child. Look in your baby’s eyes, touch your baby. Make sure that the baby eats correctly. Hold the baby so that his chin touches his chest, part of the areola should be seen above the upper lip, and the lower lip should be slightly turned out.
Massage for increasing lactation
Grease your palm with castor oil. Place your right hand on the breast, your left hand — under the breast. Massage the breasts with light, smooth, circular, clockwise motion for two — three minutes. Ensure that the oil does not get on the nipple and areola.
In the morning and in the evening, try to find a couple of minutes for a contrast shower. Direct trickling water at your breast and do a light massage, moving the showerhead clockwise.
Relaxation, walks and positive emotions for increasing milk supply
For nursing mothers is very important to sleep and rest enough, to get support from their families and to feel favorable psychological atmosphere. If at night the baby does not let you sleep, sleep with your child during the day. Go for long walks in the fresh air with your baby. If you have problems with milk supply, do not panic — contact your lactation consultant and socialize with other mums.
I hope these simple tips will help you increase lactation!