Thursday, 7 February 2013

Foods that may increase breastmilk production

Foods that aid in breast milk production
It is recommended that you eat well as a nursing mother. Try to eat a balanced diet consisting of a good serving protein, good fats, good carbs, lots of vitamins and minerals. Eat mostly natural, unprocessed foods and avoid foods with MSG and excess preservatives.

Good food choices that can help with your breast milk supply are:

1. OATMEAL - You can have this as a porridge or by itself as a treat with raisins or cream. Oatmeal is quite tasty but can be addictive - especially if you are iron anemic.

2. CEREALS - Now is a great time to indulge in healthy brand cereals. There are many on the market. Choose whole-wheat and whole-grain cereals and check for the nutritional values of the servings.

3. FISH -  Fish are a good source of DHA fatty acid which will improve the nutritional value of your milk and DHA is also good for your baby's nerves and brain. Great fish to include are Sardines, Mackerel, Salmon, Tuna and most other oily fish like Turbot and Doctor fish. It is however recommended by the FDA that the allowance of fish per week for nursing and pregnant women should not exceed 12 to 16 ounces. This is due to the high levels of mercury absorbed by some fish. High levels or mercury can be harmful to a fetus or infant.

4. DAIRY PRODUCTS - Dairy products are rich in vitamins A, D, E, Protein, Fats Sugars and Minerals. You can opt to have low fat or reduced fat dairy products which contain less saturated fat and cholesterol. Cheeses, milk, cream and whipped toppings, yoghurt and ice-cream can be enjoyed as dairy servings. Beware of high sugar levels in ice-cream and whipped toppings.

5. NUTS - These are highly nutritious foods rich in protein, fats, carbs and minerals. Nuts like almond, peanut, pistachio, walnut, pecan contain important antioxidants and Omega 3 fatty acids.

6. LEGUMES - This include all beans and peas. Legumes that are green or dark are richer in important minerals like iron. They are also an important source of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and active enzymes.
7. SEEDS -  Seeds are like nuts and legumes, rich in protein, fats, vitamins and minerals including trace minerals and enzymes. Some seeds like sesame, pumpkin, flax and sunflower are rich in zinc and omega-3 fatty acids that aid in brain development of fetus, infants and older children.

8.  EGGS - Eggs are an essential ingredients in many meals and is a healthy addition to a nursing mom's diet. Eggs are not only high in protein and minerals, but have a high content of Vitamins A, D and E too.

9. LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES - These vegetables are rich in iron and other minerals, vitamins A, C and K.

10. WHOLE-WHEAT & WHOLE-GRAIN - Whole-wheat and whole grain breads, four and pastries are richer in nutrients and fiber than refined white flour products. 

11. FRUITS - Fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and good carbohydrates.

12. LACTATION SUPPORT TEAS - Lactation blend herbal teas can be had as well as teas made of lemon grass, anise, fenugreek, fennel and coriander. These herbs help stimulate breast milk production. They are all safe while breastfeeding and you can mix and match at your choice. Fenugreek is bitter, but lemon grass and anise are pleasant tasting.

Naturally increase breast milk without supplements

1. Check with your lactation consultant and make sure that your baby latches on properly to the breast, taking in the nipple and most of the surrounding areola.

2. Massage the breasts with circular and downward movements for several minutes every hour or two. Put some pressure on the breasts during the massage and use your fingers to make circular movements around the areola. This stimulate the nipples and will help with milk flow naturally. Do this exercise a few minutes before you breastfeed.

3. Drink plenty of water, maybe even 2 liters everyday. Drink throughout the day and have small sips before and during breastfeeding.

4. Talk to your baby, relax and give him/her your full attention for 20 minutes or more, however long his/her feeding time requires. Relax and do nothing else but adore your little one, maybe sing or caress him/her while feeding. The brain will be stimulated by your feelings toward your baby and send impulses to the milk ducts to produce more milk. 

5. Pump your breasts before and after a feeding. This will send a message to your body that more milk is required at regular feeding time. Emptying the breasts well will cause your body to fill them even more next time. Your body tries to work efficiently to supply your baby's needs.

6. Let your baby breastfeed every 2 to 3 hours and he/she should be offered both breasts at every feeding and allow the baby to empty both breasts if possible. This can be done by altering breasts after 10 to 15 minutes intervals at each feeding.

7. Get plenty of rest when the baby is not active. Do yoga, exercise, have a nice bath soak and sleep as often as you can. In essence, breastfeeding is more difficult if your body and mind are worn and tired. Just because you are breastfeeding doesn't mean you can't have some fun and do things that you enjoy. So for your sake and the sake of your infant, enjoy yourself and don't think as breastfeeding as a task or a  bondage.
Monday, 4 February 2013

Producing Richer Quality Breastmilk

Producing Richer Quality Breast Milk
1. DO NOT DIET. Well, do not deprive your body of any essential nutrients it might require. While it is okay to avoid excess fatty and starchy foods, it is recommended that a nursing mom eats a little of every kind of nutrient and eat as much as 500 extra calorie in foods daily. So eat well, breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as light snacks in between, your baby will benefit from your meals. Include good servings of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and good protein sources in your diet. After all, what you eat is what your baby eats.

2.  AVOID CAFFEINE. Avoid caffeinated beverages or at least enjoy in minimally. It is said that 1 cup of coffee a day is not harmful, but I personally would not encourage it at all while breastfeeding. Caffeine in breastmilk can cause problems or restlessness in babies. Furthermore, caffeine can block the proper digestion of some nutrients when had with your regular meal.

3. AVOID ALCOHOL. The type of calories that alcohol will give your body is calories that your body don't need. Some women are known to sip light beer and red wine while nursing, but this is still not recommended.The last thing a mother would want is to make her baby acquire the taste for alcohol at such a tender age.

4. AVOID EMPTY CALORIES. This includes calorie packed sodas and fizzy drinks, excess candies and sweet treats. While its okay to have some sweet treats, over-indulging can only cause harm to you and the baby.

5. SUPPLEMENT WITH BREWER'S YEAST.  Add brewer's yeast to beverages as a supplement. Make sure that you buy the "inactive" Nutritional yeast. You can get this at most health food stores. Brewer's yeast is rich in at least 16 amino acid proteins, extremely rich in B Vitamins including folic acid and minerals including iron. This is an excellent supplement for nursing moms. Brewer's yeast is available in tablet form, but the paste or dry, flaky form is often far richer in nutrients.
6. TAKE PRENATAL MULTIVITAMINS. This is one sure and safe way to ensure that your body gets the proper nutrients it needs and this nourishment is passed on safely to the baby.

7. SUPPLEMENT WITH FISH OIL. Fish oil like Cod Liver Oil is rich in DHA which is an important fatty acid for nerve and brain development in children.

8. SUPPLEMENT WITH OMEGA-3. Omega-3 fats are polyunsaturated fats that have been shown to provide enormous health benefits including protection against heart disease, anti-inflammatory properties and attention and behavioral improvements in children. Omega- fatty acids include ALA, DHA and EPA all essential fatty acids that should be included in human diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for nerve, brain and heart development and protection from fetus to adulthood. 
Sunday, 3 February 2013

Ways of Increasing Breast Milk Production

Herbs that aid in breast milk production

Remember hearing the slogan "the breast is the best"? Well, no doubt about that. Breast milk is indeed the best type of food to give to your baby from birth until they are ready for solid food. 

Even after your baby has started solid foods (6 months onward) it is still advised to continue to supplement their diet with breast milk.

Some women visit lactation consultants quite often and fail to produce sufficient breast milk after following these simple steps:

1. Keep the baby on the breast for an hour every two to three hours
2. Use a breast pump after each feed or every hour or two
3. Drink plenty of water
4. Get plenty of rest
5. Eat 500 extra calories everyday
6. Massage the breasts

While the above are all things that will aid in breast milk production, some women try all to no avail. It can be very distressing to a mother when she realizes that she cannot depend on her body to feed her newborn child. Breast milk can diminish even after a few weeks of good flow. The reason for diminishing breast milk in the early post-natal stages is largely unknown but it is believed to be affected by:

1. Lack of rest

2. Stress

3. Fewer breast feedings

4. Dehydration

5. Poor diet

6. Issues relating to digestion and blood works

7. Post-natal depression

8. Disease

9. Genetics 


1. Baby is always hungry after most feedings even after staying on the breast continually for several hours everyday. 

2. Baby pulls and tugs at the breasts shortly after he/she starts feeding.

3. Breasts are really soft, you are unable to feel milk-weight in them and there is little or no milk flow after giving the nipples a squeeze.

4. You are pumping much less breast-milk than before.

5. Baby fails to gain weight or loses weight after 3 weeks to 4 weeks after birth.

Note if you baby fails to gain weight or loses weight, check with your doctor. You may have to start him/her on a recommended formula to supplement breast milk.


1. FENUGREEK - This is the favorite for many lactating moms, and the first supplement that helped in my situation. I bought 610mg tablets at the pharmacy. Fenugreek helped my milk flow in less than 48 hours. This is an incredible plant which is used not only for breast milk supply, but also for reducing blood sugar levels. It is advised however, that if a mother is diabetic, fenugreek should be avoided as not to interfere with prescribed diabetes medication. It is recommended that you take 2 to 3 tablets 3 times daily. I never encountered any side effects except my urine smelling like maple syrup. That was quite a pleasant smelling side effect to me!

2. BLESSED THISTLE - This is also another amazing herb that can help to stimulate glands to produce more milk. I could not find this as a bottled supplement in tablet form, so I bought the dried herb at a herbal health store. It is quite cheap and just a teaspoon steeped in boiling water for 5 minutes is quite effective. Blessed thistle complements the power of fenugreek for breast milk production, and it is pleasant tasting too. I never encountered any side-effects from this herb, but DO NOT MISTAKE FOR milk thistle. They are two very different herbs.

3. ANISE & CORIANDER - These two herbs can be found at your general grocery store. They are common cooking spices, but also beneficial in helping to stimulate breast milk flow. I bought them in powdered form and steeped 1 teaspoon of each along with the blessed thistle in a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Strain, sweeten and enjoy. Anise is very pleasant to taste and coriander does not have too much of a strong taste although too much may taste bitter. No side effects, just great taste. I drink this tea in the mornings and at night before I go to bed.

4. MOTHER'S ORGANIC MILK TEA. This can be found at some herbal shops or food stores. It consists of several 16 tea bags with mixture of fenugreek, blessed thistle, stinging nettle, bitter fennel among others known to stimulate breast milk flow. This tea can be has twice daily as you like. 

5. VITANICA LACTATION BLEND. Great for mothers who have difficulty with initiating adequate milk flow or have difficulty maintaining a sufficient supply of milk.This formulation takes advantage of the decades and centuries of experience women have with galactogue herbs as well as modern clinical research in the use of natural therapies to aid in the function of nursing.