Breast milk is often referred to as ‘liquid gold’, thanks to its amazing health benefits for a newborn. Nature has given humans, in fact all mammals, the ability to breastfeed their helpless newborn. Breast milk is nutritious, wholesome, and free! But breastfeeding is anything but easy. While to some women, breastfeeding seems like a piece of cake, to others it can be a battle. An improper latch, exhaustion from childbirth, PPD, etc., can play havoc with a woman’s ability to breastfeed her little one.
And even those who have no problem may see the breast milk supply dwindle. WHO recommends that only breast milk should be fed to the baby till the age of 6 months. But what can one do when their body refuses to cooperate? First of all, do not go on a guilt trip. Your body is not broken! Being a parent is hard and this is just the first hurdle. And we are here to help you clear it!
There are a number of natural methods which can help you increase your breast milk supply. Thanks to naturopathy and all other alternate forms of medicine, you can now reach out to the ingredients in your kitchen and increase the breast milk.
Important Things To Note:
It is important to first accept that you suffer from lack of proper amount of breast milk production. Secondly, if a woman knows that she is not producing enough milk, then there is no shame in talking about it and looking for a solution. Again, remember, do not feel guilty just because your body is not producing enough milk. There are thousands of new mothers who face a similar type of situation.
The ‘Why’ Of It!
Why is your breast milk supply low while someone else seems to be a warehouse of the liquid gold? Sometimes, the problem is simple. As a new mother, you cannot possibly know everything about breastfeeding. This is something completely new to you. Cut yourself some slack and relax. First, try and find out whether you are doing it properly or not. Sometimes, your body may have enough breast milk but your child might not be getting enough of it. Try the following small changes and things that you could possibly be doing wrong:
What Could You Possibly Be Doing Wrong?
1. Are You Sitting In The Right Breast Feeding Position?
While many of us would love to believe that we are doing it right, many first time mothers sit in the wrong position while feeding their newborns. If you are a first-time mother, this could be a more apparent problem. It is important to talk to your doctor or speak to your attending nurse to know the best way to feed your little one and allow for more milk flow. Speak up and ask, there is no shame in asking how to do things right.
2. Are You Feeding Frequently?
The best way to improve the production of breast milk and keep it normal is to ensure that you are feeding normally and as frequently as possible. This regulates the milk production in the body and keeps the tissues and mammary glands at work.
3. Two To Tango:
Nature has worked smartly and given women two breasts for a reason. It is important to drain one breast completely of milk before you let the baby feed from the other one. This is so because the mammary glands work better to produce more milk if the breast is fully drained rather than have a breast with some milk left in it. If you think your baby is not going to empty it, you can use a breast pump to drain and store the milk. You can ask a doctor for guidance or check online for videos on how to use a breast pump.
4. Are You Drinking Enough Liquids?
It is important to keep your body hydrated to ensure it has enough fluid to produce milk. Drink lots of water and fresh juice to keep your body active. Even when you sit down to feed, keep a bottle of water nearby and keep sipping. It keeps breast milk production at normal levels.
5. Eat Healthy And Eat Well:
Nothing helps you keep and stay healthy as much as a good diet. It is vital to eat healthy and fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables. Women need nutrition for their body during a stage when they have a baby to feed. Avoid fast food and eating out too much, as that can hamper healthy production of milk and make you unhealthy.
6. Get The Much Needed Rest:
You might be a stay-at-home or working mother with a baby at home, but in either case, your body needs rest. With a baby, sleep is available intermittently to mothers. So ensure that you plan and find time for good rest each day. Ask a nanny, husband, parents, or in laws to help you take care of your little one for a certain time of the day to give you some ‘me’ time and a proper allotted rest time during the day.
If you see no change in your breast milk supply, even after you make all these changes, then try the following home remedies:
8 Home Remedies To Increase Breast Milk:
Many herbal remedies and natural treatment forms swear by the effectiveness, efficiency and ability of fenugreek seeds to increase mother’s milk. Known as meethi seeds, Fenugreek is a common household spice and condiment, mainly available in Indian kitchens. Fenugreek is rich in phytoestrogens, which helps to increase breast milk production by binding with estrogen receptors. It is also important to mention here that avoid fenugreek seeds if you are diabetic or suffer from asthma. It could have an adverse effect on your health.
How to Use Fenugreek:
The best and most effective way is to grind fenugreek seeds. Take a glass of cow camel or goat milk and mix 1 tablespoon of fenugreek seed powder in the milk. One has to have three glasses of this mix everyday to improve breast milk production.
This is a traditional remedy from the country of Indonesia and is known to help stimulate and increase milk production without any adverse effects on the baby or the mother. Torbangun is a plant, which is more commonly known as country borage.
How to Use Torgangun:
The mother should use the plant’s leaves in soup or any other liquid food and chew them well.
This is a traditional Indian herb, which has been in use since many years to treat many ailments related to the female reproductive system. It is widely recommended for use in the Ayurveda. The Shatavari is rich in steroidal saponins that helps regulate the hormones and estrogenic activity in the female body and enhances milk production.
How to Use Shatavari:
Two teaspoons of Shatavari powder twice a day with warm milk, helps to improve breast milk production. If one does not like milk, one can simply have directly steamed Shatvari. One can also buy this amazing herb in capsule form from any herbal stores.
Drumsticks are a very common ingredient in south Indian cuisines. However, drumsticks can also help lactating mothers increase their breast milk production.
How to Use Drumsticks:
The best and most effective manner is to have drumsticks’ juice every day. These help the veins and vessels to open up and stimulate the mammary glands. This leads to increased breast milk and easier supply to the breasts.
More commonly known as fennel seeds and used as a mouth freshener, this wonderful little seed can work wonders for lactating mothers.
How to Use Fennel Seeds:
One can directly chew the fennel seeds. It will help improve digestion and enhance milk production in the mother as well as supply Vitamin C to the body. One can also boil water and add some fennel seeds and drink the concoction. Alternately, add saunf to your daily cup of tea.
6. Milk Thistle:
Milk thistle is a small flowering plant that has been known for ages to stimulate and increase milk production in women. The milk thistle has plant estrogens that stimulate milk production.
How to Use Milk Thistle:
A mother can have tea made by boiling thistle seeds, two to three times a day. Alternately, there are capsules easily available in the market made by many herbal product manufacturing companies that serve the purpose.
7. Goat’s Rue:
It is a plant native to the Middle East and Europe and can help improve breast milk production. The scientific name for Goat’s rue is Galegaofficinalis. Goat’s Rue is known to contain galactogogue that helps to induce and improve the growth of breast tissue and in turn, improve the production of breast milk.
How To Use Goat’s Rue:
First and foremost, goat’s rue should never be taken fresh and it is considered poisonous and toxic. Add goat’s rue dried leaves in boiled water and drink it warm. Capsules containing goat’s rue are also readily available in the market.
Alternately, many herbal professionals and naturopathy practitioners also recommend the use of cumin seeds in food or directly chewing them to help improve milk production. One can also consume alfalfa to increase breast milk. Lactating women should include more pulses and consume porridge regularly to improve breast milk production.
What If Home Remedies Don’t Work?
Most of these remedies have been around for years and have been known to work wonders. But in the worst case, if none of these remedies work—do not panic. Go and see your doctor. Sometimes, the body simply refuses to produce enough breast milk. Talk to your doctor about using formula.
Expensive, yes, but formula can be a sanity saver for mothers who cannot produce breast milk. Breast milk is best for sure, but formula is not poison. The important thing is to ensure that your baby is getting enough feeding. And remember to stay calm and happy—a happy mother can make the child happy.
Hope you found this article helpful! Do share your views with us in the comments section.