Consume a minimum of 1, 800 calories a day and drink at least 6 glasses of fluids while you are lactating. If you're currently dieting, it could be decreasing your milk production. Unsurprisingly, what you eat has a big impact on the quality and quantity of the milk produced. Here are some general guidelines for you to remember about diet and breast milk:
- Find excellent sources of calcium. These will help your little baby's little bones grow healthy and strong. Calcium-rich foods include dairy products (opt for organic dairy products, however), leafy green vegetables, and certain fish (sardines and salmon).
- Eat fruits and vegetables. Make fruits and vegetables a big part of your diet, as they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Opt for complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs are healthier than processed carbs, which you may by and large avoid. Complex carbs include such things as brown rice, whole-grain pasta and bread, as well as beans.
- Opt for lean meat. Lean meat is better than fatty cuts. Think skinless chicken breast, fish, low-fat dairy products, and soy products like tofu.
Consult your doctor about using prescription or herbal supplements to increase breast milk. Herbs that work well include fenugreek, blessed thistle and red raspberry. The prescription drug metoclopramide is sometimes used as a last resort by doctors to treat low milk production in nursing mothers.Supplement feedings with pumping. Pumping is beneficial for two reasons. First, pumping allows you to store breast milk when your baby doesn't need it, allowing you amass and store more expressed milk. Second, pumping stimulates the production of more breast milk.
- Invest in a high-quality pump. Pumping isn't exactly the spice of life, so it pays to invest in one that works well. You can rent a hospital-grade pump if you don't own a high-quality, double pump.
- Whether you are at work or at home, consider pumping for 15 minutes every couple of hours. Either that, or pump for 5 to 10 minutes after nursing. Pumping at least 8 times during a 24-hour period will help to quickly increase breast milk production. If you can't pump immediately after nursing, try to pump halfway in between feedings.
- Pump both breasts at the same time. Pumping both breasts will give you twice as much breast milk twice as fast in addition to helping stimulate more production.
Limit the use of pacifiers and bottles while you're trying to make more breast milk. This makes sure all your baby's sucking needs are met at the breast. As the baby gets older, it will be easier for him to go back and forth from breast to pacifier without you losing important breast stimulation. If you are using bottles for supplementing, try to replace those with a syringe or spoon.
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