It is widely believed among nursing mothers that there are products that increase lactation. From this point of view, nuts, herbal teas, broths, fermented milk products, tea with milk are considered to be especially useful.
But what effect they have on lactation is unclear. And can the mother’s diet in general affect the qualitative composition of breast milk? What to do if it seems to mother that the child is not fed up, the milk has become “lean” or has completely disappeared?
And how to determine when these excitements are justified, and when not?
The concern that the crumb gets insufficient nutrition is born for various reasons. For example, the child’s behavior changed: he began to ask for breast more often, to cry and fuss during feedings. Or mom managed to express less milk than she expected.
Sometimes the conclusion about low nutritional value of breast milk joins this. Seeing a clear or pale white liquid, women are seriously upset.
After all, in their opinion, it is impossible to eat such watery milk. And if it feels like the breast has become soft and less filled than in the first weeks after birth, then the conclusion about the lack of milk seems to be very logical.
The situations listed above are very subjective. And if you think a little deeper, then you can come to the reasonable conclusion that many signs do not speak about the lack of feeding.
- Crying baby. This is a universal way to tell mom about your problem. The kid may be upset about the discomfort of any other nature, and not just because of hunger.
- Frequent application. This is not an indicator of malnutrition. Babies tend to be more at the breast when they are anxious, bored, hurt, scared, and so on. Especially in the first months after birth, the baby feels calm and safe only under the breast of the mother.
- The volume of expressed milk. This is not a criterion for the actual amount of milk in the breast. The most effective way to empty a breast is to offer it to a properly sucking baby. Neither a breast pump, nor hands to remove the milk as qualitatively fail. And if the pumping is wrong, the effectiveness of the procedure is further reduced.
- Chest sensations. They also can not tell anything about the amount of milk production. These are very individual and subjective feelings that differ from mother to mother. Therefore, on their basis it is impossible to draw an unambiguous conclusion about the shortage of milk.
How, then, to understand that the crumb is really undernourished? The only objective criterion for food sufficiency is the weight gain of the child.
It is not necessary to track the dynamics of body mass according to the standard scheme, that is, once a month. To keep your mother calm, you can control your weight, for example, once every three days, a week, ten days.
At the same time, the average daily increase is calculated: the difference between the current and previous weight is divided by the number of days for which the weight change is calculated.
This procedure is particularly relevant in the first six months of life, when the child is exclusively breastfed. It is desirable to use special children’s scales: they give the most accurate measurement result.
What conclusions can make a mother on the results of weight control?
- The average daily increase of more than 20 g. Krokh is definitely full, and measures to increase lactation are not needed.
- The average daily increase of less than 20 g. The baby gets an insufficient amount of breast milk. The situation requires urgent attention of the mother. It is necessary to look for the cause of low weight gain, and sometimes temporarily inject supplementation (expressed breast milk, donated milk of another healthy woman, adapted milk formula).
Before proceeding to the recommendations, it is necessary to understand, and what actually affects the production of milk. And are there any products that increase lactation?
After all, surely the advice to use this or that product is not without reason that they pass from mother to mother.
Lactation is a hormone-dependent process. The main hormone that is responsible for primary milk formation and the further maintenance of lactation is called prolactin.
Its production in the blood of a woman starts after sucking or pumping the breast. At the same time, it is extremely important that both processes occur correctly and painlessly.
And the more often such stimulation of the nipple and areola occurs, the higher and more stable the concentration of this hormone will be. Consequently, the more mother will have milk.
In this case, it does not matter what mode of delivery the woman has suffered. After caesarean section, the same processes occur in the mother’s body as in natural childbirth.
Thus, two key rules for successful lactation are as follows:
- the more often the breast receives stimulation, the more milk is produced;
- the more milk produced, the more it is formed.
Therefore, if a mother does not know how to increase lactation, she first of all needs to work in these two directions.
So, the nursing mother traced the dynamics of the baby’s weight, analyzed the situation and realized that there really wasn’t enough milk for good nutrition of the crumbs. How to stimulate lactation?
What measures should be taken?
- Assess the correctness of attachment to the chest. Errors in this case do not allow the baby to suck effectively. So, he is not able to get as much milk as he needs for harmonious growth and development. A mother’s breast for a long time receives less pronounced stimulation, so the volume of milk may decrease. In the question of attachment, you can figure it out on your own or invite a breastfeeding consultant.
- Abandon breast substitutes. Communicating a child with a bottle and teat reduces the number of attachments. In addition, substitutes often adversely affect the nipple grip, because the technique of sucking the bottle and breast is completely different. Therefore, it is desirable to minimize or completely eliminate these objects from the infant’s life. At least, until there is an understanding that the baby has enough milk, and lactation stimulation is no longer required.
- Adjust the number of feedings. The minimum number of applications per day is 12 times. But it is advisable to do it more often and offer the baby a breast every hour and a half. Because of this, the iron will be as empty as possible. And in an empty chest, the development of a new secret is faster than in a filled and even half-empty one.
- Optional decant. If there is no opportunity to put a crumb often or you want to achieve a result faster, the mother is able to help herself. To do this, in the intervals between feedings, the gland should be emptied with hands. With manual pumping, the whole procedure may take about 30-40 minutes (for emptying both sides).
- Feed at night. This is a prerequisite for increasing lactation in nursing mothers. It is especially important to feed the baby between three and eight in the morning.
Depending on the situation, the efforts of the mother bear fruit in one to two weeks. Each case is unique, so other items may be added to the general list of recommendations.
For example, a consultant helps to correct the scheme of feeding and teaches mum to feed the baby without using a bottle.
And how to understand that everything is getting better? When can a nursing mother relax and stop further stimulating lactation?
When the child of the first half of the year will consistently add more than 20 g per day.
Despite the fact that food does not have a real impact on the amount of milk, you can find a lot of unconfirmed data of the reverse content. The list that lists products that stimulate lactation often include:
- meat broths;
- nuts (usually walnuts);
- carrot juice;
- dairy products;
- tea with milk;
- herbal infusions.
These are the most common options. This list is very variable: in different sources you can find your lists of products that enhance lactation.
This further confirms that there is no agreement on this issue. Moreover, the effect of each product on lactation is usually not given.
Separate attention deserve herbs, fees and industrial teas “to enhance lactation.” They include plants whose effectiveness for nursing mothers has no scientific evidence. Some herbs, such as fennel, milk goat, anise, and cumin are able to suppress milk production.
And the majority of herbs, including fenugreek, nettle, vervain, have not been subjected to scientific research at the level of evidence-based medicine at all.
Therefore, it is impossible to say exactly how herbs affect the nursing mother, what concentration is excreted in the milk, and how it can affect the infant. If a woman wants to drink such charges, she must understand that this is a certain risk to the health of her infant.
And to precede such a decision should consult a doctor.
“Are there products that increase the fat content of milk?” – no less popular question than “What products increase lactation?”. This is the same common misconception that goes from mouth to mouth.
Most often, you can find recommendations to eat more walnuts to milk became more rich and fatter.
In fact, the fat content of milk is an individual value for each mother. And it cannot be influenced by drinking or eating. The hormone prolactin is responsible for the qualitative composition of breast milk.
Its production activates the synthesis of milk proteins, lactose and fats. Their percentage is individual.
At the same time, each woman’s breast milk is the best food for her infant, both in terms of composition and percentage of fat.
Mom’s nutrition is not the key to increasing the amount of milk. However, a full, varied, tasty and healthy menu is an indispensable condition for a breastfeeding woman.
After all, for the production of milk she needs about 700 additional calories per day. It receives approximately 500 kcal from food, and 200 kcal from its own fat reserves.
In addition, the mother’s diet affects the content in breast milk of some vital substances (iodine, selenium, vitamins A, C and group B). With a reasonably composed menu, all these components in abundance come both to the mother and to the body of the younger child.
In the diet of a nursing mother can be present absolutely any products, but in small quantities. Limit it makes sense only potential allergens:
- fast food;
- nuts, soybeans and legumes;
- honey, chocolate, coffee, cocoa;
- fish, seafood and crustaceans;
- some vegetables (tomatoes, beets, carrots);
- cereals with gluten content (wheat, oats, rye);
- dairy and dairy products (up to 500 ml per day);
- off-season and exotic fruits (strawberries, pineapples, melons);
- preservatives and chemical additives (sauces, sweets, snacks).
The groundlessness of judgments about which products best increase the secretion of milk is confirmed by the reviews of experienced nursing mothers, who believe that products for lactation are an invention of female healers. And it is right.
After all, the production of secretions in the breast of a nursing woman is regulated exclusively by hormonal processes. This factor determines the percentage of its fat content.
Therefore, in order to always have enough milk, it is only important to apply the baby to the breast correctly and often.