Hey new mommy, I understand how stressful your routine is right now, with changing sleep timings, changing responsibilities, taking care of baby & yourself, taking care of your husband too is on you at times, some fortunate mommies get all help, some don't. Some of you have even started working, I see what a super woman you are.
Well with all that goes on, when you're not lactating well, its an add on stress, don't worry, I have listed down things to improve lactation & foods that can help you.
To improve lactation, there are several steps that can be taken.
It is important to breastfeed or pump breast milk from the breasts at least 8 to 12 times a day. This will help to stimulate milk production and increase milk supply.
Reducing stress through yoga or meditation, breast massages to stimulate the breast.
Practicing frequent skin-to-skin contact with the baby, especially during the first few days, can also help to increase milk production, your body knows when to produce milk, so trust your body, your body was designed for this, so don't worry.
Additionally, lactation-supporting herbs and foods, such as fenugreek, fennel, sesame, chickpeas and oatmeal, can be helpful.
Foods that you must consume regularly for better milk production :
Barley - Drinking Barley water helps in increasing breastmilk supply as its galactogogue.
Fenugreek seeds- It might also increase insulin and oxytocin levels – two hormones that are involved in milk production.
Fennel seeds- It increases levels of prolactin, the main hormone responsible for stimulating milk production, it even increase milk volume
and helps with baby's weight gain
Sesame seeds- It's a rich source of calcium, estrogen & omega 6 fatty acid, help your bones,plays a role in nerve signal transmission, muscle movement, blood vessel function, & hormone release.
Chickpeas - It is a good source of galactagogues and have high amount of protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytoestrogens.
Coriander seeds - Coriander is a purported galactogogue, and has been included in some mixtures promoted to increase milk supply
Barley - is a galactogogueimproves milk production in new moms, They can help control blood sugar, reduce cholesterol &improve the immune system
Shatavari - contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that may stimulate prolactin production, leading to increased milk production.
Papaya - Consuming raw Papaya (Unripe) increases the levels of oxytocin which in turn stimulates the breast milk.
Ginger root - Ginger is a promising natural galactagogue to improve breast milk volume in the immediate postpartum period, even helps to cure migraine, indigestion, nausea, colds, and constipation.
To promote better lactation, it is important to consume foods that are rich in iron, protein, and calcium.
Foods such as lentils, enriched cereals, leafy green vegetables, peas, and dried fruit like raisins are good sources of iron.
To help your body absorb iron, it is recommended that you eat iron-rich foods with foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits. Whole-wheat toast and brown rice are also great lactogenic foods that contain beta-glucan, which can help increase milk production.
Brewer’s yeast is another food that is high in iron, selenium, chromium, protein, and B vitamins. It can be added to smoothies or taken in supplement form.
Many fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens, may help encourage lactation. I suggest eat fruit between your meals. eg: eat breakfast at 9am - have fruits at 11am. You can eat fruits before a meal too that helps to reduce blood sugar levels.
If your doctor has recommended Iron, B12, or D3 supplements, continue with it, please follow it, don't stop abruptly.
Foods that you must avoid during lactation:
Other considerations -Remember every body is different & every baby is different, what you eat affects your baby, so be mindful. Check for these signs in your baby -
These symptoms might be due to food allergy, so check with your doctor /paediatrician. If the production of milk is delayed or have problems with it, consult a lactation specialist.
Focus on relaxing yourself more instead of panicking when you see any changes in baby or even yourself, remember to be more compassionate towards yourself.