DIET TIPS FOR IMPROVING BREAST MILK SUPPLY
- The most important thing to remember is making sure you are adequately hydrated (2-3 litres of water/ day) and to reduce or eliminate diuretics such as sugar, coffee, tea, chocolate and alcohol which dry up milk
- Milk production burns 500 calories/ day so ensuring that you are eating sufficient amount of energy foods is important to improve the supply of milk. Choosing healthy grains, nuts and seeds rather than junk foods is the better choice. Protein is also a necessity for healthy milk production
- The following foods are recommended to improve the quality and production of breast milk: oats, maize and barley, onions, leeks, beans, peas, lentils, apples, pears, grapes, peaches, bananas, berries, root vegetables, green herbs such as coriander, alfalfa, dandelion, chicory and parsley
- Citrus foods can have the ability of reducing the amount of milk so are best eaten sparingly
- Ensuring that you consume oils in your diet is of benefit also, you may choose to take an oil supplement such as fish oil, flaxseed oil or evening primrose oil. Or increase foods in your diet which contain beneficial oils such as seafood and fish, linseeds, tahini and nuts and seeds
LIFESTYLE FACTORS FOR BREAST MILK SUPPLY
- Ensure that you are getting enough quality sleep and rest so the body is able to produce sufficient amounts of breast milk
- Fresh air and exercise are always a recommendation to improve health, however these nature practices also improve general health and circulation to encourage breast milk production
- Old midwife advice says to let your baby nurse as long as possible, more sucking is how your body gets the information that it needs more milk, relax when you are breast feeding and to connect with your baby while feeding (touch their legs, feel their soft skin, kiss them, talk, sing and soothe them)
NATURAL REMEDIES TO IMPROVE BREAST MILK SUPPLY
In regards to your breast milk supply there are a few old folk remedies that many women receive results from:
- In the third trimester of pregnancy other herbs which naturally prepare the women for childbirth and breastfeeding may be introduced such as Raspberry leaf, Alfalfa, Aniseed, Fennel, Blessed Thistle, Chasteberry, Dandelion, Fenugreek, Shatavari, Milk Thistle, Lemongrass, Beth Root, Sqauw Vine and Nettle. These herbs are also galactagogue in action, which means to promote the flow and production of breast milk. You may make take these herbs as a tincture from a Naturopath or as a single or combination herb as a herbal tea (drink at least 3-4 cups/ day).
- A massage oil blend may be of assistance to promote the flow and production of milk by massaging the breasts. You may make your own oil by using 50ml Grapeseed oil, 20 drops fennel essential oil and 10 drops clary sage essential oil. Mix these together and store in a brown glass bottle and massage into the breasts at least 3-4 times/ day in a circular movement. Please always purchase 100% essential oils for therapeutic purposes and not the synthetic, inferior fragrant oils
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