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Thursday
Apr042013

Got milk? How to naturally increase breast milk production

Breastfeeding your baby can be the most joyous experience. And it can be exhausting. And sometimes stressful. But in the end, it is still the most complete form of nutrition for your mini. The benefits are tremendous, here are a few:

-You create a bond with your new BFF

-It’s pretty cost effective (as in, free)

-You get to be a little lazier than your formula feeding friends. Baby cries, out comes the boob, baby eats. No measuring, mixing, warming, or washing bottles

-Babies become more resistant to disease and infection

-Lower your baby’s chances of being obese or having allergies                                       

-Lower risk of SIDS                    

-Increase your baby’s IQ      

-Reduce your risk of postpartum depression and breast cancer

-Lose weight gained during pregnancy more easily.

While there is no magic food to instantly increase breast milk production, there are foods and herbs that support milk production. These foods are called galactogogues. I want to point out that many women seek the help of medications and herbs because they feel their supply is inadequate, and many times that is not the case at all. As long as baby is putting on weight at the recommended rate, you are all good! Most women don’t need to DO anything. However, eating milk-friendly foods will help you maintain a healthy breast milk supply. Here’s a list of foods that have been shown to increase/maintain milk supply:

-Grains-
Oatmeal. Quinoa. Barley. Brown Rice. Millet. 

-Vegetables-
Asparagus. Spinach and any other dark, leafy greens. Carrots. Yams. Sweet Potatoes. 

-Fruits-
Apricots. Papaya. Avocado. Dates. Figs.                                                                                                                                                                       
-Nuts- (should be eaten raw)
Cashews. Almonds. Macadamia nuts.

-Spices, Seeds, etc-
Flax Seed. Ginger. Parsley. Garlic. Onion. Basil. Marjoram. Dill. Anise. Turmeric. Caraway. Pumpkin Seeds.

-Healthy Fats-
Salmon. Olive Oil. Butter. Flaxseed Oil. Sesame Oil. 

The foods you eat are not the only factors when it comes to milk production. Here are 4 things you should know about breastfeeding:

1. You may be producing 20-40 ounces of breastmilk everyday. Since breastmilk is mostly water, you need to increase the amount of water you consume to 10-12 glasses a day. Try drinking a large glass of water every time you feed, or at the top of the hour, every hour you are awake. 

2. Nursing requires an extra 500 healthy calories a day. So this is not the time to go on a calorie restricting diet. If you don’t give your body enough fuel, it won’t be able to work as hard to produce milk.  

3. On that note, your body also needs rest. It can be so exciting to be able to do stuff again. From hiking to shopping to working out, but don’t over-do it. Stress and exhaustion may lower your breast milk supply. 

4. Milk production works on supply/demand….the more the breast is suckled, the more milk it will produce. Your body will adapt to what you need so try pumping a little after each feed for 24 hours, it will be a good boost if you notice your supply decrease.                                                                                                                                                                                                      Allya Orlov is a Certified Health Coach, providing fitness, diet, wellness and nutrition counseling, bringing harmony and balance to both mother and child. All Club MomMe fans get a FREE initial consultation! Find out more at www.OrganicLifeWellness.com

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