What New Moms Need To Know to Succeed in Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences of motherhood, but the process can feel overwhelming to new moms at times. Although nursing is a different experience for every mother and her baby, there are many time-tested tips and advice that can help bring success.
Read on for tips on how to maximize milk supply, and which foods can help or harm while breastfeeding.
Increasing Milk Supply
The more you breastfeed your baby, the more milk your body will produce. Nurse as often as possible especially within the first few weeks to establish a good supply of milk.
More sleep and rest
Lack of sleep and rest can negatively impact milk production. Get more sleep by having your partner take the night shift, or clear your schedule to focus solely on relaxing and nursing your baby.
Wait to pump
In the first few weeks, avoid using a breast pump if possible. Your baby’s sucking will empty the breast much better than a pump, to which your body will respond to by producing more milk.
Massage your breasts
Massaging your breasts can increase the amount and fat content in milk produced. Try massaging your breast near the chest and then slowly move toward the nipple when your baby is comfort nursing to build supply.
Watch your medicine
Some commonly used drugs such as antihistamines, decongestants, and weight loss medications can affect breastfeeding and decrease milk supply. Consult your doctor for alternatives.
Foods That Affect Breastmilk
Breastfeeding moms need around 300 to 500 more calories per day to maintain both milk supply and general wellbeing. The best way to increase calorie intake is with a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, protein and whole grains. Also, make sure to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water and eating fruits and vegetables with a high water content.
Strong scented foods including mint, garlic, and onion can make your milk taste different and in turn, cause your baby to suckle more or less. Vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, or legumes, can make your baby gassy, so you may want to avoid consuming them.
It is best not to consume drinks high in caffeine, as it can make its way into your breastmilk, and try to avoid alcohol entirely. If you do have a drink, wait at least 2 hours before resuming nursing. Also, watch out for any allergic reactions your baby may have after consuming nuts or dairy.
- Agnes Yoon