In the past, women would learn the art of breastfeeding from other women in the household. With the popularization of formula milk and the spread of the nuclear family, however, many of us have to turn to books, lactation specialists, and organisations such as La Leche International for information and support.
Problems with breastfeeding can range from incorrect positioning, to sore nipples to clogged milk ducts and more. Here, we will just focus on one of the most common concerns breastfeeding mothers have - how to maintain a good supply.
Nurse, nurse and nurse Breastfeeding works on demand and supply. The more baby nurses, the more milk your body will make. This is one reason why nursing on demand is recommended. During periods of growth spurts, baby will want to nurse longer and more frequently. Though you may worry that your body is not producing enough milk, rest assured that as long as you are eating, drinking and resting enough, your body will soon be responding to your baby's need and produce more milk.
Eat well, drink more All that milk is coming from one source - you. So make sure you are drinking and eating enough for both you and your growing baby's needs. Eat nutritious foods and avoid caffein which can pass through your milk to your infant. Make it a point to drink a little more than usual. One reason why confinement soups seem to work is because it ups mother's fluid intake while providing some nutrients at the same time.
Visit the Sandman Your body has just gone through tremendous changes and performed some pretty amazing tasks. Now on top of recovering from birth, you have to take care and nourish a newborn. You need REST.
Very often, a mother who's doing everything else right, will find her milk supply improving if she just takes a short nap a day. Your body is working hard and it can't run on empty fuel. It's like the airplane emergency drill - put on YOUR life-vest first before tending to your little ones.
Herbal teas and tinctures Especially for working mothers, it can be difficult to get adequate rest and good nutrition. The stress of corporate life and having to balance multiple roles too can get in the way of breastfeeding. Sometimes, mothers find it hard to express adequate milk even though they have no problem when nursing their babies directly.
During such times, we can take a leaf from the past. For centuries, breastfeeding mothers have relied on certain herbs to boost and maintain their milk supply. Some of the commonly used herbs are fenugreek, fennel seeds, and blessed thistle.
They are traditionally taken in the form of teas, or tinctures - a liquid concentrate made from freshly harvested whole herbs.
Well-prepared tinctures are made without excess heat, thus preserving all the potency of the whole herbs. The active components of powdered herbs and excessively treated herbs, on the other hand, degrade easily over time and may have been destroyed in the processing. Herbal tinctures are also more easily absorbed by the body.