The Economics of Breast Milk Pam Gaulin
When the first drop of breast milk flows out it is a huge relief for moms, both physically and emotionally. As baby grows and her habits change, from how often she eats to how frequently she soils her diapers, breast feeding moms often wonder if their baby is getting enough milk. Before you worry about baby not getting enough milk, rest assured that breast milk for a healthy new mom is produced according to supply and demand, it’s like economics for babies. The more babies breast feed, the more milk you will make.
Before trying to increase breast milk supply, determine that you do need to make more. Feeding eight to 12 times a day is normal, according to La Leche League. It does not mean that baby is not getting enough breast milk.
While caffeine can stimulate breast milk, it’s not something you want in baby’s system. Babies will not process caffeine as quickly or as efficiently as you. When I was pregnant, I lost my taste for coffee and switched back to my old favorite, black tea. While I was nursing, I did not want to ingest any drink that are known diuretics, which included tea and cranberry juice. I switched to herbal tea and stopped drinking cranberry juice. If you drink caffeinated soda, replace it with water, at least while you are trying to increase breast milk supply.
Drink More Water
I am a big water drinker, but I drank even more water when I was trying to produce more milk. Whenever I breast fed or sat down to use my breast pump , I made sure to have a large glass of water nearby. Your breast milk production won’t be productive if your body is not receiving enough fluids.
Another way to increase breast milk supply is to feed the baby more often. For women who are at home with their babies, nurse the baby whenever she requests, to encourage more milk production. Using a hospital-grade breast pump, between feedings, or while you are away from your baby will also help increase breast milk supply. Store pumped milk in sanitary containers and refrigerate or freeze it to help you manage one of baby’s growth spurts.
Take Care of Yourself
Another way I increased my breast milk supply was to take care of myself. When breast feeding the body needs an extra 500 calories. Rather than worrying about baby weight while I was nursing, I supplemented my diet with extra, nutritious calories. Nap when baby naps and sleep when baby sleeps.
Exercise should be kept light to moderate. While walking with baby in a stroller, I would always keep a large bottle of water to replenish any fluids I was losing through sweating.
Two Breasts Are Better Than One
Switching breasts while nursing or pumping is another way to increase breast supply. When the milk flow is slowing down from one breast, switch baby to the other breast, to maximize milk flow from both breasts.