It is a scientifically proven fact that Breastfeeding is more beneficial for a baby than a baby formula. Breastfeeding can be a tedious job – new moms have to take care of themselves as well as their baby. Often, new mothers are inexperienced and hence get worried about their baby’s nutrition needs. Talking to someone with prior experience and noticing signs and indication in your baby can help a lot.
How to know if you have a low milk supply?
- If your baby is gaining consistent weight while you are breastfeeding, then you do not have a low milk supply. Weight gain indicates that your baby is getting the proper nutrition he/she requires.
- The baby should demand for milk every1.5-2 hours. Babies can digest breast milk quickly, so if you see that your baby demands food on shorter intervals, there might be a shortage of breast milk.
- If the growth of your baby is good, you provide sufficient nutrition through your breast milk to your baby.
- When your breasts stop leaking milk at different intervals of the day, this does not mean that you have a low milk supply. After a while, your body adjusts to the nutrition needs and the timings of your baby and stops producing milk at all times of the day.
- If you have less amount of milk when you pump to store your milk in a bottle or clean out, this might be due to less milk supply. Consult your doctor if this happens because this can also be due to various other reasons.
What are the causes of low milk supply?
- Frequently changing between breast milk and formula/juice/water can be a major reason for low milk supply. If your nurse less frequently, your body adjusts to that and starts producing less milk.
- Once again, giving a bottle to your baby in his/her early days can prevent him/her to properly latch on to your nipple.
- The length of the nursing should be closely monitored. Only when the baby ends the feeding should you stop. Stopping before your baby is full can mess with your body cycle of milk production.
- Offering your baby only one breast to feed can also play a role in reducing your milk supply. Therefore, it is best to alternate between both your breasts while nursing.
Breastfeeding and production of milk can also decline when you are on your periods. Hormonal changes and birth control pills can also affect the amount of milk produced by your body. New mothers also suffer due to this problem because of the additional stress, disturbed sleeping patterns, and an overall unhealthy lifestyle.
Although there are no magic tricks to automatically increase the production of breast milk, using these herbs will definitely show a result in a few weeks. These herbs are known to promote breastfeeding and increasing the milk supply.
Herbs to Increase a Low Breast Milk Supply
Here is a list of 11 must have herbs that increase breast milk –
Alfalfa is a herb which is primarily famous for being the most cultivated crop in the world. But other than that, it has many beneficial properties which help in improving one’s health. Alfalfa has high contents of fibre and protein with low saturated fat. The herb is also rich in anti-oxidants. This herb can also increase your milk production which is the reason why this herb is added to the diet of dairy animals also.
Fenugreek is known to be one of the best herbs to increase the production of breast milk. The herb must not be used by pregnant women or those who have diabetes. Consistent and regulated supply of Fenugreek helps in establishing a proper breast milk supply.
In today’s time, ginger is only used to add flavour to the food. But this is an ancient herb which was used for it’s nutritional as well as medicinal properties before supplements and medicines were invented. Often, this herb is taken for digestive problems and motion sickness, but Ginger also helps in increasing the breast milk supply.
There are many people who do not add Garlic in their food, but Garlic helps in medication as well as in nutrition. Nursing mothers should definitely add this herb to their diet as it not only promotes good health but also helps in increasing milk supply by increasing the blood circulation throughout the body.
Breastfeeding problems like swollen breasts, clogged milk ducts can be resolved by the consumption of Turmeric. Often known as ‘Haldi’ in Indian households, this herb is the perfect solution to engorged breasts and low milk supply.
The Fennel Herb has a two-fold benefit. Not only this herb helps in increasing the breast milk production but also helps with stomach problems such as gas, acidity, upset stomach etc. The herb tastes and smells a little like liquorice. Menstrual issues and other health conditions can also be solved by this herb.
Even though this herb is quite bitter, it can prove quite beneficial for new mothers. Milk Thistle increases breast milk and also helps mothers deal with postpartum depression.
This herb is also known as ‘The Miracle Tree’ or ‘Malunggay’. Moringa has been used by various countries in the world for more than a couple of centuries. It has been a valuable food in many places due to its high nutritional value. The herb is known to support good health and provides nutrition to the mother and the baby. The herb is consumed in the form of capsules which should be taken during and after pregnancy. Women trying to conceive should not take this herb as it may reduce the chances of fertilization.
Red Raspberry Leaf
Red Raspberry Leaf is also known as ‘Nursing Tea’, ‘Nursing Tea Blend’, ‘Nursing Tincture’ or ‘Nursing Tea Moringa Blend’. The herb helps in balancing hormones, healing the uterus after birth and increasing breast milk supply.
Brewer’s Yeast is a herb which is extremely healthy and nutritional. Even though it doesn’t help in increasing breast milk by a lot, it’s other properties make up for that. By including this herb in your diet, you not only give proper nutrition to your baby but also help in developing his/her immune system.
Shatavari is one herb which is extremely famous for increasing the breast milk supply in nursing women. By the consumption of this herb, there is an increase in the production of vital fluids in the body, breast milk being one of them. The herb also helps in improving the reproductive health as well as alleviate problems during menstrual cycles.