Worrying about whether you are producing enough milk for your baby is very common, after all, although boobs are pretty awesome pieces of kit, they are not see through! So we can all be forgiven for feeling a little unsure as to the amount we may or may not be producing. In fact this uncertainty is one of the main contributing factors for mum’s deciding to give up breast feeding.
Your baby is the best indicator of how much milk you are producing, although it is perfectly normal in the first few days for your newborn to lose a little of their birth weight, they normally tend to gain weight after a short while. You can also tell if they are getting enough milk, by the amount of times their nappy is wet throughout the day ( a minimum of 6).
There are some foods you can choose to eat, that are considered to help produce breast milk, these are known as lactogenic foods.
Get your oats! Oatmeal is often recommended as a food to boost milk supply. Apparently, even the simple act of tucking into a hearty bowl of it can contribute to the production of a hormone called oxytocin, which helps produce milk.
Go Green! Eat plenty of spinach as this is known to contain important vitamins and minerals, including folate, which as we all know, plays a key role in preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Do a Bugs Bunny! No, it’s not a loony tunes idea to consume carrots whilst you are breastfeeding! Downing a glass of carrot juice is thought to enrich the quality and quantity of breast milk as the vitamin A and beta-carotene found in carrots can help raise energy levels.
It’s OK to dip! Hummus is a good choice of snack for breastfeeding mums as it is made from chickpeas, a good source of protein. It is super easy to make your own, simply blend the chickpeas and add lemon juice and garlic.
Pick a papaya! Did you know papaya is considered to be one of nature’s sedatives? This means it will help you to feel relaxed and therefore more able to produce breast milk.
Amazing Asparagus! If you are careful not to over cook asparagus it really is delicious. It packs a punch when it comes helping to increase your milk supply too.
Switch to brown rice! Whole grains are considered to be far more nutritious, so swopping your bowl of white rice for brown is an great way of eating an energy boosting carbohydrate. Did you know, researchers believe it may boost the serotonin levels in the brain- great mood enhancers to help with your sleep, appetite and general sense of happiness! Milk supply sorted!
A is for Apricot! Dried apricots in particular are a good source of iron and fibre and are recommended as a lactogenic food source.
"Try Fishing"! Include salmon in your diet, as it is rich in essential fatty acids. Mums whose diet contains essential fatty acids are able to produce richer and more nutritionally sustaining breast milk.
And finally - water it down! Breast feeding makes you thirsty, so drinking enough water is really important and is known to have an effect on milk supply. Do talk to your health visitor if you are worried about the amount of breast milk you might be producing. There are plenty of support resources and organisations out there, who can help you if you want additional support. Expressing your milk and feeding on demand will also help with your milk supply.