You’re Not Dealing With A “Set” Amount Of Breastmilk
One common misconception new mothers might have involves how much breastmilk they can make. There’s this thinking that your body simply produces as much as it needs. That’s not quite the case. What actually happens is, your body produces as much as it perceives it needs. That means you can produce too much, or too little.
Your breasts can become engorged, or they can dry up early. Also, hormonal stimulation may facilitate breastmilk production even if you’re not pregnant—this can happen with birth control pills. In fact, one method lactation is induced is through birth control pills.
This has a certain irony to it, as lactation hormonal changes your body in a way that keeps you from getting pregnant again. Birth control pills can initiate lactation, and lactation can maintain natural birth control. However, birth control pills are not natural, meaning using this method to hormonally change your body could be dangerous.
It’s better to use natural methods as a means of inducing, maintaining, and even expanding lactation. Here we’ll go over a few things you might want to do as a means of seeing that outcome.
1. Eat Foods That Naturally Stimulate Lactation
If you really love fennel, enough to eat it in large quantities even when you’re not pregnant, you may notice your breasts start to suddenly express milk. This is because the female body naturally produces milk when you ingest a lot of fennel. Many grains, oats, and nuts also provide the body fuel requisite to breastmilk production.
2. Physical Stimulation Can Aid Lactation Inducement
If you know you’re about to have a baby, and you’ve never lactated before, there are massages and stimulation techniques that can be used. Essentially, you massage your breasts and press them in a way which pushes milk toward your nipples. Do a few massages as described by your healthcare professional.
Once you’ve done the massages, hook up an electric breast pump to each breast for about two minutes. Try to do this every eight hours; right before you go to bed, when you wake up, and sometime in the middle of the day. At the start, you’ll produce drops of milk. After a month, you should start lactating regularly.
Before the baby is born, pumped milk should be disposed of as it loses nutritional value within several days. Once the baby has arrived, you can start keeping the milk a little longer. While you can freeze your milk and keep it in the freezer for six months to a year, this is not ideal. Also, you shouldn’t feed your baby milk that you’ve refrigerated for longer than four days.
3. Work With Lactation Professionals
Those who specialize in lactation can help you know what the best practices are in terms of milk production. Getting examined by a specialist may reveal you need to take steps some mothers don’t have to for natural milk production to increase. If you’re looking for tactics you can use to help increase milk supply quickly, check out the link and see what is advised.
Naturally Increasing Milk Supply
In a pinch, hormone supplementation can help, but this isn’t natural, and it may not be good for your baby—though there is debate on that. What’s wiser is eating foods which naturally stimulate lactation.
Beyond that, induced lactation through physical stimulation and use of breast pumps can also be a good plan, and it’s usually a worthwhile plan to seek advice from professionals.