6 Key points for breastfeeding

6-key-increase-breast-milk

Nutricia Research supports the WHO’s public health recommendation in favour of exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, and continued breastfeeding up to 2 years along with the gradual introduction of safe and suitable solid foods.

Human Milk is the best source of nourishment for all infants worldwide. Human milk contains a balance of nutrients and bioactive components that ensures optimal growth and development of the body and its organs including the immune system and gastrointestinal microbiota. In addition, breastfeeding is associated with many positive health effects, both on a short- and long-term scale.

Is my baby getting enough milk?

You may think about how much milk your baby drinks and whether it is enough to meet his/her nutrition requirements. Well, there is no way in which you can find out, about how much ml of milk your baby drinks per feed. But the good news is that there are ways to find out if the milk you produce is enough for your baby. Here are some clues:

  • Allow the baby to suckle often in order to stimulate the breast. This is the best way to increase the supply of breast milk. Suckling stimulates nerve endings in your breast and sends a message to your brain that results in the release of the hormones which stimulate milk production.
  • See to it that your baby is correctly latched on and you are using the right breastfeeding techniques. Babies need to remove milk to stimulate the breast to continue producing adequate milk.
  • Don’t just feed from one breast every time. Alternate your breast. Let your baby finish feeding from the first breast before going on to the next. Babies need 8 to 12 feeds per day for the first 6 months.
  • Your baby is precious. So, hold him/her close to your body.
  • Try massaging and compress the breast while feeding.
  • In many places in India, there is an age-old tradition of giving special preparations made from methi seeds, fennel seeds, Shatavari, etc. to a lactating woman. These are called galactogogues i.e. foods which help in breast milk production. However, the role of these galactogogues is not fully understood. Due to insufficient evidence, there are no recommendations available for these foods.
  • Relax, take a deep breath and enjoy feeding; this will help improve the flow of milk.

Ways to improve lactation

Now as a mother, you would want to give the best to your baby. So, if you are wondering how to improve your lactation, then read on.

  • Allow the baby to suckle often in order to stimulate the breast. This is the best way to increase the supply of breast milk. Suckling stimulates nerve endings in your breast and sends a message to your brain that results in the release of the hormones which stimulate milk production.
  • See to it that your baby is correctly latched on and you are using the right breastfeeding techniques. Babies need to remove milk to stimulate the breast to continue producing adequate milk.
  • Don’t just feed from one breast every time. Alternate your breast. Let your baby finish feeding from the first breast before going on to the next. Babies need 8 to 12 feeds per day for the first 6 months.
  • Your baby is precious. So, hold him/her close to your body.
  • Try massaging and compress the breast while feeding.
  • In many places in India, there is an age-old tradition of giving special preparations made from methi seeds, fennel seeds, Shatavari, etc. to a lactating woman. These are called galactogogues i.e. foods which help in breast milk production. However, the role of these galactogogues is not fully understood. Due to insufficient evidence, there are no recommendations available for these foods.
  • Relax, take a deep breath and enjoy feeding; this will help improve the flow of milk.

Healthy balanced diet

  • Eat a healthy balanced diet. Your energy demands are higher during lactation for production of milk. Consume 3 main meals with 2 nutritious snacks in between. Include adequate amounts of protein coming from milk and milk products, egg, meat, fish, poultry, pulses and legumes.
  • Drink enough of fluid. It helps in keeping up milk production.

We strive for better understanding of how diet of a breastfeeding mother influences her own health and composition of her milk. These research programs help us to unravel the benefits of human milk, and to support breastfeeding.

The nutritional impact of lactation on maternal stores is even greater than pregnancy and requirements are higher for a number of nutrients i.e. vitamin A, iodine, vitamin C, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, zinc. Food guidance for lactating mothers should be that nutrient-rich foods are consumed and that this may be complemented by a supplement to meet the increased Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for some nutrients.

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