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|2. Importance of breast milk for baby|
|3. Importance of breastfeeding and factors affecting milk supply in nursing mothers|
|4. How to increase breast milk production|
|5. Given below are some food to increase breast milk production:|
|6. How to increase breast milk after delivery?|
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breastfeeding is an unparalleled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants. Further, it recommends exclusive and on-demand breastfeeding for 6 months as the optimal way of feeding infants. Thereafter, infants should receive supplementary food with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.
Breast milk contains essential nutrients and antibodies that are important for baby growth and development. Babies who have been exclusively breastfed until 6 months are known to have greater immunity to fight off common childhood illnesses like diarrhoea or pneumonia.While breastmilk is crucial for the growth of preterm babies, it remains strongly recommended for all babies, including full term babies.
As important as breast milk is to infants, it has significant implications for the health of mothers as it is an integral part of the reproductive process. It helps to space children, reduces the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer among women.
To satiate the growth demands of babies, adequate milk supply in nursing mothers is essential. Women face different issues associated with generating adequate milk supply. Lifestyle factors such as lack of fitness, stress, anxiety, poor dietary intake are common examples of problems that affect women and their general health during maternity and thereafter.
After delivery, a majority of women complain of body pain, especially around joints, triggered primarily by a deficiency of calcium in their bodies. While breastfeeding, calcium and other proteins from the mother are absorbed in the breastmilk and passed onto the baby to aid in its growth. Unless continuously replenished through nutritious food, mothers will not be able to regain their health and ensure adequate supply of breast milk to meet the dietary requirements of the baby.
It is widely recommended to avoid/ reduce intake of:
It would be prudent to observe the impact of the mother’s diet on the baby. If the baby is visibly uncomfortable/ irritable and shows physical symptoms like bloated belly, pause for a minute to check if it might be caused by the food preferences of the mother. When in doubt, always consult a qualified medical professional.
In addition to milk generating food intake, the below tips can also help increase breast milk production:
In conclusion, it is important to remember that breastfeeding is an important aspect of motherhood, which helps in forging an unmatched emotional bond between the mother and baby. For a new mother, it is a learning experience to successfully meet the nutritional requirements of her baby and see the baby grow week-on-week. Motherhood does not come with an instruction manual and while dealing with day-to-day affairs of the baby can be challenging, a conscious effort by the mother to maintain a healthy lifestyle can make this journey easier.
A focused approach to including food items that increase breastmilk supply while promoting good health is mandatory for every mother. An optimal fitness routine which is considerate of the time available to a new mother is also recommended as the body undergoes many changes during this period. There are many resources available online for mothers, including those provided by ilove9months, which provide an all-round guide to tackling the physical, mental and emotional challenges during pregnancy and motherhood.
As life-altering as birthing can be, motherhood is no less. It is also important for every woman to cherish the moments spent with her baby as these are unique and cannot be replicated. Only a healthy mother understands the significance of raising a healthy baby. Take charge today and make a difference; to you and all the loved ones around you. Happy motherhood to you!