Breastfeeding – how to increase your milk supply!
by Taste For LifeZi JIn Tang 紫金堂澳洲 on May 01, 2023
Natural Ways To Boost Milk Supply !
Many mothers worry about increasing their milk supply – below are a few suggestions from Nicole Chien, Mum of two and a leading nutritionist. She advises the following:
- Get plenty of water and drink adequate fluids.
- Try to rest and eat a healthy diet.
- Relax and massage.
- Breastfeed frequently at least 8-12 times in 24 hours.
- Make sure your baby is latching well.
- Offer both breasts at each feeding. ...
- Avoid bottles and pacifiers in the early weeks.
- Express after each breastfeed.
In addition to be a nutritionist, Taiwanese-born Nicole is the woman behind bringing Taste for Life to Australia, a postpartum nutritious meal service designed to help new Mums to recover quickly after giving birth and increase their breast milk supply. In Asian countries, women have been following a postpartum diet for centuries to help them feel better physically and mentally and to help with their milk. Although using Chinese herbs and foods based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is specific to an Asian postpartum diet, they are full of nutrients that show benefits for new mums based on western science and thinking too. As a result Nicole counts Aussie mums of all backgrounds as her clients.
Get plenty of water and drink adequate fluids
Breast Milk is about 90% water. The amount of liquid you drink into your body affects how much breast milk you can produce. Drinking more water and other fluids including soups, postpartum teas will help to give it a boost.
Try to rest and eat a healthy diet
Focus on a healthy balanced diet to help fuel your milk production. Choose protein-rich foods, such as lean meat, eggs, dairy, beans, lentils and seafood. You can select a variety of whole grains as well as fruits and vegetables and not missing any meals. Make time for naps or try to rest when baby is asleep.
Relax and massage
The more relaxed you are while breastfeeding, the better your milk will flow. Gently massage breast before and during feedings. Use relaxation techniques to reduce stress and promote the flow of breast milk.
Breastfeed frequently and baby latch well
Breastfeed your baby or pump the breast milk from your breasts at least 8-12 times a day, especially in the first hours, days, and weeks. It's the main way to increase milk supply. Your body will make milk to meet your baby's demand. Also you need to ensure that baby is attaching well and removing milk efficiently from the breast.
photo from:The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne
Offer both breasts at each feeding
Try to feed your baby from both breasts at each feeding. Let your baby feed from the first breast until they slow down or stop feeding before offering the second breast. The stimulation of having both breasts breastfed from can help increase milk production. Pumping milk from both breasts simultaneously has also to increase milk production and result in a higher fat content in the milk.
Lactation Soups and Nursing Teas
You can find lactation Soups and Nursing Teas from Taste For Life. Some of the herbs and ingredients have been linked to an increase in breast milk. The soups are high in protein, amino acid, which may promote lactation.
For increasing breast milk supply specifically Nicole recommends the following :
“Sleep and eating a healthy diet is the number one rule. At Taste for Life we offer a post pregnancy diet program which runs for 30 days and gives new mums the choice of having convenient Postpartum Meals or comprising various highly nutritional concentrated soup bases which they can drink directly or add food according to their personal tastes and traditions and a selection of teas and glutinous rice water also designed to help postpartum recovery. There is also a lactation soup and specially designed teas specifically for breastfeeding,” she says.
The soups and drinks are made using ultra high-pressure processing – and there is no artificial flavouring or colouring – all herbs pass 311 SGS food safety standards so are safe for mum and breastfeeding baby. Ultra high-pressure processing enables the nutrients from the food and herbs to be extracted at the smallest molecular level, making it easier to digest and absorb by the body and leading to quicker and better recovery than any home-made Chinese herbs soups and more palatable to those not used to Chinese herbs.
“Taste for Life meals also save a lot of prep time allowing the mother to get more rest which really helps increase milk supply,” notes Nicole.
As mentioned, Taste for Life also has a lactation soup and specially designed teas specifically for breastfeeding to make feeding easier and milk more plentiful. Nicole advises every mother to give it ago. “Asian mums are well-versed in these soups and teas but now western mums are also realising the benefit of these products too.”
Her number one recommendation is the Sheng Zao Lactation Soup
“This contains mashed raw green papaya and dry mushrooms and other herbal extracts that increase a mother’s fibre, iron and essential nutrients so she meets the daily requirements of breastfeeding mothers. This soup provides high nutrition and is easy to digest, improving mums’ vitality and it really works to increase milk supply as well.”
There is also the Mammy Nursing Tea - ingredients include jujube, longan and black date as well as selected Chinese herbs which support breast milk supply.
Finally, Nicole also recommends a special lactation massage comb which helps to increase the fluency of the mammary glands. According to clinical trials moving the comb from the bottom part of the breast to the areola can concentrate the milk to the front making breastfeeding easier.
If you choose to breastfeed, you could consider visiting with a certified lactation consultant to give you and your baby the best start. They can also help you work around factors that make breastfeeding challenging.