Many medical experts including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) encourage nursing for at least the first six months of life. This is largely due to the enormous health benefits that breastfeeding has on both mama and baby.
But how does breastfeeding really work?
Colostrum: The liquid gold
Let’s start at the basics. Once your baby is born, you may notice that your breasts have produced a thick, golden coloured liquid. This substance is known as colostrum, aka liquid gold. In the first few days of life, babies rely on colostrum as their main source of food and nutrition. Colostrum is tremendously important for a new born baby as it contains high levels of proteins, vitamins, minerals, antibodies, leukocytes and more. This food source is full of nutrients that keep your baby healthy, happy and full.
Benefits of breastmilk
Breastfeeding is known to have countless benefits for your little one. It encourages deep connections between mama and baby while also assisting in regulating body temperatures. It is also packed with tons of nutritional benefits such as antibodies, stem cells, immune cells, oxytocins, melatonin etc. It can contain anti-microbial, prebiotic, probiotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-infective properties as well as good bacteria that can help strengthen the immune system and digestion.
Troubles with breast feeding
As you embrace your new role as mama, you will notice that your entire world will never be the same. It is normal to feel overwhelmed with all the changes in your life, but breastfeeding doesn’t have to be a stressor.
Nursing comes with its own set of unique challenges. One of these challenges can be low milk supply. Have no fear, mama, there are some remedies that can encourage the active production of milk.
1. Pumping Breast Milk
Breast milk production is based off of a supply and demand system. Breasts need constant stimulation in order to produce milk. If you are regularly nursing, try to pump milk in between feedings to encourage stimulation.
2. Alternate feedings
While some babies prefer one breast over the other, it is important to encourage feedings from both breasts, in order to allow for active milk production. You should allow for the baby to feed from the preferred breast first, until they slow down or stop feeding, then offer the second breast.
3. Lactation food
Lactation baked goods are available in stores. Alternatively, you can make your own lactation edibles by using the key ingredients that are said to help milk flow.
Ingredients that have been connected to increased milk supply are:
4. Lactation herbs
Some herbs such as Shatavari, Moringa, Fennel, fenugreek etc. are known to help with lactation and increase milk supply. You will likely find these herbs at your local health food store and can be incorporated into your morning tea or in pill for