The main thing is a natural weight gain of the baby. If he adds 400 to 700 grams monthly without additional feeding (and water), wets diapers from 7 to 10 times a day and is not naughty after letting go of the breast, it means he is breastfeeding enough.
Any nursing mother with a baby at least once during breastfeeding has a question: is there enough milk? Sometimes women begin to express milk to check its volume, others – without waiting for an answer, grab onto lactogonic drugs, although there are several true signs that can indicate whether the baby has enough breast milk.
But sometimes the problem becomes the question, how can you keep lactation longer? There are several effective methods for this, but first you need to understand the basic principle of milk production for women.
Lactation depends on the level of hormones, where prolactin and oxytocin come out on top. Prolactin is the main hormone involved in the formation and production of milk. If the mother is not breastfeeding, prolactin levels usually return to normal within seven days after delivery.
For this reason, it is always recommended to feed more than eight times during the first days after the birth of the baby, in order to avoid reducing the concentration of prolactin before the next feeding. In addition, stimulating both breasts simultaneously increases the level of prolactin by about 30%.
Oxytocin is responsible for the muscles through which milk flows from the breast. The level of this hormone directly depends on the psychological state of a woman: the calmer she is, the higher she is, and vice versa, the more a woman experiences, the lower her level.
“Demand creates supply” – this is what can be said about milk production. To increase the amount of milk requires constant stimulation to the production of prolactin by the body. The main peak of its level falls between 3 and 7 o’clock at night, so it is very important not to give up nightly feedings.
It should be borne in mind that the amount of milk depends on how often the mother feeds the baby and if it gives additional water in the intervals. A baby up to five months should not try to feed or feed, it is enough for breast milk.
If a woman feels that one breast has already been emptied, the other should be offered, because feeding with both breasts provides sufficient production of prolactin.
The more often the mother has contact with the child (and this is not necessarily feeding), the better her hormones work, therefore, more milk is produced.
Most experts recommend using herbs to improve breast milk production. These herbs are used for lactation for many generations and are very popular to this day.
Herbs are a natural remedy, so they have almost no side effects, and the improvements in most mothers are noted already after the first 24 hours of intake.
- Althea root – it is proved that the substances in its composition are involved in the construction of milk fat.
- Alfalfa helps stimulate milk production, and also provides mom’s body with natural vitamins and minerals.
- Fenugreek helps to increase milk fat, and also has a pleasant taste in the form of tea.
- Fennel seeds are well known for increasing milk production. They are used in raw form or in the form of infusions. It is also a plus in reducing the likelihood of colic in babies.
- Large black sesame seeds are used to increase milk production throughout Asia. Light sesame seeds are also effective, but easier to digest. Sesame seed oil, known as Tahini, can be found in health food stores. Sesame is the most powerful plant source of calcium.
All herbs can be consumed as tea or in the form of capsules, which, as a rule, have a more powerful effect.
Thus, we can say that the most effective means are those that act directly on the hormones of the mother and her psychological state. Therefore, a good mood – the best medicine to increase the amount of breast milk.
How to feed an infant
The feeding regime of newborns is unpredictable. Sometimes new parents start thinking about what, when and how many times to feed the baby. There are some universal rules that will help young mothers to properly navigate.
Breast milk or formula?
It has already been proven that breast milk is the best food for babies, but if natural feeding is impossible, baby food should be used. Today, the stores have a wide variety of baby food: from hypoallergenic to lactose free.
When to feed him?
Most newborns need one feeding every two to three hours (up to 12 times per day). Early signs of hunger are fussiness in the crib, sucking and smacking, sometimes children begin to cry, demanding food.
Baby stopped sucking, he already ate? What’s next?
If the baby stops sucking, closes the mouth, or turns away from the nipple or bottle, does not mean that the baby is full. Sometimes he just takes a break, as sucking is a very tedious process for newborns. However, you need to “put” the baby in a horizontal position, give him to burp and offer the breast or bottle again.
In addition to milk, infants often do not give water or juices, but sometimes, for example, after bathing or in hot weather, they may require clean water. This point is especially worth considering mothers with children on artificial feeding.
Why do babies have a sucking reflex?
The process of feeding babies should not be hastily. You need to give your baby as much time as he needs and to saturate, and to meet the needs of sucking. This can be explained by the fact that the sucking reflex is part of a complex nervous system that triggers a process of inhibition in the brain.
That is why babies often begin to nap during feedings. In addition, breastfeeding has a positive effect on the mother’s lactation. Most importantly, at this moment a psychological connection is formed between mother and baby.
Extra vitamin D, is it necessary?
You need to consult your doctor about adding vitamin D to a breastfed infant. Recent studies show that breast milk may not always provide enough vitamin D, which is responsible for the absorption of phosphorus and calcium – the nutrients needed to strengthen bones.
Why does he eat that much, that little?
Newborns do not always suck the same amount during feedings. During periods of increased growth – two to three weeks and then again at six weeks after birth – the baby needs more milk at each feeding and more frequent feedings. It is necessary to take into account the fact that when the child is older, he will suck more milk in less time with each feeding.
You can not get hung up on the fact that the newborn is not enough. Instead, attention should be paid to the results of proper feeding, such as weight gain, good condition between feedings, minimum six-fold wet diapers and three-time stools. It is necessary to contact a pediatrician if the newborn is not gaining weight, wets less than six diapers per day, or shows little interest in feeding.
Is night feeding needed?
Many believe that you can feed at night no more than once. This is an absolute fallacy: the enhanced lactation of the mother takes place at night, and the baby, “snack” several times during the night, will sleep better.
Do not let your baby choke
During breastfeeding, it is necessary to correctly position the baby, which should be turned to the mother, not only with the head, but with the entire body. Otherwise, there is a possibility of aspiration of milk into the respiratory tract. Proper capture of the nipple by the baby (the mouth should tightly clasp both the nipple and the alveoli around) will ensure that the process is painless for the mother and will prevent air from entering the baby’s stomach.
Young parents should remember that a newborn is a huge responsibility, and the first experience of this family unification occurs precisely during the feeding of the youngest member. Therefore, a good and calm atmosphere at this moment is a guarantee of a healthy baby and happy parents.