There are various factors that can affect the breast milk supply in new mothers. While some are within her control, some are not. However, there is no need to worry. Keeping a watch on the baby’s behaviour and what you eat can increase the supply of your breast milk.
Factors that affect breast milk supply
Listed below are some common factors that can affect breast milk supply in new moms.
Stress or anxiety
This is the number 1 factor that can reduce the breast milk supply. In the first couple of weeks post the delivery, a new mother is coping up with lack of sleep and adjusting to her baby’s schedule that may reduce her breast milk supply.
This apart, mental and physical stress has a direct impact on breast milk production. In some cases, separation of the mother and baby can also affect breast milk supply. So, for the first 6 months, the mother should spend maximum time with her baby and should breastfeed every 2-3 hours.
Certain herbs & spices
While there are spices and herbs like ajwain, ginger and fennel seeds that increase breast milk supply, there are some like sage, peppermint, parsley and oregano that can lower the supply, if consumed in large quantities.
A mother’s health and her state of mind and body can affect the supply of breast milk. By this, we don’t mean the flu or upset stomach or common cold and cough. But prolonged fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea or decreased appetite can be the reasons for less breast milk production.
Read more: Foods to limit while breastfeeding
Supplementing with formula
In the first couple of weeks, if a baby is given formula supplements, the baby consumes less of the mother’s milk. The mother’s breasts also respond by making less milk. Pumping as well as breastfeeding can help in increased production of breast milk.
It is important to remember that just like the pregnancy weight was not gained overnight, one must give the body time to recover and establish a good milk supply. To lose weight quick post-partum, some women opt for an excessive caloric restriction. Excessive dieting can reduce milk supply.
What a breastfeeding mother eats, and drinks can affect her overall health and the supply of breast milk. Increasing the protein content in the diet has shown to increase the breast milk supply. Thus, including high protein foods such as paneer, eggs, dairy and chicken breast is recommended.
For a personalised post-pregnancy weight loss program, get in touch with Health Total experts. Call toll-free 1800-266-0607 to Book an Appointment for a consultation at any of our centres across India.