Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mommy Tips: Got Milk?

OK... This is your definitive guide to producing more breast milk... I'm obsessed with making more more more! The goal here is to pump anywhere from 4 to 8 oz each session. It's critical to have extra because you can freeze it and it's good for six months. As a working Mommy I better come home with at least 12 oz of milk from the office or else.
Got too much frozen milk in the freezer?! Donate it to the local hospital for babies who are in intensive care and need it (I wish I had this problem). Listed below are the best tips for producing more milk:

1. Drink LOTS of water!
Drinking water is key to your milk production. Try to drink an entire glass of water every time you nurse and then drink more.

2. The law of supply and demand...
The more you feed or pump the more milk your body makes. So increase the number of times a day you either feed or pump.

3. Fenu greek capsules
According to - Fenugreek seeds contain hormone precursors that increase milk supply. Scientists do not know for sure how this happens. Some believe it is possible because breasts are modified sweat glands, and fenugreek stimulates sweat production. It has been found that fenugreek can increase a nursing mother's milk supply within 24 to 72 hours after first taking the herb. Once an adequate level of milk production is reached, most women can discontinue the fenugreek and maintain the milk supply with adequate breast stimulation. Many women today take fenugreek in a pill form (ground seeds placed in capsules). The pills can be found at most vitamin and nutrition stores and at many supermarkets and natural foods stores. Fenugreek can also be taken in tea form, although tea is believed to be less potent than the pills and the tea comes with a bitter taste that can be hard to stomach.

4. Dark Beer
One dark beer a day is a very common way women increase milk production. Since I am sober I had to find an alternative to alcohol and it's a great one! Cuban Malta... a non-alcoholic beer and can be found at any local Cuban market. I like Malta Hatuey or India. Only one downside... it has ALOT of sugar - about 40g per serving but it works! Serve very cold... even over ice works great. Some Doctors claim that alcohol could decrease milk supply... it's the hops in the dark beer that helps so you might as well go the non-alcoholic route just to be safe.

5. Fresh Pineapple
If you look online for information on pineapple and breast feeding you will find that most people say that pineapple shouldn't be eaten while breast feeding because of it's acidic value which causes gas in babies. Well, our Nanny turned me on to this remedy and it has hands down been the best in causing a spike in milk production. I say try it.

6. Atole de Maiz (Cornflower drink)
Anyone who is latin knows what atole is. It's a gruel made by boiling Indian corn, or maize, pounded to flour, in water, and also in milk. Here's a link to the recipe - Atole de Maiz. It tastes like paste so one good tip is to add some cinnamon sticks into the mix. It works!

7. Mother's Milk Tea
There are several teas on the market that claim to benefit and increase milk production. Yogi Tea brand makes a good one. My lactation consultant told me this tea doesn't do anything for milk production but you know what? I drink it anyway! You never know! Make it into iced tea and drink tons of it... it's a healthy beverage.

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