The feeling of cradling your newborn in your own hands soon after birth is a dream nurtured by every young woman. It is a magical experience. Holding that little bundle of joy close to your bosom, knowing that now there is a real human entirely depending on you, it is a feeling that every one of us cherishes. This feeling of a bit of apprehension, a bit of fearfulness, and a bit of self-doubt is experienced by all young and first-time mothers. On top of that, if you find out that there is a problem with your lactation, you become all the more afraid. But don’t worry. Your baby is going to be taken good care of, and you are going to do that. In this blog, you are going to find out about tips to get breast milk after delivery.
Agalactia or the inability of a woman to produce sufficient breast milk soon after delivery is quite common in young mothers. It is nothing to worry about. Before finding out more about tips to get breast milk after delivery, let us find out and understand why this happens.
I) Stress and anxiety – In our busy day to day lives, stress is a major factor which guides our body to behave in the way it does. Physicians attribute the reason for a variety of diseases to stress, and one of them is the inability to produce or less production of breast milk. Also, new mothers face a lot of anxiety from the family members as well as themselves as to whether they are competent enough to take care of the baby themselves. This anxiety and insecurity can complicate things and delay the ejection of milk.
II) Hormonal unevenness – Secretions from the thyroid gland are important in the imbalance in the production of breast milk. Female hormones, oestrogen and progesterone are responsible for the development of breasts. The hormone prolactin produces breast milk and the hormone oxytocin helps in the ejection of breast milk. All these hormones together mediate the production and secretion of breast milk.
III) Lifestyle – The way we lead our day to day life plays a major role in the production and secretion of breast milk. Languid lifestyle, drug abuse, alcohol intake, smoking tobacco can have a major impact on lactation.
IV) Birth Control Measures – Some birth control measures are taken in the form of a hormonal combination of pills. They can often have a major impact on the health of women.
V) Environment – The increase in pollution in the environment can sometimes have an impact on the health of mothers, and hence in the production of milk too.
VI) Insufficient milk drainage – The ejection of milk occurs on a positive feedback mechanism, i.e., more the baby feeds, the more milk is elicited. But also, the alveoli needs to be emptied for more milk to be generated.
Steps to follow to increase the production of breast milk –
- Skin to skin contact – As soon as the baby is born, the baby must be placed in close contact with the mother. This is known as Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) and it increases the lactation in mothers. Often in hospitals and nursing homes, the babies are kept in cribs away from the mother. This method should not be practiced.
- Breast massage – Young mothers can perform breast massage in circular motions three to four times a day. This is supposed to increase the blood supply in the breasts and thus increases the production of milk.
- Hot fomentation – Performing hot compress or hot fomentation three to four times a day also helps in promoting lactation.
- Adequate nutrition – As the mother is placed on oral diet, she needs to eat healthy foods to provide herself with proper nutrition for sustaining two lives, that of her own and her newborn. Fiber-rich foods like dalia, multigrain chapatis, plant proteins like masoor daal, khichdi, are advised. Fruits can be eaten whole in place of fruit juice. Proper nutrition plays a major factor in the formation of milk too. All these things will give her a good boost, build up her stamina and will help in breast milk supply.
- Hand express – If milk does not come spontaneously, hand expresses of breasts can be done to promote breast supply of milk.
- Avoiding emotional upheavals – Mood of the mother has a direct impact on the hormones secreted, which in turn affect the production of milk. The mother should always try to stay calm and happy, which keeps the oxytocin flowing, which in turn promotes the formation of breast milk.
- Proper rest and sleep – After the arrival of a newborn, the diurnal rhythm of the family members get disrupted. But the mother should take proper rest and sleep. She should sync her circadian rhythm with that of the baby. In that way, both of them can have adequate sleep.
- Resist the intake of medications – Avoid taking medications for increased production of breastmilk, as medications contain synthetic combinations of hormones which in turn can cause further complications.
- Take medical consultation – If you see that lactation isn’t commencing even after a couple of days after giving birth, go to your nearest lactation consultant immediately to seek help for issues related to breastfeeding.
- Stay hydrated – The body can’t make milk if it is dehydrated. So, drink lots of water.
- Breastfeed – Breastmilk production is a positive feedback reaction. The more the baby suckles, the more milk is produced. So, breastfeed your baby every one to one and a half hours.
So, to recap once more :
Do’s and Dont’s to follow to increase breastmilk production:-
|Stay positive||Add undue stress|
|Keep your baby close to you as much as possible||Eat fast food|
|Eat healthy foods||Take part in emotional upheavals|
|Drink lots of water||Take medicines without the guidance of a physician|
|Massage breasts in a circular motion|
|Provide hot compress to breasts|
|Take proper rest and sleep|