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Every year World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated from August 1 to 7. It aims to promote breastfeeding and improve the babies health globally. This year, the theme for World Breastfeeding Week 2019 is Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding.
Newborn babies have a very sensitive body, so anything and everything used on them must be light in nature, especially the food. This is the sole reason why breast milk alone is suggested to babies and this is because it is easy to digest. The fact is that all mothers never produce the same quantity of milk required to nurse their infants. Some people have more than the needed flow of breast milk and for some, it might only be a trickle. The lack of sufficient breast milk must be addressed immediately to ensure a healthy life for the babies.
Mother nature provides us with many foods that are lactogenic in nature, in the sense, it induces milk flow at least to the sufficient level. Consumption of such foods is considered good while breastfeeding. Among the foods, drinks are lighter on the body and soothing in nature. Ten such drinks are discussed here. Read on to know more.
It goes without saying that water is the first thing that everyone reaches out to when dehydrated. There isn't a better option for nursing moms, since breast milk contains 88% of water. Drinking water regularly throughout the day gives a boost to the milk secretion. It is recommended to take 13 glasses of water a day when breastfeeding. The best way to make sure that you have enough water is to drink even before you feel thirsty.
As little as 24 to 72 hours is enough to experience the wonders of fenugreek tea. Fenugreek acts as a galactagogue, thereby stimulating the milk ducts to produce more milk. Two to three cups of fenugreek tea is recommended to find significant increase in milk quantity. Lesser amount of the tea can have little effect and more of it can have adverse effects on the body. The quantity required also varies from person to person, so increase the amount slowly until your urine starts to smell of maple syrup. Diabetic women should steer clear of fenugreek tea, as it drops the blood sugar level.
A tea made with fennel is another good option to consider while breastfeeding. The phytoestrogens in fennel share properties of oestrogen, which are responsible for increase in lactation volume as well as quality of the milk. The tea is made using freshly crushed fennel seeds and this makes sure that the quantity of the seeds does not go beyond 7 g in a day. Excessive use can lead to drowsiness in babies, decrease milk supply or even stimulate a seizure attack.
Raspberry Leaf Tea
The raspberry leaf tea is a very gentle and safe option to consume post-delivery to better the flow of breast milk. In addition, the tea also strengthens the uterus. The tea works by producing oestrogens in the body that helps in milk production. Four to five cups of the tea can be consumed in a day to get the desired results. The tea provides nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins E and C.
Nettle tea is made by infusing 1 to 4 teaspoons of dried nettle leaf in 8 ounces of boiling water. It is considered safe to be had immediately after childbirth to stimulate milk secretion. Up to 6 cups of the tea is fine to be consumed in a day. Some mild side effects that a new mom might experience when taking nettle tea might include diarrhoea, breast engorgement, and excessive supply of breast milk.
The monounsaturated fats in almond milk help increase the quality of breast milk. In addition, almond milk is rich in vitamins A, D, E, and calcium. It can be had as an alternative to cow's milk, especially in cases where the infant is allergic to the cow's milk protein. However, it is advised to get your doctor's opinion for the complete replacement because some babies tend to be allergic to nuts and their derivatives.
Make sure to have the healthier version of fruit juices, that is, home-made ones as the packaged ones have unhealthy added sugars in them. It is better to be cautious when having juices rich in vitamin C such as pineapple and citrus fruits, as some babies are sensitive to them and might develop some discomfort. Otherwise, all fruits juices are fine to be had once or twice in a day. However, your baby might develop a nappy rash if the consumption goes overboard.
It is better to keep green tea as the last option when nursing. Moderate quantities of it might not cause much harm. This is because of the presence of caffeine in green tea, which induces problems like staying awake in the baby. One can opt for the decaffeinated version of the tea to reduce the risks. However, even in this small traces of caffeine can be found. It is better to stick to one or two cups a day when breastfeeding.
Milk Thistle Tea
Milk thistle tea boosts lactation due to the presence of compounds such as silydianin, silychristin, and silibinin. The tea is made using the milk thistle herb seeds and up to three cups of it can be had in a day. There are possibilities of mild side effects like soft stools and an upset stomach, which might not last for more than a day or two. Nursing moms are to get a second opinion on this, as the herb can lower the blood sugar levels when taken in excess.
Ginger is a popular lactogenic food and is safe to be consumed during the sensitive phase of breastfeeding. It also helps with nausea, digestion issues, and blood circulation during breastfeeding. One to three cups a day is more than enough. Every mother is different, so one must look out for side effects like rashes in babies when consuming ginger tea. New moms with diabetes and blood clotting are not recommended to have ginger tea.