When I had my daughter I was relieved and happy for so many reasons:
1. I had a somewhat difficult pregnancy where I was very sick for over eight months and it was bliss to finally be free from all of that.
2. I would get to see the precious bundle I had formed a bond with for the past nine months.
3. I would also get to experience motherhood.
So I set off to the hospital when labour kicked in, expecting to get there, huff and puff for 10 minutes, and voila, my bundle of joy would come screaming out. Alas, it was a different ball game and I spent the next 21 hours screaming my head off (and silently cussing my sister who’d told me labour was a walk in the park and my husband who’d ‘done’ this to me).
It finally ended and she was placed in my arms after a while. Next, I thought -breastfeeding!￼￼ I put her to my breast and you could imagine my shock when nothing came out; not even a drop! I felt the witches in my village were determined to steal my new-found joy of motherhood and took to cabashing (in my mind, of course), while I tried to pacify my baby who was screaming her head off. Needless to say we had to resort to emergency formula while I searched for a solution to my milk-less breast.
A week later, I was happily feeding my daughter. Although, the breastmilk production was a little low, I was happy my breasts had started producing as I knew the production would increase over time.
So how did I get my breastmilk flowing? I did some extensive research and here are some of the methods I found out and used:
1. Drink Lots of Water
And I mean lots. It should be easy as you would have already developed the habit of drinking enough quantity of water from your pregnancy days. You see, breastmilk production uses water and this extra water will get things along.
Of course, you can substitute water for any other liquid sometimes, but you don’t want to take too much sugary liquid as this will affect your little one and make her stool when she does start nursing.
The recommended daily intake of water is two and a half litres, but you can exceed that if you want as any excess water is going to hydrate your skin from the inside anyways, leaving you with a healthy, glowing skin.
2. Fenugreek Seed
This is yet another method for increasing your breastmilk production. Women who choose to use fenugreek seed powder swear by it as they saw a tremendous increase in their breastmilk after 24-72 hours.
Fenugreek is a herb; an Ayurvedec medicine that has been in use for hundreds of years. It has various medicinal benefits and besides being a herb for boosting milk production, it also increases libido in men, help to increase appetite, and reduces inflammation in the body.
About a half or one teaspoon of fenugreek is taken three times daily for breastmilk production.
3. Watery Pap
This option was not a favourite with me, but I did it, as I was desperate and I was glad I did. The idea is to make pap as watery as can be and drink it as you would a cup of water.
Pap is a meal indigenous to Nigeria. It is made from wet, ground corn and is eaten alongside other meals. To boost breastmilk production, a cup of it should be taken three to four times daily.
Like pap, tea is also touted as being a breastmilk inducer. A cup of rich tea should be taken first thing in the morning and just before you go to bed.
If you can stand the smell, then you might want to try out this method as well. Garlic is rich and medicinal and will solve your low breastmilk supply.
To use, chop three cloves of garlic and boil in a cup of water until it reduces to half. Drink this once a day until you notice an increase in your milk production.
6. Put Baby to Suck Often
I saved this for last, but it is by far the most important and effective method to increase your breastmilk production. Breast milk supply works on demand and supply; which means the more your baby sucks, the more milk will be produced.
Over time (usually after six weeks), your breasts would have sufficiently registered your baby’s food supply and would produce just enough breastmilk to meet your baby’s needs.
So these are some of the methods that boosted my breastmilk supply and put smiles on both mine and my baby’s faces. I hope they’ll work for you too.