With an abundance of baby-proofing products and gadgets on the market, it may be easy to think that you can get your hands on everything you need to know about baby care. In reality, most new parents don’t have a clue about how much research and hard work goes into nurturing a newborn. A lot of people assume that having more than one child is just a matter of producing more breast milk. However, the practice can be challenging for many new mamas who may not understand the science behind how their body produces milk. That said, with a little bit of advance planning, proper nutrition, rest, and support from family and friends it is possible to produce more milk than you ever thought possible with one little baby!
Nutrition Before Exercise
No matter how much exercise you do, or how robust your diet is, only your body can produce the amount of milk that your infant needs to grow. As a new mom, you are putting your body under a great deal of stress to produce milk for an infant. It is important to take care of yourself during this period so that you can continue to produce milk for your baby as well as enjoy your new role as a parent. Before you begin physical activity, make sure that you are hydrated. You should be drinking a lot of water when you are breastfeeding. Not only will this help you stay hydrated, but it will also help you produce more milk!
Proper Breastfeeding Techniques
Learning proper breastfeeding techniques can be a bit of a challenge for new moms. However, it is important to make the effort to learn these techniques as they will only make your breastfeeding experience better! Breastfeeding is a journey, not a destination. It is a constant process of breastfeeding, pumping, and sleeping as well as dealing with sore nipples and/or breasts. It is important to learn how to make this experience easier. First and foremost, find a reliable source of support. This may be a family member, a partner, a local breastfeeding support group, or a breastfeeding or lactation consultant. Make sure that you have someone who will be there for you when you need them.
Exercise After Feeding
As the period of breast milk production begins to wind down, it can be tempting to begin a workout program. While there are benefits to a regular exercise routine, it can be counterproductive for new mamas. Exercising immediately post-birth can easily cause your milk supply to decrease. When you exercise, your body produces the hormone cortisol. This hormone is known to reduce milk supply and can lead to further issues with lactation. To avoid this, make sure that you are not exercising when your milk production is at its peak. It is a good idea to give your body time to recover from birth before you begin a workout program.
Hanging leg-up Bags- Burp Cloths and Ear Cleaners
If you have been exclusively breastfeeding, you will likely have a collection of burp cloths, diapers, and clothes that you have used. Hang these up to use as impromptu drying racks. Dry them on a low setting or simply set them on a dish rack. This will keep your home smelling fresh and will help to reduce the risk of mold growth. Drying clothes in your freezer can also help to keep them from getting moldy. If you do not have a dishwasher, you can also place damp clothes in a sealed bag in the freezer.
Ear cleaners can be a lifesaver when you are dealing with blocked ears. Ear blocks are often given out to new moms when they are discharged from the hospital. However, they are not a permanent solution. Ear plugs can be uncomfortable and can make falling asleep more difficult. The solution is to simply use an ear cleaner. These will reduce the risk of bacterial growth.
Pumping can be a daunting task for new moms. However, it can also be a very valuable tool in helping you to increase your milk supply. Don’t attempt to pump and gift your baby simultaneously. Your body is not built to do this and it will only cause a loss of valuable nutrients. When you begin pumping, aim to pump for 20-30 minutes at a time. Every time you are done pumping, feed your baby. This will serve two purposes. It will allow you to feed your baby while you are taking a break, and it will help to build your milk supply. In order to avoid a sore or overworked nipple, it is important to pump while your breasts are at rest. You should also pump while wearing a supportive piece of clothing such as a bra. This can help to keep your breasts in place while pumping.
Staying Comfortable and Dry
Exercise and breastfeeding will put a lot of stress on your body. It is important to make sure that you are eating a well-balanced diet, getting enough rest, and drinking plenty of water so that you don’t develop any serious issues. While it may be tempting to run out and buy a sports bra, you should be wearing your regular bra during exercise. Make sure that your bra is supportive and comfortable. Once you are done exercising, take the time to gently massage your breasts to help to reduce any pain and to encourage more milk production. Make sure that you are not wearing tight-fitting clothes or shoes that cause pressure on your breasts. You can also try to wear a bag hanging from your shoulder to help to reduce pressure.
Breastfeeding is an amazing experience and it might feel like your body can’t produce enough milk. However, it is important to remember that there are a lot of things that you can do to make sure that you have the best breastfeeding experience possible. Pumping is a great option for situations when your baby is not eating enough or when you need to be away from your baby for an extended period of time. Making sure that you are hydrated and eating a well-balanced diet can help to ensure that you don’t experience any issues with breastfeeding.