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What should I do to increase milk production?

Q: I have a baby of one and half months. She is on formula milk. I just feed her once or twice, as my breast milk is very less. I am having some herbal tea for better milk production but there is no improvement. Please suggest some pills or diet which increases the supply effectively.

A:There are no specific foods to eat that will stimulate production of breast milk, but there are things that can help with milk production. More important than what you eat is how your baby eats. When a baby is properly positioned, well-attached and sucking effectively, and the longer a baby nurses at your breast the more milk will be produced. This is the single most important way to increase your milk production. From a diet and nutrition standpoint, there are two important factors critical to producing milk. The first is drinking enough fluid. It doesnt have to be milk; water or juice is fine. You may be producing from 20 to 40 ounces of fluid a day, and thats quite a lot. Thirst is a good indicator of need, but may not do the whole job. Its a good rule of thumb to drink a bit more, past being quenched. It is also a good habit to fill a glass of water for yourself to drink while your baby is nursing. Drinking sufficient fluids wont make you produce more milk, but is important in replenishing lost fluids. Nursing requires about an extra 500 calories per day. Make sure you are not on a restricted diet in an attempt to lose weight while you are nursing. You may be eating too few calories, which can leave you fatigued and without the energy necessary for optimal milk production. Stress can negatively affect milk production, so find a way to rest and de-stress. The best prescription for maximum milk production is effective and frequent breast feeding or milk expression, plenty of fluids, adequate calories and rest.

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