Improving breast milk production

All Woman

Dear Donovan,

I just had a baby, but I realise my milk production is low. What are some foods that can increase that? Also, my baby has issues with gripe. How do I feed my child to ensure he is getting the proper nutrients and feeling comfortable?

We all know that breastfeeding is best, but for many women proper breastfeeding is not possible. This is mainly because their milk supply is low and this can definitely affect the weight of the baby.

Breast milk production and successful breastfeeding are controlled by a number of factors. For example, stress can cause the body not to function properly, and in some cases can reduce breast milk production or stop it altogether. In addition, studies have shown that in some cases if a mother had a traumatic delivery, the increased stress on the mother and child can affect breastfeeding. In addition, if the mother has insufficient milk-forming tissues, this can affect breastfeeding.

Also, hormones are a big factor in milk production. The hormones oestrogen, progesterone and prolactin play a very important role. If they are out of balance, milk production can either be low or absent.

In some cases women who have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) who manage to get pregnant can have low breast milk production. In addition, there are some women who have to follow fertility treatments and these could affect breast milk production.

Whatever the reason, it is very important to get a professional to assist you. You might think your production is low when in fact it isn't. How is your child's weight? Is your child wetting his diaper frequently? These two factors might give you an idea of what is happening.

However, if you still feel your breast milk production is too low there are some foods you could add to your diet. These include oatmeal, which is a good source of protein, iron and carbohydrate. However, oats tend to be calorie-dense, so moderation is important. In addition, carrots and green leafy vegetables have phytoestrogen and essential amino acids which support breast milk production.

In general, foods with protein, calcium, iron and essential fatty acids will be helpful. It is also important to drink a fair amount of water, coconut water and healthy juices.

You also mentioned that your baby was having gripe. It should be noted that gas is a natural by-product of digesting lactate protein and other nutrients. However, because the baby's digestive system is not well developed, sometimes pockets of gas become lodged in the lower and upper intestines. This can be very painful to the child. One solution is to give the child a tummy massage after feeding; this will help to eliminate some gas. If this does not work you could speak to your doctor about some kind of gripe mixture.

Good luck!

We will answer your weight-related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight, or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years' experience in the fitness industry and is the owner of DG's Nutrition and Wellness Centre, 39 Lady Musgrave Road. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to




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