- After the delivery of the baby, many mothers are dissatisfied regarding their breast milk. As soon as the mother gets pregnant, nature by itself makes various changes in the mother’s body and starts some reflexes. But for getting good quantity of breast milk, mother should take care of the breast during pregnancy. After delivery should try to make efforts to increase the breast milk and family members should give full support. All these things are utmost important.
- How will mother know that she is getting sufficient amount of breast milk?
If the child passes urine almost 7 to 8 times in 24 hours, plus every week 125 to 150 grams means monthly if 600 to 750 grams of weight increases and that is for first three months, then it means the child is getting sufficient breast milk. The total weight reduced in the first week increases back till the end of the second week.
- General false beliefs for the thought that the milk is insufficient or less in quantity.
- Milk does not flow from the breast by itself.
- I did not get milk during my delivery of the first child.
- In normal delivery, the mother gets good quantity of milk in comparison to forceps or caesarean.
- Quantity is insufficient because kids are twins.
- The size of the breast is small.
- Age of the mother is more.
- The child keeps on sucking for long time and if the child is made to leave the breast then the child starts crying. [This is not the sign of insufficient milk. This shows that the child is not sucking in proper manner. And the attachment or the connection of the child with mother’s breast is wrong]
- Mother might start believing the above mentioned point and think that the quantity of milk is less. But actually these things are myths.
- What should be done to get good, sufficient and satisfactory amount of milk and also for the continuous flow of milk?
- After the birth of the child, he or she must take up frequent feeding. The attachment of the child with mother’s breast should be proper and if the mother starts feeling that the milk of one breast is completed then she should immediately give second breast for sucking.
- From the 4th or 5th month of the pregnancy, proper care should be taken of the breast. Mother should get the nipples regularly checked from the gynecologist. She should learn to clean the nipples and also how to take care of the nipples. She should try to acquire knowledge of how to massage the nipples and aerola during pregnancy. By doing this, the possibility of nipples getting stiff or cracks developing on the nipples would reduce. This generally happens in the last week of pregnancy or after delivery.
- During feeding, mother should try to make eye contact with the child. Child also tries to make eye contact with the mother. By doing this child would feed peacefully. Mother will also get utmost satisfaction. This is only possible if there are fewer disturbances of the relatives in mother’s room. If there are relatives in mother’s room during breast feeding, then mother has to pay attention to their talks and hence she is unable to make eye contact with the child.
- The family members especially mother, mother in law, sister or the husband should give complete support to the mother for first six months. If there is loving and caring behavior of the family, then almost all kinds of stress and tensions of the mother will get reduced to a large extent.
- Mother’s food should include liquid, milk products, green vegetables and pulses in good quantity. Mother should consume almost one to one and half liter of liquid including soup, buttermilk, coconut water, milk, milk shake or any kind of liquid that she prefers. She should drink minimum 6 to 7 glasses of water. Every breast feeding mother should take Calcium and Iron tablets prescribed by the doctor.
- Carrot, papaya, apple, banana, kiwi, sweet potato, coconut, almond, walnut, sesame seeds, oats, garlic, onion, sprouted beans, millets, jaggery, dry ginger, ganthoda, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, ragi, French beans and all types of green leafy vegetables have good quantity of Phytoestrogen in them. If all these things are consumed by the mother then it definitely increases the quantity of milk.
- Mother should try and keep the child with her. Make the child frequently suck and feed. If the child sucks more, then the Lactiferous Sinuses which carry the milk opens up and also the reflexes increases which in turn increase the milk. The touch and closeness of the mother increases the milk. The kids who are premature should be kept like a kangaroo meaning keeping the child close to the chest. This is also called as kangaroo mother care. This has proved as a boon for premature and underweight kids.
- There should be proper air and light ventilation in mother’s room. Mother should give such things and pictures in her room that give peace to her mind. Relatives should not convert mother’s room into sitting area. The best time to play with the child or see the child is one month after his or her birth. It’s the responsibility of the family and relatives to give privacy to the mother and the child and also to let them stay alone in the room.
- Mother should be firm that I will give only breast milk for first 6 months. If she has confidence in herself then she will put her best efforts for that. Even if she has smallest doubt in her mind she should get clarification from the doctor. To increase the quantity of milk, mother can take Allopathic or ayurvedic medicines that increase the milk after the consultation with doctor. Shatavari powder [ASPARAGUS RACEMOSUS], coconut or honey also increases the milk.
- Mother should remain stress free. When the child is sleeping, mother should read, listen to soft music, and talk to a friend or favorite person. All this reduces the stress and tension. Mother should take ample sleep.
- When child is born, do not give jaggery water, honey or any type of ayurvedic stuff. It is totally a myth that for two days less breast milk will come and hence for two days give outside milk or milk made from milk powder. If the child becomes hungry, he or she will suck more and that will lead to increase in the flow and quantity of milk.
- When mother is breast feeding the baby, she should stay away from alcohol, too much of coffee, spices, junk food or indulge into smoking or take family planning pills. If the mother stays in contact of another lady who has a child of less than a year old, then many of her doubts will get solved.
- Different types of Pranayam like deep breathing or Bhramali helps the mother to remain stress free. Practicing matsyasan or srawangasan after three months of delivery helps to maintain the level of reflexes within the body. Some light exercises shown by the gynecologist can be highly helpful.
- Mobile phones are like villains for breast feeding mothers. Scientifically, it is not yet proved that mobile phones have any side effects on the mother, child or breast milk. But the breast feeding mothers will surely remain stress free if they do not use mobile phones for first six months or even if they limit the use. If during feeding time mother remains stress free and if she is not disturbed then definitely good amount of milk will come. The radio magnetic rays of the mobile phones can damage brain cells. If mobile phones are kept away, the child will get sound sleep and also the mother will experience peace.
[ DIVYA BHASKAR- 19-10-2010]
Importance of mother’s milk has also been shown in many Hindi movies and many dialogues on the mother’s milk are also been spoken by the star cast. Some of them are remembered till today. These dialogues tell us that mother’s milk provides self-confidence, incomparable strength and courage. It’s the way to convey the important message to the society.