Healthy Lactation for Your BabyHealthy Lactation for Your Baby

By Dr. Mao Shing Ni

Its common for a mother with a newborn baby to worry about whether shes producing sufficient breastmilk.

Healthy lactation is the result of a combination of hormones. Among these, prolactin is a crucial hormone which stimulates the milk-producing cells in the breasts to make milk. Oxytocin is another hormone produced when the baby latches on the nipple, thereby expressing the milk. Both hormones are necessary for milk production and expression. Insufficient lactation occurs due to a variety of medical conditions, including retained placenta, anemia, thyroid disorder, diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, birth control pill usage, use of a decongestant drug, prior breast surgery or trauma, dieting, or simply stress.

To ensure a healthy milk supply for your newborn, here are several tips to help:

  • Be sure to breast-feed or pump regularly at intervals of 2-3 hours, including the middle of the night to empty both breasts thus stimulating more milk production.
  • Hydrate sufficiently by drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of water or fluids like vegetable juice and soups daily.
  • Chinese medicine recommends eating more oatmeal, fennel, almonds, spinach, and sweet potato or yams to support lactation.
  • Sufficient rest and sleep are vital to helping regenerate your body.
  • Avoid bottle feeding as much as possible as well as the use of a pacifier.
  • Chinese medicine has successfully helped ensure sufficient breast milk production in nursing mothers for thousands of years. Traditionally, the use of an herbal formula consisting of natural herbs that are safe for both mothers and babies during nursing is excellent to incorporate. Helpful herbs include, fenugreek, astragalus, corn silk, and other herbs have been shown to support healthy lactation function. Our Lactation Aid can help you to provide the nourishment that your baby needs.

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