Overall, human breast milk has been found to be low in certain nutrients in developed countries: vitamin D, iodine, iron, and vitamin K.
Reasons for low milk supply
A history of polycystic ovarian syndrome, diabetes, thyroid or other hormonal disorders. Mums with these conditions sometimes experience a low milk supply. The rare medical condition mammary hypoplasia, in which there isn't enough milk-producing glandular tissue within the breast.
Choose foods rich in iron, protein and calcium.
Eggs and dairy are other options. Good sources of calcium include dairy products and dark green vegetables. Other options include calcium-enriched and -fortified products, such as juices, cereals, soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu.
If you are significantly dehydrated, your body will slow down its breast milk production and your own health will be significantly impacted. Drinking the right amount of water each day is important for your own (and your little one's) health.
The sapodilla, or chiku, is a great fruit for breastfeeding mums. It is high in calories which you will need plenty of to produce more breast milk for your little one. You burn up to 500 calories a day just by nursing! Rich in vitamins A and C, it also aids in digestion and provides antioxidants.
The most important sign to watch out for is your baby's weight. This can be the biggest sign that points to a possible issue with the fat content in your breast milk. If your baby is not gaining the weight they need, or losing weight, then reach out to your doctor.
Average maternal egg ingestion correlated with breastmilk ovalbumin concentration; for each additional egg ingested each week, there was an average 25 per cent increase in ovalbumin concentration.
If You Notice Your Milk Supply Is Low
You can increase your milk supply by: Nursing your baby often. Nurse every 2 hours during the day and every 3 to 4 hours at night (at least 8 to 16 times in 24 hours). If your baby will not nurse, use a good quality double electric breast pump to increase milk production.
If you notice that each time you eat something your baby becomes fussy, try avoiding the food for a while and see what happens. Many mothers have reported foods such as kale, spinach, beans, onions, garlic, peppers or spicy foods cause infant gas, while many babies tolerate these foods just fine.
Apples are a rich source of many nutrients and help maintain an adequate milk supply. Apples give nursing mothers the energy they need to heal and provide the ideal development environment for their newborns. Check out the infographic below to uncover ways to include apples in your nursing diet.
Anecdotally, some moms say other foods that commonly cause gas in adults, such as broccoli, cabbage, beans, cauliflower, garlic, or spicy foods, make their breastfed babies gassy or irritable. You may find that your baby's gas improves when you eliminate a suspect food from your diet.
Chocolate contains theobromine. Because theobromine is a stimulant, it could, in theory, cause the breastfed infant to be wakeful and fussy. If indeed the chocolate does contain caffeine, there's a double whammy.
Breastfeeding can make you feel thirsty, so it's important to keep well hydrated. Everyone should be aiming for six to eight glasses of fluid a day – even more when breastfeeding. As a rule, sip a glass of water, milk or unsweetened fruit juice whenever you're feeding your baby.
Carrot juice is particularly good for breastfeeding moms and drinking a cup of carrot juice just before lunch may increase your afternoon breast milk supply. Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, lima beans, or green beans) are often used as lactogenic foods.
However, if you are following the schedule and no milk is coming, keep going. This is an essential step in signaling to your body to create more milk. While some breastfeeding parents see a difference in just a day or two, you may find it takes several days or a week to see a significant increase in breast milk supply.
Your body is always making milk. That means there's no need to wait for the supply to “replenish” between feedings. In fact, waiting a long time between feeding your baby can actually reduce your milk supply. That's because your body does an amazing job of producing the right amount of milk to keep your baby happy.
Your body will almost always create milk for your baby even if you under-eat. But, the nutritional quality of the milk will be decreased. Your body puts baby first, so if you aren't consuming nutritionally dense foods, and enough of them, YOU will suffer the most.