I need to drink milk while breastfeeding. You say this to yourself almost every time you breastfeed your baby. The overwhelming feeling of getting an angel on your lap and the other hand, the tiring routine of feeding him all day long can create a mix up of feelingsfor you. In short, you need to think off first for yourself and your dietary routine.
What does breastfeeding do to your body?
Before getting to deciding whether you should drink milk while breastfeeding or not, you must know what happens to you when you breastfeed your baby. After all, your bone calcium goes for your baby in the milk. You can feel back pains or weak bones. You might get the osteoporosis by losing some bone mass as the estrogen levels are low as well. Moreover, your inadequate diet can render you deficient in calcium and vitamin D levels.
Furthermore, you can have high levels of Oxytocin hormones in your blood as a result of breastfeeding. After which you may feel cramping in your abdomen. All of these and many other effects may take you to feel the need to drink milk while breastfeeding.
Should you drink milk while breastfeeding? What do the researches say?
A lot of factors influences breast milk. Some are genetic. Others are environmental. Some researches say that the amount of fat in the milk you take does not affect the milk production. But, the type of fat does. Also, it may not increase the energy or calorie levels of your milk. Nonetheless, it can improve the nutrient content of your milk to get for your baby.
How much milk do you need to drink while breastfeeding?
A lactating mother needs 2.5 to 3 litres of fluid every day. And, this makes up to 13 cups. In short, you need to have at least 13 cups of fluid every day. And, you can make it by drinking any fluid, like juices, water or milk. Now, if you think to drink milk while breastfeeding, that’s perfect for you and your baby. Moreover, it also depends on your environmental conditions and your metabolism. So, adjust the amount of fluids accordingly.
If you drink milk while breastfeeding, does this increase milk production?
Breastfeeding after almost every 2 hours and the thought of low milk production can worry you. And, you try to compensate this by the idea that you need to drink milk while breastfeeding to bring up the levels. Just 5% of women have low milk supply. For these women, it is due to inadequate glandular tissues, any breast reduction surgery or underlying medical condition.
On the other side, if you drink milk while breastfeeding, there is no evidence that it will increase the milk supply. However, It gives a plethora of benefits for you and your baby. And, it should be included in your diet. Beware, you or your baby shouldn’t be allergic to sort of milk.
What type of milk should a lactating mother take while breastfeeding?
If you drink cow’s milk, it is less likely that your baby will develop an allergy. In the research of official journal of American Academy of Pediatrics, it says that there is no significance in avoiding cow’s milk, to save your baby from allergies. Furthermore, it only puts you in nutritional deficiency state.
So,put your myths to rest. Some research says that if you don’t drink cow’s milk while breastfeeding, it will increase the chance of allergies. The reason is the production of high levels of secretory antibodies like IgA. These antibodies will pass into the baby and pose an effective barrier in his tummy. And, they will fight for any notorious allergen coming in. Relax! You can drink milk while breastfeeding.
If there are any unusual allergic symptoms in your baby, like eczema, mucus in stool, or any bloating or fussiness, then your baby is getting any protein from you. That’s why getting an allergy. Don’t worry. Leave the milk now and consult your paediatrician.
If you notice any allergy from cow’s milk in your baby, you can drink goat’s or sheep’s milk. It has the closest composition to the breast milk. And, it will not pose any allergic symptoms in babies. Above all, the protein in goat’s milk is easiest to digest.
However, the goat’s milk low in iron, certain vitamins, like vitamin B12 and folate. And, it may not give good nutritious benefit to you or your baby. But if you want to drink milk while breastfeeding, go for goat’s milk. It is a safer option.
It is not wise for lactating mothers to have powdered milk to augment their milk levels. It is one of the food product that is processed. And, it will never provide you with any health benefits. Most importantly, it is rich in calories and fat, if you use baby formula milk for yourself. Now, if you are concerned that you are not getting the nutrients from your regular diet, try any nutritional supplement. They are less expensive, more beneficial nonetheless.
Alternative foods to increase calcium levels in your body
You may think until now that if you drink milk while breastfeeding, only then you make more calcium and more milk in your body. But this is not true. In general, a lot of other foods can give you calcium, strengthening your bones, teeth and improving signal transductions. And, this calcium will go to your milk as well. So, consider
- Leafy vegetables like beet green or kale.
- Sesame seeds in the form of sesame butter or paste. But chew them properly for excellent calcium absorption.
- Fish, like sardines, pilchards or canned mackerel. The bones of such fishes are rich in calcium.
- Whole grains, like brown rice, oats or quinoa.
- Chicken broth, wherein the meat is stewed for long periods to soften the bones
- Fermented items, like soy sauce or miso, have enough calcium. So, add them to your diet.
- Dairy products such as cheese, paneer or whole curds are best to give you calcium.
- Legumes, like lentils or beans or chickpeas.
- Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons sweet limes and so on.
- Nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and figs.
Last but not least
Still, if you think that if you drink milk while breastfeeding, only then it is going to be a fantastic breastfeeding experience. This thought is not just enough. You can have a good supply of milk for your baby and excellentexperience if you take care of some general things.
- Feed your baby for longer duration and frequencies.
- Try to feed from both breasts at one time.
- Breastfeed your baby every 1.5to 2 hours.
- Gently squeeze and compress your breast for efficient milk ejection.
- Choose comfortable positions for you and your baby.
- Give your baby just your milk. In general, try to avoid formula milk for as long as you can.
- Add pumping sessions in between to express more milk.
- You can take some herbs or medicines and certain foods that increase breast milk.
Most importantly, it is not only to drink milk while breastfeeding to have good and enough milk production and expression. But, it is a game of many factors that come into play for an efficient breastfeeding experience. Try them all out!