Breast milk is the best way to feed your baby. Some women make the choice to feed formula, which is still healthy. If you are going to breastfeed, you should know a few things about it before you start so that you stick with it when others have bailed out. Not only should you understand that milk takes three or four days to come in, and your baby will be fine in that meantime, you should also know what you can do if you find you do not have enough. There are small things you can do to increase breast milk so that you do not have to give up when you want to make sure your baby is healthy as can be.
First, stress can really cut down on how much breast milk you produce. Some women are so worried about making enough milk that they may be causing stress that can cause that very thing. Breast milk starts as colostrum and the full milk takes a few days. Moms think they are starving their babies because they are not seeing a lot of milk. This is how it is supposed to happen. Try to remember that and don't stress about it. Do whatever you can to relax and make sure you are sleeping when the baby sleeps when you first go home.
Eating right can also help increase breast milk. This can be hard for new moms, but it is a must. Good breast milk comes from a good diet. Your baby can get gas from a bad diet on your part, which is painful for a newborn. Get good fats from nuts, olive oil and fish, and make sure you have plenty of fruits and vegetables. Find out what can be problematic in human breasts milk and nix that from your diet until you are done breastfeeding. Do not drink or smoke either, as both alcohol and nicotine go into your breast milk.
You may not think of exercise as a way to increase breast milk, but it does help. You may not have the time or the energy in the first weeks or month of your baby's life, but after that you can start getting out, even if you are just walking. Exercise relieves stress and keeps your heart healthy. A healthy mom makes healthier milk and she makes more of it. Walking outside has another benefit that may help your milk, which is the Vitamin D that you get from the sun.
There are other small tricks to increase breast milk. Some mom's will pump in between feeds or just before to get it going. Use a picture of your baby while pumping and even one of their blankets for scent. Switch sides while feeding, but try to make sure your breasts are drained. Breast milk is about supply and demand. The more your baby eats the more your body will produce. There are some medications that can help, but you should always talk to your doctor before you try something like that.