God knows how long I have been delaying to write this down. Finally I’m doing it.. under coffee influence, of course 😊
Adam and Noah are already reaching 9 month old in 1 week time. The previous entry about my breastfeeding journey was about 6 month ago, the boys were only 3 month old back then.. and alhamdulillah, I’m still breastfeeding them. If you asked me before, whether I have the confidence to feed twin boys up until this far, I would say no, I don’t think so.. Breastfeeding is not easy, so much we mommies have to learn and the most important thing, is not to give up. It’s not just us to learn, we must know that our baby is also learning. So, don’t give up and encourage your baby to do the same too.
I would like to share with you the knowledge I got from this nursing guide book during my confinement time..
I take this book seriously, its full for highlighted points and sticky notes! 🤓
The most common questions that I have been asked probably 756 times, is there any food that can help to increase milk supply? According to the author, Alicia C. Simpson who is also a breastfeeding consultant, there is a class of food called lactogenic. These are the types of food that can increase the production of milk… Different people reacts differently to these type of food, that is why some work others and some don’t. Up until now, the mechanisms behind most lactogenic food and herbs are still unknown.
Here’s the list of food according to this book..
- Barley & malt : yes my mom was right about this. Scientifically, barley has beta-glucan that is proven to increase prolactin levels. Prolactin is our hormones that in-charge of producing milk in our body. My mom made me drink loads of Horlicks (I have no share with Horlicks company) because of the malt content and barley drink during my time breastfeeding Bella, and yes it works for me.
- Oats : also can increase our milk production because of its beta-glucan content. I have read somewhere that the best of oats to increase milk production is the steel-cut oats & rolled oats. NOT the quick oats. So, choose the correct type of oats of you think this is a good options for you. What I usually do is, I make overnight oats. I add some banana, chia seed, hemp seeds, peanut butter and almond milk together before bed, keep it in the fridge and have it for my morning snacks. Thats my meal at about 10am, yes I eat a lot. Hehe..
- Other whole grains: Barley, oats, whole wheat, brown rice.. all these are whole grains thats rich in beta-glucan. Unfortunately I’m not a brown rice fan. So I dont really take it.. and, white rice has little to no beta-glucan. It is not proven to have lactogenic effect.
- Moringa: to be honest, I have never heard of moringa before. It’s available in powder and leaves form. I’m taking moringa dried leaves and make moringa tea. It’s lactogenic effect comes from its impact on the anterior pituitary gland. It increases prolactin level as early as 48-hours after taking them. In layman term, our milk production will increase after 2 days. I am still taking moringa tea until now. For me, this works really well and literally it has very little calories provided you don’t put so much sugar / syrup in your tea!! This is definitely my favourite.
- Brewers’ yeast : Please don’t ask me what is this is Malay, I have no idea. But it taste bitter. Not my favourite thing to eat. I used to put this in my overnight oats (because I don’t know any other way else to eat this one). Haha.. A gentle reminder, in some babies, it can cause gas and fussiness however I did not observe any “kembung” episodes on my boys when I consumed this brewer’s yeast.
- Fenugreek : In Malay, its called halba. We used this a lot in our cooking. I believe this is the most well-known lactogenic out there. It increases our prolactin levels. Almost all nursing tea will have fenugreek as the main ingredients. One thing you have to know is fenugreek also can cause gas and bloatedness to our baby because it is passed to them thru our breast milk. I used to consume fenugreek tea before, Noah had no issue with the tea but unfortunately Adam had a bad “kembung” episode until he had difficulty in passing motion. So, I stopped immediately, and he is back to normal after that. So, no fenugreek tea for me anymore…
- Milk thistle : I have no idea what milk thistle is. I have seen this at the pharmacy sold as supplement but I personally have never tried this.
- Papaya : surprisingly this fruit is also a lactogenic but if you are in your confinement, I don’t think your mom / tukang urut will allow you to eat papaya because it is ‘sejuk’. Hehe.. I have no personal experience with this, but you can try!!
- Fennel : usually used as an adjunct herbs with other lactogenic food, I have seen this inside nursing tea and nursing cookies.
Those are some of the commons lactogenic that is available in our country. I hope this is helpful to all mommies out there. The food that I am still consuming until now is moringa tea and oats. By all means, if you are a cookies fan, give it nursing cookies a try. I have very poor self control. Once I have cookies in my hand, I will just finish the whole jar at one go… so, no cookies for me. Haha…
Moringa tea brewing..
Other tips thru my experiences..
- Drink a lot of water. Milk’s main ingredient is definitely water. How are we gonna make milk if we ourselves were dehydrated. Just drink, bring water to work, keep a bottle anywhere easily reachable for you. Nowadays I drink up to 5L a day just to keep myself hydrated and make susu! Just don’t ask me how many times I have to pee. Haha… I will do whatever it takes to make sure I have enough milk for the boys.. 😀
- Pump regularly even if you are a stay-at-home mommy, even more if you will be away from your baby at work. Why is this important? To make more milk, our boobs need to be emptied after feeding. Empty boobs will give signal to our brain to make more milk (brain doesn’t make milk but brain releases prolactin, a hormone that tells our mammary glands a.k.a boob glands to make more milk). During the first three month, I used to pump after I feed my twins. I know I won’t get much, probably 0.5oz. I know its very deceiving but in long term run, trust me, you will have more milk, in shaa Allah.
How much my boys consume milk everyday?
Now they are drinking about 5oz per drink, usually at 5-6am, 10am, 1pm (after lunch, like us who drinks coffee after meal..) 4.30pm and 8pm. That is 5 servings of 5oz and I have to of them… So I need 5 x 5oz x 2 babies = 50 oz per day, on top of their lunch and dinner meal! How can I not work hard to pump susu to feed them. Haha.. I have no excuse.
Do I still drink coffee during breastfeeding?
Yes, I consumed less coffee when they were younger because our babies will still be affected with the caffeine effect, it is pass to them via breast milk. They can get easily agitated and difficult to fall asleep if the mother consumed coffee. I noticed that in both Adam and Noah when they were younger. Logically, the younger the baby, the less caffeine that we mommies should consume because their internal organ (liver and kidney) is not efficient enough to get rid of the caffeine from their body. As they get older, their internal organ, liver and kidney functions better. I really cant find the article about this but I have read about it somewhere before.
I hope, by sharing my knowledge, I can help you mommies with your breastfeeding journey. I might write another entry about pumping milk, in shaa Allah. If you have any other things to share, please feel free to comment. I will try to reply any questions from you.
Thank you, X