trendy and modern moms who breastfeed are constantly looking for ways
to increase their milk supply to their young ones, whether it is eating
hot food, drinking warm water and herbal teas, and eating food that is
thought to increase breast milk, based on traditional Thai beliefs. Some
of these techniques have had good results while others have had no
effect. Below are answers to some common queries about breastfeeding.
Definitely the best formula… lots of breast milk
An important principle in ensuring a good supply of milk is to have the
baby latch on to the nipple and to drink milk completely from one
breast, until it empties. This is a classic response and you should not
forget this tip, which is to have babies suck quickly, often and in the
correct way. This will ensure that you will have adequate supply of
Other factors that influence breastfeeding include the mother’s health
and her readiness, such as whether she has eaten nutritious food during
all her meals. This doesn’t mean that the food must be expensive, but
that the food must contain nutrients from all the five food groups. She
must also take adequate rest so that she can breastfeed her baby, such
as a short afternoon nap or in between breastfeeding, so that both
mother and child can sleep. In this way, both will have time to play and
laugh with one another, and to relax themselves, allowing the body to
Will drinking lots of water increase the supply of milk?
Mothers need not drink extra water or more than what is required as
drinking water will not increase the supply of milk. The rationale
behind this belief is probably to remind mothers to drink at least 8
glasses of water a day as they are so busy looking after the babies
that they tend to neglect looking after themselves.
How does eating hot food and drinking warm water help?
According to the Science of Oriental Medicine, eating hot food provides
equilibrium to the body. If we eat anything that is cooler than our
body temperature, we will feel cold and the body will combat this cold
by using the stored or reserved energy to warm the body. If we eat hot
food, the reserved energy in the mother’s body can be used to produce
more milk and in caring for her baby. There has been no academic
research to prove that eating hot food will increase the supply of milk.
Can herbal teas help?
Herbal teas are another alternative and the popular herbal teas include a
blend of chamomile, lavender, and raspberry. These teas have a relaxing
and calming effect. What increases the milk production is fenugreek and
fennel seeds. Drinks containing these two ingredients help in
relaxation and increases milk production and is effective in some
people. However, remember to let the baby empty one breast so that new
milk can be produced.
What type of food and kaeng liang (yellow curry with vegetables) should I eat to help increase milk production?
Kaeng Liang (yellow curry with vegetables) contains many herbs and
vegetables such as pepper, ginger, sweet basil leaves, and pumpkin,
including proteins and calcium from dried shrimps. It promotes blood
circulation and induces sweat and has a relaxing effect. It is effective
in producing more breast milk but you should eat more than just kaeng
liang. According to the traditional Thai practices on food consumption
in post-partum mothers, there are other vegetables and fruits which are
believed to help increase breast milk supply and these include cloves,
cumin, papaya, banana (kluay nam wa), banana blossom (huaplee),
jackfruit, holy basil, Thai celery, lettuce, pumpkin, etc. However don’t
overindulge in these vegetables that you forget the basic principle.
Does massaging the breast stimulate milk production?
It may help as it is one way to prepare the breast for breastfeeding.
Is it harmful to use medicines to stimulate breast milk production?
Medication should be the last resort and is often used in cases where
milk supply has stopped in women who have been breastfeeding. The use of
medication must be under the guidance of physicians as medicines are
synthetic substances and not food.
Using the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy to explain about
breastfeeding your child, increasing breast milk production involves the
S-Self sustaining- Be dependent on yourself. The body can be
controlled by the mother and child and can be kept in balance. This
means the child is sucking quickly, often and in the correct way. The
child will stop drinking when he or she is full and will continue
drinking when hungry. The more the child drinks, the more breast milk
will be produced and when the child no longer wants to drink, breast
milk will stop.
E-Efficiency - Breastfeeding is efficient and you should alternate breasts while feeding
M-Multi Immune System – this is the body’s defense mechanism
where in the reserved fat in the mother’s body is used in cases where
the mother is able to only eat less and helps in building a special
armour to protect the child until he or she is strong and healthy.
Today’s trendy moms lead a life based on the Philosophy of
Self-Sufficiency and breastfeeds their child. They are steadfast with
this practice as they believe that both the mother and child play an
important role in increasing the breast milk and they need not depend on
anyone. Dependency will be minimal and even though they don’t see the
results today, they should not be discouraged or stop. By breastfeeding
for 6 months, they can increase their child’s immunity and see how
strong and healthy the baby will be.