LINDA BRITZ MID­WIFE, NURS­ING SIS­TER AND LACTATION SPE­CIAL­IST

Your Baby & Toddler - - YOUR NEW BORN -

Jun­gle juice is the name given to a recipe for a bev­er­age drink that varies in in­gre­di­ents de­pend­ing on who is rec­om­mend­ing it. There is no ev­i­dence­based re­search that backs up the com­mon thought that it helps in­crease your milk sup­ply.

How­ever, it has a high sugar con­tent, which may con­trib­ute to your en­ergy lev­els – but a high sugar in­take is known to lower your im­mune sys­tem, and make you more sus­cep­ti­ble to in­fec­tion. It is also high in un­nec­es­sary calo­ries, and may be the cause of weight gain after birth.

Herbs, foods and “syn­thetic” med­i­ca­tions have been used through­out his­tory by breast­feed­ing women to stim­u­late, main­tain and in­crease milk sup­ply and are nu­mer­ous and var­ied, and are called galac­to­gogues. There are also home­o­pathic reme­dies made by man­u­fac­tur­ers that are ef­fec­tive in use, and avail­able from phar­ma­cies. Re­mem­ber though, that just be­cause many her­bal and over the counter reme­dies are pro­moted as nat­u­ral, does not al­ways im­ply that us­ing them is safe for breast­feed­ing.

One most com­monly known galac­to­gogue rec­om­mended by other moth­ers, lactation con­sul­tants and health­care work­ers is fenu­greek. It is de­scribed as a her­bal spice and the seeds are usu­ally put into cap­sule form and taken orally. It is gen­er­ally re­garded as mod­er­ately safe. How­ever, it can cause lower glu­cose lev­els in mother, and in­crease asthma symp­toms. A maple syrup odour via urine and sweat is com­monly re­ported. Do not use it if there is an al­lergy to peanuts or legumes.

Be­fore you look for a galac­to­gogue, keep in mind that there needs to be a good rea­son for want­ing to make more milk. Be­fore tak­ing any her­bal prod­uct or reg­u­lated med­i­ca­tion, it is ad­vised that you con­sult with a health­care pro­fes­sional or lactation con­sul­tant to get the cor­rect as­sess­ment, in­for­ma­tion and guide­lines for us­ing any prod­uct that is known to have an ef­fect on your sup­ply.

The safest way to in­crease your sup­ply is to feed your baby more of­ten. The more you stim­u­late your breasts, the more milk you will make. Al­low your baby to drain your breasts well at feed­ings, and switch from side to side of­ten. Use an ef­fec­tive breast pump to ex­press your breasts straight after feeds. You may not get any vol­ume of milk to col­lect, but the ex­tra stim­u­la­tion will help. Take care to eat healthy foods, rich in pro­tein and un­re­fined car­bo­hy­drates. And rest.

Be pa­tient. The re­sults are not in­stant and you and your baby need time to see the re­sults.

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