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Using an Exclusive Human Milk Diet in the NICU - a Clinicians Guide
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Tips for Breast Milk Collection
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What to Expect in the NICU
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Breastfeeding Tips for Increased Milk Supply
- Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Incorporate well-balanced nutrition into your diet. Eat at least 1500-1800 calories per day.
- Consume smaller meals on a more frequent basis. 3 small meals with healthy snack choices in between would be preferred.
- Nurse and pump frequently. Breast milk is produced on a supply and demand basis, so if you pump more often, your body will naturally make more milk.
Get in a Routine
- Pump around the same time every day. Pumping in the morning is preferred since your milk will replenish quicker in the morning hours.
- Massage your breasts to stimulate milk flow. After massaging the breast, roll the nipple back and forth between your finger and thumb. Stretch the nipple slightly. This will encourage the release of hormones that help the flow breast milk.
Pump after Nursing
- If you are worried about your baby not getting enough milk, you can express an hour or so after feeding your baby.
Take Note of Time
- If separated from your baby, pump at the times you normally feed your baby.
- Smoking can reduce your breast milk supply and is unhealthy for both you and your baby.
Get your Sleep
- Sleeping when your baby sleeps can help keep your schedules in sync.
Consider your Contraceptive
- Birth control pills can contain estrogen which may interfere with the production of milk, so condoms or other forms of birth control should be considered. Speak to your physician for their recommendation about what is best for you.
- Don’t give up! Breastfeeding is a commitment and you should be proud of all of your effort.
- Try not to compare yourself to any other mama out there as every body is different and every nursing relationship is unique.
- If you are still having trouble maintaining your supply, don’t be ashamed to consult your doctor or lactation consultant. They are there to help you!
- Any alcohol you consume can be passed through the blood stream so be sure to limit your consumption.
Get to Steppin’
- Unless your doctor says otherwise; include approximately 30 minutes or more of physical activity such as walking, swimming, or other cardiovascular exercise. It increases your body’s levels of prolactin*, the hormone responsible for milk production. (Always check with your doctor before starting a post-partum exercise program.)
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