Alcohol reduces breast milk production

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Kenyan mothers have been advised to keep off alcohol while breastfeeding despite the old wives’ tale that says it helps in the production of breast milk.

“The alcohol will flow through the blood stream into the breast and therefore the breast milk will be fed to the baby,” said Josephine Karoki, a lactation educator. “Pumping and dumping does not work because the alcohol will still be in the breast milk even after some hours, as long as one is tipsy, there is alcohol in their blood stream. The best thing to do is to keep off alcohol.”

Josephine however notes that some components in beer such as barely do help in the production of breast milk but said that the best way to increase it, is by eating a well balanced diet and getting plenty of rest.

“Breastfeeding is like a work out if the mother breastfeeds while hungry or tired, there is a high chance they will not be able to produce enough milk.

“Usually, the mother’s body produces enough milk to feed her baby, if she feeds 100ml of milk on a day, the next day the body will produce twice as much to 'compensate' for the previous day.”

On the kinds of foods that a mother needs to eat in order to increase their breast milk production; "the most important thing is to maintain a healthy diet.Also, when a mother is breastfeeding, they always feel dehydrated so it is best if they drink liquids, which do not have to be necessarily hot.

"They also need to eat more complex carbs such as brown bread or brown ugali that are not easily digested so that they do not feel so hungry.”

To get in touch with Josephine Karoki for more advice call her on 0700689778

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