Edie and Amy

Breastfeeding

How does breastfeeding help my baby develop?

Breastfeeding is the direct feeding of babies with milk produced from the mother’s breast. And while this may seem pretty commonplace and straightforward, the World Health Organisation says that only about 2 of every 3 children are exclusively breastfed.

How does breastfeeding aid your child’s development?

Breast milk has the nutrients your baby needs.

Breast milk contains the perfect combination of all nutrients that a growing baby can need for proper development. What is even more fascinating is that the composition of breast milk evolves with your baby’s age and needs. Immediately after birth, the mother produces a thick, yellow form of milk called colostrum. It has high protein content, has a lot of beneficial compounds, is low in sugar and helps the baby’s digestive tract develop. As time goes on, the breast then produces more and more milk to boost the baby’s development. Breast milk is also easier for a growing baby to digest than infant feed. This is why the relevant heath authorities recommend six months of pure breastfeeding for your baby and a year of continued breastfeeding as other meals are being introduced into your baby’s diet.  

Breastfeeding reduces your baby’s chances of illness

Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of having ear infections, respiratory illnesses, diarrhoea, Respiratory tract infections, Colds and infections, Gut infections, Intestinal tissue damage, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Allergic diseases, Celiac disease, Inflammatory bowel disease, Diabetes, Childhood leukaemia. This protection means they more likely to have less hospital visits and admissions .

Mother Breastfeeding baby
Breastfeeding has a lot of benefits to the mother and the child.

Breastfeeding reduces the risk of obesity


Studies have shown that breastfeeding for the right period of time significantly reduces the chances of obesity in babies. This may be because breastfeeding aides the development of the right bacteria in the baby’s gut. Breastfed babies also have higher leptin, a hormone which regulates fat storage and appetite, than formula-fed babies. In addition to this, babies can regulate how much milk they consume, thus reducing the risk of overfeeding and obesity.

Breastfeeding boosts immunity


Breast milk contains a lot of antibodies which boosts the baby’s immunity. This particularly applies to colostrum, the first milk. Colostrum provides immunoglobulin A (IgA), as well as several other antibodies which protects the baby. The body forms these antibodies when the mother is exposed to an infection and are the body’s means of fighting the infection. During breastfeeding, these antibodies are passed to the child. Formula doesn’t provide antibody protection for babies and in fact, may put babies at risk if the water source is unhygienic and feeding bottles aren’t washed and sterilised with care.


Breastfeeding is linked to higher IQ scores in later childhood in some studies. The physical touch also helps to increase the bonding between mother and child, thus making the baby feel safe and warm. Concurrently, breastfeeding also has some important benefits for mothers. It can help you lose pregnancy weight. It also helps reduce the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis. Learn about Nigerian foods that improve breastmilk supply If you have a 9 to 5 job click here for some tips on how to cope.

Breastfeeding guidance the during COVID – 19 pandemic by WHO
Learn how to increase your breast milk supply
References

Adda Bjarnadottir; 18/7/2020; https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-benefits-of-breastfeeding

18/7/2020; https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/nursing-basics#1

10 Nigerian Foods That Increase Breast Milk Supply

Nigerian Foods That Increase Breast Milk Supply

In Nigeria, traditional postpartum care has always been one of our age long customs; this celebrated activity is commonly called omugwo in Igbo, ojojo omo in Yoruba and wanka’n jegoin Hausa.

During this highly anticipated period, new mothers(especially first-timers) are usually encouraged to rest as they ease into their new roles as mothers. An important aspect of this role is child nourishment, new mothers are usually put through indigenous methods to improve milk production.

Believe it or not….

One method our African mothers rely largely on is regular suckling by the infant; the more a baby suckles at its mother’s breast, the more milk is produced. It would interest you to know that this is not just a superstition, it is a fact backed by science. Therefore, the best way to improve breast milk production is to keep on nursing your baby on demand. For mothers pumping exclusively a technique called power pumping is used. This is 3-4 intermittent pumping sessions for 10 minutes with breaks in between.

However, for some mothers, this is strategy is often insufficient as they often deal with pain while breastfeeding and struggle daily to produce enough milk for their babies.

Nigerian foods that boost breast milk production

If you’re like the typical mom who can’t bear the sound of their lovely baby’s cries of hunger, we’ve got you covered with this list of Nigerian foods that will help you increase the rate at which your breast produces milk.

List of Nigerian Foods That Boost Breast Milk Production

1. Fura de nunu ( Milk and Millet Gruel)

This is a common beverage originating from the Fulani people of West Africa. With Fura de nunu, you have a rich, delicious blend of fermented cow’s milk (nunu) and millet dough (fura).

In addition to refreshing you on a hot afternoon, Fura contains many essential nutrients which improve breast milk production.

Nigerian foods that boost breast milk production: Nunu
Hausa Millet porridge for breastfeeding mums

It would interest you to know that Nunu is an excellent source of protein, calcium, phosphorous and vitamins A, C, E and B complex. Fura is also known to contain essential amino acids, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and micronutrients. If taken regularly, this is a sure way to increase the production of very rich breast milk for your little one.

2. Kunu (A Northern Nigerian Gruel)

Another staple beverage that is quite popular in most parts of Nigeria, especially the north, is Kunu. Commonly made from millet, rice, sorghum, tiger nuts, guinea corn, maize, or a mixture of some or all of these, this locally made drink is just the right thing for you!

Furthermore, Kunu contains lactic acid, carbohydrates, proteins, and fat which are essential for normal body function. This drink would definitely leave you feeling nourished.

In addition, you get more breast milk to nourish your baby.

3. Pap

Popularly known as Akamu, Ogi, Eko or its fancier name, African Corn Porridge, this is a fermented pudding cereal made from millet, maize or sorghum. It is a ready-to-eat food packed with numerous essential nutrients like carbohydrate, B vitamins, folic acid, vitamins A and C, potassium, zinc and others.

Nigerian foods that boost breast milk production - pap
Pap is highly nutritious and helps in boosting breast milk production

Considering its highly nutritious content, it is no wonder why so many of our mothers swear by this meal to help increase breast milk production. Please note that Pap is best taken with milk and sugar to give you a satisfying experience.

4. Moringa

This nutrient packed plant is a great source of vitamins and minerals, nursing mothers would get more out of these than most other vegetables. It is a multi-purpose herbal plant, that is, all parts of this plant can be used as it contains varying amounts of essential amino acids, anitoxidants, carotenoids and many other nutrients.

Nigerian foods that boost breast milk production - moringa
Moringa leaves improve breast milk supply

Research has proven that infusing this plant into your meals is an effective means of improving your mother’s milk production. Moringa leaves can be added to soups, salads, or simply taken in juice form.

5. Carrots

Eating carrots is a great way to boost lactation as they contain vitamin A and potassium, both of which help to improve the quality and quantity of breast milk. 

Nigerian foods that boost breast milk production - carrots
Eating carrots are a great way to increase your supply as well as loose weight

As a plus, they’re a great way to lose that stubborn baby fat. They can be snacked on, juiced or eaten raw in the form of salads. Carrots are available everywhere and may just be the boost your mammary glands need.

6. Kaun (Pot-ash/ Keun / Akanwu)

Potash is a general name given to potassium containing compounds. Kaun, a lake- salt, is an ancient Nigerian food additive used in traditional cooking that has been known to add flavour and improve the taste of a dish. It’s a form of potash. Other sources are from palm kernel shells and dried, roasted unripe plantain peels.

Most women do not know that kaun is also helpful when nursing babies. Its high mineral content can serve a great stimulant for lactation. Potash should be taken in moderation in its cooked form. Excessive amounts (more than a teaspoon daily) can cause upset tummy. It can cause uterne contrations and thus must be avoided in pregnancy,

7.Watermelon

Sweet and juicy watermelons are another great addition to this list of lactogenic foods. This fruit is rich in fiber, fructose and a variety of minerals and vitamins. Additionally, its remarkably high water content would keep you hydrated, get your milk flowing and keep your baby full.

Nigerian foods that boost breast milk production - watermelon

You can slice, dice or even blend this it in addition to other fruits to make a delicious smoothie. In addition, watermelons can be grilled.

8. Ofada Rice

Known globally as brown rice, locally grown Ofada /Abakaliki Rice is an effective addition to your diet as a nursing mother because it contains a variety nutrients like minerals, vitamin B and E. It also contains hormonal stimulants that help to improve lactation and increase breast milk production.

Nigerian foods that boost breast milk production - ofada
Ofada (Brown Rice) is an effective addition to your meal to increase breast milk production

If you’re also planning to lose that persistent baby fat, you should definitely switch white rice for a well prepared bowl of ofada rice and sauce.

9.Garlic

Garlic is popular for improving the immune system but do you know that it can also help improve breast milk production? Commonly used as a seasoning or spice in traditional cooking, garlic has a rich supply of enzymes, vitamins and minerals that help improve milk production.

Nigerian foods that boost breast milk production - garlic
Garlic is a natural breast milk booster

But remember to go easy on this one, it’s notorious for causing body odours, especially when taken in large quantities. Therefore, its best to approach this with necessary caution.

Go easy on the garlic sisi

10.Water

Breast milk is essentially made up of water. Therefore, staying hydrated is crucial to breast milk production. And what better way to stay hydrated than to drink lots of water? 

Nigerian foods that boost breast milk production - water
Drink up to 2.5l of water daily to boost your milk supply especially after breastfeeding

A minimum of 8 glasses per day is the target! Remember, the goal is not only to increase the quantity of breast milk you produce, but also to improve its quality.

Yeah…we know we said 10 but there’s more……

  • Ewe bombo (awalagbo in Yoruba)
  • Uda and other herbs used to make pepper soup for pregnant women
  • Tiger nuts and dates
  • Ginger ( preferably freshly grated in warm water)
  • Cumin
  • Fenugreek (It’s called “hulba” grown in Northern Nigeria ladies!)

Finally, an overall healthy diet is key, not only to help nourish your newborn, but also to nourish you.



Learn more about foods that increase your breastmilk supply

Getting The Best Out of Your Breastfeeding Journey: The Bras You Need.

Getting The Best Out of Your Breastfeeding Journey: The Bras You Need.

A good nursing bra...

Pregnant mums will often tell you how tight the band of their regular bras get as pregnancy progresses and their chest expands.

Demo of the Biamo designs nursing bra and pumping bra accessory

It’s like being in bondage, to be honest. Add heartburn to the mix and these make you feel like going without a bra. If you will have to wear a nursing bra 24 hours a day for 6months just to make breastfeeding your infant seamless and hold nursing pads in place you are better off with a comfortable one. A nursing bra should be soft yet supportive making you forget you are wearing a bra at all.

How to get your correct bra measurements

  • First, wear your most supportive regular bra
  • Using the side calibrated in inches and ensuring it is parallel to the floor, take a tape measure and measure the diameter around the area just under the fold of your bust.
  • Whatever figure you get, round off to about the nearest even number. This is your band size. So, if you get 33” use 34”; if you get 29”, use size 32” and so on
  • While still wearing the bra, using the same tape measure, get the diameter of your chest at the fullest part of your bust.
  • Find the difference between this measurement and your band size ie. if you got a measurement of 36 and your band size is 34 , the difference (36-34) is 2. This is a B cup so your measurement would be 34B
Measure Your Band and Cup Size
To Get a Good Bra Fit

You’ll want to look for a bra with no underwires, a smooth silhouette, extra rows of hooks and eyes at the back to accommodate changes in your chest size during pregnancy and breast feeding.

A good pumping bra……..

If you intend to build a stash of milk for storage you don’t have to hold on to your breast pump against your chest throughout your pumping session. You are bound to get tired and shift your hands loosing some of that suction pressure. Get a pumping bra that’s soft, but firm and stretchy enough for you to hold your breast shields firmly in place.

With The Biamo Designs Pumping Bra Accessory You Don’t Have to Hold Your Pump in Place As You Express Breastmilk
This is what the reverse side of the Biamo pumping accessory looks like

Some bras have a figure of 8 opening instead of a slit. This means you can feed your baby through there and need not go through the ceremony of taking off your pumping bra if your little one wakes up and needs to be breastfed while you pump from the other breast.

Biamo designs nursing and pumping bras can be purchased from our online store.

If you are on a budget, you could convert an old sports bra to a pumping bra. Check out a demonstration we did on how to make one.

Learn more about how the right bra can help you during weaning ?

If you are on a budget , making a handsfree bra is easy

6 (Six) Things That Could Be Making Breastfeeding Painful For You

The beginning of a breastfeeding journey for a new mum can be uncomfortable and slightly painful. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t quite right. Common causes of pain during breastfeeding are:⠀

1. Excessively sensitive nipples

Some mothers do have really sensitive nipples in the early stages if pregnancy. However, this tends to reduce over weeks say 3-4weeks, so do worry.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

2. Wrong latching technique

Baby is most likely chomping on your nipple. It will deform your nipple, cause injury, baby won’t be able to drain your breast/ get enough milk and your breastmilk supply may eventually suffer. If you feel pain, disengage from baby, and try to latch again . ⠀⠀⠀⠀

3. Nipple cracks and sores

These are caused by wrong latching. They can also get infected . If you develop cracks always wash your hands before touching your boobs, allow the area to air dry after each feed. Nipple creams provide alot of relief in between breastfeeding sessions . Soft and highly absorbent nursing pads eg.biamo designs, lansinoh and medela keep you dry and protect sore nipples from friction with your clothes/nursing bra. Please do not apply breast milk on OPEN SORES.

This can cause an infection. It’s important you keep draining by expressing your breastmilk from the affected breast to prevent a condition known as mastitis. Mastitis causes pain, swelling and redness on the breasts. Some mums have fever and chills. Hand expression; using the the right sized breast pump; or a nipple shield for direct breastfeeding will go a long way if you develop sores.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

4. Nipple thrush

This is caused by “germs” called fungi. Fungi love moist, warm, sugary environments. Breastfeeding mum’s nipples and baby’s mouth are the perfect breeding grounds for them. Thrush is common in new borns. A mum’s nipples may feel raw, itchy, and look pink . Taking a look in your baby’s mouth may show hard to remove white patches on the inside cheek and roof of the mouth. This will explain why your baby may have become cranky of late as it could cause a bit of discomfort. Baby may also have a diaper rash caused by the same germ. No amount of nipple cream can provide relief here. Changing your nursing pads regularly whenever they are soaked can go a long way. A doctor can prescribe safe antifungals for mummy and baby. Some people ignore this nipple thrush and it till it clears on its own .

5. Nerve pain or vasospasm

Have you ever felt a shooting pain from your breast to your arm pit or before or after nursing? It’s probably from a nerve or blood vessel. This can clear on its own but if it’s unbearable your doctor can write a prescription for pain relief and other safe medication you can take.

6. Medication

Labetalol, a drug used to treat pre eclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy) also causes painful spasm of the blood vessels around the nipple.

Soft but highly absorbent nursing pads and nipple cream are must haves for new mums who are breastfeeding

Pain during breastfeeding isn’t necessarily normal and mothers shouldn’t feel compelled to bear it. Listen to your body. There are solutions available

Talk to us today.