How can I boost my breastmilk supply?

By Dr Vincent Karuhanga is

I am a mother of two but do not have enough breast milk. I have taken lots of porridge but there is no change. What can I do to boost breast milk supply?


Dear Eleanor
A number of breastfeeding mothers believe that to produce enough breast milk, they must take lots of porridge and milk which in most cases just leads to weight gain and difficulty shading off the weight later.

Once milk is taken, it will not just automatically turn into breast milk but will be digested and the end results utilised by the body according to need but not necessarily to form breast milk. Anything that helps increase a mother’s breast milk supply is called a galactagogue with the best galactagogues being a stress-free mind, a balanced diet (proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and water in appropriate proportions) apart from putting the baby to breast early after birth (within the first hour), frequently and properly.
That said, there could be other food additions that may help improve breast milk supply. These may include, sesame seeds, dates, pumpkin seeds, oats, peanuts and leafy vegetables.

There are no prescription drugs designed specifically to increase milk supply. However, some are known to increase milk production in some mothers who have tried hard but failed to increase milk yields including Motilium (Domperidone) and Plasil (Metoclopramide) given for vomiting.

I am a woman aged 24 who gets wet dreams. Problem is, I thought only men experience wet dreams. Also, whenever I go to toilet, I feel some discomfort in the vagina and a slippery discharge comes out. Do I have an STD?


Dear Jackie
As a girl goes through puberty, her body starts producing higher amounts of sex hormones, which help her turn into a woman.
Apart from growing breasts, a bigger body including certain parts such as the bum and getting her period, she will grow hairs around the private parts and armpits.

It is common for adolescent boys to find that they have wet their bed with sexual fluids in what is known as a wet dream (nocturnal emission). Wet dreams are normal and said to be related to changes in sex hormones during puberty. Although girls do not ejaculate, they can also have an orgasm in their sleep in what is also called a wet dream. Much as they may not happen often like in the case of men, the dreams can wane as sex hormones stabilise with age or after starting to have regular sex.

At 24, the wet dreams may still happen. Wet dreams in women just like in men, therefore, are a normal part of growing up and there is no way one can control or stop them. You may require waiting for them to wane with age or with time reduce as you start having regular sexual intercourse.

However, in a few cases, they may still continue deep into adulthood. People may have abnormal sexual desires (paraphilias) whereby they may get aroused or even get sexual gratification through passing, smelling or seeing faecal material (coprophilia) which may require medical intervention to completely stop.

The slippery stuff could be as a result of arousal related to the coprophilia. However, since STDs may show up in form of a vaginal discharge, they require to be ruled out by examining the discharge.

I get two small painless boils in my anus during my period, which disappear a week after the period. What can I do to stop them?


Dear Christine

Periods can be pleasurable for women who do not want to get pregnant. For many others, periods can be nasty because they may bring on nasty symptoms including headaches, mood changes or even menstrual acne.

Progesterone is a hormone produced in larger amounts in the latter half of the menstrual cycle (after ovulation) and in some women, it may slow down the intestines risking constipation, which may lead to piles that may appear as small swellings in the anus.

When the constipation eases after the period, the piles may disappear on their own without treatment. Taking adequate amounts of water, fruits and vegetables while avoiding foods that lead to constipation such as bread before and during your period routinely eases constipation to prevent the piles.

Anal swellings related to periods may be due to having a membrane like that inside the womb (in the pelvis) which bleeds when a woman has her period. The blood, which is then retained will lead to anal swellings related to periods.

This condition called endometriosis can have complications including infertility and painful periods or sex.

Whereas you look at anal swellings during periods as a usual thing, you require a medical investigation to rule out endometriosis since it can have serious complications.

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