One of the best ways to increase milk supply is to keep on nursing your little one. Making milk from your baby is better than any other method to make milk in your body. The stimulations of the nerves during breastfeeding helps produce more milk in the breasts. The emptying of the milk signals your body to increase the milk production. If you feel your milk supply stills needs an improvement, then you should consider adding foods that promote milk production. Milk stimulating foods are called galactagogues.
You will start feeding your baby right from birth (unless there are some medical complications.) This means that you need to have all the health and strength to be able to feed baby, as well as help your body recover.
Top 15 Foods To Increase Breast Milk:
There are certain foods that increase breast milk and enhance lactation. Breast milk contains all the prime nutrients required for an overall growth and brain development of a newborn baby. Here is a list of the top 25 foods that you must include in your diet to increase breast milk. These are best foods to increase breast milk production & are great in terms of bringing you back to health, as well as aid in milk production.
- They are considered to control the occurrence of diabetes during post pregnancy.
- Oatmeal is loaded with energy.
- It contains fiber and is good for your digestion.
- Have a bowl of oat meal for breakfast. If the thought of having oatmeal is not appetizing, you can try having oat cookies instead.
2. Spinach And Beet Leaves:
Spinach and beet leaves contain iron, calcium and folic acid.
- These are essential for recouping anemic mothers.
- These will help in making your baby strong.
- Spinach and beet leaves contain detoxifying agents.
- Spinach contains certain plant chemicals which could help prevent breast cancer.
- Include these leaves in a midday soup.
- Mix them with dough and make paratha (Indian flat bread) or chapattis for a meal.
- Remember to eat spinach in moderation as too much could cause diarrhea in your baby.
A glass of carrot juice with breakfast or lunch will work wonders in lactation.
- Like spinach, carrots too have lactation promoting qualities.
- It contains Vitamin A which complements lactation and boosts the quality of your milk.
- You can have carrots as raw, steamed or even pureed to a soup.
- In winters, try having pureed carrots stirred with warm milk and sugar.
4. Fennel Seeds:
Fennel seeds boost the quantity of your breast milk.
- They are digestives and help control baby-colic.
- Fennel seeds can be added along with seasonings to vegetable fillings. Add them to your tea or boil a few seeds with milk and drink up.
- Pop in a few seeds after a meal as a mouth refresher.
5. Fenugreek Seeds:
Fenugreek seeds are known for boosting breast milk supply.
- Chew on the sprouted seeds along with a glass of milk to prevent post-delivery constipation.
- It enhances your milk quantity.
- Toss in the seeds with seasoning and flavoring.
- Have them for breakfast as a pancake by mixing fenugreek seeds and rice.
6. Bottle Gourd:
Bottle gourd is generally not a preferred vegetable, but is high on nutrition.
- It is a summer vegetable which has high water content. This keeps a nursing mother hydrated.
- It also helps increase milk quantity.
- It is easy to digest and aids in lactation.
- If not as a vegetable filling, you can use it to make a sweet pudding.
- Drink freshly-made bottle gourd juice to help normalize raised blood sugar levels post-delivery. Make sure it is fresh and not stored.
7. Basil Leaves:
Basil leaves are a great source of anti-oxidants.
- Basil leaves have a calming effect which is important while lactating.
- It boosts your little one’s immunity levels.
- Add a few basil sprigs in your tea.
- Leave the sprigs for a while in hot water. Have this water first thing in the morning and experience the effect.
Garlic is considered the best food to increase breast milk, as it is well-known for boosting lactation in nursing mothers.
- It has chemical compounds which help in lactation.
- Garlic consumption prevents all types of cancer.
- Toss in a few stir-fried garlic cloves in your soup.
- Add it in a vegetable of your choice.
- Another option is to stir fry a handful of garlic cloves in ghee and have it with steamed rice, every alternate day.
Barley not only boosts lactation, it also keeps you hydrated.
- You can boil barley and have the water through the day.
- Toss in whole barley with other vegetables with your favorite flavouring.
Chickpea is a protein snack and lactation booster for nursing mommies.
- It is a rich source of calcium, B-complex vitamins and fibre.
- Soak chickpeas overnight and boil in the morning. Mash a handful or two into any vegetable salad.
- Snack on a chickpea mash simply garnished with garlic and lemon juice.
Asparagus is considered a must-have food for nursing mothers.
- It is a high fibre food.
- It is also high in Vitamin A and K.
- It helps stimulate the hormones in nursing mothers that are essential for lactation.
- Wash and chop asparagus. Boil with milk. Strain and drink for better milk production.
Soak brown rice for half an hour and pressure cook it. Eat it with vegetables.
12. Cumin Seeds:
Cumin seeds boost milk supply. Make sure you have them in moderation though.
- These are appetizers and fat-burners.
- They help avoid digestive irritants like acidity.
- Add a pinch of cumin powder to milk or to butter milk and drink.
13. Black Sesame Seeds:
Black Sesame seeds are a rich source of calcium and believed to increase milk supply.
- Blend sesame seeds with milk, sugar and almonds.
- Use in limited quantity, though.
14. Dill Leaves:
Dill leaves look like a bunch of fine, dark green, silky hair. They have a distinct odor.
- Dill leaves are believed to boost milk supply.
- They have a high fibre content and Vitamin K. These helps to replenish the blood loss that happens during delivery.
- Add these to pancakes or to seasoned yoghurt.
Drumstick has high iron and calcium content.
- It is good for lactation.
- It boosts immunity and enhances your nervous system.
- Have it steamed with flavouring if you want.
- Drumstick leaves also can be used along with vegetable fillings.
All the above foods have been traditionally used to improve milk flow in new moms. However, while some have scientific backing the others don’t. Consume the foods in limited quantities, and note the side-effects, if any. Also, go for organic products as the pesticide residue in the foods and herbs can increase the lead content in your milk.
Now you know what to eat during lactation, but there are also foods that you should not eat around this time.
Things To Avoid:
Avoid gas-generating foods such as potato, pulses, raw mango and raw banana.
Other foods such as thyme, parsley, peppermint and cabbage leaves are also said to affect your milk production adversely.
If you are a vegan, take nutrient supplements to make sure that you and your baby are not falling short of the essential vitamins and minerals.