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10 Foods that can Help Increase Breast Milk Supply

10 Foods that can Help Increase Breast Milk Supply

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For a new mom, breastfeeding is often a wonderful but overwhelming experience. It’s not uncommon to constantly wonder or worry if you are producing enough milk for your little one or if he/she is feeding enough. However, there are a few general signs that can help you figure out if your baby is getting enough nutrition. To know more, read our article on ‘How to know if you’re feeding your baby enough’. However, if you’re still concerned, it can be extremely helpful to seek guidance from a lactation consultant.

When it comes to breastfeeding, the general rule is that the more you empty out your breasts, the more milk you will produce. Hence, in most cases, the more you feed your baby, the more milk you will end up producing. In addition to this, it is vital that the breastfeeding mother follow a healthy & nutritious diet. The best way to increase breast milk supply is by drinking LOTS of water. There are also a lot of foods that have been shown to have a positive effect on lactation. Here are 10 nutritious foods that can help increase your breastmilk supply.

Oatmeal has so many great health benefits and helping to increase breast milk production and maintain it is one of them. OATS is a rich source of fiber and iron, it can provide you with the much-needed energy that you’ll require as a new mom.

How to add it to your diet:
Begin your day with a comforting bowl of oatmeal. If you’re not a huge fan of oatmeal by itself, mix it with your favourite fruits. Oatmeal with applesauce is our favourite. You can also use oats in smoothies, cookies, muffins, pancakes, granola and so on.

Garlic is great for lactating moms, especially if your supply is on the lower side. It has great immunity-boosting powers, anti-inflammatory properties and helps lower blood sugar levels, thus caring for your overall health.

How to add it to your diet:
While you might not enjoy eating cloves of garlic on their own, garlic can be added to most of the foods we eat daily. Or simply stir-fry a few cloves of garlic and add them to a soup or roasted vegetables.

Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, lettuce and beet leaves are filled with essential nutrients and are important sources of iron, calcium and folate. They not only help with your baby’s growth and development but also have detoxifying properties.

How to add it to your diet:
Include regular-sized portions of vegetables in your diet daily. Cook your vegetables well before eating. Avoid adding the fresh leaves to salads to reduce the chance of any food-borne diseases while you are nursing. Green leafy vegetables, if consumed in excessive quantities, can give your baby diarrhea but if consumed in moderate amounts, are very healthy for both you and baby.

Barley is known to contain properties that can help increase the levels of prolactin, which is the hormone responsible for breast milk production. It is rich in essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and is commonly consumed around the world by breastfeeding moms.

How to add it to your diet:
Stay hydrated by drinking barley water. Simply boil some barley in water, strain it and drink the water. You can also eat it for breakfast in the form of a porridge. Add it to soups, vegetable stews and salads. Barley risotto is also an interesting variation of this healthy grain.

Carrots are rich in Vitamin A and beta-carotene, making them extremely healthy for breastfeeding moms.

How to add it to your diet:
Carrots can be eaten in so many delicious ways. Start the day with a healthy carrot juice, make a hearty carrot and potato stew or eat them as a mid-day snack with some hummus.

Fenugreek seeds are known to have miraculous powers when it comes to production and increase of breast milk and have been used by women for this purpose since the olden times. It also has a number of other great health benefits, from aiding weight loss to controlling cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Side note: Adding fenugreek to your diet can give your sweat/urine a strong smell.

How to add it to your diet:
Make ‘methi water’ by adding a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds to a cup of water and leaving it overnight. Drink it in the morning. Alternatively, you can add them to milk or your morning tea.
You can also add it to your vegetables while cooking. Another great way to eat this is in the form of ‘methi ladoos’.

Fennel has estrogen-like properties and not only helps in increasing your milk flow, but also aids in relieving colic in newborns.

How to add it to your diet:
Fennel is most popularly used in soups, stews or can be chopped up and added to most dishes. You can also make fennel tea with either the seeds, root or the leaves.

Almonds not only boost lactation but also contain vitamins and minerals that help with your recovery post childbirth.

How to add it to your diet:
Almonds can be eaten on their own. Soak some in warm water overnight and eat a handful in the morning. Add them to a delicious breakfast smoothie. Make a parfait with yoghurt, fruits and nuts. Put them in your desserts.

Brown rice and other whole grains are extremely beneficial for lactating moms. Brown rice is a good source of folate, B vitamins, magnesium and iron, which help in the proper growth & development of your baby.

How to add it to your diet:
Replace white rice with brown rice for a short while and notice the health benefits.

Asparagus contains an essential amino acid that can help stimulate breast milk production. It also contains important vitamins and minerals that are essential for new moms.

How to add it to your diet:
One of our favourite ways to eat asparagus is by sautéing it in olive oil and chopped garlic. You can also roast or steam it, chop it up and add it to Chinese recipes or pasta dishes. Due to its mild flavour, you can combine it with or add it to almost any other dish.

Studies have also suggested many other foods that could possibly help in increasing the supply of breast milk. Some of these are:

  • Papaya
  • Watermelon
  • Apricot
  • Grapefruit
  • Red beets
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Chickpeas
  • Bottle gourd
  • Basil leaves
  • Dill leaves
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Ginger

As with any other food, always consume these ingredients in moderate quantities. Excessive consumption of any food can have undesirable effects. Whenever you’re trying a new food, always consume it in small amounts at first in case you or your baby show signs of an allergic reaction to it. If you do notice such signs, consult with your doctor immediately.

For answers to other breastfeeding problems and how to increase your breast milk supply, click here.

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