Best Foods To Increase Breast Milk
Breast milk is very important to the growth and development of newborns and infants. If you are struggling with your supply, your doctor may prescribe medications, or a lactation consultant will give you guidance on how to increase your breast milk. There are also certain foods that can help in increasing your supply.
Fenugreek seeds are known for increasing the supply of breast milk. It stimulates the milk-producing glands as well as mammary glands. To use fenugreek, soak one tablespoon of seeds in a cup of water and leave it on overnight. The next day, boil this water with fenugreek seeds for a few minutes. Strain and drink this tea every morning to improve your milk supply.
Another option is to take three fenugreek capsules three times a day during the first ten days. Reduce the quantity to two, three times a day for the next ten days. Then, just take one capsule three times daily for another ten days.
Another healthy addition to your diet so you can increase milk production is oatmeal. It is an excellent source of iron and the lack of this essential mineral is one of the leading causes of low milk supply. It also contains fiber that aids your digestion.
Oatmeal is one of the women’s comfort foods and can help you reduce levels of stress and relax while having a delicious meal. Simply eat a bowl of oatmeal with milk for breakfast to help your body increase its milk supply. You can also try having oat cookies if oatmeal does not sound appetizing.
Also called Sahjan, the drumstick is a green vegetable that contains many essential nutrients that can stimulate the mammary glands. This food helps in opening up veins around the breast and promotes circulation, leading to an increased milk supply. Simply extract the juice from fresh drumsticks and consume half a glass of it daily for a month.
Another option is to boil a handful of drumstick leaves in a cup of water for a few minutes and add a pinch of salt. Drain and smear the leaves with ghee (clarified butter). Consume this twice a day to increase your production of breast milk.[Read: Signs Your Baby Isn’t Getting Enough Milk]
4. Beetroot And Carrot
Both beetroot and carrots contain a high amount of beta-carotene, which can increase women’s milk supply. Beta-carotene is also beneficial for the development of babies, and these vegetables are packed with minerals and essential nutrients. In addition to complementing lactation, Vitamin A also improves the quality of breast milk.
Simply add two beetroots and two carrots in a juicer. Add honey or salt for taste. Drink this fresh and nutritious juice daily. You can also make carrot and beetroot soup or a salad and consume them daily to increase your milk supply.
5. Holy Basil
Holy basil or basil leaves have been used in Ayurveda for helping lactating, and nursing mothers increase the quantity of their breast milk. It is a good source of iron, carotene, thiamine, and niacin, making it beneficial for both mother and her baby. This herb helps in calming the nerves of new mothers and in stimulating milk flow. It can also enhance your child’s immunity.
To reap all benefits of holy basil, add one cup of water to a pan and eight chopped basil leaves. Let it boil for a couple of minutes and reduce the heat to simmer. Let it steep for 5 minutes more and strain. Add some honey for additional flavor and benefits. Drink this concoction twice a day to increase your milk production.
6. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are also beneficial when it comes to boosting the quantity of breast milk. It acts as a galactagogue, a substance that helps your body make milk. Another great thing about fennel seeds is that it aids digestion and prevents colic pain in newborns. To acquire its benefits, add one tablespoon of fennel seeds to a cup of hot water. Cover and let it steep for thirty minutes more. Strain and drink this tea two times a day.
Another option is to mix ½ cup each of fennel seeds, rock candy (misri), and cumin seeds in a bowl. Grind these ingredients to make a powder. Mix one teaspoon of this powder with a cup of milk and drink this solution thrice a day. Adding fennel seeds to your daily meal is also beneficial.
7. Bottle Gourd
Bottle gourd is also considered to be one of the best foods that can increase breast milk production. It is high in nutrition and water content, keeping nursing mothers hydrated. In addition to its assistance in increasing milk quantity, this summer vegetable is also easy to digest, aids lactation and helps in normalizing blood sugar levels.
You can take bottle gourd in the form of stir-fries, curries, kheer, halwa, vegetable filling, and more. You can also make a sweet pudding out of it.
Garlic is also an excellent galactagogue as it contains chemicals that help in stimulating lactation. Nursing mothers who consume garlic tend to feed for longer periods of time as babies like the taste of breast milk.
To use, grate three garlic cloves and boil them in a cup of water. Once the quantity of water is reduced to one-fourth, add a cup of milk and bring it to a boil. Mix ½ teaspoon of honey and strain. Drink this delicious tea every morning to increase the milk supply. Another option is to stir fry some garlic cloves and consume it with steamed rice.
9. Poppy Seeds
Poppy seeds or khuskhus help mothers relax entirely during lactation. It contains sedative properties that can assist the body to calm down and relaxing your mind while nursing. You can add this to your diet by roasting some poppy seeds and adding them to porridges and puddings. Another option is to make a paste and include this ingredient in curries.
P.S. You have to be careful with poppy seeds and only consider minimal amounts of them.
Cinnamon is also one of the best foods that can help mothers increase their milk supply. When nursing mothers include cinnamon in their diet, it adds flavor to their breast milk and babies tend to like it. This ingredient also helps in preventing early conception and delays menstruation after childbirth.
To increase milk supply, add a pinch of cinnamon powder to a cup of warm milk. Add ½ teaspoon of honey and stir well. Drink this daily before going to bed.
11. Unripe Papaya
This summer fruit has been used as a galactagogue in Asian countries for thousands of years. When you are lactating, make it a habit of eating unripe papaya to increase your breast milk supply. It also works as a natural sedative, allowing mothers to calm down and relax. After boiling sliced papaya, you may add them to your salads. You can also eat raw papaya with cereal, yogurt, soups, and noodles.
12. Cumin Seeds
Cumin seeds are also believed to promote breast milk production. They are an excellent source of iron that gives new mothers the strength to fulfill motherly duties. Also, these seeds aid digestion and provide relief from bloating, acidity and constipation. Simply combine one teaspoon of cumin powder with a teaspoon of sugar. Add this to a glass of warm milk and drink it before going to bed.
Alternatively, you can mix two teaspoons of cumin seeds in a ½ cup of water. Bring it to a boil for a few minutes. Strain and add ½ cup of milk. You can also mix in some honey for additional flavor and health benefits. Stir it well and drink this concoction once a day to increase your milk supply.
13. Sweet Potato
Sweet potato can also help in increasing milk supply as it contains energy-producing carbohydrates that the body needs to combat fatigue. A major source of potassium, it also contains B-complex, vitamin C, and magnesium that can relax your muscles. You can include sweet potato in your daily meals by making some baked goods, making it as a smoothie, or pudding for dessert.
14. Brown Rice
15. Oils And Healthy Fats
Do not avoid oils and healthy fats in your diet as they are an essential part of lactation. They help in absorbing vitamins and minerals from other foods and balancing the supply of healthy fat to your little one. Opt for rice bran oil, olive oil, or any heart-healthy oil.
Eating nutritious foods, including healthy fats, is essential to provide both mother and baby with the best sustenance. Certain fats benefit your baby more, such as omega-3 fatty acids (found in walnuts, sardines, salmon, tuna, flax seeds, soybeans, etc.) and omega-6 fatty acids (found in vegetable oils and seeds).