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Foods to Increase Breastmilk
Is my baby getting enough breastmilk?
Most of nursing will have this question in mind at least once during their exclusive breastfeeding period and even after first 6 months. As new mom is very desperate to know how to increase breast milk production naturally here comes the list of kitchen grains to give you a little helping hand, you can actually call them home remedies for boosting breast milk production.
Natural Galactagogue : 11 Foods that Increase Breast Milk
1. Methi or fenugreek seeds – Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that’s essential for the brain development of the baby. Also contains good amount of Beta-carotene, Vit-B, calcium and iron. Use it in the food that you eat. Also you can use it in the powder form, but do not over indulge. Methi will not only make your body stink, it might also alter the taste of your breast milk if taken in large quantity. If the baby does not like the taste, he might refuse feed!
The best way to increase breastmilk supply with Fenugreek Seeds is to sprout them and then use in cooking. It will make it more nutritious.
2. Fennel seeds or saunf – Used through generations for lactating moms to increase milk quantity. It is also given to moms because saunf generally takes care of intestinal gas, indigestion and acidity. So it is believed that its goodness can pass on to the baby through mother’s milk. Why I say believed? It is because there is not scientific research to prove that, but has been a part of the treasure box for lactating moms ever since.
3. Garlic A must post-delivery drink in some form or the other, mainly due to its curative properties. It also increases the milk supply and positively affects the quality of the breast milk. But again, a point here to remember is that too much garlic can affect the taste of the milk.
4. Aliv /Halim/Garden Cress Seeds
These tiny reddish brown seeds are soaked in water over night then in morning cooked like sooji porridge. The soaked aliv/garden cress seeds are very sticky in texture which you may not like in such case, roast the seeds lightly, powder is then add it to boiling cow’s-milk and add some sugar. These healthy seeds are full of calcium and vit C.
5. Sago or Sabudana Boil a fist full of it in water. It cooks up like rice. Mix it with half a glass of warm milk and add sugar if you like. Twice a day will surely make your breast overflow. This, I say from personal experience. So try it.
6. Tips of bottle gourd twigs and pumpkin twigs They are excellent in increasing breast milk production. Back then, my mom, aunts and relatives found them growing in their backyard. But now with the lack of backyards, you can try the local veg-vendor. It might not be easy, but one can always try their luck. If you are reading this while you are pregnant, try planting one in a spacious flower pot and give it limbs to climb. It might work! Ok, so if you manage to get it, pluck off, say a few inches of the tip along with its tender leaves and cook it like a veggie. You can add your other favourite veggies into it, to make it a mixed veggie. I personally loved it!
7. Cumin seedsIt definitely works. Try adding it in all that you eat. In Indian kitchen, it should not be difficult to either find it or use it innovatively.
8. Sesame seeds Rich source of calcium. Infact if you could power crush cumin seeds, sesame seeds and saunf and add two tea spoon of this mixture in a glass of milk and have this concoction twice a day, your requirement for milk should be comfortably met.
9. Gourds All kinds of gourds from the gourd family is good for the production of breast milk.
Here is another post on benefits of bottle gourd for new mothers
10. Masoor dal or the red lentil Not only it is excellent in the production of milk, the pulse is rich in protein, iron and fibre.
11. Cashew nuts Grind it and mix it with some almonds. It increases breast milk flow, gives mother the energy, makes your skin and hair glow and replenishes the nutrition requirement of the body.
These galactagogue will not only help in increase low breast milk supply but will improve breast milk quality also. These foods are very nutritious and help new mother to regain energy after delivery.
Apart from these 11 foods to help you to increase your milk production, do not forget to consume loads and loads of fluid because the medium of milk will be that fluid. No matter how much of those valuable good foods and milk boosters you consume, if you do not drink enough fluid, your body will not produce enough milk. It’s as simple as that.
Now lets see step by step in detail what you need to think over and what you need to know about increasing milk production naturally
1. Is your breastmilk less? What makes you think so? How do you measure?
2. Did you know that after the first few days of delivery, breast milk is scarce for most women if not all the women? The reason is the physical exhaustion that they go through during the process of delivery, the medication that they are on and also the body needs some getting-used-to for the steady production of milk.
3. Another thing to keep in mind is that most women produce enough to excess milk naturally for the baby to feed in. There may be few, very few women who no matter what, cannot produce milk, but that ratio is 90:10. So if the first few days your milk production seems bleak, do not lose hope. Also do not easily categorise yourself into that 10% category. Talk to your doctor and try these given methods. Things should pick up within 10-15 days if you do not have any other medical issues, or if you are not on some kind of heavy medication.
4. The kitchen concoctions that I have written above have no scientific proofs to prove that these home remedies to improve breastilk naturally really work. In fact truth be told, very less research has been done to scientifically comment on these age old methods. But through generations’ mothers, grandmothers and mid-wives have prescribed it to lactating mothers and they have worked. So trust the practice. They have survived cutting through generations because they work. And these are very healthy foods which will not give you any side effects
5. Besides these kitchen cocktails, there are a few things for a lactating mom to remember
Tips for Boosting Healthy Breast Milk Production
(a) A lactating mom needs loads of sleep and healthy food to produce sufficient quantity and good quality milk.
(b) Physical, mental or emotional stress will affect the quantity of breastmilk directly.
(c) Physical labor, too much time done under the sun or time spent near fire, such as bonfire, or big kitchen fire will have a drying effect on mother’s milk production.
(d) Too much of sour food, garlic or asafoetida commonly known as hing, will affect the taste of the milk. So keep them in check. In fact a controlled amount of it will do good for your health. Garlic is known to help in milk production.
(e) Food should be rich in carbohydrate and calcium, besides of course all other essential nutrients. A lactating mother needs to consume calcium rich food. Why? Because the central ingredient of milk is calcium. So if the mother is not providing enough calcium to the body for its milk production, the system breaks calcium from the mother’s bones to meet its need. Too many women, due to this particular reason suffers from bone density deficiency and osteoporosis at the later stage.
So go ahead moms, feed your baby to your hearts content. Do keep in mind that if your child’s weight is increasing and he is sleeping well, than he is well fed. Remember the question I asked you above? That how do you measure breast milk quantity? This is how you do it – by the steady growth and development of your baby.
Go to the kitchen and take this gadget, if necessary, in which you are reading this article for you will find loads of jars to pull out from the kitchen shelves, packets to open and spices to be mixed and matched. In fact more than you can memories in just one read. Yes, increasing breast milk is all that easy!
As a mother trust your instinct. If after feeds you feel your baby is satisfied and happy, you have nothing to worry about. So eat well and sleep well. You have a long way to go! Don’t go for supplements to increase breast milk fast unless and until necessary. Natural foods are best for boosting milk production in new lactating mothers.