There is no feeling in this world quite like being a mother. Expecting a child changes our whole life. It suddenly revolves around the baby. One thing that is quite beneficial for the baby as well as the mother is breast milk. Mothers who feed their baby breast milk are less likely to suffer from breast cancer.
But often, even those mothers who want to breast feed their baby cannot do so due to reduced supply of breast milk. Sometimes low breast milk production is due to disorders or diseases but more often than not, it is simply because of unbalanced diet. If this is the case then it can be easily rectified by supplementing your diet by some of the foods and supplements that can help produce more breast milk. These foods which help in producing more breast milk are also known as galactagogues.
Some of these foods and supplements that can help in producing more breast milk are given below:
Foods That Help Produce More Breast Milk
There are certain foods that can help new mothers in producing more breast milk. You can include these foods in your regular diet plan and you will notice increased breast milk production in a few days. Some of these foods are as follows:
Water and Juices
First of all we have water and juices. It is not exactly a food per se but we cannot ignore its importance in the diet of a breastfeeding mother. Since most of the milk by volume is made up of water, drinking lots of water and juices help in producing more breastmilk. It also keeps lactating mothers from getting dehydrated.
Oatmeal, oat cookies or granola; it doesn't matter in which form you are taking your oats but you should definitely eat some daily. Oats are not only easy to prepare but also easily digestible. They provide roughage, boost immune system, lower blood pressure and reduce weight and cholesterol levels. They also contain calcium which helps in producing more breast milk.
Barley and Barley Malt
Barley is an excellent food that can help to produce more breast milk. Barley malt can be purchased from health and food stores and can be used as syrup for pancakes or can be added to milk. As for barley, you can make bread with it or simply add it to salad or soups.
If you want to produce more breast milk you should definitely switch white flour and white bread with whole grain flour and bread as well as add some other whole grains to your diet such as brown rice. These whole grains contain beta-glucan which can increase your breast milk supply.
Carrots contain vitamin A which not only helps in producing more breast milk but also in enhancing its quality. You can eat carrots raw as a snack or can make it into a puree or snack. It can also be added in the stew or sautéed with other vegetables.
This vegetable which is a bit ignored in the culinary kingdom is actually a well of health benefits. One of these health benefits is its help in producing more breast milk in new mothers. It also has a high quantity of water in it, so it can help in keeping you hydrated and as such can also help in increasing your breast milk.
In fact all the fishes (especially salmon) are very rich in Omega-3 fatty acid which can help in producing more breast milk. Steamed salmon is not only a delicious meal but also makes your breast milk more nutritious.
Chickpea and Pulses
Chickpea and pulses especially Black Gram can be really helpful in increasing breast milk. Chickpea is rich in vitamin B-complex and calcium and can boost breast milk supply. You can soak these at night and boil them and can use them as salad or prepare them in a variety of ways.
Asparagus can boost breast milk supply by helping to produce more breast milk by producing hormones that increase lactation. It is a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. You can use it as a side dish to your main meal.
Spinach and Beet Root Leaves
These leaves can help new mothers to recuperate from the loss of blood during childbirth as they are rich in folic acid. They also contain calcium, Vitamin K and Vitamin A and can help in producing more breast milk.
It may sound bland but it is actually very delicious and is an indispensable part of Asian and Indian cuisine. It is well known in that part of the world for its quality of helping to produce more breast milk. You can use it to prepare traditional dishes or simply use it in salads.
Raw and roasted nuts such as cashews, hazelnut, walnut, macadamia but especially almonds are like manna from heaven for breastfeeding mothers. They not only help in producing more breast milk but are also rich in good fats like omega-3 and vitamin E.
Apricots and Dates
Dried fruits such as apricots and dates are rich in calcium and fibre and help in the production of more breast milk. Apricots can also help in balancing your hormones after pregnancy.
Supplements That Help Produce More Breast Milk
Apart from these food items, there are other things that can be used as a supplement to these foods for their help in producing more breast milk. Usually if the breastfeeding mothers are taking a balanced diet and taking all their vitamins and minerals in sufficient quantity in their food, then there is no need for artificial supplements. But in case they are not sufficiently met, you can use some of these:
Those mothers who are completely vegetarian or vegan should supplement their diet with vitamin B12 pills in order to produce more breast milk.
If you want to produce more breast milk, but you don't get sufficient sunlight, then you should take some Vitamin D supplements. They can either be in the form of pills or food.
Iodine supplements are really essential for mothers who smoke a lot as it helps in the production of more breast milk which tends to get reduced in smoking mothers and its nutritional value also decreases.
New mothers should also take Vitamin C, either in the form of food or as supplements as it helps in producing more breast milk.
Breastfeeding mothers require 1200 milligrams of calcium every day. Usually our daily intake of calcium is 800-1000 milligrams. So, in order to produce more breast milk, you can take calcium supplements as well.
Apart from these there are some natural herbs and substances that can supplement breastfeeding mother's diet helping them to produce more breast milk. Some of these are as follows:
Fennel and Fennel Seeds
Fennel is a very popular herb in Indian and South Asian cuisine. It contains phytoestrogens which help in producing more breast milk. Apart from this, it also helps in easy digestion. Fennel can be used as a filling in various dishes or as a salad. You can also chew its seeds after dinner and it will give you the added benefit of being a mouth freshener.
These seeds contain iron, protein and vitamin C which helps in increasing the quantity of your breast milk. It is a great galactagogue and milk booster. You can use them as seasoning or mix them with rice flour to make pancakes.
Sesame seeds are not only rich in calcium and as such help in producing more breast milk but they are also quite delicious. You can use them to make various sweet dishes as well as use their paste as salad dressing.
Garlic contains various chemicals that help in producing more breast milk. It is an indispensable part of Asian cuisine. But if you don't like the taste of garlic, you can use garlic pills available in the market.
Basil leaves have a soothing and calming effect on the mother as well as boost their breast milk production. It also contains anti-oxidants. Apart from producing more breast milk, they can also boost your baby's immunity level.
If you include all these things in your diet plan, you will certainly have no problem in producing sufficient amount of breast milk to keep your baby healthy and happy.