New mothers cannot avoid the inevitable worry of having inadequate supply of milk for their children. There are quite a few who spend countless nights worrying about the problem and think about how to increase breast milk supply.
Although it is difficult to fathom, there are certain foods you can eat to boost your milk supply. These milk boosters, also known as galactagogues, are ideal for lactating mothers.
If you're among the mothers who are looking to replenish and maintain the supply of breast milk for their babies, then do consume the following foods to increase your milk supply:
Oats belong to the class of whole grains that one cannot get enough of. Rich in iron, oatmeal is ideal for fulfilling the 2mg of the iron requirement for the nursing mother. The presence of iron in the diet stimulates the supply of breast milk and hence when coupled with fruits or honey, makes for an excellent breakfast option.
A potent herb that produces aromatic seeds, it is also known for its lactogenic properties. Breastfeeding Online Magazine had reported that women consuming fenugreek seeds were capable of producing an increased supply of breast milk after a day or two of having it. The seeds contain compounds similar to the estrogen hormone, which, in turn, categorize them as milk booster. You can either add the extract of the seeds to your tea or in plain water and drink it every day.
As a spice and a flavouring agent, garlic is known to give an instant pick up to any bland food and get you salivating at the smell of the dish. Apart from this, it has high nutritional value and is a well-renowned galactagogue too. Babies tend to feed longer since they develop a taste for garlic which appears in trace quantities in breast milk. Also, be cautious about your or the infant's sensitivity levels before consumption.
The Moringa leaves are an excellent source of vitamins B6, C and riboflavin and minerals like iron in addition to protein. As per a study conducted by the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Philippines, the nursing mothers who consumed moringa capsules observed a marked increase in breast milk production. It is the perfect supplement for your morning tea.
An indispensable part of your diet as a nursing mother is the fennel seeds added to the lactation bakes. These are traditionally used milk boosters, with extensive research indicating that fennel seeds are responsible for increased milk volume, fat content, and corresponding weight gain in infants. The entire plant is edible and can be added to broths and savoury dishes as it contains estrogen-like compounds, which increase the supply of breast milk.
Nuts are known for their high nutritional value and supply essential vitamins and minerals. Nursing mothers eat almonds to improve breast milk quality, such as increased fat content, a naturally sweet flavour, and a higher volume of breast milk produced. Since it is rich in fats, the quality of breast milk is also enhanced and flavourful.
7. Leafy green vegetables
Breastfeeding isn't an easy task and can be quite exhausting for the nursing mother. Leafy greens are ideal for replenishing the nutrients and food to increase the milk supply. The leafy green vegetables provide an immense amount of vitamins and minerals. Hence, daily consumption of green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and alfalfa is highly beneficial since they contain phytoestrogens that stimulate lactation and maintain milk quality.
Fish oil is known for its excellent properties and richness in composition, such as omega-3 fatty acids and other essential fatty acids. It has gained the reputation as a superfood since it is rich in an omega-3 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is vital for improving a child's focus and attention span. It can be consumed in various forms like steamed, grilled, or boiled.
One of the most commonly used legumes popular in the Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern cuisine is a staple food rich in protein and vitamins. As a galactagogue, it mimics estrogen and is majorly responsible for an increase in breast milk production. Chickpeas form a large part of hummus which is a famous dip used in the Middle East, and also as such in salads and pasta.
10. Brown Rice
As per the research published in the World Journal of Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences, Brown rice is a proven indicator to enhance breast milk supply. It contains compounds known to stimulate lactation and boost the production of breast milk in nursing mothers. With its nourishment index, breastfeeding mothers have seen a natural boost in their moods as well.
Packed with plenty of nutrients like vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, and calcium, apricots are perfect as a snack for breastfeeding mothers. With its high nutritional value index, it is ideal for nursing mothers. Hence, it is the ideal choice as a nutritional additive or even when consumed plainly.
12. Green Papaya
If you're a big fan of Thai food, then you're bound to know this one and its numerous health benefits for lactating mothers. The increase in consumption of green papaya leads to an increase in the production of oxytocin hormone, which results in the stimulation of breast milk production. Even though it's high in nutritional value, it is necessary to follow caution during consumption as an excess of papaya can cause problems.
Another great way to increase the nutritional value of your breastfeeding diet is through barley. This fibre-rich grain can boost breast-milk supply by increasing serum prolactin levels, a hormone that helps breasts to grow and make milk during pregnancy and after birth. Incorporate the least processed hulled barley into your soups, stews, curries, and porridges, or even use barley flour to prepare barley crackers, biscuits, or pancakes and enhance your nursing diet.
This protein-rich soy product packed with essential macronutrients contains phytoestrogen that enhances maternal health and improves breast-milk supply. You can add tofu to a variety of dishes, such as salads, curries, and soups.
Along with providing many nutrients and phytochemicals that help enhance your overall health, dates also help increase prolactin levels and boost breast-milk production. Simply consume a handful of dry or fresh dates as snacks or add them to your food, such as porridge and desserts.
16. Steels Cut Oats & Rolled Oats
Oats are a good source of iron. It is known as maternal anemia or low iron levels can result in a decreased milk supply, so it makes sense that eating something high in iron might increase milk supply in some women.
Oatmeal is a comfort food for many women. Anything that increases relaxation in mom can encourage let-down, and hence also influence milk supply.
17. Ground Flaxseed
The oils in flaxseeds contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that is semi-converted into fatty acids, along with phytoestrogens that can impact your breast milk supply. Flax seeds have estrogenic properties that can help nursing moms make more milk.
18. White & Black Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are considered a superfood for breastfeeding mothers. Chia seeds can boost your breast milk supply naturally and is an excellent source of calcium, fiber, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and more, despite their tiny size.
Wheat germ has excellent nutritional value as a food supplement. It’s a great source of vegetable proteins, along with fiber and healthy fats. It is high in VItamin E, which is known to be an antioxidant. Wheat germ is beneficial because it contains zinc, which is a must for breastfeeding.
20. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil have significantly increased levels of lauric acid and capric acid in breast milk thus increasing amounts of protective antimicrobials, which will give even greater protection to the nursing infant. Mothers who ingest and use coconut oil topically will make their breastmilk better by strengthening its antimicrobial properties.
21. Fennel Seed
Fennel Seed is said to help with the increase of breastmilk supply as the Fennel plant has estrogen-like properties. Both fennel and fennel seeds have phytoestrogens that stimulate lactation. But fennel seeds, a kind of herb that is used for seasoning, is particularly great because they also treat other uncomfortable symptoms like indigestion, stomachache and gas.
22. Lactation Bakes
One way you can consume the healthy benefits of many of these foods together is through lactation cookies or other baked goods. Check out this article that provides recipes for lactation cookies, this article that includes a list of lactation bakers you can purchase from Singapore, or even order some of our lactation cookies!
To increase milk supply, getting nutritional supplement from consuming innumerable food options into your diets is recommended. At times, care and precaution are also essential to ensure that you are eating the right foods. Hence, if you are ever in doubt, you can visit a physician, lactation consultant, or doctor to determine the best regimen for yourself.