As a mother, every woman tries to give the best to her child. The first best thing she would do to her baby is to nourish it by breastfeeding. If you are a breastfeeding mom, you would definitely have a lot of questions running through your mind. And the most important concern out of those is whether you are making enough milk for your baby or not.
The best indication that you are making enough milk is when you see your baby growing healthy and putting on weight over time. But, if your baby feels hungry even after nursing for 30-40 minutes, it indicates that you aren’t producing enough milk. But it is not a matter to worry; you can boost lactation by including some foods in your diet. Here is a list of super foods which aid your breast milk supply and quality of milk as well.
Following are some foods that are good for lactation:
Oatmeal is a good source of fiber and is loaded with energy. It is known to decrease the mother’s risk of diabetes post pregnancy. Try to have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. If not, try having cookies made of oats.
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Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, fenugreek leaves, mustard greens are rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, and folate. They are also a good source of beta carotene and riboflavin. Women who are breastfeeding are advised to eat one or two portions of green leafy vegetables every day to enhance lactation.
In general, cumin seeds are believed to improve digestion and relieve constipation, acidity and bloating. But besides these, they stimulate milk supply. Nursing mothers can include roasted cumin seeds to snacks or they can also drink cumin water.
Carrots can work wonders in lactation. They are an excellent source of vitamin A that complements lactation and improves your quality of breast milk. Lactating mothers can have carrots every day in any form either as raw, steamed or even pureed into a soup. They can also have a glass of carrot juice with breakfast or lunch. In winters, pureed carrots can be added to warm milk and sugar.
It is believed that dairy products are the only source of calcium. But, sesame seeds are one of the rare non-dairy sources that are rich in calcium. Calcium is an important nutrient for lactation. It is important to get enough calcium, for baby’s growth and mother’s health as well. So, try to include sesame seeds in your diet to boost lactation.
Fennels seeds are one of the best foods that boost the quantity of breast milk. They aid in digestion and help control baby-colic. Nursing mothers can include fennel seeds in their diet in form of seasonings or add them in tea. They can also add some fennel seeds to boiling milk and drink.
Garlic is well-known for boosting lactation. It has the chemical compounds that are believed to increase breast milk. Consumption of garlic can prevent all types of cancer. Add a few stir-fried garlic cloves in soups or vegetables of your choice to boost lactation.
Nuts such as cashews and almonds are the most popular choices to boost lactation. They are excellent sources of good fats and antioxidants. Enjoy a handful of nuts that help with your milk supply. It is advised to have raw nuts instead of processed, as they are heavily oiled and salted.
Barley is well-known for its hydrating properties. But it can help with increasing the breast milk supply and can boost the quality of milk by making them creamier and nutrient-rich. Consumption of barley water can boost lactation and keeps nursing mothers hydrated.
Ginger is one of the main ingredients in most of our Indian dishes for its health benefits and refreshing flavour. But do you know it can even help with boosting lactation? Yes, ginger is one of the lactogenic foods. So, try to include fresh ginger in your diet. Have a cup of herbal tea made of thin slices of freshly peeled ginger root.
Like carrots, fenugreek seeds also improve the quality of breast milk. They are known to prevent post-delivery constipation. To boost your milk supply, include fenugreek seeds in your diet by tossing some seeds for seasoning and flavouring.
Chickpeas are loaded with protein and fiber. They are also rich sources of calcium and B-complex vitamins. They act as lactation boosters for nursing mothers. Take a handful or two chickpeas, soak them overnight and boil in the morning. Add these to your vegetable salad garnished with garlic and lemon juice. This makes a yummy protein snack that can help you lactate enough for your baby.
Brown rice has the hormone stimulants that boost lactation. It also provides breastfeeding moms with the extra energy that is required after delivery. Brown rice increases appetite and enables the mother to have nutritious food. So, have brown rice instead of white rice to enhance your breast milk production.
Sweet potato is packed with potassium and carbohydrates. It acts as a powerhouse that helps to fight against fatigue. It also boosts breast milk production. Have a sweet potato with a low fiber diet or make it as a pudding for dessert.
Water And Juices
Well, we know that water and juices are not technically solid food. But they are essential to have an adequate milk supply. They boost lactation and prevent dehydration. Make sure to meet the daily fluid requirement to increase milk production and to replace lost fluid during lactation.
All said one needs to be cautious of the quantities consumed and do watch out for allergies, in case you have any. After all, this is all meant to keep you and your baby fit.
Foods to Avoid
While breastfeeding, many mothers realize that they don't need to avoid any meals. Others claim that particular foods and beverages cause their infant to be cranky or lower their milk supply.
Food that commonly causes issues are:
Products with Caffeine that includes coffee, tea and chocolate
Herbs that include parsley, peppermint and thyme
Spices like cinnamon and chili
Fruits that include citrus, kiwi, prunes and pineapple
Vegetables that leads to gas, like onions, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower