Most nursing mothers have lots of questions with respect to the diet that helps to produce the required quantity of nutritious milk to their babies. Obviously, what they eat has an important part in maintaining the quality and quantity of the breast milk. Mothers will be ready to go any extend to make sure their baby is well fed as the baby wholly depends on breast milk for the first six months.
Frequent feeding is one thing that helps to increase the milk supply. Sometimes, mothers are not blessed with an abundant supply and frequently feeding does not increase the breast milk production. Here comes the significance of galactagogues. There are certain food items that can particularly help in promoting the breast milk production. Such foods are known as the galactagogues.
12 Best Foods To Increase Breast Milk Supply
Here are 12 healthiest foods that will help to promote the breast milk. However, remember to consume all these foods in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. You can also mix two or three of food listed below as you wish for the better result.
1. Fenugreek seeds for increasing breast milk
Fenugreek seeds have been used from ancient time in India to increase the breast milk. Methi laddoo is the snack that is often made for the new mother in various parts of the nation. Fenugreek seeds are a good source of healthy vitamins, minerals, and proteins such as omega-3 fats, iron & vitamin C that are excellent for lactating mums. Omega-3 fats play an important role in baby’s brain development.
Chewing on the sprouted seeds and gulping down with a glass of milk not only boosts the breast milk production but also helps to alleviate constipation. You can also toss in some seeds for seasoning the Indian curries. Soaking Methi seeds in a glass of water for 7-8 hours and drinking it empty stomach in the morning also helps to increase the breast milk.
2. Salmon for boosting breastmilk supply
An excellent source of protein, salmon is rich in vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon helps in lactation. Including salmon to your diet will doubtlessly help to boost the lactation hormone. Salmon is also highly nutritious for nursing mothers. You can prepare curry with it, fry it or grill it. It is suggested to have cooked salmon with brown rice, which is another galactagogue. This will double the effect
3. Oatmeal for boosting breastmilk supply
Oats are an incredible source of iron, calcium, and B vitamins. Oatmeal contains fiber and is easy to digest which is more important during the post pregnancy period. Oatmeal is a good source of iron and helps to increase the RBC count in the blood, which, in turn, would increase the production of breast milk. Oats are commonly consumed as porridge. Oats are very easy to cook and take less than 10 minutes. You can try different recipes with oats that are available on the internet. You can likewise add nuts, milk, fruits and even spices to enhance the flavor and to improve the nutritional value of oatmeal.
Related Reading: 21 Breastfeeding Tips For First Time Mothers
4. Asparagus or Shatavari to increase breastmilk production
Asparagus is a green vegetable that is an exceptional source of dietary fiber, Vitamin A & K. According to Ayurveda, asparagus is considered an essential food for nursing mothers as it increases the quantity and enhances the quality of breast milk. Usually, after washing thoroughly, asparagus is chopped and boiled with milk and after straining this milk is given to the new mom regularly. It stimulates the hormones that are essential for lactation. Asparagus is one of the most powerful herbs mankind has known. Shatavari supplement which comes in powder, granule, and capsule forms are highly recommended by most of the paediatricians in India.
5. Green papaya and breastmilk supply
Unripe papaya is exceptionally well known as an awesome galactagogue crosswise over Asia. Eating green papaya helps in increasing the production of oxytocin which in turn increases the production of breast milk. You can boil it and consume, or prepare soups and salads with it or even try Thai cuisine as they use raw papaya a lot. Som Tam, a Thai dish is nothing but a green papaya salad. With plenty of ways to include green papaya in your diet, it can be easily consumed to increase breast milk supply.
6. Fennel for lactating mothers
Fennel is a flowering plant that belongs to the carrot family. Fennel seeds are safe to eat during pregnancy. You can stew it, or can use while preparing a salad. Fennel is broadly believed to be an excellent galactagogue. Fennel seeds, commonly known as Saunf, is traditionally used for increasing breast milk. They are also given to new mums as it is believed its medicinal property will get into the breast milk and helps to prevent gas and colic of the baby. Fennel water and fennel tea are traditional post-delivery drinks in different parts of India. Many families boil fennel seeds in water till the quantity of water is reduced in half and then give this water to the new mother to drink
7. Green leafy vegetables that help in increasing breastmilk
Green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K and an excellent source of minerals such as iron, calcium. It is also rich in folate as well as fiber and antioxidants. Leafy greens increase the breast milk production. Nursing mothers are suggested to have one or two portions of green leafy vegetables every day.
There are so many leafy greens to choose from such as spinach (Paalak), mustard greens (Sarson Ka Saag), dill leaves, fenugreek leaves (Methi), etc. and can be prepared in so many ways.
- You can eat as raw salad (tender leaves)
- You can cook the leaves (thick leaves) alone or with combination with other vegetables
8. Brown rice and breastmilk
The vastly popular and often dubbed as the new age health food, the very versatile brown rice helps to increase the breast milk production too. It has a hormone that stimulants lactation. It also provides extra energy which is very significant during post-delivery. Soak brown rice for thirty minutes and pressure cook it. You can eat it with vegetables or with grilled salmons. Simple, home cooked Daal and brown rice too go nicely on the taste and You can make tasty brown rice Pulao as well.
Related Reading: Brown Rice During Pregnancy- Benefits, And Precautions
9. Nuts for lactation increase
Nuts are speedy energy boosters consisting of many vitamins, calories, calcium and proteins. Munching on almonds and other nuts can boost the production of milk, thanks to their excellent content of omega-3 fatty acids. If you prefer non-dairy nuts, then you can use almonds, or even almond milk to boost the taste, creaminess, nutritive value and production of breastmilk. If you choose to add nuts in your diet, you can-
- Have a handful of nuts everyday as a snack. They taste insanely good when dry roasted with a little salt and pepper
- Have Badam milk if you are particularly looking to increase lactation. Soak almonds for a few hours and grind them with milk. Add desired amount of sugar and drink it everyday
- Chopped almonds and other nuts can also be added to your vegetables, kheers, Pulaos, oatmeal, salads – the list can be endless
10. Garlic – a powerful galactagogue
Among its numerous therapeutic properties, for example, benefiting the immune system and preventing heart disease, garlic has been used by nursing mothers for centuries to help boost their breast milk production. Garlic contains chemical compounds which help with lactation. Eating a lot of garlic can influence the taste and smell of your breastmilk.
Some babies show a tendency to drink more milk during the day the mother eats garlic as they like flavored milk. Garlic pills that claim to have no side effects are available in the market, which is good news for mothers who don’t like to eat garlic. Intake of 2 to 3 garlic cloves daily is preferred to boost breast milk production. You can have it raw or use it in tadka in curries and soups. Stir fried garlic in ghee with steamed rice is a food item that is given to the new mother in every alternate day during the initial weeks after delivery.
11.Green gram (Moong Daal) for enhancing breastmilk
Sprouted green gram with grated coconut and salt is a traditional food given to nursing mothers. Green gram Daal, or Moong Ki Daal can also be had as a lunch or dinner option. You can use garlic in the tempering to make it even more beneficial for breast milk production.
Related Reading: 10 Foods That Make Breast Milk Taste Good (Indian)
12. Drumstick leaves as a galactagogue
‘Moringa’ leaves are high in iron and calcium content and is good for lactation. You can cook it with the Daal of your choice, or, sauté fry in a little oil with red chilies, salt, and grated coconut and eat with hot brown rice.