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Best Foods & Recipes That May Boost Lactation In Nursing Women

By Riddhi Parmar +2 more

Delivering a baby and being a mother is indeed a joyful experience. However, pre and post-pregnancy, women face various challenges and breastfeeding is one of them. Breastfeeding seems to be easy but it can be challenging for new moms. It can cause stress, self-doubt and uncertainty.  

There are several questions such as- Is my baby getting enough milk? Am I producing enough milk? Many new moms have this worry. It’s only natural, of course, because they want the best for their little one! 

Is Your milk supply enough for your baby?

 Though the amount of milk going into the baby’s mouth cannot be measured, you can observe whether your breasts feel heavy when you first wake up or not? Can you hear swallows when the baby is at the breast? Is the baby growing well? These might be indicators that your supply is doing just fine.

Whenever you have a thought to increase your breastmilk supply, you will get various valuable tips. However, if you’re trying them all and still worry that you aren’t making enough milk, you can eat certain foods to give you an extra boost. 

Different cultures offer food and herbs to promote an ample breastmilk supply. Some foods are rich in vitamins and minerals and they also contain chemical properties that may help in the production of breastmilk. 

Foods to increase breastmilk supply 

While there haven’t been sufficient studies to prove that the following food can increase breastmilk supply, certain food items have been used for generations by lactating mothers. These food items should be consumed as part of your daily diet and not merely included as a supplement.

1: Fenugreek seeds

Fenugreek is an ancient herb. It is easily available in the kitchen across the world to increase breast milk production. They contain estrogen-like compounds named phytoestrogens that are believed to enhance milk flow, especially in the early days of breastfeeding. These seeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are important for your baby’s brain development. You can drink Fenugreek tea daily for better results. Also, consuming Fenugreek seeds by diabetic lactating mothers should be avoided as it may lower blood sugar levels.

2: Fennel seeds 

The crunchy, liquorice-flavoured seeds are from the Mediterranean. Fennel is used in various dishes and also can be eaten raw. The bulb, stalk and leaves of the Fennel plant are edible, and you can add them to soups, stews or other Fennel recipes. Both plants and seeds contain phytoestrogens that may help to enhance the milk supply. You can soak a teaspoon of Fennel seeds in a glass of water overnight and drink it in the morning or brew it in your tea.

3: Oatmeal or oat milk 

Oats are versatile and beneficial for almost every part of our body. They are well-known for their use to boost lactation in women. Oats are rich in beta-glucan that may help to produce milk in nursing women. They aren’t tasty. However, a trendy oat milk latte or an oat-filled cookie can help women make more milk. 

4: Barley 

Barley is the most recommended food that may increase breastmilk production. It is rich in beta-glucan-polysaccharide that has shown increased prolactin (a breastfeeding hormone) levels in women. You can incorporate grains into salads or soak them in hot water overnight and then consume the water the next day.

5: Garlic 

Garlic is tasty as well as a healthy addition to our diet. It is rich in galactagogue that may help nursing women to make more milk. However, garlic can alter the smell and taste of breastmilk. Hence, it should be consumed in a moderate amount. 

6: Green leafy vegetables 

Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and alfalfa are full of nutrients. They are rich in phytoestrogens that may help to boost milk production in nursing women. These leafy vegetables are also rich in various nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals that keep the mother and baby healthy. You can add at least one green leafy vegetable to your meal daily. 

7: Salmon 

If fresh salmon is accessible, then add it to your diet. Consuming fresh salmon can help to boost lactation in nursing women. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. They may help to produce more milk. You can have salmon in different ways- steamed, grilled or pan-fried.

8: Unripe papaya 

Unripe papaya is the best source that may help to boost lactation in females. They also work as a natural sedative that will help you relax. You can ingest unripe papaya by grating it into salads.

9: Chickpeas 

Chickpeas are used since ancient times to increase milk production in lactating mothers. They contain plant oestrogens that may be responsible for their use as a galactagogue in lactating mothers. 

10: Sesame seeds 

Sesame seeds are healthy because they contain a lot of calcium and plant-oestrogen. It may help breastfeeding mothers to make more breastmilk. You can use sesame seeds in your daily cooking or make sweet dishes from them. 

Also Read: Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding: A Comprehensive Mother’s Guide

Recipes to try to boost lactation 

  1. Healthy dry fruit laddoos
  2. Herbal nursing teas such as Fenugreek seeds tea or Fennel seeds tea
  3. Overnight oats
  4. Green smoothie

Read more about: Eat These Seeds To Make Your Gut Healthy!


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