Best Foods to Increase Lactation

4 foods that are linked to increased breastmilk production

When it comes to breastfeeding, most new mothers have concerns, at some point of time, whether her milk supply is enough for her baby. Even though the supply of milk is usually sufficient for the babies most of the time, there are times when you might feel that you are producing less breast milk. To solve this problem, it could be a good idea to try certain herbs and foods that are supposed to boost lactation. Although there is little evidence that eating certain foods can increase breast milk production, you will find enough stories to support this theory. Known as galactagogues (substances that boost breast milk production) food, here is a list of foods that are thought to promote lactation.

Top foods that can help promote lactation

1. Ginger:

It is a common ingredient used in many Indian kitchens and easily available in most households. Ginger is considered to be effective in stimulating the production of breast milk. Research shows that lactating mothers who consume ginger experience an increase in milk secretion. Incorporating it into the daily diet could help increase breast milk production.

2. Fenugreek:

More commonly known as methi, fenugreek is used in several hair products and for the treatment of certain health conditions. It is also a common ingredient in herbal products or medications that are taken by many new mothers to increase breast milk volume. It is also a great source of minerals and vitamins like iron, magnesium and vitamin B6. However, fenugreek must be taken in small amounts (1-6 g/day) as excessive intake can cause problems such as nausea and discomfort.

3. Basil and fennel

Tulsi and saunf are commonly used in India as foods that help increase breast milk production. This is because saunf and tulsi contain a type of oil that is similar to the hormone oestrogen. Therefore, it is considered to have a positive effect on the production of breast milk.

4. Carrot

Carrots are a great source of vitamin A. When carrots are eaten in moderate amounts, these can help improve the quality of vitamin A present in breast milk. The inclusion of carrots in the diet can be beneficial for lactating mothers.

When a mother enters the lactation phase, the nutritional requirements naturally increase. The nutritional status of the mother directly impacts the secretion of breast milk. When a lactating mother looks for foods to increase breast milk quickly, friends and family members might offer different suggestions about what to eat. However, it is very important to keep in mind that a lactating mother must have a balanced and healthy diet. Her diet must contain green leafy vegetables like spinach, amaranth leaves, colocasia leaves (arbi), dill leaves, coriander, etc. It must also contain fruits rich in vitamins and minerals, like papaya, orange, watermelon, etc.

Foods that contain good amounts of protein such as fish, chicken, dairy products and pulses must be incorporated in the diet. Nuts such as almond, cashew and walnut are also good foods to add to the diet. However, in case any allergic reaction is noticed, nuts must be completely avoided. Apart from the above-mentioned tips, it is also important to drink a good amount of water. A lactating mother must be well hydrated and must keep drinking water at regular intervals.

Apart from consuming foods to increase breast milk production, lactating mothers should avoid alcohol. Alcohol consumption can be very harmful for your baby. The intake of foods that are high in caffeine content should also be reduced. Moderate amounts of tea and coffee are, however, considered to be safe. It is also important to make sure that the correct position is maintained while feeding the infant. An infant must be fed on demand and must be comfortable while feeding.

In a nutshell, rather than only banking on foods and herbs thought to be galactagogues food, it’s also a good idea to focus on a balanced and healthy diet along with adequate water consumption and a healthy lifestyle pattern can make breastfeeding a pleasant experience. Also do not forget to also increase nursing/pumping to increase supply.