Are you a new mom and curious to know about “Foods to Increase Lactation”? Then you are in the right place.
Go ahead and unveil the diet for breastfeeding mothers through my tips and experience during breastfeeding
Breast milk is the only source of nutrition for your baby for the initial six months as per doctor’s guidelines to build your baby’s immunity to fight diseases. Breastfeeding is not an easy job and is a big challenge which is won by mothers by taking help of their friends, mothers, and relatives.
Solids and liquids are introduced after completing six months. Quality of milk becomes a key concern for parents to think upon and finding out the nutritious foods to be consumed by lactating mothers is a major task.
Producing enough milk initially is a common situation faced by parents. Another concern about breastfeeding is whether the quality and quantity of milk produced is sufficient for the baby or not.
As a matter of fact, a breastfeeding mother needs an extra 400-500 calories per day and a proper diet is required for sufficient lactation.
Best way to increase the quality and quantity of breast milk is through diet. Follow a proper pattern and see the results. Some of the ways to increase lactation are listed below:
Keep yourself hydrated
Water is an essential element for new mothers. You will be thirsty every time you feed your baby, so drink a glass of water every time you feed. Drink at least 10-15 glasses of water daily. Keep a bottle on your side table, so that after every feeding session you can drink a glass of water and replenish the fluids you have lost during breastfeeding.
Use a breast pump
Lactation can be increased easily by using a breast pump. Always use a breast pump to increase the quantity of breast milk. Breast pump also helps you when the milk starts overflowing. At that point of time, you can express the excess milk flowing out of the breasts. The expressed can be stored in a feeding bottle for 7-8 hours at room temperature and can be used to feed your baby if you are going out.
Foods which boost lactation are known as galactagogues and these foods are already present in your kitchen.
Best foods to increase Lactation
1.) Carom seeds(Ajwain):
Ajwain helps to increase breastmilk production. It also helps in improving digestion and treating constipation.
It can be consumed in the following ways:
- Soak fennel seeds and carom seeds in equal proportion. Drink whenever you feel thirsty. This helps in improving digestion.
- Boil fennel seeds and carom seeds in water and drink whenever you are thirsty.
- Use in cooking.
Soak fennel seeds and carom seeds in equal proportion. Drink whenever you feel thirsty. This helps in improving digestion.
Boil fennel seeds and carom seeds in water and drink whenever you are thirsty.
Use in cooking.
2.) Fenugreek seeds(Methidana):
New mothers are suggested to include fenugreek seeds in their diet to increase milk production. You can consume it in many ways:
- Soak fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Drink the water in the morning and eat the seeds as well.
- Use it while cooking.
- Prepare tea with it.
- Methi ka laddoo.
3.) Cumin Seeds (Zeera):
Cumin seeds are a well-known lactation food. It burns your fat, helps in improving digestion and also helps in building postpartum strength. It can be consumed in following ways:
- In the form of tadka in your dal or sabji.
- A pinch of cumin powder mixed with milk.
- Roasted cumin powder in chaat, salad or raita.
4.) Fennel Seeds (Saunf):
Fennel seeds are good for increasing quantity of breast milk. It also helps in relieving colic pain in babies. You can consume fennel seeds in the following ways:
- Use in cooking.
- Soak fennel seeds overnight and drink the water in the morning.
- Boil the fennel seeds in water and drink it.
- Chew them.
5.) Flax seeds:
Flax seeds are a very good source of omega-3 and a must have food for breastfeeding mothers
6.) Green Papaya:
Papaya helps to improve digestion. It also helps in full recovery of the uterus when it bleeds out after the delivery.
To produce milk, it is important to consume milk. Drink at least 4 glasses of milk daily to increase lactation flow.
Oats are loaded with calcium, iron, and fiber which are digested easily. Oats are easy to prepare and easily available in the market.
You can consume it in the following ways:
- Oats with milk.
- Prepare oats poha, upma and khichdi.
Being an Indian you should go with daliya. It should be consumed with milk in the breakfast daily. Indians consider it as the best source of increasing lactation.
10.) Green Vegetables:
Green vegetables like lauki, tinda, tori, kaddu helps in increasing lactation. Initially, new mothers should consume light food which is easy to digest for mother and baby both.
You can consume green vegetables in following ways:
- As a dish.
- Cook, it with daliya or khichdi.
- Prepare a soup of any green vegetable.
11.) Dry fruits:
Dry fruits increase the lactation. You can keep them beside your bed to munch on whenever you are hungry. A feeding mother can be hungry even when it’s 2 a.m.
You can consume it in following ways:
- Season it over halwa
- Use it while making pinni
- Roast them in ghee
12.) Carrot & Beetroot:
Carrot and beetroot improve liver health and increase lactation in new mothers. It is rich in iron and is consumed by new mothers to overcome post pregnancy anemia.
It can be consumed in the following ways:
Check out the recipes for new moms.
Things to be avoided by Breastfeeding moms:
- Avoid caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee. Taking one cup in a day is not a problem, but if consumed in larger quantities, then it can affect your baby’s health
- Avoid alcohol as it results in the reduction of breast milk quantity and quality
- Avoid carbonated drinks. If taken once in a while, then it is not a problem
- Avoid stress. It harmfully affects the production of breast milk. Assign the household chores to someone else or hire a maid and relax. Give yourself mental peace. Always take proper sleep
Breastfeeding is a joyful part of your motherhood journey. Make it a memory, not a burden and enjoy every moment to the fullest. Take the proper diet and rest so that you and your baby don’t get affected by any kind of stress.
Also, share your experiences with foods that encouraged milk production throughout your journey of breastfeeding.
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