All mothers understand and know that the health and growth of the newborn baby are entirely dependent on the mother’s diet, that is the reason we get worried about having low milk production and whether your child is getting enough milk? We also think twice before eating anything, questioning ourselves and others if that is safe for your baby.
No wonder that thoughts grip your mind as your baby is surviving on your breast milk alone. The essence of many foods you eat can indeed get into the breast milk and influence the health of the baby.
Certain foods are known to promote or increase the flow of a mother’s milk and are natural lactation boosters. These foods contain compounds that encourage the function of hormones in the body to produce more milk. Below are some of the food that you can include in your breastfeeding diet for better production of your milk.
How to take fenugreek seeds for breast milk?
Fenugreek is a well-known natural galactagogue, which means the herb increases breast milk production in lactating mothers. These are completely safe for breastfeeding mothers and their babies but avoid excessive consumption as it can cause stomach pain or lead to one of the side effects.
However, diabetic women, pregnant women, women who are allergic to peanuts and chickpeas, and women with hypothyroidism should check with their doctor before adding fenugreek to their diet. Below mentioned are some of the ways that you can consume the fenugreek seeds.
1. Fenugreek Tea
How to make fenugreek Tea:
- First, rinse the seeds in a strainer (A teaspoon of seeds is sufficient)
- Boil some water in a pot.and transfer the seeds to the boiling water.
- Let it boil for 5-10 minutes, depending on how concentrated you want. (Although it will taste quite bitter, the longer you boil).
- Strain the Seed and consume the liquid as hot or cold tea whichever way you like, You can also add honey to reduce the bitterness of the tea.
2. Chewing Fenugreek Seeds
You can eat a teaspoonful of soaked fenugreek seeds daily. The seeds should be soaked at least for 3 to 4 hours to make them soft and chewable.
3. Fenugreek Sprout
Soften the fenugreek seeds by soaking them in lukewarm water. Drain the water and keep the seeds in a sieve and a warm, dark place until they sprout. You can eat them alone or use these sprouts in salads.
Fenugreek capsules are an excellent supplement for postpartum recovery and Lactation! I think it works.. but you have to use it consistently. It’s natural, and it benefits both mom and baby. A good dose is 2 to 3 capsules per day, but check package instructions, or you can consult your doctor if unsure. Fenugreek capsules work quite faster than other traditional methods, so you will probably see an increase in milk production in as little as 1-3 days.
Benefit Of Garlic During Breastfeeding
Garlic is known to increase breast milk production as it is a galactagogue (milk boosting ingredient). In addition to helping increase the supply of breast milk for nursing mothers, the compounds in garlic enter the milk and strengthen the baby’s immune system as well. It’s considered perfectly safe for your baby. Be aware, though, that garlic can trigger colic in some babies, so you may need to take a break from it for a while.
You can easily add one or two cloves of garlic into your everyday diet through the foods that you eat. You can use it to flavor your dishes. Just remember, like everything else, you should eat garlic in moderation.
Sago / Sabudana Pearls
Eating sago while breastfeeding
Sago is one of the foods that you may use along with your diet for better lactation. Sago is good for breast milk. It is a lactogenic food to increase milk production. You can consume it with a sweet or savory recipe as you prefer during breastfeeding. It tastes delicious, which is an added advantage.
Rince Sago a few times and then Soak Sago overnight or minimum 3 to 5 hours OR else Soak Sago in hot water for a minimum 30 minutes.
- Since sago cooks a little faster in water than milk, cook them in water until transparent and then add milk. (You can take a bite and check as they should not be hard and chewy).
- Once they are soft and light, add cardamom powder and then add sugar as per your taste.
- Boil until it turns to thick consistency like pudding. (As it thickens further upon cooling, so turn off the heat when it is of pouring yet thicker consistency).
- To make it more productive and delicious, blend 10-15 blanched almonds, with a pinch of saffron, half a cup of milk until consistency is smooth. Pour it towards the end and simmer the heat just for a few minutes.
- Garnish it with chopped nuts like pistachio and almonds. (You can eat it warm or cold both ways).
- Rince Sago properly in water. Soak Sago overnight or minimum 3 to 5 hours. After that, drain them and keep it aside in a bowl.
- Peel and chop boiled potatoes, you can shallow fry them for better taste.
- In a pan, dry roast some peanuts till browned, and when cooled, make a coarse powder in a mortar-pestle or a dry grinder.
- Mix the coarsely powdered peanuts, and add salt and little sugar with the drained sago.
- Heat some peanut oil or ghee in a pan and fry cumin till they crackle.
- Now add the curry leaves and green chilies. Fry for a few seconds and then add the grated ginger and saute for a few seconds till the raw smell of the ginger goes away.
- Add the chopped fried-boiled potato and saute for a minute.
- Lastly, Add the prepared Sago and keep on often stirring on a low flame for approx 4 to 6 minutes. When the Sago loses their opaqueness and starts becoming translucent, they are cooked. (Don’t overcook as they might become lumpy and hard.)
- Switch off the flame and add lemon juice and chopped coriander leaves.
- Mix well, and your savory Sago is ready to eat.I
Fennel Seeds/ Fennel
Benefit Of fennel seeds during breastfeeding
The reason that fennel is considered a good food source that helps increase breast milk is that it has phytoestrogens, which is similar to the estrogen hormone that is naturally formed by the human body.
How to consume fennel during breastfeeding
You can add fennel to your diet in many ways to increase breast milk supply. Some of the ways fennel can be added to your breastfeeding diet.
- As a Tea: Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds to a cup of boiling water. Let it boil for a minimum of 10 minutes. After that, strain the seed from the tea. Drink the tea thrice a day for better results.
- As a Vegetable: The vegetable part of a fennel plant can be consumed raw or cooked. You can add them to your soups or other dishes.
- Chewing Fennel Seeds: You can chew whole raw seeds. It can also pan roasted if you don’t like it raw.
- Fennel Capsules: If you don’t like the taste of fennel seeds, then you can take its supplement capsules for increasing breastmilk supply. These are easily available in pharmacies, vitamin stores, and online.
Benefit Of cumin seeds during breastfeeding
In India, Cumin is a great remedy for stimulating milk production; it is like Grandma’s recipe. These little seeds are rich in Iron, which is essential for nursing mothers. Cumin seeds also aid in digestion, stimulate bowel movements, and provide relief against gastric problems.
How to include cumin in your diet to improve breast milk production.
- You can mix a teaspoon of sugar and cumin powder and consume it with warm milk every day before going to bed.
- Roast and grind cumin seeds and add them as a seasoning to your curries or other vegetable preparations.
- Alternately, you can soak some cumin seeds overnight in a glass of water and drink it early in the morning to improve lactation.
Benefits Of Adding Coconut While Breastfeeding.
Is Coconut safe? Then the answer is Yes! Coconut has incredible healing properties and health benefits. Drinking coconut water, coconut milk, or any other coconut product during breastfeeding increases capric and lauric acid levels in breast milk, which boosts your baby’s immunity.
Usually, 18-20% of all breast milk is constituted by lauric acid and caprine fatty acids, which help protect the baby against infections due to fungus, bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Scientists have affirmed how critical Lauric Acid is to growing children, so as a breastfeeding mother, it makes sense to put forth the effort to increase your lauric acid as well.
Adding coconut to a nursing mother’s diet is very important as it increases the number of protective antimicrobials in mothers’ milk, which will give even more excellent protection to the nursing infants.
Benefits Of adding Whole Grains to Your Diet.
Whole Grains provides important nutrition for you and the baby during breastfeeding. Some of the most common grains that are used to produce more milk include Quinoa, Millet, Broken wheat (Dalia), Oats and Brown Rice are good choices to incorporate into your diet.
They are also an important source of B vitamins and minerals. Nursing moms must make whole grains a part of their diet every day. They are rich in fiber and help in milk production. Plus, they are high in iron.
Moringa Powder/ Leaves
Consuming Moringa While Breastfeeding
Moringa is one of the world’s most nutritious plants and is also claimed to have several medicinal properties. They are a good source of iron, beta-carotene, potassium, and calcium. Studies showed that when mothers who took Moringa capsules twice per day, they had significantly increased volumes of milk production as well as increased baby weights.
If you have access to Moringa Leaves, then you can consume leaves, or you can go for Moringa Capsules or Moringa Powder.
You can add Moringa Powder to your smoothies or other meals.
Unripe Papaya/ Green Papaya
Which is better for Nursing Mothers - Green Papaya OR Ripe Papaya?
No doubts that ripe papaya tastes better than raw papaya, but from a medicinal point of view, raw/ green papaya should be consumed by lactating mothers regularly. The enzymes and minerals are more concentrated in raw papaya; therefore, it is more healthy for nursing mothers.
In Asia, Green Papaya is a traditional food used by nursing mothers. Raw or green papaya increases the production of oxytocin – the hormone used to regulate the production of breast milk, increasing milk flow. It also fortifies breast milk with its inherent vitamins, minerals, and other health benefits, which are required for your recovery and essential for your baby’s development.
So, if you are a nursing mother, then you must try and include Green Papaya in your diet. You can eat raw papaya in many ways like it can be added in your fruit salad, You can also make green papaya smoothie, green papaya curry or soup.
Wild Asparagus/ Shatavari
Wild Asparagus use while Breastfeeding
Wild asparagus, called Shatavari, has a long history of use as a galactagogue in India and is included in the official ayurvedic pharmacopeia for this use. Its primary purpose is to produce more prolactin and corticoids, which helps in improving the quality of your breast milk and also helps you generate more of it. Shatavari/ wild asparagus will also stimulate the steroid hormones that work to enhance your milk production, allowing you to secrete more of the hormone. It may improve your body’s immune system as well, which will help you fight off infections while you’re breastfeeding.
Note: Asparagus contains a type of carbohydrate known as raffinose, which can produce intestinal gas that can cause discomfort and make you feel bloated.
Have you experienced increased milk production by eating any of the food mentioned above? Or any other food that has indeed helped you in increasing your milk supply and you feel should be added to the list? Leave your comments below as I would love to hear from you.