Congratulations! You just had your baby and are set to start a new journey. The first milestone of this journey would be breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has numerous benefits for both mother and child. Breastmilk is rich in antibodies, full of nutrition, helps uterus to contract, helps mother loose weight and so on and so forth. While latching baby to the breast could be an initial struggle, there is another challenge that some mothers have to face and that is lack of sufficient supply of breastmilk.
There are many factors that can affect the supply of milk:
- Low Prolactin Levels
- Medications during delivery
- Latching issues
- Insufficient breast tissues
- Inverted nipples
The more the baby latches to mother’s breast the more her mammary glands get the message of producing more milk. A lot also depends on the kind of food that mother eats after delivery. Nursing a baby is a stressful job especially in the first few days. It can get more stressful if mother has to get back to work and decides to express milk using a breast pump. Lack of milk supply can dry up the nipples making them sore and painful. While certified lactation consultants are the best people to approach for the right guidance on latching and feeding, let us look at some food that can help mother boost lactation.
Garlic is considered as one of the best food for supplying breast milk. It is rich in antioxidants and has chemical compounds that boost the supply of breastmilk. You can roast a few cloves of garlic and consume everyday for good results.
2. Dill Leaves:
Dill leaves are rich in antioxidants and Vitamin K. They help in replenishing the blood that is lost during delivery. They are an excellent source of fibre and help in increasing the supply of breast milk.These leaves can be cooked with garlic into a curry and consumed for better taste.
Dried Apricots have certain chemicals that help in balancing hormones which go for a toss after delivery. Apricots are rich in calcium and fibre and help essentially in boosting lactation. You can consume them raw or add them to your oatmeal or cereals.
Enriched with Omega-3 and Vitamin E, almonds are an excellent source of energy for new mothers. Omega-3 helps in boosting lactation and Vitamin E helps heal the itching caused by stretch marks. Almonds can be consumed raw or in milk or oatmeal.
Milk for milk ! Cow’s milk is known for its richness in calcium, minerals and EFA. At least two glasses of milk in a day helps boost lactation through the cow milk protein and also keeps the calcium levels in mother up to the mark.
6. Green Leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek and beet leaves are rich in folic acid and antioxidants. They are a great source of iron and help mothers to increase the iron levels in blood which is essential during post pregnancy. In addition to this they are excellent lactation booster.
Drumsticks are rich in iron and calcium. They help in enhancing prolactin levels and help in increasing the supply of breastmilk. Drumsticks can be consumed along with lentils in curries.
8. Lentils and Legumes
Lentils or Pulses are a great source of protein while legumes are enriched with zinc and iron. They help in boosting the folate levels in new mothers hence resulting in enhanced lactation.
Full of nutrition and fibre, Oatmeal is an excellent food for increasing supply of breastmilk in new mothers. Oatmeal along with nuts and milk is nutritious snack that can work wonder on new mothers
10. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seed have this amazing nature of preventing colic in babies. It helps in increasing the quantity of milk supply and is a good source of digestion for both mother and baby.
Depending on milk production, mothers sometimes also choose to go with infant formula parallely. While factors like breastfeeding positions, support system and delivery process play a vital role in latching and feeding, one should not ignore the fact that when a mother is cared well, fed well with nutritious food and supported well, it helps in her overall wellbeing. Please note that a healthy body helps in good lactation.
Also read: Diet Recommendations For Breastfeeding Moms