12 Magic Foods That Boost Your Breastmilk Supply

I have been waiting to post this on World Breastfeeding Week (August 1 – August 7) and yay, here we go.

WABA has released the logo of World Breastfeeding Week 2018 that features two adults and an infant which reinforces the importance of working together to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

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So, this is my littlest contribution to support breastfeeding mothers who are struggling to find the right food to enhance their milk supply. The compilation is truly based on my own experience in establishing milk supply while breastfeeding baby D, so there is no way these magic foods can backfire you.

Fenugreek seeds

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This is the most commonly known magic spice to boost up the breastmilk supply in newly lactating mothers. You may not like to eat them raw, but I assure you these seeds taste great when soaked overnight or steamed to a cup of tea. Consuming fenugreek seeds also aids in better digestion.

Mutton

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A friend of mine highly recommended me to consume well-cooked mutton atleast on a weekly basis, to establish a steady milk supply and I did. Known for high iron and protein content, including mutton in a lactating mom’s diet is a wiser choice when compared to consuming an equal amount of chicken, beef or pork. If you are a non-vegetarian, mutton surely works best in increasing your breastmilk production.

Garlic

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This is yet another super-ingredient that is used by most of the lactating mothers to quickly maximise their milk supply. My grandmother suggested me the following ideas (which are quite common in our place) to include garlic cloves in my postpartum diet:

  • Roast a handful of garlic cloves in sesame oil (also known as gingelly oil or til oil) under medium to low heat. Add a pinch of salt to the roasted garlic cloves, mix with plain rice and consume. Please note that sesame oil is a wonderful breastmilk-boosting agent by itself so try not to replace it with any other oil while roasting.
  • Add a couple of garlic cloves while boiling the cow’s milk (or toned milk, if the former is unavailable) and drink a glass of it. Oh, and instead of adding sugar you can try mixing a pinch of turmeric powder and pepper to the milk for an enriching masala flavor.
  • Add garlic in every gravy you consume. When baby D was born, a massive effusion of garlic-overdosed smoke constantly emanated from the kitchen, which my grandmom said is a classic sign of indicating the neighboring household that we have a newborn at home. (Like they cannot predict a baby’s presence from their cries. In my case, baby D never cried normally, he caterwauled and bawled, only to put even Scooter Buskie to shame).

Here’s a thing to remember: Never consume raw garlic, especially while lactating. It can cause severe burning sensation in stomach and several other ailments which can make breastfeeding uncomfortable.

Unripe papaya:

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Being a heat-inducing fruit, papaya is generally not consumed during pregnancy. It is commonly used to trigger periods in women. Well, for those who do not know, unripe papaya is a wonder-food for lactating women as it increases the oxytocin levels which in turn increases the production of milk. You can make curries with unripe papaya, once or twice in a week to improve the milk supply.

Small fish

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If you are a non-vegetarian, adding fish in any cooked form plays a crucial part in establishing your milk supply to a great extent. My lactation consultant strongly recommended me to include curries made of small fish like pony fish (tooth pony or kaarai meen in tamil), anchovies (nethili meen in tamil, netholi in malayalam) and sardines (maththi in malayalam, chaalai meen in tamil). These can be consumed on a daily basis, whereas bigger sized fish varieties are not advised to be taken as they contain higher levels of mercury in them.

Oatmeal or Muesli

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Oatmeal is rich in iron and good God, there are endless websites out there competing to show you their uniquely delicious oatmeal recipes that you just can’t say No to. This is the best breakfast option any lactation mother could ask for. It doesn’t just facilitates better milk supply, but also keeps your weight in check.

Bread roasted in ghee:

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Ghee is a must-have in every new mom’s diet. The benefits are countless. Bread (opt for the heathy whole wheat bread) roasted in ghee can be a quick fix for breakfast, which also makes you feel full for a longer period of time. A win-win!

Nuts

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As long as you have no history of nut allergies, enjoy munching your favorite nuts every now and then – almonds or peanuts or a mixture of both, nuts are rich in good fat, fibre and protein that are needed to increase the breastmilk production. But remember, moderation is the key.

Cow’s milk

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It’s evident, am I right? A breastfeeding mom burns around 20 calories to make an ounce of milk. Every nutrient that is passed on to your baby is extracted from your body. Breastfeeding mothers do not become easy victims of problems that arise from calcium deficiency, if they regularly add milk and milk products in their diet. If organic cow’s milk isn’t available for you, drink supplements that can add similar benefits to your body.

Water

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Yes. Drinking atleast 9 glasses of water is quintessential when you are breastfeeding your baby. A dehydrated body cannot actively supplement the nutrients to another wholly dependent tiny human. Apart from the milk intake, make it a point to regularly drink a tall glass of water before and immediately after breastfeeding your precious little one.

Ajwain seeds

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Had I asked my grandma to order these galactagogues based on their effectiveness, she’d have, with not a bit of hesitation, ranked this first. Ajwain seeds (Omam in tamil and malayalam) or Carom seeds, apart from strengthening the back muscles post delivery, also help in increasing the breastmilk production in mothers. Ajwain water also aids in digestion and works against stomach cramps.

We prepare special fish curry for lactating women by adding quite a lot of finely powdered ajwain seeds along with the usual ingredients.

The link to this recipe is here.

Flat beans

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Beans are protein and fiber rich food that are unquestionably a healthy intake for breastfeeding women. They also help in increasing breastmilk production. However most bean varieties cause flatulence or worsen it if you are already a victim of bloating. Among all the varieties, flat beans are believed to cause zero to negligible amount of bloating if cooked to a super soft texture and consumed in moderation. Flat beans are not fart beans. Flat beans, evreeebaaadi!!!!

Happy Breastfeeding!!!

Images taken from : Pixabay

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