Breastfeeding is a natural process that starts right after the birth of your baby. Every female’s body is designed to generate milk continuously. The more your baby nurses, the more milk your body would produce. Just keep feeding your baby whenever he/she needs it. When one side gets emptied, offer the other one. There are some other factors that count in the proper supply of milk. You have to be stress-free, sleep better, pumping (when in need) or massaging the breast (to unblock ducts) and above all make sure to have proper foods to increase breast milk.
General Diet Plan for a Nursing Mom
A Balanced Diet
The most important thing for boosting breast milk production is to continue with a balanced diet plan. Be sure to eat 300-500 calories more than you normally do. It includes vegetables, fruits and whole grains and proteins.
Proper water intake is highly essential but it is often ignored by new moms. While you feed your baby, your body produces a hormone oxytocin, which causes thirst. So, try to drink as much as possible.
What Not to Eat?
Being a nursing mom, there are certain things that should not be consumed. Avoid the intake of edible items that cause gas problem. Through your breast milk, this gas trouble would transfer to your baby too. Some foods that may cause gas trouble include carbonated drinks, some fruits, cabbage, etc.
10 Best Foods to Increase Breast Milk
Oatmeal is an energy packed food that promotes good health. Its all-natural properties help maintaining normal blood pressure and decrease cholesterol level. Oats are ideal for the prevention of diabetes in pregnant women. Post pregnancy is a hard time for mother, and her good and healthy condition makes sure that breast milk is being produced regularly. You can add fruits and nuts for better flavor.
For a better supply of breast milk, fatty acids are the most essential elements. Salmon is enriched with Omega 3 and EFAs and both of these items help producing lactation hormones. EFAs in salmon fish are a great source of fats. The more a mom intakes such fatty diet, the healthier and nutritious breastmilk she will have. You can have it just the way you like; be it grilled, steamed or cooked in any other way you like.
Post pregnancy is a time when feeling weak or anemic is quite common among new moms. That weakness can affect the supply of breast milk. Spinach is one all-natural food item enriched with iron, calcium and folic acid (good for pregnant women and nursing moms). It will not only increase breast milk naturally but would promote a good health for your baby as well. With too much quantity of iron in it, its consumption should be restricted to a balanced level. Otherwise your baby may suffer from diarrhea.
A well-known galactagogue and one of the most recommended foods to increase breast milk. Fenugreek has stimulating properties that trigger the sweat production in milk ducts (breast is a sweat gland) and ultimately increases the flow of breast milk. You can have it in tea or any other way that you like.
Note: Fenugreek seeds are considered the best solution to post-pregnancy constipation.
A miraculous food for lactation, carrot is an effective galactagogue. Enriched with beta-carotene and Vitamin A, it works wonders for all the nursing mothers. Eating raw or steamed carrots is ok but to get the best and quicker outcomes, drinking fresh carrot juice is highly recommended. Drink a glass of juice in breakfast or before lunch for lactation and feel the difference.
A great herbal item with a lot of benefits for you and your baby. These small seeds are a definite source of increased lactation. Consuming these seeds not only boosts your milk supply but by getting into your milk, it superbly cures the colic problem, normally faced by the new born babies. These fennel seeds can be chewed in the raw form. If you don’t like the flavor, simply add and boil a few seeds in your tea or glass of milk.
Yet another whole grain after oatmeal, it stimulates prolactin secretion that ultimately leads to increased lactation. Not just for nursing, brown rice has a number of other benefits as well. Carbohydrates in it increase the much-needed energy level of a mother. So, while you are breastfeeding, prefer them over white rice. The increased serotonin levels in body after using brown rice puts a positive impact on your mood, health and sleeping order.
Nuts and Dried Fruits
Nuts and dried fruits are considered one of the most health-promoting and easy-to-get foods to increase breast milk. For feeding a baby, a mother has to maintain her own health and nuts are the easiest option available. These protein and nutrient-rich dried fruits promise a large number of calories, minerals and vitamins. All of them are essential to a nursing mom’s health. Especially almonds and cashews are considered best for lactation.
According to some herbalists, there are some herbs that have milk boosting properties. Fenugreek, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, holy basil, dill seeds, and blessed thistle are some examples. Things are not fully determined but still people believe that a balanced intake of theses herbs maybe helpful while nursing a baby. Bear in mind that such herbs should not be used without doctor’s recommendation.
Note: Fenugreek should never be used in pregnancy. It can cause symptoms like uterine contractions.
Add Flavor to Breastmilk
A recent study suggests that a regular intake of some edible items like mint, onion and garlic can bring a change to the milk’s taste. As a result, babies are likely to suck it more and consequently, you will end up with more breastmilk.