Breastfeeding your baby is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for your baby. Breastfeeding helps in losing the excess weight you might’ve gained during pregnancy and also helps in contracting your uterus to bring it back to its original shape and size.
For your baby, breastmilk is everything. It takes care of your baby’s hunger, thirst, immunity- it’s the best thing you can do for your baby to set him up for a healthy, long life.
One of the most commonly asked questions by new mothers is- I don’t think I have enough supply of milk for my baby. What should I eat to increase my milk supply to satisfy my baby’s appetite?
Your diet definitely influences the amount of milk you are able to produce for your baby. This article will help you understand what you can have to increase your supply.
Diet That Aids Breastmilk Supply
There are many things you can include in your diet to aid your breastmilk supply and up it. These foods are called galactagogues. Let’s see what are the common galactagogues you can find in your kitchen.
Every mother, grandmother will definitely tell a new mom to include garlic in her diet. While it does have many health benefits like increasing immunity, helping in digestion etc, garlic really helps in improving milk production.
Include garlic in every meal you eat. Some women fry garlic in ghee and have it with rice. Others include it in the dishes they make. Some even have it with milk. So, choose what your palette likes but do include garlic and include it big!
2. Methi seeds
Methi seeds also known as fenugreek seeds are also said to improve milk supply by leaps and bounds. Though it has a slight bitter taste, this is offset by how beneficial it is for your health.
A staple for people with diabetes, you can include it easily in your diet. Add it to curries or boil it with some water and keep sipping the water throughout the day. You’ll not notice the bitterness also if you consume it with water.
In case you don’t enjoy the taste at all, add it to some cookies or smoothies so that you don’t realise it’s taste.
3. Green leafy vegetables
In India, we find a variety of green leafy vegetables. Each of them has properties that are great for our health. Spinach, Dill, Fenugreek, beet leaves, all of them are good for you. They are rich in fibre and iron also which your body needs at the moment. Added advantage is the way they help you increase your breastmilk production.
So, make them into side dishes, salads or even include them in dal to get the best benefits.
4. Fennel or Saunf
Fennel is best known for its aromatic taste and digestive properties. For many centuries, Indians have consumed Fennel tea to soothe upset stomach or gastric issues. But did you know that fennel also increases milk supply?
It contains many compounds that activate the milk producing hormones and hence, increase the amount of mother’s milk.
Don’t be surprised! While water itself doesn’t have properties that influence breastmilk supply, hydrating yourself does help in keeping up the supply. Well, milk consists mainly of water, right? Drinking at least 3 litres of water will really help you lactate well.
The best way to do this is to drink a glass of water every time you feed your baby. That way, you won’t forget hydrating yourself and don’t feel thirsty as well.
While these are some foods that help you improve your milk supply, there are some which bring the supply down. It’s important to identify and stay away from these to make sure your baby is well-fed.
These are the usual culprits that are bad for your health. Soda or carbonated drinks, coffee and other foods or drinks with caffeine in them are not good for you right now.
Hope you’ll try including galactagogues in your diet. Happy Breastfeeding!
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About the Author
Dr. Nikitha Murthy B.S.
He is s a Consultant with IVF Access at its Rajajinagar clinic. She has over 6 years of experience. Dr. Nikitha has a post-graduation (MS) in Gynaecology, DNB from the National Board of India, and a Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine. He also has vast experience in Post-Graduation (MS) in Gynaecology and DNB.