7 Superfoods to boost lactation
One of the biggest struggle mothers face when breastfeeding is ensuring that they produce enough milk. It is a constant battle thinking of the best foods to increase lactation because you want the best for your child. During the nursing period, mothers must be extra attentive towards the food and nutrition consumed in order to maintain her supply of milk. It is said that what you eat, will directly affect your supply of milk. To ensure a good supply of milk, it is recommended that mothers try to include a variety of lactogenic foods in their daily diet.
Lactogenic foods contain natural nutrients that can boost your breast milk production. It is also the safest and most natural way to increase lactation for mothers. However, mothers should also be cautioned that the consumption of certain lactogenic foods/herbs may cause babies to become colicky. It is always advisable to speak to a qualified nutritionist or medical practitioner for more in depth advise.
If your breast milk supply has been slowing down, these are a variety of foods to try out:
Oats are loaded with fiber and aids digestion. It is also loaded with energy to keep you going through the day. The thought of having plain oatmeal may sound unappetizing, but you can always spice up your meal by adding slices of fruits like bananas and berries to your oatmeal to give it some extra flavouring.
Salmon is a good source of Omega-3 and Essential Fatty Acids needed by our bodies. Apart from that, the high content of Omega-3 and Essential Fatty Acids can also boost lactation for mothers who are breastfeeding.
Spinach contains calcium, vitamin K, A, iron and folic acid. Folic acid is especially important for pregnant or breastfeeding women as it helps your body to make new cells and synthesize DNA. It is also said to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Experts recommend a daily dose of 400mcg, though you may wish to consult your medical practitioner for further advice.
Garlic is known worldwide for its medicinal properties. Studies have shown that babies like the flavour of garlic and nursed more often when mothers consumed garlic or garlic supplements before nursing. The increased breast stimulation induces milk flow and thus increases the supply of milk.
Carrots, like spinach, contain phytoestrogens which are supplements that can increase milk supply. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and Vitamin A essential for lactating mothers. A suggested recipe would be to puree carrots stirred with warm milk and sugar.
Asparagus are high in folic acid, fiber, Vitamins A, C, and K, and contain phytoestrogens which are the main nutrients breastfeeding mothers need to maintain or boost their milk supply. Asparagus also contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid that encourages production of milk.
Almonds and cashews are rich in healthy calories, vitamins and minerals. They can be eaten as snacks or blended into beverages to be consumed. The consumption of these nuts have shown to boost breast milk production for mothers. As nuts are light snacks, they can be carried along in your bags and snacked on whenever you get hungry or feel like munching on tidbits.
While certain super foods can aid in boosting your milk supply, it is also important to maintain a positive mind and emotional level during your breast feeding period. Your breast milk supply does not solely depend on the food you consume but also your daily habits. Always ensure that your body receives enough food, rest and relaxation as stress can also inhibit milk production.
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