6 Lactation-Boosting Food to Keep in Your Kitchen
As a new mother, you must have heard a lot about how breast milk is good for your baby, but perhaps you are not sure exactly why. Well, first off, breast milk contains all the ideal and essential nutrients for your newborn to grow, including protein and various types of vitamins. Furthermore, your breast milk also contains antibodies that strengthens your baby’s immunity against viruses, bacteria, and allergies. Also, some studies suggest that breastfeeding helps children to achieve higher IQ scores in later childhood. Not only that, breastfeeding also promotes your baby’s emotional development through physical and eye contact, helping your baby to feel more secure.
In order for your newborn to reap the goodness of breast milk as much as possible, it’s important for you to have sufficient milk supply to meet your growing baby’s needs. To boost your milk supply, the easiest and most effective way is by practicing a lactation-friendly diet. So here’s a list of milk-boosting food that can ease your breastfeeding journey!
1. Dark Green Vegetables
Having leafy green vegetables for confinement not only helps with digestion, but they can have a positive impact on your breast milk production too! In particular, dark green vegetables may help you with lactation through their natural compound called phytoestrogens. Some of the best dark green vegetables that you can have includes lettuce, kale, spinach, broccoli, and alfalfa. On top of phytoestrogens, these vegetables also contain essential nutrients such as vitamin C and calcium to boost the nutritional quality of your breast milk.
2. Sesame Seeds
Another food that helps in the breast milk supply are sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium, which helps to restore your calcium level as you continue to produce breast milk for your little one. Moreover, the calcium in sesame seeds also helps you to build strong and healthy bones and reduce your risk of brittle bones in later years. When having sesame seeds, it is best that you crush them or grind them beforehand to allow your body to fully harness their benefits. Having sesame seeds alone can be bland. Hence, we would recommend that you sprinkle them on top of your rice, dishes, or make sesame paste to have it with your salad and crackers!
Fennel is not exactly an ingredient that we usually see on our dining table. So in case you are wondering what fennel is, fennel is a flowering plant with thick, white base and feathery leaves on top. Fennel is considered a lactation-boosting food as it contains phytoestrogens, which is similar to the oestrogen hormone that our human body naturally forms to produce milk. Over centuries, fennel has been an effective galactogogue (a food that promotes milk flow) for many breastfeeding women. There are a few ways you can enjoy fennel. For example, you can enjoy it as a whole vegetable by adding it in your soups and other dishes. Meanwhile, fennel seeds are great as a flavouring agent in sauces and salads, or you can make fennel tea with 1 or 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds in a cup of boiling water. Take your time to experiment with your favourite ways to enjoy it!
4. Oatmeal or Oat Milk
Many breastfeeding moms have found oatmeal helpful in improving the flow of their breast milk. How exactly? First of all, oatmeal is rich in iron. A lack of iron in your body may lead to lower breast milk supply, and having oatmeals frequently can help to keep your iron level in check. Furthermore, oatmeal helps to lower cholesterol, and other lactation-boosting food, like fenugreek, also offers the same benefit. Thus, it is believed that oatmeal can ease mothers’ lactation. Oatmeal is versatile enough for you to enjoy in different ways. For instance, you can add oats to a warm cup of milk, or have a bowl of oatmeal with fruits. If you prefer savory food, try cooking oatmeal like how you would cook porridge and add an egg! For snacks, oat lactation cookies are great options too. Meanwhile, if you need any breastfeeding related product to support your breastfeeding period, do check out MumChecked!
One of the longest lactation boosting foods that has been around is definitely garlic. Garlic has been used by mothers for centuries in boosting breast milk. Studies show that newborns stay latch-on longer and breastfeed longer when their mothers consume garlic, and since an increase in breastfeeding time can help to signal your body to produce more milk, garlic is believed to help breastfeeding moms to produce more milk. You can add garlic in your daily meals to enhance their flavours. For instance, adding it to your stir-fry vegetables, meat, and soup. However, do remember to have it in moderation, as excessive intake of garlic may add unpleasant odour to your milk and cause your newborn to resist it.
Some mothers see improvements with their milk output after adding ginger to their diet. Studies show that ginger is natural lactation-boosting food that helps encourage nursing moms to produce more milk. A quick and easy way to add ginger into your breastfeeding diet is by making ginger tea. In particular, red dates longan ginger tea is a popular confinement drink for the benefits it offers. Some of the red date longan ginger tea benefits include boosting the immune system, replenishing blood, strengthening the stomach and spleen, and improving sleep. On the other hand, you can also just add the raw or fresh ginger root to dishes. In Chinese confinement food culture, ginger fried rice is a popular dish that many moms would have after giving birth.
We hope this list of lactation-boosting food has inspired you to create a nutritious breastfeeding diet for yourself. If you are looking for a hassle-free way to enjoy breastfeeding-friendly confinement meals, Tian Wei Signature offers a wide variety of fusion and traditional confinement food that help you with lactation and recovery! Our menu is dietitian-guided to give you a well-balanced and nutritious diet throughout your confinement. All the best on your breastfeeding journey mommies!