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Hey new mommies, have you ever wondered about how you should eat to produce more breast milk for your little one? Breast milk is the ideal nutrition for your little one, as it almost contains everything your baby needed to grow healthily! Breast milk can also help lower the risk of babies getting allergies and infections.
However, some mothers faced problems with their milk supply, which may cause them to feel self-doubt and lack confidence. Do note that breast milk supply is heavily influenced by supply and demand. Setting up more opportunities for your little one to breastfeed as often as possible will help stimulate your breast to produce more breastmilk accordingly. So do not give up just yet.
While doing so, here are some tips on how incorporating certain food into your daily meals could potentially play a part to improve your milk supply.
What to eat to improve your milk supply?
Fenugreek is a type of seed that can help increase your breast milk supply. Breastmilk supply may be affected by stress, and various other reasons. Consuming fenugreek is a good way to boost your milk supply, it can be consumed in different methods, such as fenugreek seeds, capsule, tea and sprouts!
Ginger is a popular spice or herbs for confinement with tons of benefits to not only breastfeeding mothers but to women in general! Some women will take it during their period to help in warming their body. Ginger is able to promote healing after giving birth and it is also a galactagogue to help mothers stimulate milk supply in the immediate postpartum period without any side effects. Most of the traditional confinement meals will include ginger in their meals to help mothers increase their milk supply.
Green papaya contains high levels of Vitamin A, carotene which is able to boost the milk supply of mothers. It has a lactogenic effect which helps increase milk and is also very safe to consume during the postpartum period. Find the best fish soup with papaya in Singapore at Tian Wei Signature.
Garlic is also a very popular ingredient for confinement meals Singapore service, it has been used as a herb to stimulate and increase breast milk for many years! According to studies, it improves the length of breastfeeding period when mother consumes garlic.
That said, it is very important to consume well-balanced meals when you’re breastfeeding to ensure your breast milk contains various essential nutrients to help your little one grow. Having foods that are rich in essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Choline, Iodine and DHA can help boost the concentration of these nutrients in your breast milk. Studies show that these nutrients in breastmilk can decrease and these nutrients are important for your baby’s development and your own health.
How many calories do you need while breastfeeding?
Some mothers might be thinking about losing weight by eating less during the postpartum period. This is not recommended as your body needs the energy and nutrients to not only recover and heal but to breastfeed your baby! Breastfeeding takes up 300 to 500 calories per day whether you nourish yourself or not. Do not get me wrong either way, your breast milk is the best for your baby, but eating adequately helps to improve your breast milk nutritional density. Having too little may not affect your breast milk production, but it will definitely affect your nutritional status and put yourself at higher risk of malnourishment, thus higher risk of falling sick easily.
Besides that, there’s another essential point to ensure your milk supply, which is to consume a sufficient amount of fluids. As breast milk is primarily made of fluids, insufficient fluid consumption will also affect milk flow! While water is highly recommended for hydration, other drinks you have during your confinement can also help, including red dates tea and confinement herbal soups. Meanwhile, you can check out MumChecked for top-rated products that help you get smoother milk flow and have a better breastfeeding experience.
Breastfeeding can actually burn around an additional 500 calories daily, which equals 30 minutes non-stop running! Hence, breastfeeding is a good start for your postpartum weight loss journey!
What to not eat during breastfeeding?
If you are also wondering what not to eat or eat less during breastfeeding period, here are some foods you might want to avoid:
You are recommended not to drink alcohol during breastfeeding as alcohol intake can leak into your breast milk. If you do drink 1 standard drink you must also take note to not breastfeed your baby for at least 4 hours as maternal alcohol content in the body is at its peak at the 3rd hour and only starts to subside after. Some mothers pump and dump for that feed just to reduce exposure to alcohol to their little one.
Caffeine may be a good relief of stress for grown-ups but it may affect baby’s emotions and leads to being unable to nurse well. It’s best that the amount of your caffeine intake does not exceed 2 cups a day.
Peppermint, Parsley and Sage
There is not enough scientific evidence to say these herbs do interfere with your milk supply, but mothers claim that these herbs are known as anti-galactagogues which means it may decrease the stimulation of your breast milk if consuming more. This is similarly believed in traditional Chinese medicine. If you found that your milk supply had dropped after taking these, you should avoid them while you’re breastfeeding.
We hope these tips have given you a better understanding of the foods to have and to avoid during breastfeeding. As much as breast milk is beneficial for your little one, do remember that how much milk you produce does not define how well you are doing as a mother. You are already a great mother for all the care and love you showered your little one with. Get support when you need to, and embrace your wins and struggles along the way. There may be so many times you felt like you’ve failed, but in the eyes of your little one, you will always be a wonderful mom!