How to Stimulate Breast Milk Production Through Your Diet
Not having enough milk supply can certainly be stressful for a nursing mom. You might start to blame yourself and feel bad towards your baby — don’t. It is completely normal and happens to a lot of other moms. We know you have done your best so far, it’s time to let your body and mind rest and relax!
That said, food can undoubtedly do a lot to help in improving both mental and physical states. If you are wondering whether what you eat can help boost your milk supply and what kind of food should you consume, you’ll find your answers here!
Try these foods to support your lactation and maximise your milk production naturally and healthily.
Production of Breast Milk
Breastfeeding provides various benefits for your baby and yourself. Each drop of breast milk is a nutritious golden drop from a mother’s breast to their child, and it protects newborn babies from diseases and serves as a healthy supply. It definitely deserves the title nature’s best food for your baby. Only a mother body can produce breast milk.
The human body is amazing. Your body gets ready for breastfeeding even before you give birth. While you are pregnant, your hormone change causes your breast to grow. Milk making tissue in your body begins to develop and allows your breast to prepare for lactation.
Your breast is fully mature during your pregnancy. Your hormone changes again and you milk making tissue increase in number. More blood flow on your breast part and it may cause veins visible. On the external, mom’s nipples and areola become larger and darker during pregnancy.
Milk production occurs within the alveoli, which are grape-like clusters of cells within the breast. Once the milk is produced, it is squeezed out through the alveoli into the milk ducts. The milk ducts carry the milk through the breast.
On the second lactogenesis stage (2nd or 3rd day after giving birth to 8th day), mom’s breast milk volume will increase. Approximately the 9th day onwards, the volume of breast milk produced is maintained through the law of supply and demand. To maintain milk supply, you can breastfeed or use a breast pump to stimulate your milk production. You may get your breast pump on Mumchecked. Also, you can boost your breast milk through your confinement food.
This is the process of stopping milk production. Weaning process continues until other foods and drinks replace your breast milk. Lesser breastfeed can decrease the milk production. During the weaning process, your breast may still have leaking and produce a little amount of breastmilk. Make sure you pump it to prevent engorgement.
So..how can you increase breast milk production through your diet?
Green papaya is also known as unripe papaya. It contains essential vitamins like Vitamins A, B, C and E. This is a traditional food to increase milk flow as it boosts the hormone which produces breast milk.
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
The vitamin of dark green leafy vegetables will be transferred to your baby through breast milk. Greens are the most important food you should take regularly in order to stimulate your milk supply and improve your own health. For example, spinach is rich in iron. Iron is important for a new mom especially after a C-section. You should certainly consider following a balanced diet of confinement food for c-section in your lactation journey as well.
Barley is the richest dietary source of beta-glucan,which can increase prolactin (breastfeeding hormone). Therefore, it is used by mothers in different cultures to maintain milk supply. You may add into soup or drink the cooked barley drink throughout the day.
Nuts like almond, especially raw almond, are full of protein and calcium. Eating almonds while breastfeeding can effectively enhance the development of your baby. Adding almonds to your postnatal diet also increases the creaminess, sweetness and amount of your breast milk. Almond boosts your newborn baby immunity and helps you recover faster.
There is no perfect food for a new mom, but Salmon is pretty close to it when it comes to DHA. Salmon contains large amounts of DHA and is rich in essential fatty acids and Omega-3. DHA is important for baby’s nervous system development. All breast milks contain DHA. However, the level of the DHA in breast milk depends on the new mom’s diet.
On a side note, based on studies, DHA is crucial in lifting up your mood. Eating salmon may prevent you from postpartum depression. You may pan-fried, grill or steam and serve as the main dish.
Carrot intake provides a great boost to lactation and is high in beta-carotene and Vitamin A. Vitamin A improves the growth of bones and teeth, and is also antioxidant. Taking a glass of carrot juice before your lunch can truly work like magic by increasing your afternoon breast milk supply.
Brown rice is unprocessed rice. It is beneficial to a mother by giving you more energy as you need to take care of your little ones and yourself. Other than that, brown rice helps to stimulate more milk production during your lactation. You may soak the brown rice for half an hour and pressure cook it.