Lactation-Boosting Foods to Increase Your Milk Supply
Every mother wants what’s best for their baby. If given the choice, the majority of new mothers wish they can exclusively breastfeed. However, almost all mothers will also end up switching to bottle-feeding. As a nursing mother, you may have had the thought or concern about whether you will be able to provide enough milk for your baby. This worry is justifiable, but you should not let it stress you out. Even mothers who produce a lot of milk wonder whether they are supplying enough for their baby. Is there any way you could minimise the chance of low milk supply? Luckily, there is.
One way is by modifying your diet. Now, that may sound like it will take a lot of effort and time, but it is hardly so. It does not require you to go out of the way to get unfamiliar herbal food or cooking ingredients. To prove it to you, we will list down several foods that can work to boost your milk supply. Spoiler; there is a high chance you will know and have almost all of them!
- Vegetables; carrot and dark leafy greens
- Whole grains; barley and brown rice
Who doesn’t know this extremely healthy fish? Most mothers are already well aware of the extensive health benefits a piece of salmon meat carries – if you don’t know, they are aplenty. Fish are a lean, healthy source of protein – and the oily ones (like salmon itself) contains omega-3 fats that are great for the healths of brain and heart. Salmon is both lactation-and-mood-boosting. Now certainly, there is no mother who would say no to any of these two! The single greatest thing about salmon is that by eating it, you are providing and feeding high-quality milk to your newborn. What you consume can always find its way to your breast milk, so eating salmon is possibly one of the best ways you can make use of this fact. The aforementioned omega-3 fatty acids, namely the DHA, is a type of fat that is important for the your baby’s brain development. All in all, salmon is an extraordinary food that has the ability to aid both your recovery and your baby’s growth.
Garlic is widely known as a galactagogue (carrying lactation-inducing effect) and has been used for generations as a herbal treatment to stimulate breast milk flow and increase the supply. There is a notion that consuming garlic can cause milk to have an odd taste or strong odour which can cause breastfed babies to reject or refuse to have their milk. However, mothers who consume garlic generally have different experiences from one another. Plus, it is something that is hard to be proven because the baby’s refusal to latch may be due to other reasons. Some babies may even prefer the flavour and as a result, are more keen on breastfeeding.
While eating spicy food and consuming garlic during breastfeeding should not affect breast milk, they can, given the circumstances. Have you always eaten spicy food and garlic? Is your baby ‘accustomed’ to the taste of spices – as in when you were pregnant, did you consume them as well? The thing about eating spicy food and garlic while breastfeeding is that it may affect your baby if you have stopped eating spicy food and garlic for the longest time throughout pregnancy. This means that if you suddenly continue eating garlic when you are breastfeeding, this may be a factor that can cause your baby to reject breastfeeding. Does this mean you should keep eating spicy food while you are pregnant? Not necessarily. Spicy food can cause constipation and that is really the last thing a to-be or new mother needs to go through. With garlic, however, there is almost no negative effects of consuming it at all. Therefore, it is generally safe and healthy.
Load your meal with vegetables such as carrot and dark leafy greens like lettuce, bok choy, spinach, and kale. These are not only great for boosting lactation but also providing other health benefits. Dark green vegetables contain phytoestrogens that can have various positive effects on breast milk production. Plus, of course, vegetables are always good for your recovery and growth due to their high content of various nutrients like potassium, folate, and dietary fibre! To give you an idea of how much greens you should have, they should cover at least half of the plate of your EVERY meal. Vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories, so you can pile them up without worries.
Whole grains are extremely nutritious for breastfeeding moms as they are believed to contain properties that support hormones responsible for producing breast milk. Hence, consuming whole grains may significantly increase your breast milk supply. Despite the healthy-sounding name, there still exist delicious whole grains. Some of the highly-favoured ones are barley and whole-grain brown rice. Brown rice is a healthier and tastier substitute of white rice and unlike the latter, does not have all the nutrients stripped away. Barley has long been served to new mothers for its healing properties and milk-producing effects. Since breastfeeding mother is more susceptible to dehydration and thirst, drinking barley water can greatly help in posing cooling effect on the body, making it the perfect thirst-quenching alternative to plain water.
Fenugreek is one of the most effective herbs known to increase a nursing mother’s milk supply. For some mothers, the effect can be seen within one to three days after consuming the herbs the first time. If you are interested in taking this herb up, you may consume it until you (and your newborn) are satisfied with the amount of breast milk you produce. After that, you may discontinue and maintain your milk supply with adequate breast stimulation. Keep in mind that it is not advisable to directly start with high doses to avoid stomach issues like diarrhoea. Start at a low dose of fenugreek and gradually increase it. That said, take it in moderation.
Choosing what to eat after giving birth to boost lactation may sound like a hard task, but as you can see from this list, the ingredients are extremely common and easy to find! If you need to know more of what to eat during confinement, check out Tian Wei Signature’s whole menu. Of course, we include various breastfeeding foods to increase milk supply in all our meals so you could conduct your research almost exclusively with us at Tian Wei Signature!