Congrats! Your little bundle of joy is finally here. The long-awaited game of nine months is finally over when you get to see your newborn curling up in your arms. Now that the first hurdle of becoming a mom is clear, let’s move onto the next. It is breastfeeding your newborn and then hopping on this beautiful journey which deepens the relationship between a mother and a child.
As much as breastfeeding might be a cakewalk for some women, it is extremely difficult for others. Yes, you heard it right! Not all women are able to breastfeed their babies. Some have soreness, while others are not able to produce enough milk supply. In fact, breastmilk is quite a tricky subject. There might be instances when you won’t know if you are producing just the right quantity or not. This is because sometimes, even after taking breastmilk, your newborn still might end up being cranky. This leaves many women bewildered and searching for answers to the question- why is my little one crying even after taking milk?
Low breastmilk supply might be the answer to your umpteen questions if the infant going hungry and turning up cranky every hour. While consulting a lactation consultant is by far the best option to get checked if you are producing sufficient milk, there are certain foods which can help in increasing the supply. Presenting 10 best foods for increasing breastmilk supply.
1. Fenugreek Seeds (Methi)
Fenugreek is a herb which is found in most Indian kitchens either in a powdered form or in the form of seeds. It is said that once taken, it is said to boost milk supply roughly within 24-72 hours. While fenugreek is 100 % natural herb, it is still advised to take it in nominal quantities, as an excess of it can result in loose stools and may also result in skin reaction in some cases. Also, people with diabetes and heart disease should first consult a doctor and then only take fenugreek seeds.
Oats are a good source of vitamins, iron and are super rich in fiber. Oatmeal is often regarded as comfort food. So, in a way, it comforts a tiring woman, which in turn has a direct relation to the increased and boosted milk supply. Low iron can lead to lesser breast milk. Oatmeal is rich in iron which can make up for the low levels of breast milk.
3. Fennel seeds (Saunf)
Fennel is also another popular herb which is found in almost all Indian kitchens. For long it’s use has been mentioned for resolving digestive issues and female health problems. Fennel is said to be a galactagogue which increases the flow of a mother’s milk. It can either be taken in raw form or can be added to tea as well. Most Indian moms resort to fennel infused water and store it for later use as well.
4. Cumin seeds (Jeera)
By now you must have realized or come to the fact, that your good old Masala Dabba is a powerhouse for increasing breast milk supply. Another power food to add to the list is cumin seeds. Cumin seeds are rich in iron and help in increasing breast milk supply. They are also good for digestion which will help in preventing a colicky baby. Because breast milk is all about what you eat and the baby also reacts differently to different foods! You can roast cumin and add it to raita or buttermilk. Otherwise also a generous ghee tempering in your favorite bowl of dal always involves Cumin.
Just like oats and whole wheat, barley is also another green food which can help a mom who is running low on breastmilk. Barley will also keep you hydrated along with increasing your milk supply. You can have barley water or also in the form of chapattis by getting it grinded in the form of flour.
6. Sesame seeds (Til)
Sesame seeds are loaded with the goodness of calcium and healthy polyunsaturated fats which are extremely vital for a lactating mother. They are said to be lactogenic foods and help in supporting milk supply. Roasted sesame seeds can be added to salads and smoothies as a topping. Sesame or Til Laddoos are a hit with Indian moms and mothers-in-law who don’t miss a chance of feeding their daughters with this savory.
If you are suffering from low milk supply, then adding drumsticks to your diet may just prove beneficial in the long run. Drumsticks or Moringa leaves are a powerhouse of Vitamins A, B, C & K. They are also rich in calcium content.
8. Brown rice
While brown rice is mostly preferred by people who are watching calories in their food bowl, it also aids in increased breast milk production. Brown rice contains a hormone stimulant that will give a boost to low milk supply.
Chickpeas come from the family of legumes only and they are rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals. They are called galactagogues as it is said that they contain plant estrogens. Chickpeas can be had in the form of hummus which is a very popular dip which can be had with slices of bread or even in salads.
Apart from the umpteen benefits which garlic has to offer, it’s also said to increase milk supply of a lactating mother. It is one of the best galactagogues which nature has to offer. There might be chances that your infant or newborn might be allergic to garlic as well. So always watch out for signs post breastfeeding, if you’ve had garlic in your meals.
As suggested by Dr. Charu Kalra, our in-house pediatrician, and lactation consultant
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