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As a breastfeeding mom, you are a milk making machine that produces milk 24 hours a day. Breastmilk is the most nutritious food your baby can get for the first six months of life at least. It has multiple essential benefits for both of you.

Breastmilk |How to improve Supply and Nutrition

 

As a breastfeeding mom, you are a milk making machine that produces milk 24 hours a day. Breastmilk is the most nutritious food your baby can get for the first six months of life at least. It has multiple essential benefits for both of you.

Breast milk
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Where breastfeeding your baby or not is a personal decision. As it works for some women and doesn’t work for the rest. Most pediatricians recommend breastfeeding the baby exclusively for the first 6 months and then you can start some solid foods with breastfeeding.

A woman’s body produces breastmilk for her baby with a perfect blend of proteins, vitamins, and fats each and every time as per the baby’s needs. No doubt that breastmilk is a superfood for babies. You don’t need any special type of diet, but a diet that is nutritionally well balanced.

Follow these tips and tricks to produce much better quality breastmilk. You can also use some of these tips and tricks to increase your breastmilk supply.

Water

Hydration is the key as the breastmilk is 90 percent water. A woman’s body ensures that it gets enough water as the body releases oxytocin while breastfeeding which triggers thirst. Your baby will not suffer if you don’t drink enough water but your body will surely suffer because of dehydration. Whereas continuous dehydration will affect your breastmilk supply over time. Dehydration will result in headaches, chapped lips, dry skin, laziness, and mood swings. It means that staying hydrated is more important for you than for your baby.

Nurse or pump as often as you can

This is one of the most effective ways to increase your milk supply. The breasts produce milk whenever the baby needs it. As much as the baby nurses, the body will try to produce that much milk. Follow your baby’s nursing cues and nurse as much as you can. Similar to nursing, pumping often will also stimulate your body to produce more milk. If you are not willing on investing in some of the expensive pumps like Medela and Philips, try Real Bubee. It’s cheap and works well.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is rich in iron. A versatile food like oatmeal is a superfood for breastmilk supply. You can eat it anyway and anytime you like, sweet or savory, in breakfast or as a snack. Oatmeal has a soothing effect on the mommy and is known for reducing cholesterol levels.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Who else is known as a milk-making machine? Yup… A cow and we all know what a cow eats. Green leafy veggies contain phytoestrogens which increase milk production. Moreover, they are packed with antioxidants, lots of fiber, calcium, and vitamins (A, C, E, and K).

Fenugreek

Fenugreek has been in use by breastfeeding moms for the longest time we can remember. Fenugreek seeds contain hormone precursors which can increase your breastmilk supply with 24 hours. Fenugreek seeds also lower blood sugar levels. You may consume fenugreek in the form of tea or pills. But, you should check with your doctor first before consuming fenugreek as it may cause asthma symptoms in some women and can also be a bit hard on your stomach.

Eggs

Eggs are high in protein, vitamins (A, B2, B12, D), omega 3 fatty acids, folate, selenium, and choline. Eggs will help produce nutritious breastmilk for your baby. Eating eggs while breastfeeding will also prevent your baby from any egg allergies in the future. You can eat an egg daily but avoid raw eggs.

Nuts

Often regarded as lactogenic foods, nuts are high in iron, calcium, proteins, fatty acids, zinc, and vitamins (K and B). Among all the nuts, raw almonds are the best for breastfeeding moms. Raw almonds will boost the milk supply and make it more creamy and sweet. More like a treat for your baby.

Garlic

Garlic is a galactagogue, which means that it helps in breastmilk production. Research shows that infants breastfed longer when breastfeeding mothers consumed garlic. I guess the infants like garlic more than we do. Since I mentioned earlier that nursing increases the breastmilk supply, infant nursing for longer will stimulate the body to produce more milk.

Fennel seeds

Fennel has always been regarded as an ancient herb used to increase the breastmilk supply. Fennel contains plant estrogens which may increase breast milk. You can use fennel seeds or fennel leaves, stalk, bulbs to be consumed in your diet. I would suggest having a little after your meals as it helps in digestion and also acts as a mouth freshener.

Sesame seeds

Similar to fennel, sesame contains plant estrogens and they are HIGH in calcium. This means that they are not only good for your baby but also very beneficial for you. Plus there are so many ways to include sesame in your diet. You can eat it alone, or add it with your recipes, or sprinkle some on top of your whole wheat bread before baking.

Post-natal Supplements with Probiotic

Yes, you may think that popping pills is not ideal but trust me it’s so essential for you and your baby. Supplements with Probiotics provide your body with the essential minerals and provides nutritional support. In addition, the baby also receives the minerals and probiotics through breastmilk which may prevent your baby from allergies, eczema, asthma, colic, ear infections, colds, and flu, etc. There are so many options available in the market today. Do your research and pick the best one for you. I recommend New Chapter Post-natal vitamins. I have consumed post-natal vitamins after both of my babies and it has helped a lot with my overall recovery and producing good breastmilk.

 

A Note of Caution

It is undoubtedly healthy and safe to eat the fresh and cleans versions of the edibles mentioned in this article. But, we all know that excessive consumption of anything is bad. Don’t overburden your body with everything at the same time. Try a couple of things together but in moderation.

Also, note that supplements are not meant to replace your normal diet. They are an additive to your healthy diet. It will also be best to consult your lactation advisor or doctor before taking any supplements.

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