Being a mother, you have to carry a lot of responsibilities on your shoulder. As we all know, mother’s breastmilk is the best milk for the baby and no formula or outside milk can replace it. It helps the baby to fight infections and survive in the crucial initial days of his life. As advised by the doctors across the globe, baby should be breastfed at least till he is 1 year old.
It's quite normal to worry about your milk supply when you start breastfeeding your baby. You may be wondering if your body is producing enough milk to meet your baby's growing needs or if there is anything else you can do to boost your milk supply.
List of foods that tends to increase milk supply
· Fenugreek seeds (methi): Methi seeds have been used for ages to increase breastmilk supply. Besides, fenugreek seeds are a great source of iron, calcium, vitamins and minerals. But always remember that anything in moderation is always best. Do not consume too much methi seeds as there is a tendency for the body to lose water.
· Drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated. Always keep a bottle of water besides you, when you are nursing your baby. You might tend to feel thirsty while you are breastfeeding your baby.
· Studies have found that fennel seeds increase milk supply. Some doctors also say that fennel seeds help prevent colic in your baby. They are rich in vitamin C. Besides, they are a good mouth freshener and aid digestion.
· Green and gourd vegetables: Eat lots of green vegetables. They are pumped with nutrients and vitamins. Vegetables from the gourd family like bottle gourd , apple gourd and sponge gourd are traditional foods that may help improve milk supply. Not only are these vegetables nutritious, they are also easy to digest.
· Green vegetables like French beans, spinach , fenugreek and asparagus are an excellent source of minerals and vitamins as well as phytoestrogen which is believed to enhance lactation.
· Studies have shown that the infants of mothers who eat garlic tend to feed for a longer time. You can add garlic in dals, meats, and vegetables.
· Cumin seeds (jeera): As well as stimulating milk supply, cumin seeds are said to improve digestion and provide relief from constipation, acidity and bloating. They are also a source of iron to help you gain strength after birth. Cumin seeds are an integral part of many Indian dishes. You can roast them and add them even to snacks, raitas and chutneys or drink cumin water (jeere ka pani)
· Holy basil : Tulsi has been traditionally used to help cure a number of ailments. It's a great source of vitamin K. In addition to improving your milk supply, it is believed to have a calming effect, improve bowel movement and promote a healthy appetite. Add the leaves to cooked vegetables and soups. Or you can make a hot drink out of them by boiling them in water and drinking the tulsi tea (tulsi ki chai) with honey.
· Carom seeds (ajwain):Carom seeds are believed to help in cleansing the stomach and aiding digestion.Carom seeds can be used while cooking vegetables, in raitas, stuffed pooris and paranthas or making ajwain ka pani. A drink made of carom and fennel seeds (saunf aur ajwain ka pani) is believed to increase lactation and improve digestion.
· Red vegetables: Carrots, sweet potatoes and beetroot for example are high in beta-carotene, which is beneficial for your baby if you are breastfeeding. Beets and sweet potatoes are high in iron and help to maintain the liver. Carrot seeds have been known to improve milk supply. You can include them in salads, soups, porridge, meat dishes or desserts like gajjar ka halwa.
· Nuts and dried fruits : Almonds and cashews are believed to boost breastmilk production. They make an excellent snack and easily available or you could blend them with milk to make delicious badaam milk or kaju milk.You can also add them to sweet and savoury dishes to boost their flavour. Some dried fruits and nuts are also used to make traditional foods such as panjiri, laddoos and halwa for breastfeeding mums.
· Oats and porridge (daliya): Oats are a great source of iron, calcium and fibre and are popular with nursing mums. Broken wheat (daliya) is another nutritious option. They are commonly eaten as porridge and you may choose to add nuts, milk, spices or fruits to improve the nutritional value.
· Breastfeed your baby regularly - your body adapts milk production to the amount being demanded. So if you start supplementing your milk with formula or other supplements, your milk supply will go down. The more you feed your baby, the more milk your body will produce. You may find that milk production is best when you develop a feeding routine for your baby and feed at regular intervals. This gives your body the time to produce the needed amount again.
· Get enough rest - if you are too tired, your body will not have the energy to produce milk properly. So try to catch up on your sleep and rest during the day if you are up a lot at night.
· Try to relax - getting used to your new life as a mom can be stressful at times. Stress is known to affect the let-down reflex that secretes milk and even milk production. So for your and your baby's sake, it’s a good idea to try to relax. Try to arrange for help in the house whether it is from family members or hired help.
Enjoy nursing and have a great time!!!