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Motherhood they say completes a woman. A woman takes birth once again and this time as a mother who is about to nurture her little one. So a new mother is bound to have tons of questions in her mind regarding her child’s health and well being. A mother would definitely wish the best for her child and hence she is worried as to what she should eat and what she needs to avoid in order to keep her baby healthy.
The foods she eats would not only benefit the baby but would also help her recover post pregnancy. While stimulation of the nerves in the breasts leads to the production of adequate amounts of milk some foods are known to enhance the milk flow. These foods are also known as galactagogues. Here are 11 foods which can lead to better breast milk production-
Consume a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Oatmeal is loaded with fibre and is a great source of energy. It is necessary for building up and maintaining the flow of milk. Oatmeal can also be comfort food for mother’s as it is known to reduce stress levels. Also, it is a good source of iron which a new mum might be deficient in due to continuous bleeding post delivery and iron deficiency has been considered a major reason why some new moms are unable to express enough milk. Consume a bowl of oatmeal with milk and fresh fruits in the morning or in the evening as an evening snack and get enough nutrients for you and your baby.
Fennel seeds can boost breast milk really well. Fennel seeds have been used for centuries as a galactagogue. Fennel is known to have properties similar to that of estrogen – the female hormone and is used by many to increase the supply of breast milk. You can add fennel seeds powder as a spice in gravies. It can also be added to milk and tea as well.
Fenugreek can boost lactation hormones. Fenugreek seeds have been used since ages and basically, it can be attributed as ‘Nani-maa ka nuskha‘ for increasing breast milk. It can be added to gravies, soups or consumed with a glass of water early morning on empty stomach. It can also help in curing postpartum constipation.
Garlic can have lactogenic effects. Garlic is known to have lactogenic effects if taken in moderation. It has been used since long to boost the milk supply in new moms as studies have shown that garlic possesses certain chemical compounds which increase the production of breast milk. Add garlic to soups, stir-fries and curries in order to enhance the taste and see your baby getting enough milk for his/her growth.
Carrots can increase the milk supply due to the presence of Vitamin A.Carrots are a great source of beta carotene and beta carotene is known to increase the milk supply manifold. Beta carotene is beneficial to the overall health of a little one. So, in short, you can say carrots have lactation promoting qualities just like spinach. Add carrot to your salad, soup, upma, idlis, rice, halwa or simply make a glass of juice out of it and consume it with your mid-morning or evening snack.
Have cumin seeds to stimulate milk production. Cumin seeds are known to stimulate the production of milk when taken in moderation. Also, it can prevent constipation and bloat. Being a good source of iron it can help new mums with postpartum recovery. Add cumin powder to a glass of buttermilk, lemon water or consume it early morning or at bed-time with a glass of warm water.
Black sesame seeds are a great source of calcium. Black sesame seeds are known to be a great source of calcium and hence can lead to the production of adequate breast milk. Calcium is also necessary for strengthening the bones and hence can reduce the joint pain new mums suffer from post pregnancy. Add black sesame seeds to salads or blend black sesame seeds with nuts and add it to a glass of milk with honey. Consume this in the morning before breakfast or in the evening.
Add drum sticks to your curries for soups. Drumsticks are known to have high calcium and iron content. Studies have shown that drumsticks help in promoting lactation by stimulating the mammary glands to produce enough milk for the baby. It is also necessary for boosting one’s immune system and for maintaining a healthy nervous system. Add drumsticks to pulses, soups, curries or boil it with some turmeric and salt.
Salmon is a great source of omega 3 which can boost the milk supply. Salmon is a great source of essential fatty acids and omega 3. Each of these is considered to be very important for lactating mothers. It can boost the production of lactation hormones and is responsible for making the mothers milk for nutritious. You can add it to a salad or consume it baked/steamed/grilled. Do not forget to add some black pepper and lemon juice on top to enhance the taste.
Sweet potato can be an ideal evening or mid-morning snack. Sweet potato is a great source of beta carotene and fibre. Beta carotene is known to boost the milk supply quite well. It also contains Vitamin C and B complex vitamins which make it really nutritious for a new mum. Magnesium found in sweet potato can act as a muscle relaxant and help in better lactation. You can make a smoothie, kheer, pudding, soup or simply boil it and season with mixed herbs, black pepper and lemon juice.
Basil leaves can be really helpful in increasing breast milk. Tulsi has been known for ages to increase breast milk. It is known to have a calming effect which is necessary during breastfeeding. Tulsi is known to be a great source of antioxidants and also contains nutrients like Vitamin K, Iron and Thiamine. Not only does it boost the milk supply but also strengthens the immune system of both the baby and the mother. Add it to soups, smoothies, curries or simply have some crushed basil leaves with a glass of warm water early morning.
In the end, breast milk is the best for your baby as it helps you and your baby develop a beautiful bond for a lifetime.
Image via Pixabay
A Nutritionist,Clinical Dietitian,Speaker,health/fitness blogger who runs a nutrition website named NutriBond
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