Moms that are breastfeeding should consider looking at breastfeeding superfoods – these are foods that are good for your baby, give mom energy and help to increase the quality and supply of your breast milk.
All foods or drinks that are consumed in large quantities can pass through the breast milk to your baby’s system and can as a result have a negative effect on your baby’s health or overall well-being.
There are a few helpful tips to consider for milk supply when nursing your infant:
- Make sure that you include a well-balanced eating plan and consume a variety of foods to provide your baby with different kinds of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that is vital for healthy growth.
Foods that should be avoided or consumed in moderation are: Caffeine, fish, chocolate, parsley, peppermint, alcohol, citrus, dairy, peanuts, gassy vegetables (such as cabbage) and spicy foods. Always be vigilant by watching your baby’s reactions after you’ve eaten certain foods that could have an undesirable effect on your baby.
- If you are unsure or have any health concerns with regards to certain food items, always check with your pediatrician to be on the safe side.
- Another great way to promote milk supply is pumping to induce lactation. The best method for increasing milk supply is by stimulating the nipples whether it is by pumping or putting baby to your breast. If you aren’t stimulating the breasts regularly, no supplement or food is going to help you increase your milk supply.
When pumping frequently, the aim is to remove more milk from breasts and increasing the frequency of breast emptying.
Adding pumping sessions in between or after nursing sessions can be very beneficial when you’re looking to induce lactation, therefore increasing your milk flow and upping your milk supply.
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Have a look at these 12 breastfeeding superfoods to promote lactation:
A good choice for comfort food which is easy to prepare. Oatmeal is a rich source of iron which is vital for Moms that are experiencing post-pregnancy anemia. Oatmeal helps to increase red blood cell count in blood which can lead to increased breast milk production. Another great benefit is stimulating the production of Pitocin which is a key hormone when it comes to producing breast milk.
Drinking enough water is vital when you are breast feeding. For your body to function properly and to promote milk supply (water forms the basis of breast milk), you must drink enough water to make up for the fluids lost when you’re sweating as well as producing enough milk to quench your baby’s thirst.
Women across Asia often consume unripe papaya which is a great galactagogue (food that increases breast milk). Green papaya helps promoting the production of oxytocin which in turn increases milk production.
One of the best food choices for increasing milk supply in breastfeeding mothers is garlic. A great way to add an extra layer of flavouring to your dishes plus garlic has an array of health benefits, including providing relief for babies suffering from colic. Drinking garlic pills is a great option for ladies that don’t enjoy the after taste of garlic. These pills provide the same benefits as garlic without the lingering after taste.
Fennel has similar properties as estrogen, therefore fennel or fennel seeds are ideal for promoting lactation.
Another great option is making use of fennel essential oil, but it’s important to keep in mind that long-term use can affect the urinary tract, therefore it’s best to use it for up to seven to ten days at a time and no more.
Fenugreek is one of the most popular and safest herbs used for milk supply since biblical times, as it stimulates the secretion of human growth hormone. It can be boiled in tea or you can buy them in capsule form. Many cultures also use Fenugreek as a herb or spice in food to treat medical conditions. Other benefits include, slowing the digestive tract as well as stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Almonds, cashews and macadamia nuts contain monounsaturated fats which increase the richness of your milk. They need to be eaten raw (not roasted and salted) and you can enjoy up to three servings a day.
Grains or Legumes
Brown rice, lentils, millet and barley are excellent examples of grains or legumes that promote milk supply as well as stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Spinach is a great source of calcium, iron, Vitamin K, A and folic acid. Folic acid is vital for women who are breastfeeding. Dark leafy greens contain phytoestrogens which promote lactation and breast tissue health. But to avoid any food-borne illness, make sure you boil it before consumption. You can also add it to salads but ensure that you’ve rinse it properly beforehand.
Carrots are rich in Vitamin A which is great for assisting with baby’s growth and they are also believed to assist with lactation.
Not only are they delicious, but they are high in calcium and polyunsaturated fat, making them a very nutritious choice. They are also known as lactogenic food which means they help to increase breast milk production.
Asparagus is one of the must-have food items for nursing mothers because it is rich in fibre, high in Vitamin A and K and helps stimulating the hormones that are essential for nursing moms when it comes to lactation.
Every lactating Mom who is breastfeeding, will have questions about what to eat and what to avoid when producing and providing the necessary quantity of breast milk that is also nutritious. Certain food items, known as galactagogue specifically assist with lactation, boost milk production and provide essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients to your baby when nursing.
Remember to stay hydrated and ensure that you are taking in enough fluids when breastfeeding and to consume the above breastfeeding superfoods.
Now that you know which foods can promote lactation and increase the production of milk supply, you can add them to your daily diet and provide your baby with the best possible breast milk that he/she needs to stay healthy and have a full tummy.
What are your favourite breastfeeding superfoods?