New mothers often worry about not producing enough breast milk. Diet of the mother is an important aspect, as it not only impacts the amount and quality of breast milk produced, but also impacts the post-delivery recovery of the mother. Eating nutritious food throughout the day is the best way to ensure a healthy milk supply for your baby.
Signs to look for if you have Low Breast Milk Supply
To check your baby’s weight is the best indicator of your proper breast milk supply. You should regularly weigh your baby to confirm their development and growth track. However, it is common for babies to lose weight immediately after birth, but this aspect will be resolved within the first five or six days after birth.
Here are few signs to look out for to ensure that you are producing enough breast milk:
- Having a comfortable and painless breastfeeding experience for you.
- Breast milk is digested quickly that’s why babies like to feed often. This does not mean that you are not producing adequate milk as most babies will have at least 8 to 12 feeds in 24 hours.
- Your breasts will feel softer and emptier after each feed and you can also watch your baby swallow while feeding.
- It’s important to check the baby's latching position and notice the pauses your baby takes in between feeding.
Top Foods to increase breast milk supply:
- 1. Fenugreek Seeds- These estrogen-like compounds are thought to enhance milk flow. They are rich in nutrients like omega-3 fats which are important for your baby’s brain development, beta-carotene, Vitamin B, calcium, and iron. Add it to your tea or can be used in the preparation of roti and puri.
- 2. Garlic- There is not much research to back up but garlic is well known for boosting the immune system, preventing heart disease, and having curative properties. While it is also believed to help boost the milk supply. But it can also affect the taste and smell of breast milk and should be consumed in moderation.
- 3. Green Leafy Vegetables- Spinach (paalak), fenugreek leaves (methi), mustard greens (sarson ka saag) are an excellent source of iron, calcium and folate and are believed to enhance lactation. Lactating women should eat one or two portions of green leafy vegetables daily. You could also make snacks like thepla, vegetable poha or idlis.
- 4. Unripe Papaya- It works as a natural sedative which will help you relax. You can grate it into salads as it’s considered to be a great galactagogue across different Asian countries.
- 5. Oatmeal- Oatmeal is great for controlling diabetes post-delivery while being a great source of energy containing iron, calcium, fibre and B vitamins. You can eat it as porridge and you can also add nuts, milk, spices or fruits to improve the nutritional value.
- 6. Cumin Seeds- They are known to help with digestion, relieve constipation, acidity, and bloating along with helping with lactation. They’re packed with vitamins and calcium. One can soak them in water overnight, and drink the water to get the benefits. You could roast them and add them to snacks, raitas and chutneys.
- 7. Holy Basil- Holy basil or tulsi aids in milk production, and also has a calming effect, as well as promotes healthy bowel movements and a good appetite. You can have it in the form of tea that will help the lactating mothers relax.
- 8. Bitter Gourd- It’s highly nutritious and has a high water content which will keep the mom hydrated. It is easy to digest and helps increase the supply of breast milk.
- 9. Green Tea- It is flush with antioxidants and minerals that help the body relax and drinking a glass of green tea every day will purify your system and will also help with blood circulation and cholesterol.
- 10. Nuts- Almonds (badaam) and cashews (kaju) are believed to boost breastmilk production as they are high in calories, vitamins and minerals, and provide energy. They make an excellent snack as You could blend them with milk to make delicious badaam or kaju milk. Dried fruits and nuts are used to make panjiri , laddoos and halwa for breastfeeding mums and are easily available.