“It’s not easy being a mother.”
By now, you have already understood the gravity of this phrase. Being a breastfeeding mother, you need to pay attention to your diet not just because your system is in its recovery phase, but also because your diet can have a direct influence on your baby’s digestive system as well.
As a breastfeeding mother, you may often have thought about which foods can trigger the supply of your breastmilk and can help your baby avoid the formula milk. Thus, being a new mother, here I am to share with you some of the best foods for breastfeeding mothers.
Really easy to prepare, oatmeal comprises of fibre which makes it an ideal choice for your digestive system. Also, replete with energy, oatmeal is also considered apt for controlling diabetes that may occur post-pregnancy. In case, you are not an oats-person, try switching to oats cookies.
2. Fennel Seeds
Apart from boosting your breastmilk supply, being primarily digestives, fennel seeds also help with baby-colic. Add them as vegetable seasonings or just drop a couple of them into your milk or tea. Or just simply pop a few of them after meals, one of my preferred ways, as a natural mouth refresher.
One of my all-time favourite bulbs, garlic is, in fact, also one the best foods for breastfeeding mothers. Replete with several chemical compounds that further help in lactation, garlic has also been beneficial in preventing cancer. You can either toss a few cloves and add them to your meals. Or you can also stir fry some of them in ghee. Have them with steamed rice.
Quite a must-have for all lactating mothers, asparagus is replete with Vitamin A, K and fibre. It further helps in stimulating the hormones of all breastfeeding that becomes crucial during the lactation phase. For consuming it, just chop asparagus and boil it with milk. Strain it and then drink it.
5. Brown Rice
Based on a research, brown rice can actually enhance your milk supply. Like asparagus, brown rice too comprises of hormone stimulants that help in boosting your lactation. Apart from that, it also provides new mothers with extra energy that is very much required post pregnancy. Not just that, brown rice also helps in improving your appetite. Pressure cook brown rice and have it with veggies.
Hormonal imbalance is common during as well as post pregnancy. Dried apricots, that consist of certain chemicals, help in balancing your sudden hormonal disbalance. Enriched with fibre and calcium, apricots further boost your milk supply. While having your oatmeal diet, just drop in a couple of apricots.
What makes salmon as one the best foods for breastfeeding mothers, is its constituents that includes Omega-3 and EFA. Not only it helps in boosting milk production but also, it helps in making more nutritious milk. While consuming salmon, always opt for boiled, grilled or steamed ones.
8. Bottle Gourd
Yet another of my favourites, being high in water content, bottle gourd helps in keeping the lactating mothers stay hydrated. Apart from that, bottle gourds are also easily digestible that further helps your system post delivery. For best results, for your lactation and for normalizing your blood sugar levels, drink bottle gourd juice. However, just ensure that they are always freshly made.
Enriched with iron, folic acid and calcium, spinach is an essential leafy vegetable that every anaemic mother must consume. Also comprising of detoxifying agents and certain plant chemicals, spinach can actually help preventing breast cancer. And yes, it can also help make your baby stronger. Include them as meals or simply make parathas out of them. However, while consuming spinach, ensure moderation.
Ok, I know it’s technically not food, but it’s definitely one of the best foods for breastfeeding mothers. I still remember when initially I was going really low with breast milk and gulping gallons of water saved me from the horror. Consuming glasses of water helps you prevent you from dehydration along with replacing the fluids thus lost during your breastfeeding session. Make sure to gulp in a glass not only when you’re thirsty but also just before you feed your baby. And yes, it also helps you lose your post-pregnancy weight!
Although traditionally proved to have increased breast milk, make sure to consume all these foods in moderation. Also, take a note of their side effects as now your diet no longer affects you alone.
Apart from these best foods for breastfeeding mothers, here are some more tips that can further help you with lactation and can increase your milk.
1. Feed frequently
The core of more milk supply is nursing more often and efficiently. The more your baby suckles, the more shall be the production. Try to keep your feeding sessions in every two-three hours. Position yourself properly so that your little one can easily latch on.
Always let your baby drink from both your breasts every time you feed. However, before switching, let your baby finish off with one breast. This technique helps your baby get the fatty and calorie-rich hind milk.
3. Avoid bottles and pacifiers
Unless medically recommended, always avoid supplementary infant formula. Also, try keeping the pacifiers at bay as that can lead to nipple confusion.
4. Check your meds
In case you are in medicines, always ensure if they can have any effect in the production of your milk. In any case, avoid consuming hormonal contraceptives exactly after your delivery.
5. Rest and take no stress
Yes, stress does have a major role in your milk supply. Stay calm and try resting and sleeping as much possible. The more you sleep, the more you can produce. Yes, it does happen!
6. Include pumping sessions
Like feeding, frequent pumping between your respective feeding sessions can also help in maintaining a consistent milk supply. Try pumping for two to five minutes for every session.
With all these above tips along with the aforementioned best foods for breastfeeding mothers, your entire lactation process can be a smooth one.
If you too have tips or know about some of the foods that have been missed out above, leave them in the comments. Let’s share the happiness!
All the images, unless otherwise stated, have been taken from here.