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10 Foods to Increase Lactation

by andMe Bioactive Beverage 03 Jun 2022
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Breastfeeding your baby has many benefits. It reduces other diseases for your baby and you. Breastfed babies have no problem digesting their food. They are also less likely to have constipation or diarrhoea. This can save you from the embarrassment of cleaning messy diapers. Babies will develop healthy weights as they grow, so you won't need to worry about the weight gain of your babies.

10 foods to increase lactation for breastfeeding moms are:

Nuts

Nuts are a simple snack to grab on the go, and they contain many nutrients that can help support your breastfeeding experience. They contain healthy fats, protein, fibre and magnesium — all essential for a healthy milk supply. Nuts are also rich in zinc, another essential nutrient for breastfeeding parents. And the good news is that you don't need to eat a ton of them to get the health benefits you need. Instead, a small handful (or 1.5 ounces) of nuts should do the trick daily. Some of our favourite options include almonds, cashews and pistachios.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are one of nature's best sources of beta-carotene, which helps keep your immune system strong. Plus, they are rich in vitamins A and C and other minerals such as potassium and iron, all essential nutrients in lactation. Sweet potatoes also contain complex carbohydrates, making them a great source of lasting energy to help you power through the day with your little one. You can easily roast or bake sweet potatoes and then top them with cinnamon or sliced almonds for a nutritious breakfast side dish or snack. Or try swapping regular potatoes with sweet potatoes when making fries!

Fenugreek

Fenugreek is a herb that has been used for centuries to promote lactation and is often included in many commercially prepared breastfeeding teas. It's thought to work by mimicking the mother's natural hormones and prompting the breast to produce more milk. Although there isn't much scientific evidence to support these claims, some mothers swear by it. In addition, there are no known side effects so it might be worth a try. You can find fenugreek tea in either capsules or liquid form at most natural food stores or online. Just read the instructions carefully before taking it, as dosage varies from person to person.

Oatmeal:

Oatmeal is popular breakfast food for increased lactation. It is also the subject of some unusual folklore. For example, some people believe that eating oatmeal can make hair thicker, improve the health of fingernails, and cure poison ivy. In addition, according to anecdotal reports, oatmeal is one of the best foods for boosting the milk supply. It is also a good source of nutrients for breastfeeding women and babies.

These nutrients include:

  • fibre
  • iron
  • magnesium
  • zinc

According to the University of Wisconsin's Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, oatmeal's high iron content makes oatmeal popular for breastfeeding women. Conversely, low iron levels can reduce the milk supply. Oats are also versatile and easy to prepare, making them a great meal option.

Protein-rich food:

When a mother is breastfeeding, her body loses protein through the milk she produces. The new baby also requires additional protein to help them grow and develop. Therefore, it is recommended for breastfeeding women to consume an additional 25 grams of protein each day. This is on top of the 46 grams per day they recommend for all adult women. Protein plays an essential role in the production of breast milk and the growth and development of the infant. In addition, mothers need the energy to care for their infants, especially during stress or illness. When a woman is not consuming enough protein, her body attempts to make up for this by breaking down muscle tissue and reducing muscle mass. However, if this continues for a long time, it can result in muscle atrophy, which results in weakness and fatigue.

Good sources of protein include:

  • lean meat
  • eggs
  • beans and lentils
  • tofu
  • nuts and seeds

Green and leafy vegetables:

Women who are breastfeeding may wish to eat leafy greens in the afternoon or evening. This is because eating leafy greens may improve a baby's sleep during this time of day. In addition, the researchers suggested that eating spinach at dinner increased babies' melatonin levels, which helped them sleep better. Other types of greens may have similar effects on melatonin levels. Green vegetables are also rich in folate, which may help encourage milk production when consumed during the day. Some beneficial leafy green vegetables include:

  • beet greens
  • dandelion greens
  • kale
  • parsley
  • spinach
  • watercress

Garlic:

Garlic is a popular herb used in cooking for its distinctive taste and aroma. It is well known for boosting the immune system, preventing heart disease, and having curative properties. However, garlic can also affect the taste and smell of breast milk. Hence, it must be consumed in moderation. Garlic is a known galactagogue (i.e., a substance that increases milk supply). Therefore, it can be given to a woman after delivery to increase milk production. In addition, some studies have shown that garlic helps induce lactation in mothers who adopt or conceive through surrogacy.

Sesame seeds:

Sesame seeds are also a source of iron, another mineral essential for healthy breast milk production. When women do not consume enough iron while breastfeeding, they may develop anaemia. Anaemic lactating women have lower haemoglobin and iron levels in their breast milk. Iron is especially crucial in the first 6 months of life, as a baby's iron stores are at their lowest then. Sesame seeds are also a good source of zinc. Therefore, zinc supplementation may boost milk production in breastfeeding women with low zinc levels.

Fennel seeds:

Fennel seeds are an ancient remedy to help boost milk supply. Fennel seeds contain phytoestrogen and are said to increase the production of prolactin in the body. Apart from increasing milk supply, fennel seeds are also used to reduce gas and colic. It is assumed that these benefits of the seeds will pass on to the baby through breast milk. You can soak a teaspoon of fennel seeds in a glass of water overnight and drink it in the morning or brew it in your tea.

Salmon:

If you have access to fresh salmon, you should add it to your diet. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and essential fatty acids or EFA, which help with lactation. In addition, it makes the milk produced more nutritious. You can have salmon in many different ways – steamed, grilled, or pan-fried. But if you cannot find fresh salmon where you live, there is no need to worry. You can always opt for canned salmon instead. But keep in mind that if you choose the canned version of this fish, then make sure that it does not contain bones. This is because if the bones are too small, they might pass through your milk and get stuck in your baby's throat.

Also, rather than all of the above options, you can opt for plant-based lactation booster supplements For example, andMe's natural lactation booster with the goodness of Shatavari. This natural supplement to increase breast milk contains no chemical preservatives.

Lactation Booster

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