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Breastfeeding is a fairly sensitive subject for new moms. Soon after giving birth the struggle of breastfeeding begins. Many women get lucky to nourish and feed their babies right away, whereas some might have to strive for more days to actually get the right amount of flow.

Breastfeeding is all about demand and supply. More latching leads to more milk supply. A lot of moms feel so much stressed about having less feed which makes it even worse. Stress about anything would actually lessen the supply. Every woman’s body is different, hence, the response is not the same in every case.

No matter what delivery you have, on average it takes about 3 to 5 days for milk supply to settle in. However, some might have enough milk supply the very next day after delivery while some have to struggle for about 4 to 5 days.

Babies’ first food is called Colostrum. It is the first form of milk babies get and it has way beyond health benefits. Colostrum is sufficient to fill a newborn baby’s tummy in the first couple of days of his life. Ideally, with every latch, your milk supply has to increase and your baby should feel full.

However, sometimes this does not happen and moms might have to consider supplementing to meet babies’ nutritional requirements. Once the supply settles in you can exclusively breastfeed your baby.

Breastmilk is by far the best you can give to your baby. There are options that might help to increase milk supply to fill those tiny tummies with lots of nutritional value food.

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Foods that increase breast milk supply for breastfeeding moms

Let’s find out what are those food items that could help stressed out moms who are struggling with breastfeeding.

1. Oatmeal improves milk supply

Oatmeal is a fiber-rich food for breastfeeding moms. It is a high source of proteins and antioxidants. Amazing source of iron as if you are low on iron you might have to struggle with milk supply.

A bowl of oatmeal in the morning works great for milk supply. It may help you reduce weight and lower cholesterol levels.

As a new mom, you might not be having time to wait for oatmeal to be ready. Right after having a baby – it’s all about quick meals.

Boil oatmeal in water and add a little bit of salt and pepper. You can add milk if you want along with honey or brown sugar, whatever you may find healthy.

You can add any type of fruit or nuts you want: Berries, apples, bananas, raisins, almond, walnuts.

Once things settle down in a couple of weeks or months, you might consider using Steel-cut oats. It takes a long time to cook yet worth every bit of it. It’s healthier and tastier.

However, you can also take oatmeal in the form of Oatmeal Lactation cookies. You can bake your own lactation cookies at home with a ready to use cookie mix.

Moreover, oatmeal will help moms with post-delivery chronic constipation as well.

2. Boiled eggs

Eggs have allergens for some people. If you are not allergic to eggs and your baby has not shown any signs of allergies then you should take eggs in any form you like.

Boiled eggs are a more healthy option than any other form. You can boil them fresh every day while your coffee or tea is getting ready or you can boil them in advance and enjoy it with whole wheat bread or anything you want.

They have all the right nutrients for moms and babies.

3. Bone broth

Bone broth is a highly nutritious food for breastfeeding moms. You can make any form of bone broth in a slow cooker. Bone Broth is a popular food to promote milk production for breastfeeding moms and it is highly consumed by Indian women during postpartum.

How to make Bone Broth for nursing moms to increase milk supply.

You need to use bone-in meat of your choice – beef, lamb, mutton or chicken (organic chicken is a much better and healthier option).

Add a couple of garlic cloves, few slices of onions, salt, black pepper, and cumin seeds. Add water in an instant pot or slow cooker depending on how much meat you have. Meat should be dipped in water and other ingredients and leave it in a slow cooker for a few hours.

Now, the bone broth is ready, meat is deliciously tender and it is a high source of protein. Add salt and black pepper as per your taste.

Bone Broth is a super hydrating and nutritious meal. It is an awesome meal for c section moms too for better and quick internal and external healing of C-section wound.

You can make it in advance and freeze it before your due date. Even you or your partner would have no problem warming it up for you.

You might want to know about the postpartum diet for C-section moms.

4. Milk

Milk is a rich source of calcium and vitamin D. Your baby has extracted a lot from your body while you were pregnant. Now she is going to suck that out while breastfeeding so you need to work on your share of calcium and vitamin D other than enjoying the sun outside. However, drinking milk at night certainly works best for milk supply.

5. Water

Hydration is the key. You need plenty of water in any form. Be it juice or flavored water or Gatorade, plain water works the best and you and your baby need it. Moreover, it will immensely help you with milk supply.

Ideally, you should drink two glasses of milk (2% or whole milk, as per your choice) every day until you are breastfeeding.

Read more about postpartum essentials for moms.

Read more about newborn care on how you can help your baby to sleep through the night.

6. Dates

Dates are natural energy boosters. A high source of natural sugar gives you energy right away. Eating dates every day with a glass of milk is a good fulfilling meal.

Replace your Oreo cookies with dates and milk would be a healthy alternative although oreo cookies with milk seem more fun. Tastes great!

Dates significantly promote milk supply for breastfeeding moms.

7. Banana with milk at night

This trick worked for me so much for night feedings. Unfortunately, I have found out that this was helping me with the flow when I was about to wean off.

A glass of cold milk with one banana at night would work amazingly with the best milk flow. Banana is a great source of potassium and it helps so much with night-time leg cramping.

8. Prenatal vitamins

You should never skip your prenatal vitamins while you are breastfeeding. You need them every day just like you were taking while you were pregnant. Skipping them will make you cranky, stressed, depressed, sad and you would not realize that it is because of nutritional deficiencies.

Supplements to increase milk supply

Moreover, there are organic supplements for breastfeeding moms that nursing moms should consider having if they are struggling with lower milk supply.

Read more about how you can improve postpartum health with the right nutrition.

9. Milk tea

If you are really struggling with milk supply and nothing seems to be working with natural ingredients then you should consider taking milk tea. They are made with herbs that are helpful in increasing milk supply.

10. Green leafy veggie

Spinach is an amazing source of iron especially if you are anemic and had a c-section delivery. You can take spinach in the form of juice or salad.

If your doctor tells you are anemic then you need to have iron tablets every single day.

11. Cumin seeds

Most of the Indian women choose to eat cumin seeds for an immediate increase in milk supply. It is a highly recommended and super effective natural source to promote milk supply for breastfeeding moms.

You can chew on a Tsp of cumin seed every day for good milk supply.
It is highly recommended by breastfeeding moms in eastern countries.

You can either sprinkle a teaspoon of cumin seeds on your salad bowl. These seeds are very aromatic and chances are you are going to love it.

12. Fenugreek seeds

You can eat fenugreek seeds with water or you can take fenugreek tablets for milk supply. These are highly recommended and works great for breastfeeding moms.

13. Poppy seeds

White poppy seeds are also known to increase milk supply as well as it has a tiny bit of sedation properties, that may help mom and baby staying relatively calm.

14. Fennel seeds

Fennel seeds are great for digestion, and also known to increase milk supply as well as help moms and babies with gas or colic issues.

You can drink fennel seeds water after delivery. It will immensely help with bloating and weight loss. all you have to do – boil water with a tsp of fennel seeds

15. Semolina

Semolina is also a milk supply booster. It is consumed in the form of dessert.
Sauté a few tbsp of semolina in organic ghee. As soon as it starts changing color add water and let it cook for some time. You can add almonds, cashews, raisins any sort of dry fruit of your choice. Add sugar as per your taste.
This will amazingly increase your milk supply and keeps moms energized.

16. Brewers yeast Powder

A lot of moms find brewers yeast powder as an effective ingredient to increase milk supply. You may use these in cookies, shakes or anything you can make at home in order to improve milk supply.

There are vegan and non-vegan options available, so you can choose any you prefer.

17. Lactation Cookies

Breastfeeding moms may want to produce more milk since they are exclusively breastfeeding or pumping for freezer stash. Lactation cookies mix may significantly improve milk supply. You can either prepare from scratch but as a new mom, you are just too busy to do that. A ready-made lactation cookie mix is a win-win.

Other foods that are also known to help increase milk supply for nursing moms

Quinoa is another gluten-free, a very healthy option if you like it already then it’s a win-win.

Avocado is considered a very healthy food for pregnant women as well. You can try this recipe of guacamole as a healthy snack when hunger pangs hit.

Flax seeds have omega 3 fatty acids, good fats that you need in the right amount. Sprinkle some on your salad bowl or chew on a few roasted would also improve milk supply as well as the quality of milk. Flax seeds are what fed to chickens to produce eggs with higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids.

Garlic: Some researches conclude that using garlic in your diet would help increase milk supply.

Breastfeeding Class to increase milk Supply

If you are a first time mom and struggling with breastfeeding, as for some moms, milk supply could be the biggest setback when you feel like quitting.

I would encourage new moms to get a Breastfeeding class online. It would help you to know the basic techniques of breastfeeding that no one tells you other than Lactation consultants.

Stacey is a Certified LactationEducator at Milkology and helps new moms getting the hang of breastfeeding.

Also, at Milkology, Stacey has a Master Your Milk supply Class that helps moms know practical ways to improve milk supply quickly and effectively.

What might negatively affect your milk supply

  • Excessive consumption of Green tea or weight loss products might affect your milk supply.
  • Stress whether it’s emotional, physical or mental, going to affect milk supply.
  • A lot of IVs and medications before delivery, especially before C-section, might be a cause of delay in milk let down.
  • Smoking would also have a negative impact on milk supply.
  • Parsley, peppermint, sage, oregano cabbage if consumed in excessive amounts would adversely affect milk supply.
  • Do not give too much long gaps in between feedings. The more frequently you going to feed your baby the better will be the flow.

If you are taking extra supplements or medications while breastfeeding, it never hurts to discuss it with your doctor.

However, if you think you are not meeting the nutritional requirement of your baby, and your baby seems hungry all the time, you definitely want to consider supplementing with formula after having a consultation with your pediatrician.

Moreover, there are health concerns when moms cannot feed their babies, they can supplement formula or breastmilk from milk banks. You should never hesitate to talk to your doctor about it.

Read more about when you should consider supplementing or using a combination feed for your baby.

Eating a healthy diet and plenty of fluids would definitely help with the increase in milk supply for breastfeeding moms. Breastfeeding is known to reduce postpartum depression, however, if you still feel that you are not emotionally and mentally connected to your baby, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor about it.

Read more

44 Breastfeeding tips for new moms for the better nursing experience.

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