Something as natural as breast milk can be stimulated and maintained both in quality and quantity by lots of natural foods in a feeding mother’s diet. Here are few superfoods that improve breast milk production.
1. Dill leaves – known more colloquially as Shepu( inmarathi) or Suva ( in Hindi) is a very good lactogogue. In addition to its peculiar taste, it also helps in digestion.
2. Fenugreek – popularly known as Methi( in Hindi), both its seeds and leaves are extremely useful to improve breast milk production.
3. Spinach – it is an excellent source of iron and hence, helps in correcting anemia. It should be boiled well before consumption, especially during the monsoons, to avoid any waterborne infections.
4. Fennel – fennel or fennel seeds also help in lactation, as they have oestrogenic properties.
5. Bottle gourd – This vegetable helps to keep the lactating woman well hydrated.
6. Nuts – are an excellent source of serotonin, which helps in increasing lactation.
7. Garlic – This is one of the best foods to stimulate lactation. Apart from providing a new flavour to the diet, it is an excellent digestive. It also helps in Babies suffering from colic.
8. Water – As nearly 70 % of breastmilk is composed of water, its important that a lactating woman keeps herself well hydrated. This is also true during a breastfeeding session, when the mother feels extremely parched and thirsty.
A new mother can increase or decrease her breastmilk production to a certain extent by consuming or avoiding these foods, to perfectly maintain a balance with her baby’s food demands. Apart from these foods, one must remember that a suckling infant is the best stimulus for milk let down. Hence, the best way to breastfeed is to keep trying and be patient.
By: Dr Veena Aurangabadwala, Gynecologist, Zen Multispecialty Hospital, Chembur