As mothers, we fear low milk supply the most. Are you also clouded by questions like, ‘Am I producing enough milk?’ ‘Is my baby feeding enough?’ ‘How to increase my milk supply?’
Worry not, every mother goes through these phases. Of course, you can increase milk supply and yes, there are certain Breastfeeding Foods that increase milk supply(we’ll discuss it further).
There are many ways that can help you boost your milk supply quickly.
- Don’t fall for breastfeeding mistakes. They can immensely affect your milk supply. Some of these mistakes are early scheduling of breastfeeding sessions or skipping breastfeeding sessions… (We’ll be discussing these forth.)
- Breastfeeding foods to boost your milk supply(We’ll be discussing this vividly ahead.)
- Breast pumping but with the right techniques.
- The correct breastfeeding position & breastfeeding latch.
Before we begin with Breastfeeding foods to boost milk supply, let’s cross out these breastfeeding mistakes and know if really you have a low milk supply.
1. Signs For A Good Milk Supply.
Unlike formula, you cannot keep track of how much your baby drinks in one feeding or the whole day. Now, though it’s hard to calculate the actual amount, you can predict if your baby is feeding enough and is getting enough breast milk or not. These signs are:
- Healthy Weight Gain: If your baby is gaining enough weight, it’s probably having the food of life. Please note, babies’ weight fluctuates in the initial days and then peaks up a pace.
- A good count on dirty diapers: Though the number can vary hugely. A healthy breastfeeding baby can dirty 10-12 diapers a day. This case varies from breastfed babies to formula-fed babies. Formula-fed babies dirty 5-6 diapers a day.
- Please note, it’s not uncommon or abnormal for a baby to go days/week without a single diaper. Refer to the mentioned above for detailed information.
- Dehydration: It can be a ruling sign for low milk supply. If your baby is thirsty or has constipation, it’s probably because of less breast milk intake.
Related: If you want to learn and understand everything about baby poop, ‘Baby Poop: Breastfed baby Poop & Formula Fed Baby Poop’
2. Breastfeeding Mistakes That Ruin Milk Supply
If you are certain that your milk supply is low, let’s cross out these breastfeeding mistakes to boost your breast milk supply. Most of the time, low milk supply really is an issue of unintentional breastfeeding mistakes rather than innate low milk supply. Make sure you are not making these breastfeeding mistakes.
- An Improper latch: Latch is the connection between your baby’s mouth and your nipples. An improper latch can block your milk flow resulting in low milk supply & clogged ducts. To initiate a healthy latch, make sure your breast and nipple both are inside of your baby’s mouth without restricting the nipple’s opening.
- Improper breastfeeding Position: Only a proper breastfeeding position can lead to a better breastfeeding latch. Make sure you and your baby are comfortable while breastfeeding. Choose the position that allows your baby to lift his head to reach out to the nipple. Also, don’t forget your comfort. It should come first to facilitate a good milk flow.
- Scheduled And skipped breastfeeding sessions at an early age: Your milk supply works on supply and demand rule. The more your baby feeds on you & empties your breasts, the more your body would produce milk. Scheduling baby’s feeding sessions would disturb the supply & demand rule, resulting in low milk supply. Hence, don’t skip breastfeeding sessions either.
3. Breastfeeding Foods That Increase Milk Supply
If you are still dealing with low milk supply, these breastfeeding foods will help you boost your milk supply. Please note: A proper healthy diet is required in order to meet your body’s breastfeeding demands. So, make sure you are eating enough & drinking enough.
Are you wondering, what is an ideal breastfeeding diet? Trust me, breastfeeding requires no extra effort. A simple normal day-to-day diet with complete nutrients is all breastfeeding asks for. Also, drink loads of water, breast milk is 88% water.
Breastfeeding requires extra calories every day, 500 approx. You don’t need to eat double your capacity but eat enough & healthy to meet the daily calorie demand of your body.
Without further ado, let’s increase our breast milk supply with these breastfeeding foods.
3.1. Barley, Breastfeeding Foods #1:
Whole grain barley is a superfood for increasing breast milk. It is rich in B-Glucan, B-Glucan is a Polysaccharide that helps in increasing the secretion of Prolactin. Prolactin stimulates milk production and works to develop breast tissues. Unprocessed whole grain barley is a great source of B-Glucan.
Oats, just like barley, is rich in B-Glucan and helps in increasing the secretion of Prolactin. You can add ‘let there be milk’ or other supplements(after you consult your doctors regarding milk supplements!) into your oats recipes. there are many healthy recipes when cooking Oats. You can eat Oatmeal, oats cookies, Oats Breakfast, etc.
Papaya boosts the secretion of Oxytocin. It’s a hormone that regulates milk production and milk flow. Oxytocin then stimulates contraction to stretch Alveoli walls. This action allows a proper milk flow! Papaya has been used as a source of increasing milk supply since medieval times, cooked or raw. Eat papaya daily unless you are allergic.
I’m certain, you must have heard of Fenugreek. Fenugreek has been used for ages to increase milk supply. Traditionally, Chinese and Indian dishes have a blend of Fenugreek in most of their dishes because it serves more than one purpose!
You can add fenugreek in almost all the dishes except for the sweet ones. Mothers immensely praise Fenugreek and its impressive results. Fenugreek starts to show an increase in milk production within a matter of a day or two.
Though studies can’t understand how fenugreek increases milk supply, it’s results are phenomenal. You can add fenugreek seeds in its natural state or have capsules of fenugreek to increase milk supply after consulting your lactational specialist.
Just like Fenugreek, Fennel seeds have also been into medicinal use for ages. As an Indian, I can give you credibility, it’s in every dish and for all good reasons. Fennel and fenugreek both are the only milk boosting supplements that are FDA approved and considered GRAS! (Safe to use)
You can either use its natural state or the capsules. Though it’s recommended to use the capsules to keep a record of your daily doses. You can consume 2-3 capsules, 3-4 times in a day. Before trying out any supplement please consult your doctor.
3.6. Milk Thistle and Blessed Thistle
Although neither of them is FDA approved and nor show promising results, mothers say otherwise. All the breastfeeding mothers have broadly talked about the benefits of MIlk & Blessed Thistle and how they increase their milk supply.
In fact, Milk thistle and blessed thistle are one of the top ingredients of every milk supply supplements. Terminate its use if you see any side effects.
Some studies say Milk thistle increases the secretion of prolactin other studies still cannot defuse their mechanism. It’s still no harm to add a natural herb in your diet! Exclude it if you see any side effects.
3.7. Palm Dates
Palm dates are rich in many vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. Some studies also suggest palm dates show progressive results in lactating mothers who consumed it compared to mothers who didn’t. It’s advised to first try their natural state to look out for results and side effects.
3.8. Goat’s rue
Mothers profoundly talk about Goat’s rue and it’s milk boosting qualities. No studies support its milk boosting qualities but some rough old studies support the rare increase of milk supply.
3.9. Mother’s Milk Tea, Pink Stork Liquid
Mother’s milk tea is a herbal tea with ingredients like fenugreek and fennels as its main component. It also contains coriander, blessed thistle, and other galactagogues that are traditionally used to increase milk supply.
Pink stork Liquid gold is also a herbal tea, 100% organic and NON-GMO. This herbal tea also consists of fennel, fenugreek, and other milk boosting, traditional galactagogues. Consult your lactational specialist before trying out any of these supplements.
3.10. Let There Be Milk & Mommy Knows Best
If you don’t prefer tea, you can just add a few drops of ‘Let there be milk’ in your teas or juice or cookies or any dish you wish to add it in. Please, let me warn you, ‘Let there be milk’ is very bad in taste, if you don’t prefer its taste, let there be milk also comes in capsules.
Mommy knows best has a series of fenugreek-free milk boosting supplements. If you are allergic to fenugreek, mommy knows best can save you and your breast milk supply!