New mothers often neglect their own health and nutritional needs in their effort to give their babies maximum comfort and undivided attention. The demands of a new baby can actually take a heavy toll on the new mother’s health unless she is careful. Although breast milk production cannot be increased by eating any particular food, you can inculcate some good eating practices and include some important dietary changes to boost lactation. Strange as it may sound, your diet has a lot to do with how much breast milk you are capable of producing. Almost all new mothers are anxious as to whether their infants are getting enough milk supply. You are likely to be insecure about your milk supply because this is not measurable like formula food.
Diet tips for boosting lactation:
- Drink more fluids: You must drink enough fluids throughout the day to improve the milk supply. When your urine is clear and you are not constipated, you are not dehydrated. You should ideally drink at least eight glasses of fluids every day and eat proper nutritious meals. Lactating mothers need 1800 calories each day, and breastfeeding the child may actually help some of you lose the pregnancy weight.
- Do not concentrate too much on losing weight soon after child birth. If that obsesses you, wait for about 6 months post delivery and sign up for nutritious diet programs like Nutrisystem. When you join weight loss programs like Nutrisystem, which devises special diet plans for nursing moms on request, your time and attention to baby are not hindered. The ordered diet meals arrive at your doorstep in prepackaged condition. All that you have to do is reheat the microwavable pouches and relish them during scheduled meal times. Generally, their diet meals are nutritionally fortified and low in fat. You can lose weight at a slow and steady rate as well as take care of your little baby.
- Elevated diet: Lactating mothers will require a large calorie diet for perfect health. A malnourished woman is not likely to be able to produce sufficient breast milk. Although she may feel that her milk supply is adequate, it is likely to be lacking essentials like vitamins A, D, B12 and B6. Don’t forget to still take a daily prenatal vitamin!
- Nutritious seeds: Foods like fenugreek seeds and chia seeds (like in my favorite Pumpkin and Chia Seed Overnight Oats recipe) have been known to stimulate breast milk production. These seeds are excellent sources of iron and minerals, calcium and vitamins. You can add the fenugreek seeds to many vegetable recipes and include them in your daily diet. Likewise, fennel seeds increase the milk supply. These seeds are rich in vitamin C and help in digestion. Cumin seeds improve digestion and stimulate milk production in lactating mothers. They offer relief from constipation and bloating and replenish iron lost in pregnancy. Black sesame seeds are good sources of calcium and contain nutrients like copper.
- Green vegetables: Different types of gourds are very effective in improving the milk supply. Green veggies like spinach and beans, beet leaves, and asparagus are also excellent vitamin sources. They contain phytoestrogen that stimulates milk supply. Lentils and pulses are good sources of iron and fiber and can boost milk supply.
- Red vegetables: Vegetables like carrot, sweet potatoes and beets contain beta-carotenes that help to make you and your baby strong. Carrot seeds boost milk production.
- Nuts like cashew or almond should be eaten raw for best results. Garlic increases milk supply and can be used for preparing meats and veggies, pickles and pasta.
- Apart from these, there are some other dietary inputs which can boost lactation. Oats, for instance, are excellent sources of iron, fiber and calcium. Oils like flaxseed oil and olive oil help in lactation. Caffeine, though not in very large amounts, can stimulate milk supply. These are some important dietary information which can help you when you are nursing a baby.
Shop our favorites here: