5 Common Foods That Increase Breast Milk

5 foods in the diet of a breastfeeding mom that increase milk.

There is no magic formula for producing breast milk for your newborn, and all of you brand new moms out there will no doubt be absolutely filled with not only excitement, but questions too.

With so many different websites and resources out there, it can be difficult to find a clear cut, correct decision for you and your baby, and because every mother and baby are different, that makes it even harder!

One thing that is still debated quite a lot is the battle of breast milk vs formula. Two major factors for moms-to-be to consider are:

  1. Producing enough breast milk for their baby. There are a few ways to overcome this!
  2. Ensuring that the quality of the milk you are producing is the best it can possibly be for baby.

This article will look at the second factor, we will look at foods that help increase the quality of milk that you are producing. Even though you don’t have to be quite as careful with your diet as you were when you were still pregnant, you still need to be mindful of what you’re eating and drinking for the sake of your little one.

With that in mind, here are five common foods that increase breast milk supply.

1. Oats

oatmeal during pregnancy

The science around oats and breastfeeding isn’t exactly conclusive, but it seems to work and is often top of the list of recommended foods.

Oats should be part of a balanced diet regardless of whether you’re a new mother or not, as they’re a great source of dietary fibre, protein and antioxidants. Oats (Avena sativa) are thought to help with breast milk production because they contain plant estrogen that stimulates the milk glands as well as beta-mom, which is believed to raise the levels of prolactin in your body. Prolactin is a hormone that is believed to help produce more breast milk, so the more, the better.

Oats are a part of loads of quick and simple recipes, so it should be nice and easy to integrate them into your diet.

2. Garlic

Garlic while you are pregnant

The smell and taste of garlic are properties that can transfer into your breast milk, so you need to be a little bit more careful with this one, but the benefits of having garlic in your diet can be huge!

A 1991 study, by the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that mothers who produced breast milk with a more garlicky smell tended to nurse for longer than those who didn’t. Mothers who consistently nurse for longer can help the mother keep producing a good supply of breast milk, keeping baby satisfied!

As well as this, garlic is anti-fungal. Ingesting raw garlic can help fight the effects of thrush in your baby and mastitis in you!

3. Nuts

nuts while you are pregnant

Some new mothers are worried about eating nuts because of any potential nut allergies in their newborn, but breastfeeding expert Dr Jack Newman says that having nuts as part of your diet could actually decrease the likelihood of the development of nut allergies.

Nuts are also calorie dense, so they provide the added calories that new moms need, as well as needing little to no preparation to eat. Try to avoid pre-packaged nuts that can have huge amounts of added salt and preservatives to get the best health benefits that you can.

4. Carrots

Carrots are good for you, everybody knows this. They’re a great source of fibre, potassium, antioxidants and beta-carotene, which is a pre-cursor to vitamin A. Vitamin A is not only great for your baby’s growth, but you need more in your body while you’re lactating. Exposing your baby to carrots early in breast milk will also make them more likely to enjoy them when they start eating solid foods.

However, if you eat too much carrot then you or your baby could develop a condition called carotenemia, which is where the skin turns yellow, specifically in the hands and feet. Although this condition is harmless and should subside as they get older, caution is advised.

carrots for pregnancy

5. Ginger

Ginger was used as a natural cure-all remedy in Asian and Middle Eastern cultures for thousands of years. Although science doesn’t really back that up, it does say that it can support your immune system and suggests that it can improve your production of breast milk.

More research is needed on how ginger improves breast milk production, but the early signs are promising. Plus, since ginger is often used as a natural remedy for morning sickness, you could well have plenty lying around the house!

Ginger during pregnancy

New motherhood is a time full of joy and excitement, but also uncertainty and inexperience. By keeping your diet healthy and making sure to eat these suggested food, you’ll be doing all that you can to not only keep yourself healthy, but also keep your baby feeding as much as possible!

Some recipes using some of the food listed above are available here, and they also include a few ingredients not mentioned above!

We at Mama's Select also offer a large range of High Quality Breastfeeding and Nursing Supplements to Rapidly Increase your Breast Milk Supply. Sometimes it is easier to take one of our supplements in veggie capsule, than eat more and more. Check out our line of Breastfeeding Supplements Here. 

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