7 foods that help increase breastmilk supply
Having trouble with your milk supply? Try these foods!
Plenty of mums struggle with breastmilk supply issues. According to a study by pediatrician Marianne Neifert, “as many as 5% of women may have primary insufficient lactation because of anatomic breast variations or medical illness that make them unable to produce a full milk supply despite heroic efforts.”
Sadly, not a lot of research has been made on the kinds of food that can help increase breastmilk supply, as BabyCenter points out. But we can learn from previous generations of breastfeeding moms who have sworn by certain foods that have reportedly helped their breastmilk supply.
Here are some foods that you could try to increase your milk supply.
Oatmeal is great for regulating our cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and could also help with lactation. According to Just Mommies, because oatmeal is a comfort food, it can also help mothers relax and produce oxytocin, a vital hormone for milk production.
Garlic affects the taste and smell of your breastmilk, and according to one study (link here), babies tend to latch on for longer after their mothers consume garlic. According to Mom Junction, it also could have chemical compounds that help in lactation.
3. Green leafy vegetables
Breastfeeding can be demanding on your body — feeding another human means that you’ll need more nutrition yourself. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, mustard greens, kale, and fenugreek leaves are great sources of vitamins and minerals. In addition, dark leafy greens contain phytoestrogens, which, according to Just Mommies, have chemicals similar to estrogen that could promote breast tissue health and lactation.
4. Fenugreek seeds
A common herb used to increase milk production, fenugreek seeds have been used to increase milk production for centuries. Like green leafy vegetables, fenugreek seeds contain phytoestrogens. According to Breastfeeding Online, it only takes 24 to 72 hours before fenugreek increases a nursing mother’s milk supply.
According to a study from the University of the Philippines’ Department of Pediatrics, mothers of preterm babies who consumed moringa capsules found that their milk production increased by 152 to 176%. That’s great news for mothers struggling with low milk supply issues.
Plenty of us overlook something as simple as staying hydrated. Drinking enough (or not enough) water can make a huge difference to your milk supply, so make sure that you drink a glass of water before and after feeding your baby.
According to Parenting, the monounsaturated fats found in certain nuts (e.g. almonds, macadamia nuts) can make your milk richer. Nuts are rich in vitamins, minerals, and calories, making them a great source of nutrients.