Breastfeeding should strictly be the baby’s first and only nourishment for the first six months. The more you give and the more baby demands, more it refills to complete baby’s needs for mental and physical development. Breast milk also reduces the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer.
It has the highest biological value of protein that means it has all the things needed to build new protein molecules.
Today, when various formula supplements are available in the market, and there is a change in lifestyle; the ratio of problems related to the reduction in breast milk secretion in lactating mothers is taking a toll. Working mothers tend to stop breastfeeding their child as early as the fourth month.
Also, some women naturally have insufficient milk making ducts while few suffer from polycystic ovary disease (PCOS), and may have to bear with less milk secretion which may hinder the growth of the baby. Additionally, it can create complications like cranky babies or protein deficiencies or anaemia (iron deficiency ) or rickets (vitamin D).
With all its advantages, let us look at some foods which may help increasing secretion of breast milk. Food that can keep dopamine low, and prolactin levels high, can be considered as lactating food or galactagogue and it helps to combat low milk supply.
Let’s look at the list of foods lactating mother should consume to increase the secretion.
Whole grain cereals like whole wheat, brown rice, Bajra, Nachani (ragi) not only increase milk production, also provide a high amount of energy.
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek (methi), kale, broccoli, chawli, and drumsticks are packed with chlorophyll and various vitamins and minerals, and should be consumed in plenty.
Lactating mothers should consume almonds or almond milk to not only to increase the amount of breast milk but also its creaminess and sweetness.
Ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, anise seeds, fennel seeds, and turmeric are not only super galactagogue, but they also have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and aids in better digestion.
Rajgira, aleev (Halim) and Shatavari (herb) should be consumed daily as a superfood to enhance quality and quantity of the breast milk with its calcium iron and protein richness.
Lactating mothers should consume a good amount of water and fruits like papaya, pomegranate, green apples, pineapple, watermelon, muskmelon among others.
One should know the most important thing while breastfeeding, is to correct the mother’s lifestyle. A mother should be active and should perform yoga regularly. Exercise can help breast tissues to generate more amounts of juices necessary for the newborn.
Strictly avoid caffeine, alcohol, to reduce unwanted effects.
- In ¼ cup of milk soak halim (aliv) of about 1 bowl
- In another bowl soak almonds and dry dates.
- Soak at least for about 4 hours to allow aliv to puff.
- Chop almonds with peel finely, grind or finely chop dry dates too.
- Now, boil 1 cup milk with soaked Aleev along with dray dates powder, elaichi powder, jaggery, and almonds. Cook for 5 min on medium flame and serve hot.
- Heat ½ cup of pure ghee in a thick bottomed pan. Add 1 cup of wheat flour and roast until golden brown. Now add ½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain) and ¼ teaspoon dry ginger
- Add ½ cup of jaggery while stirring constantly and some water. Cook for few minutes till it thickens. Top it up with chopped dry fruits and cardamom powder. Serve hot.