A nursing mother’s biggest worry is whether or not she is making enough milk; this perception of insufficient breast milk production is the most common reason breast feeding mothers give for early introduction of solid foods or supplements to their babies. Although there is a very small percentage of women who cannot produce enough milk no matter what they do, it is even more unusual for a mother not to be able to produce any milk at all.
Breast feeding mothers need to be very careful not to get into the habit of attributing everything your baby does to nursing. All babies, whether formula fed or breastfed, have some laid back easy days, and some fussy and cranky days. Sometimes, your baby’s behaviour is not usually related to breastfeeding at all, as such, it is important to know when you don’t have enough milk and what you need to do to increase your milk supply to feed your baby.
To boost your milk supply, here are some easy ways;
Water: OK, so water is not technically a food, but it is the most essential aspect of ensuring you will have an adequate milk supply. According to studies, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. You do not need to drink gallons a day, but you do need to be adequately hydrated. 8 glasses (64 ounces) of fluid a day is an absolute must. In the early stages of your breastfeeding journey it’s a necessity to have a bottle of water next to where you are going to nurse. You might not be thirsty when you sit down, but it is not uncommon to be overwhelmed by thirst after a few minutes.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is fantastic for building and maintaining your milk supply. Whether you enjoy a hearty bowl of hot oats in the morning or you sprinkle granola on your yogurt, make sure you are eating some oats. You already know that oatmeal helps to lower cholesterol and can aid blood pressure regulation, but increasing your supply is another awesome benefits of chowing down on oats.
Garlic: You don’t need to go overboard, but adding garlic to your foods not only adds another layer of deliciousness, it also boosts your milk supply. Garlic has been used by nursing mothers for centuries to help boost their milk. A modern bonus for moms who don’t like garlic: garlic pills are commercially available and are said to have no aftertaste.
Carrots: Carrots are full of beta-carotene, which just happens to be in extra demand when you are lactating. Carrots are a healthy source of carbohydrates and will boost your potassium, too. Snacking on carrots is also a great way to help you lose some of that stubborn baby weight. Peel and slice a bag of carrots at a time and store them in your fridge for easy snacking.
Nuts; Sometimes being a new mom can make you feel little nuts. Take a breathe, grab a handful of nuts, and enjoy a snack that will help supply. Cashews, almonds and macadamia nuts are the most popular choices for giving your milk a boost. They are also high in good fats and antioxidants. Read labels and go for raw nuts when possible. Many commercially available nuts are heavily oiled and salted, opt for low sodium, or salt-free versions when possible.
Green Papaya: Yes, i am talking about eating unripe papaya, green papaya is a traditional galactagogue (causing the production and secretion of milk). If you have a favourite Thai restaurant, order Som Tam, which is a green papaya salad. If you are not a fan of Thai food, try steaming or stir frying on high heat until tender.
Ginger: Do you still have ginger ale, candied ginger, and ginger pops left over from your days of morning sickness? They wont be going to waste after all, ginger is another widely used milk-boosting food. Many Asian and Indian recipes call for ginger, so expand your menu and try cooking some international cuisine. If you are tired and have no time. enjoy a few ginger snaps instead.
By: Mercy Kukah