Breastfeeding your child is one of the best ways to healthily feed your child, as well as bonding with them. Its completely natural, free of charge, and there is no other substitute quite like it. In fact, the UAE has banned large amounts of baby formula milk to encourage mothers to breastfeed children instead.
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Breastmilk contains plenty of important nutrients that help babies to fend off colds, flu, and other illnesses. To make sure your breastmilk is at its best and full supply, you also need to watch your diet. Here are foods that can help you increase breast milk supply.
Oatmeal is easy to prepare, easy to digest and loaded with healthy nutrients that can be passed on to your child through breastfeeding. Oatmeal can help to provide energy, fibre, minerals, and antioxidants that your child can also benefit from. It can be mixed with nuts, fruits and any other toppings you enjoy. If you don’t like having it in porridge form, oatmeal snacks and biscuits are good alternatives.
2. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are popular amongst breastfeeding mothers as they are known to increase breast milk supply. Fennel seeds contain estrogen producing products and are believed to be a galactagogue, which helps to increase the total volume of breastmilk. Fennel seeds are also good for digestion as well as controlling baby-colic. Fennel seeds can be used as a seasoning, or you can boil them in tea.
3. Unripe Papayas
Unripe papayas are widely available and very popular in Asian countries. They are known to be a natural sedative that is passed through lactation to help your baby feel relaxed as well as preparing for a good rest. It can be eaten on its own or in a salad with other healthy fruits.
Garlic is one of the best foods in boosting lactation for nursing mothers. It contains compounds that help with the production of breastmilk. Garlic for your general health can also prevent all types of cancer. Garlic can stir-fry with all your meat and vegetables or even steamed with your rice.
5. Black Sesame Seeds
Black Sesame Seeds is believed to increase breast milk supply and is a rich source of calcium. It can be consumed in a blend of milk, almonds, and fruit. You can season it on your vegetables or steam it with your rice.
6. Brown Rice
Brown Rice is said to increase breast milk supply as it contains hormone stimulants to boost lactation. It also contains enough natural sugars to give mothers the extra energy to recover during post-delivery. Brown rice can be eaten as a carbohydrate source and is a better and healthier alternative to white rice.
Apricots contain certain chemicals that help to balance out your hormone levels. Hormone imbalance is a contributing factor as to why some women struggle to get a good amount of breast milk per session. Apricots don’t just balance out hormones but are also rich in calcium and fibre. This also helps with the production of breast milk.
Asparagus is one of the best vegetables to have when you are breastfeeding. It contains lots of fibres, is rich in Vitamin A and K, and helps to stimulate the hormones that are essential for lactation. Asparagus can be eaten with other vegetables or can be chopped and boiled with milk, which is a healthy alternative to drinking plain milk.
Carrots aren’t just good for your health, but can also benefit your child through breastfeeding. Its Vitamin A content is known to complement the lactation process as well as adding more nutrients in the breast milk for your child. Carrots can be steamed, eaten raw, juicer, or whichever way is most convenient for you.
Salmon is one of the best superfoods for any diet and is essential for nursing mothers as well. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly nutritious and can pass through to the baby by breastfeeding and makes milk more nutritious. Salmon can be steamed, fried, grilled or eaten fresh. However, for the healthiest and safest way to consume, steaming it is the best way to prepare salmon.
Apart from eating well, make sure you are also staying well hydrated. All the foods in the above list should be accompanied by plenty of fluid to wash it down. Drinking water while mothering your child helps you to replace the fluid lost during lactation, preventing you from becoming dehydrated. Most importantly, drinking lots of water increases the total volume of milk per feed.
If your breastmilk supply is low and a change in your diet may not be improving it, you may need to get advice from your doctor.
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