How to increase breast milk: 7 foods to eat

Giving birth to a baby is altogether a new journey for a woman. A new chapter in life with a new character MOTHER. The bonding between a mother and a child is pure and pious. During early days of motherhood, the main concern of a mother is whether she is producing enough breast milk for the baby or not. Every cry of the baby makes her restless, thinking that maybe he/she is not getting enough milk. The first five to six weeks are crucial for a first time mom to understand and find a proper routine. It is the same time when the body is regulating a healthy supply of breast milk. Though there are small numbers of mothers who are not able to produce enough breast milk, still it is a common fear. There are some tips and foods which can help to increase breast milk production. Before that all we have to understand are the causes for low breast milk supply.

Reasons of low breast milk supply

Delay: Separation of mother and baby due to some medical conditions can affect milk production. If the mother is unwell after delivery or the baby needs to get admitted to a special care nursery, it delays the breast feed and hence the body stops producing enough milk.

Poor attachment: Some mothers have flat or inverted nipples which makes it difficult for the baby to suck milk properly. This may cause poor attachment to the breast. Sleepy babies due to having jaundice at birth time and lip or tongue tie are some other causes which detach babies to get required milk supply from breast feed.

Schedule: Baby needs to get fed whenever he/she demands. Scheduling or making a time table to feed the baby can result in low breast milk production.

Skipping: Some mothers prefer breast feed and formula feed for their babies.  But skipping breastfeed and depending more on formula can lead to low supply of breast milk.

Contraceptive pills: To escape from fear of getting pregnant again, some women start taking contraceptive pills that contain oestrogen. This affects breast milk production.

Smoking: Smoking can also obstruct the production of milk. It can also pass through the negative effects of nicotine to babies through feed. Further in life babies may face a range of health problems due to this bad practice.

Ways to increase breast milk production

Demand and supply: Breastfeed your baby often as the body makes milk on the law of demand and supply. The more you breastfeed, the more your body get signal to produce milk. By nursing your baby every two to three hours you can be able to naturally increase your breast milk supply.

Breast pump: Power pump is a great way to boost up your breast milk production. This empties your breast fully and Indicates body to make more milk.

Proper diet: A nursing mom should take proper care of her food intake. It is the most effective way to increase milk supply. Lactating mom must organise her drinking and eating of a proper balanced meal throughout the day as nothing can hold milk supply faster than being hungry and dehydrated. (Easy source of protein for mothers)

Breastfeed from both sides: During the early days it is advised to feed your baby 8-12 times in a day. Always try to feed the baby from both sides. If it is not working, you can use a pump on the other side. It will stimulate more milk production.

Rest and sleep: Proper rest and a good sleep time can help your body to boost milk supply. After you deliver the baby, your breast milk supply starts to build up.  Many factors such as proper nutritious diet, hydration and relaxation influence this process. Lactation cookies play an important role to increase milk production in lactating mothers. Some foods that promote milk production are used to make these cookies. These are the best things to include in a new mom’s diet to overcome low milk supply issues. (How does sleep help a child with brain development?)

Foods to increase breast milk

Fenugreek seed:  Fenugreek is a herb that is most often used to increase milk production in nursing mothers. It is reported to be the best galactagogue( food to increase breast milk ) for mothers. It affects the activation of sweat production and as mammary glands belong to the same category that has been just modified due to some hormonal stimulation, it boosts the production of breast milk. It is considered as one of the best foods that promote milk production. (Nuts and seeds that help with milk production)

Oatmeal: As oatmeal is high in iron, it is considered to be one of the great foods to increase breast milk. Iron deficiency (maternal anemia) can result in low milk supply in nursing mothers. Including oatmeal in a new mom’s diet can help to boost up milk supply. (Ways to increase a child’s appetite)

Fennel seeds: It is commonly used in lactation cookies. Fennel seeds are considered as one of the foods to increase breast milk supply from ages.  It contains estrogen-like compound that enhance milk production. It can also help to increase milk volume which can promote weight gain in babies. (Foods that help a child with digestion)

Moringa: Moringa is known as an excellent galactagogue. In a study it is found to have an effective result on breast milk production. It is full of nutritional goodness and due to this, even lactation experts recommend adding moringa in diet to induce lactation. Though it is best to consume fresh moringa leaves, soaking moringa powder in water and consuming it can also ensure the absorption of nutrients much more efficiently. It is one of the best foods to increase breast milk. (Foods that help with eyesight of kids)

Garlic:  Garlic has been used as herbal treatment to increase breast milk production. It has sulphur compounds, vitamins and minerals and amino acids and has been used as medicine in Indian culture. Its odor gets transmitted through breast milk and found to make babies suck milk better. (Home remedy for cough)

Nuts: Nuts provide energy to a breastfeeding mother to stay active throughout the day. It is the best snack to include in a breastfeeding mother’s diet. It is believed that almonds, walnuts and cashews help to boost up milk production in lactating mothers. A new study suggested that consumption of nuts while breastfeeding can help to protect babies from developing allergies.

  • Sesame seeds: Sesame seed is one of the best foods that promote milk production in nursing mothers. It is a rich source of calcium which is the most important nutrient for breastfeeding mothers.

Recipe of Quinoa Corn and Peas Poha (beaten rice)

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  • 1 cup quinoa, washed, soaked 1 hour
  • Ghee or oil
  • Curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • ½ cup peas
  • ½ cup corn
  • 1 pod garlic shopped
  • salt and pepper


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