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How to increase breast milk: 7 foods to eat

 How to increase breast milk

There is no secret pill that will enhance your production of breast milk, but some of the foods listed below may help (and the last three certainly will not).


Is my infant receiving enough amount of milk? Am I creating an adequate amount? How did that Instagram mom get such a large amount of milk?! Breastfeeding may be completely disorienting for new mothers—you're dealing with two new bodies (yours and your baby's) and are plagued by confusion, stress, and self-doubt. If you have more questions than answers (which is completely normal! ), or if you or your baby are still struggling to get the hang of breastfeeding (again, completely normal! ), Consult a lactation consultant as a first step. They can help determine whether your supply is indeed low (it may not be—looks can be deceptive, and most women produce just enough), and, if it is, can offer constructive solutions for increasing breast milk production.

Following that, you may be tempted to raid your local health food shop, but doing so, according to Alicia C. Simpson, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and registered dietitian located in Atlanta, Georgia. Simpson cautions in her new book, Boost your breastmilk, that herbal supplements and lactation teas should be handled like medications—they may be "natural," but they do not always come without negative effects. Simpson provides a comprehensive list of the most well-established lactogenic foods and herbs (a.k.a. galactagogues), based on science and anecdotal data, that may assist in increasing both the quantity and quality of breast milk produced by your body.

1. Malted barley

While you may have heard that a big glass of Guinness is necessary for a robust supply of breastfeeding, Simpson cautions that alcohol can actually hinder milk production. It is actually barley, a component of beer, that has the potential to cause lactose intolerance. "Barley is the most abundant dietary source of beta-glucan, a polysaccharide that has been proven to boost prolactin [often referred to as the lactation hormone] levels in both humans and animals," Simpson adds.

Use it in soups, stews, salads, and even risotto. Make milk with barley flakes or incorporate them into your homemade bread recipe.

2. Malted barley

When grains germinate, malting enzymes are released, converting barley into a sweet, syrupy malt that contains lactogenic beta-glucan. Barley malt syrup is available at health and specialty stores; but, it should be 100 percent pure—high-fructose or ordinary corn syrup is sometimes added to dilute and sweeten it, Simpson adds.

How to use it: Add barley malt to unsweetened chocolate milk or use it in place of maple syrup in baked products.

3. Seeds of fennel and fenugreek

Fennel is a bulbous vegetable with a white, sweet, licorice-like flavor and delicate green fronds. According to Simpson, both the plant and its seed, fenugreek, contain phytoestrogens, which have long been believed to aid in milk production. Fenugreek is a popular herb among breastfeeding mothers in North America (you've probably heard of Mother's Milk tea), but it's also been used for millennia by women in India and parts of the Middle East. Simpson advises caution when using fenugreek: "While it is an extremely popular plant, it is frequently used inappropriately, at the incorrect dose, and with disdain for its negative effects... Clinical investigations have attempted to determine the precise dosage required to achieve therapeutic results as well as the mechanism by which this herb increases milk production, but the evidence is still equivocal." She continues by advising individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, heart problems, or nut/legume allergies to visit their physician before consuming fenugreek. The most frequently reported negative effects were "diarrhea and a (harmless) maple syrup odor in the perspiration and urine."

How to utilize it: Always go for entire foods! Fennel is wonderful raw, just dressed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Additionally, it pairs well with citrus, orange, and mint. When cooked, the licorice flavor subsides, making it an excellent accompaniment to roast chicken and fish.

4. Oatmeal

In terms of breast milk, oats are probably the most well-known. "Oats contain the highest concentration of dietary beta-glucan of any food," Simpson says, "behind barley."

Oats are easy to incorporate into your diet, but if you need a little inspiration, you'll find everything from granola to meatloaf here.

5. grains

Additionally, whole wheat and brown rice are likewise high in beta-glucan; yet, they have been consistently neglected in studies on lactogenic diets because they are both so evident dietary mainstays. White rice and white flour do not offer the same health benefits.

Use whole wheat flour and brown rice in place of white wherever possible, such as in bread, pancakes, and muffins.

6. Yeast

Brewer's yeast is an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, protein, chromium, and selenium. Simpson argues that brewer's yeast, unlike beer-related barley and malt, has not yet been researched as a lactogenic food. A popular ingredient in lactation snacks is yet another prevalent recommendation for its use as a breast milk enhancer. In some cases, brewer's yeast may cause flatulence and irritability in newborns due to its bitterness.

How to use: Simpson included a pancake recipe that calls for 14 cups of brewer's yeast in her book.

7. Papaya

Galactagogue fruits have been used in Asian societies for millennia, but only recently have they been investigated, according to Simpson. Papaya's effect on breast milk supply is still a mystery.

Consume papaya in raw form with other fruits and yogurt. Soups, salads, and noodle meals influenced by Thai cuisine benefit greatly from this ingredient.

Breastfeeding mothers may want to eat these additional items to boost their milk supply:

  • Dill
  • Apricots
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Beets in red are called beets.
  • seeds from the sesame plant
  • Prickly pears
  • Seeds of caraway
  • Seeds of anise are available.
  • Seeds of the coriander plant.

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