You have just delivered and started to breastfeed your baby. But you’re wondering whether you’re producing enough milk, especially when the amount of milk going into the baby’s mouth cannot really be measured.
While breastfeeding, the biggest aspect that should be taken care of besides the mother’s mental health, is her diet as it not only impacts the amount and quality of breast milk produced, but also impacts the post-delivery recovery of the mother. It is important to consult a doctor while planning your postpartum diet, so that they can balance out nutritional requirements while keeping in mind which food enhances your own breast milk supply.
Insufficient milk production may be caused due to many reasons like insufficient glandular tissue, hormonal changes, illnesses, or nutritional deficiencies. Today we share 10 local natural milk boosters that are handy, economical and should be consumed as part of your daily diet, and not merely included as a supplement.
Herbs which promote milk flow are also known as galactogogues and are blessings for mothers who are unable to produce enough milk for their infants. Malaysia is blessed with these spices which are mainly used in Indian and Malay cuisines such as turmeric, cinnamon, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and sesame seeds.
-Fenugreek seeds : contains a compound called phytoestrogens that help in boosting the function of the mammary glands. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are important for your baby’s brain development. You can also use fenugreek leaves, as they are rich in nutrients like beta-carotene, Vitamin B, calcium, and iron.
-Fennel Seeds : a popular milk booster due to its natural estrogen-like properties.
-Cumin seeds : helps stimulate milk production, packed with iron, aid in digestion, stimulate bowel movements and provide relief against gastric problems.
-Sesame seeds : High in calcium, and helps improve digestion if eaten with the husks.
-Cinnamon: helps increase the flow of breasts milk and delay periods after childbirth.
This natural sedative will help you relax while boosting milk production. It can be eaten by grating it into salads, like the famous Thai som tum or kerabu betik! Unripe papaya is considered to be a great galactagogue across different Asian countries.
This main ingredient in many Asian cuisines has been used for ages to aid in milk glands stimulation and secretion of milk for a longer duration. This anti-cancerous herb also enhances the flavour of the milk, besides boosting the immune system, preventing heart disease, and other health benefits. Though it can help boost your milk supply, garlic can also affect the taste and smell of the breast milk. Hence, it must be consumed in moderation.
Green leafy vegetables
Leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, fenugreek leaves, and mustard greens are great sources of minerals such as iron, calcium, and folate. These veggies have plenty of vitamins and are considered to help enhance the production of breast milk. You should have at least one portion of green leafy vegetables on a daily basis.
Despite its bitterness, this vegetable is highly nutritious. Its high water content will keep you well hydrated. It is easy to digest and helps increase the supply of breast milk. To make the bitter taste bearable, there are many ways to make it more tasty like soaking it in salt water before cooking or slice them thinly, marinate with some curry massala powder, fry them and enjoy the crispy mamak style bitter gourd!
Rich in carbohydrates that are important for providing energy, it is also rich in vitamin C, B-complex, and magnesium. You can cook it in a variety of ways, in both savoury and sweet dishes like kuih keria, cik mek molek or simply make sweet potato porridge.