Low breast milk supply can be frustrating for moms who are committed to exclusive breastfeeding. And with no “breast milk” section at the grocery store, it may feel like there is nothing you can do to keep your little one full. However, while breast milk supply cannot be broken down to an exact science, there are a few specific foods known to play a part in boosting milk supply. Learn more about the best foods to increase breast milk supply and how a breast pump can help!
This herb may sound like a trendy new health craze to non-parents, but breastfeeding moms know that fenugreek can be the key to unlocking their liquid gold. Moms who are struggling to produce enough breast milk often turn to fenugreek as a natural galactagogue, or substance that encourages milk production. Studies suggest that this herb stimulates milk production and can help moms increase their breast milk supply. While this herb can be used to make tea or taken as a supplement, it may not be right for every breastfeeding mom, so be sure to check with a healthcare professional before adding it into your diet.
This leafy green vegetable isn’t just good for strong bones! Spinach is packed with iron, which is a nutritional requirement for many new moms. Up to 22% of new moms are anemic, or iron-deficient, after going through labor and delivery. A lack of iron can prevent moms’ milk from coming in and growing into a steady supply. Moms who are looking for answers about how to boost milk supply may want to try adding iron-rich foods, like spinach, into their diet to get some extra energy and make sure their bodies are working at their best.
Although there is not a clear scientific explanation for how oats increase breast milk supply, moms across the world swear by the power of oatmeal. While the iron found in oatmeal can help develop milk, some sources also say that oatmeal helps moms breastfeed simply because it acts as comfort food that helps moms relax and express milk more easily.
Fennel is an herb that is commonly used to add an interesting licorice-like flavor to meals. However, this ingredient is also a botanical galactagogue that helps promote lactation for breastfeeding moms. Fennel and fennel seeds can be used in salads, dips, teas, and many other recipes to help moms take advantage of this tasty herb and increase their breast milk supply. As this is a supplemental herb, be sure to check with your doctor if you have any questions about how to best implement fennel into your diet.
While apricots may be a refreshing snack to enjoy fresh or dried, this fruit also contains phytoestrogens that can help balance moms’ hormones during breastfeeding and aid in milk production. If you prefer dried apricots, however, stay mindful about the potential for dehydration and make sure to drink plenty of water throughout your time breastfeeding!
Another great way to promote a steady milk supply–use a breast pump!
That’s right. Breast pumps can be another tool to help moms promote a steady milk supply. By expressing milk regularly, either through breastfeeding or breast pumping, moms are teaching their bodies how much breast milk their baby needs to grow. Even if a newborn gets full after feeding from only one breast, moms can use a breast pump to express milk from the other breast to keep their supply steady and store extra breast milk for easy feedings.
Breastfeeding is a challenge, but you’re not alone! Whether you’re struggling with low milk supply or just trying to figure out how to work your breast pump, there are moms around you who have been there. Stay strong mama, and enjoy some fenugreek tea and oatmeal!
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