Motherhood they say completes a woman. A woman takes birth once again and this time as a mother who is about to nurture a little one. So a new mother is bound to have tons of questions in her mind regarding her child's health and well being.

As a mother you would definitely wish the best for your child and hence will be worried as to what kind of food to consume and to avoid in order to keep your baby healthy. The foods you eat will not only benefit the baby but would also help you recover post pregnancy.

While stimulation of the nerves in the breast lead to production of adequate amounts of milk, some foods can make it even better. There are certain foods which can enhance milk production, these foods are also known as galactagogues.

Here are 11 foods which can improve breast milk production:

1) Oatmeal

You can consume a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Oatmeal is loaded with fiber and is a great source of energy. It is necessary for building up and maintaining the flow of milk.

Oatmeal can also be a comfort food for mothers as it is known to reduce stress levels. Also it is a good source of iron which new moms are deficient in due to the bleeding that occurs post delivery. Iron deficiency has been considered a major reason why some mothers are unable to produce enough milk.

Consume a bowl of oatmeal with milk and fresh fruits in the morning or in the evening as an evening snack to meet the nutritional needs of you and your baby.  

2) Fennel

Fennel seeds can boost breast milk really well. It has been used for centuries as a galactagogue. Fennel is known to have properties similar to that of estrogen (the female sex hormone) and is used to increase the supply of breast milk.

You can add fennel seeds powder as a spice in gravies. It can also be added to milk and tea.

3) Fenugreek seeds

Fenugreek can boost the lactation hormones. Fenugreek seeds have been used since ages and basically it can be attributed as Nani- maa ka Nuskha for increasing breast milk.

It can be added to gravies, soups or can be consumed with a glass of water early morning on empty stomach. It also works in curing postpartum constipation.

4) Garlic

Garlic is known to have lactogenic effects if taken in moderation. It has been used for a long time to boost the milk supply in new moms as studies have shown that garlic possesses certain chemical compounds which increase the production of breast milk. 

You can add garlic to your soups, stir fries and curries. It gives flavor to your food and helps boost breast milk production.  

5) Carrots

Carrots can increase breast milk supply as it is a rich source of vitamin A.. Carrots are a great source of beta carotene which helps improve the quality of the breast milk produced and  is also beneficial to the overall health of your little one.

So in short you can say carrots have lactation promoting qualities. You can add carrot to your salads, soups, upma, idlis, rice, halwa or simply make a glass of juice out of it and consume it with your mid-morning or evening snack.

6) Cumin seeds 

Cumin seeds help  stimulate breast milk production when taken in moderation. It can also prevent constipation and bloating.

Being a good source of iron it can help new moms with postpartum recovery. Add cumin powder to a glass of buttermilk, lemon water or consume it early morning or at bed-time with a glass of warm water.

7) Black sesame seeds

Black sesame seeds are a great source of calcium. Hence it is beneficial for the production of adequate breast milk.

Calcium is also necessary for strengthening the bones and hence can reduce joint pain for new  moms who are recovering post pregnancy. 

You can add black sesame seeds to salads or blend them with nuts. You can also add them to a glass of milk with honey. Consume this in the morning before breakfast or in the evening.

8) Drumstick

Drumsticks are known to have high calcium and iron content. Studies have shown that drumsticks help in promoting lactation by stimulating the mammary glands to produce enough milk for the baby.

It is also necessary for boosting one's immune system and for maintaining a healthy nervous system. Add drum sticks to your curries or soups. You can also add them to your pulses, soups, curries or boil it with some turmeric and salt.

9) Salmon

Salmon is a great source of omega 3 which can boost the milk supply. It is also a great source of essential fatty acids. Each of these are considered to be very important for lactating mothers.

It can boost the production of lactation hormones and is responsible for making the mothers milk more nutritious. You can add it to a salad or consume it baked, steamed or grilled. Do not forget to add some black pepper and lemon juice on top to enhance the taste.

10) Sweet potato

Sweet potato can be an ideal evening or mid-morning snack. It is a great source of beta carotene and fiber. Beta carotene is known to boost the milk supply quite well.

It also contains Vitamin C and B,  which makes it really nutritious for a new mom. Magnesium found in sweet potatoes can act as a muscle relaxant and help in better lactation. 

You can add them to  a smoothie, kheer, pudding, soup or simply boil it and season with mixed herbs ,black pepper and lemon juice.

11) Holy Basil (Tulsi leaves)

Basil leaves can be really helpful in increasing breast milk. Since ages it has been a well known remedyo increase breast milk. It is known to have a calming effect which is necessary during breastfeeding.

Tulsi is known to be a great source of antioxidants and also contains nutrients like Vitamin K, Iron and Thiamine. Not only does it boost the milk supply but also strengthens the immune system of both the baby and the mother.

You can add it to soups, smoothies, curries or simply have some crushed basil leaves with a glass of warm water early in the morning. 

In the end breast milk is the best for your baby as it helps you and baby develop a beautiful bond. Therefore, make sure that you have a balanced diet and get adequate rest during the process of breastfeeding!! 

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.