5 Foods That Can Help New Mothers Produce New Milk

5 Foods That Can Help New Mothers Produce New Milk
Photo by Hollie Santos on Unsplash

There are a few concerns that new mothers have after giving birth to their babies, one of which is: Am I producing enough? For new moms breastfeeding can be very displeasing as they are coping up with a lot and also going through PPD (postpartum depression). The first thing to do if this question is arising in your mind is visiting a lactation consultant so that they can help assess whether the supply is really low and then they can offer help on how to boost milk supply.

Certain lactation teas and herbal supplements are treated as medication but are not always side effect free, which is why doctors suggest having lactogenic foods and herbs. The diet of the mother should be taken care of while nursing, as it increases the milk supply and quality of the breast milk that is produced. To worry about milk supply is normal as all mothers want the best for their little one. Postpartum diet is important and should be looked into properly.

Food that can help mothers produce milk:

  • Barely: The key to a healthy breast milk supply is barely, you may consult a lactation consultant and they will recommend consuming barely to you. Barely is  the richest dietary source of beta-glucan, a polysaccharide that has shown an increase in prolactin (which is a breastfeeding hormone) levels in both humans as well as animals. Barely can be used to make soups, stews and salads. Risottos can also be made. Barley flakes are used to make milk which is highly beneficial for new moms, it can also be added to a homemade bread recipe.

  • Barley Malt: When the grains of the crop are germinated they release malting enzymes which contain lactogenic beta-gluten. This barley malt syrup is found in many health and organic stores. It is 100% pure, regular corn syrup can be added to it as a sweetener. Barley malt can be consumed with unsweetened chocolate milk as a natural sweetener or as a substitute for maple syrup in baked goods.

  • Fennel: Fennel is a vegetable which is green, white and has a licorice flavoured bulb. Both the plant and the seed contain phytoestrogens which are believed to produce milk. The herb fenugreek is a big deal for people around the globe as it is said to boost the milk supply. The people with Type 1 or 2 diabetes and heart problems should consult their doctor before taking fenugreek herb. The most common side effects of this herb are diarrhea and harmless smell in urine and sweat.

  • Oats: Oats are known to be the best breast milk producers, whereas barely still is the first. Oats have a higher concentration of beta-glucan than any other food. Oats can be consumed by cooking them over a low flame with milk topped with fruits, muffins, cookies and crumbles can be made from them. You can make granola to meatloaf anything that you like.

  • Whole grains: Barley and oats are whole grains but other whole grains also contain beta-glucan like brown rice. While brown rice is beneficial for new mothers, white rice and white flour do not serve the same purpose. In order to consume more beta-glucan you can shift to whole wheat flour wherever you can in breads, pancakes and cupcakes. And as an alternative for brown rice, white rice can be used. 

There are other foods that are readily available in the market for new mothers to consume as they are high in beta glucan and will help them boost their milk supply. Some of them include dill, apricots, asparagus, garlic, beet root, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, chasteberry, sage, parsley and brewer’s yeast. Check out this website to learn more about how to increase milk supply.