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Foods traditionally believed to increase milk supply

👤FM Team 🕔25/10/2014
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Foods traditionally believed to increase milk supply

Though there isn't any scientific research to back the following foods, many mothers swear by them and say they were helpful in increasing breast milk supply:

Cumin seeds (jeera): As well as stimulating milk supply, cumin seeds are said to improve digestion and provide relief from constipation, acidity and bloating. They are also a source of iron to help you gain strength after birth.

Black sesame seeds (til): Black sesame seeds are an excellent source of calcium and are believed to help increase milk supply.

Holy basil (tulsi): Tulsi has been traditionally used to help cure a number of ailments. It's a great source of vitamin K.

Dill seeds (suwa): Dill is a good source of iron, manganese and calcium. It is believed to improve milk supply, digestion and sleep.

Carom seeds (ajwain):Carom seeds are believed to help in cleansing the stomach and aiding digestion.

 Green and gourd vegetables: Vegetables from the gourd family like bottle gourd (lauki), apple gourd (tinda) and sponge gourd (tori) are a traditional foods that may help improve milk supply.

Pulses or lentils (dals) : Pulses, especially red lentils or masoor dal are not only believed to improve milk supply but are also high in iron and fibre.

Red vegetables: Carrots (gajar), sweet potatoes (shakarkandi) and beetroot (chukandar) for example are high in beta-carotene, which is beneficial for your baby if you are breastfeeding.

Nuts and dried fruits (meva): Almonds (badaam) and cashews (kaju) are believed to boost breastmilk production.

Oats and porridge (daliya): Oats are a great source of iron, calcium and fibre and are popular with nursing mums. Broken wheat (daliya) is another nutritious option.

Oils and butter: Certain fats from oils and butter are healthy. Oils like olive oil, flaxseed oil and sesame oil are healthier oils believed to aid breastfeeding.

Essential things which increase milk supply

Drink 10-12 glasses of water - breastmilk is liquid after all so you need the regular intake of fluids to produce it.

Breastfeed your baby regularly - your body adapts milk production to the amount being demanded. So if you start supplementing your milk with formula or other supplements, your milk supply will go down. The more you feed your baby, the more milk your body will produce

Get enough rest - if you are too tired, your body will not have the energy to produce milk properly. So try to catch up on your sleep and rest during the day if you are up a lot at night.

Try to relax - getting used to your new life as a mum can be stressful at times. Stress is known to affect the let-down reflex that secretes milk and even milk production.

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