I shall keep updating this section with my recipes and inputs regularly. Please bookmark this page or follow my blog here or like my page at www.facebook.com/KitchenKathukutty to receive regular updates in your mailbox and facebook.Here below are few suggestions(traditional & modern) based on my experience,elders voice,doctors suggestions and reading.
Foods that help in better milk supply:(Quality & quantity)A wholesome balanced diet loaded with calcium,iron,vitamins,minerals,DHA is essential for a lactating mother. The diet need not be complicated. All that is required is some right blending of tradition and modern science. Include small and frequent meals as you would be nursing often in the first 6 months. I was advised to atleast have a cup of water before and after nursing every time. Your source of nutrition can be fruits,vegetables,nuts,legumes,milk. Most importantly a nursing mother needs some extra iron,calcium,DHA and enough hydration. Hence add greens to your daily diet,pump in more calcium sources(not necessarily milk) and take the prescribed supplements. I am just randomly jotting foods which were advised to me along with their detailed recipes(Click on the links(blue coloured words) to get recipes). These help in optimal weight gain of the baby and keeps up the good health of the lactating mother.Hope this helps.
- Whole grains /Multi grains/Lentils/Legumes/Millets:
Whole grains and millets are natures gift to us. You can’t measure its benefits. Find all recipes of millets here. One recipe which helped me a lot was Sathu maavu.You just can’t count the nutritional value of this multi grain porridge. It is that abundant. You can even dilute this like water and fill your stomach in between nursing. I found this even more helpful than milk.
2.Milk & milk products:
Elders in the home include tons of ghee to a nursing mother’s diet stating that it heals. It definitely rejuvenates your body. The home made curd is an excellent source of calcium and also a natural probiotic. It helps you to stay away from all digestion problems. Having buttermilk reduces the heat of your body and suffices the calcium requirement. Two glasses of milk a day is advised for a nursing mother to cope with the calcium requirement.
Including garlic in every single form also helps in improving the calcium intake. But garlic is advised in moderation and it is also found that few babies dislike the odour. In such a kindly avoid it.It is a common practice to either boil 5 garlic cloves in a cup of milk and consume or to stir fry garlic and have them. Following recipes also help in including garlic in a subtle manner.
Fennel seeds are known for their ability to aid proper digestion in all of us. You can include fennel in the following ways.
- Boil few seeds in water,cool and have it regularly.
- Include fennel seeds in all curries and gravies.
- Try to chew some fennel after each meal.
5. Jeera/Cumin Seeds:
Both fennel and jeera are included in our diet for aroma,flavour and most importantly to aid digestion. You can have jeera water or include fried cumin seeds in your tempering or add cumin seed powder to butter milk and have.
Fenugreek seeds are said to improve the quality of the milk and amma makes a kali out of it. It said to reduce the heat of the body. You can chew few sprouted fenugreek every morning or add some fenugreek powder to buttermilk and have.
Green gram sprouts,soya beans(red),moong dhal are some of the legumes which give you loads of protein without gastric effects. My doctor advised me to include the below in my daily diet .
Soya bean stir fry
Urad dhal is known for its calcium content. Amma makes the following dishes specifically for girls/women at home.
Black Urad dhal dosa
Urad dhal Kanji
Urad dhal Kali
Sesame seeds are yet another rich source of calcium. Gingelly oil is included in every form just because of this property of sesame seeds. You can add roasted sesame seeds to your tempering or include in following recipes
11.Dry fruits and nuts:
Dates and prunes are good sources of iron and you must have them in your daily diet. You can also have some 5 almonds peeled early in the morning or munch some combination of nuts in between feeding.
Drumstick is a common tree which is found in almost every house here. Moringa leaves is highly rich in iron and any form drumstick is a yummy way to grab some iron nutrition. Moringa has been declared as one of the super foods in the world.
Moringa leaves/Drumstick leaves soup
Drumstick leaves stir fry
Bottle gourd is extremely high in water content and it helps in keeping a nursing mother hydrated.
Bottle gourd Kootu
Raw papaya(unripe) helps in an excellent manner to boost milk supply. I shall soon post the recipe of raw papaya kootu.
15. Fruits, vegetables,fluids and greens:
You can include every single fruit/veggies/greens in your daily diet. Just grab a bowl of fresh veg salad as you walk and have a bowl of fruit salad for an evening snack or include some spinach in your morning dosa.Include juices,soups,milk shakes,tender coconut water,butter milk,smoothies so as to keep yourself hydrated. Carrots due their beta carotene content help a lot in improving your supply. Find all carrot recipes here
Notes & Tips:
- Breastfeeding is a very natural phenomenon and blessing to every mother and it occurs by itself. Even a malnourished mother who starves for days together can have enough milk for baby.(The quality might be less).
- Do not follow a schedule or diet chart for breastfeeding. FEED ON DEMAND ONLY
- Even after starting solids , do not replace breastfeed by solids. No food on earth is equivalent to breastmilk.
- Do not fear that your baby isn’t getting enough milk.
- Breastfeeding is more of a demand and supply phenomenon. So the more you begin to feed baby on demand,the better is your supply.
- A baby who is crying frequently doesn’t always indicate hunger. So a frequently crying baby doesn’t indicate that the mother is having insufficient milk.
- Let baby feed on both the sides. Switching sides is one important point in breastfeeding.
- Always let baby empty one side and then move to the other.
- If you feel your supply is low,you can try to express and store after every breastfeeding session. This enhances your supply. But do ensure that baby does not cling to bottle feed/expressed milk and refuse sucking.
- Learn on right latching positions and ensure proper latch on every time.
- Unless your baby isn’t gaining enough weight and not making 4-6 nappies a day(4-6 pee counts in 24 hours) you need not even think your supply isn’t enough.Consult a lactation specialist if you had any specific problems.
- Always have a word with your doctor and pediatrician before including any food to your diet
- Individuals are unique and family history,individual allergic conditions should be taken into account.
- No smoking,drinking during breast feeding.
- Reduce caffeine intake.
- Watch your baby’s cues and responses and proceed accordingly. If you feel that a specific ingredient causes some allergy in your baby,avoid that food till you breastfeed.
- Avoid junk/processed/ready to eat foods.
- Never count your calories or don’t take too much stress on weight reduction.
- Avoid cauliflower,cabbage and broccoli if your feel a low supply naturally.
- Include brown rice and millets instead of polished rice.
- Reduce oily and spicy content in food.
- Avoid raw banana and potato if you would get affected by gastrics.
- Above all, Stay positive and be happy. Not all are blessed in this world with a lovely baby.
Copyrights and Disclaimer: Do not copy/reproduce any part of this. I am not an expert and this piece of information was drafted with my knowledge and experience. This is not a substitute to any expert medical opinion. I just came forward to write this to help worrying mothers. Please do not forget to stay tuned with me by liking my facebook page here or follow me on Twitter or PINTEREST. You can also receive all my recipes in your mail box by providing your mail id here. Do share this with your kith and kin.If you have a picture of recipe tried from my blog kindly share with me.I am privileged to share them in my page