Presumably, the most important thing in the world for a mother is her newborn baby and naturally, every mother wants to do her best for the healthy development of the baby. And no doubt, nutrition is one of the most important factors for a baby’s development. Especially breast milk – which is allegedly the most nutritious food/liquid in the world – is indispensable for the healthy development of the baby.
Because almost all mothers know how essential breast milk for the baby’s both physical and mental development, they may worry about the quality and amount of their breast milk. Therefore, many mothers, especially first-time mothers, aim to increase breast milk production by trying different methods including the foods given with hearsay information.
In this article, we will touch upon 6 foods that are thought to increase the quantity and quality of breast milk. Please note that we tried to provide the scientific basis of the effectiveness of the below-given foods on increasing the production of breast milk, albeit scientific studies carried out as to this issue were scarce.
There is no problem with the consumption of the below-given foods unless the mother is allergic to. And, even though these given foods may not boost breast milk production, they can provide the daily calorie intake needed by a nursing mother.
So let’s start with possibly the most important substance in the world for human beings namely: H2O meaning (as you all know) water. Not only mothers who are breastfeeding, but everyone should be careful about their daily water consumption in order to sustain a healthy life.
Daily consumption of water shows alteration based on different variables. For instance, an adult man should drink – according to a reliable source – 3,7 litres per day while this number is 2,7 litres for an adult woman. However, the amount of water intake for a nursing mother slightly rises to approximately 3 litres.
Although there is no scientific study as to water consumption increases breast milk, experts say that breastfeeding mothers should pay attention to their daily water consumption in order to maintain the quality and quantity of breast milk.
2- Black Sesame
Black sesame seed is gaining popularity around the world thanks to its health benefits. These health benefits range from preventing cancer to reducing and regulating blood pressure. The reason black sesame seed is that healthy mostly stems from its rich nutrients content.
In relation to breast milk, its steroidal compound increases the synthesis of hormones that produce breast milk, thereby increasing the production of breast milk.
Therefore, it is sensible to consume a certain amount of black seed to increase breast milk production.
3- Dried Fruits
Dried fruits have been consumed for thousands of years. And, as the name suggests, they are obtained by taking almost all of the water in the fruit. Taking the water from a fruits becomes possible mostly thanks to the sun.
Whether a nursing mother or a normal person, all people from all walk of life should consume these nutritious foods, if they have chance to do so, according to experts. These fruits are quite generous in micronutrients, fibre and antioxidants. Furthermore, dried fruits offer a great amount of calcium which can boost breast milk.
As such, one or half a portion of dried fruit a day will be an ideal choice for breastfeeding mothers.
There is no doubt that dried nuts are preferred by many people in the world because of their very delicious taste and health benefits which have been scientifically proven. Especially; walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and cashews are important in terms of obtaining the healthy fats that human body doesn’t produce itself.
Each nut has its own unique nutrient content. However, in general, these foods are rich in healthy fats, fibre, protein, vitamin and mineral.
Since nuts are rich in these vital substances for the body and a nursing mother who burns up to 500 to 700 calories, nut consumption in the first 6 months after the birth may help protect the quality of the breast milk.
Most of us know that carrots are good for our eyes thanks to their rich vitamin A content. However, vitamin A is not the only nutrient available in carrots. In fact, carrots are a vegetable that is rich in various nutrients.
Vitamin K1, potassium, fibre are among the nutrients to take through carrots. As for the carrots’ contribution to the breast milk production, carrots may boost breast milk production thanks to the phytoestrogens available in carrots.
Whether chop carrot into your salad, squeeze its juice or consume it directly. One carrot daily will suffice.
Dry legumes are healthy and natural foods that most of us consume on a regular basis. Especially lentils, chickpeas, dried beans and peas are foods consumed in almost every home.
Legumes contribute to our health with their rich nutritional values. They are source of iron, zinc, protein b12, vitamin E, magnesium, and fibre. However, the reason that a nursing mother should prefer eating legumes is about the legumes phytoestrogens content. As we mentioned in the previous section, phytoestrogen is a plant compound that increases breast milk production.
The only disadvantage of consuming legumes is that these foods can make the body to produce gas. And that may disturb both the baby and mother. It is ideal to consume 2-3 times a week in the first 6 months after birth.
Tarkan is an experienced health writer ( currently more than 600 articles ) and also the founder of this website namely www.neededforhealth.com. His expertise in health stems from in-depth medical research and knowledge which he obtained over the course of many years.
Tarkan enjoys sharing factual knowledge on health, psychology and nutrition. He always aims to deliver evidence-based recommendations, provide links to related scientific studies.