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How To Increase Breast Milk Supply Naturally

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How To Increase Breast Milk Supply Naturally February 20, 2018

A mother always wants the best for her kid. And if it is a newborn baby, the care and concern increase tenfold. As you are already aware, newborns must only consume breast milk for the first few months of their life to ensure proper growth and development. If you feel that your body isn’t producing enough milk for your little one, don’t worry. All you need is to pay a little more attention to the foods you eat to increase your breast milk supply naturally.

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Causes Of Low Breast Milk Supply

If you are wondering why you don’t have enough breast milk supply to satisfy your little one, here are some possible reasons:

  • You have started breastfeeding late.
  • Not breastfeeding often.
  • Certain medications or any previous breast surgery.
  • Other factors like premature birth, high blood pressure (induced by pregnancy), maternal obesity, and diabetes.

But, why is breastfeeding so important? These facts will tell you why.

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Facts About Breastfeeding – Why Is It Important?

  • Human milk has the ability to boost a baby’s immunity big time.
  • Breastfeeding reduces your infant’s risk of contracting diseases later in life.
  • It is also beneficial to the mother and reduces her risk of developing breast cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
  • Breastfeeding speeds up the post-partum recovery of the mother.
  • New mothers can return to their pre-pregnancy weight by breastfeeding more often.
  • About 75% of new moms produce more milk in their right breast as compared to their left.
  • Breastfeeding lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • It can also reduce your infant’s risk of developing cavities or getting braces later in life.
  • Breast milk contains certain substances that promote sleep in babies and calmness in mothers.

Breastfeeding is of great significance in the early years for your baby. If you feel that your breast milk supply is unusually less, all you need to do is start consuming more of the following foods.

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Best Foods To Increase Breast Milk Supply

  1. Fenugreek Seeds
  2. Torbangun
  3. Drumsticks
  4. Fennel
  5. Milk Thistle
  6. Goat’s Rue
  7. Garlic
  8. Herbal Tea
  9. Salmon
  10. Oats
  11. Whole Grains
  12. Almond Milk
  13. Ajwain

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How To Increase Your Breast Milk Supply Naturally

1. Fenugreek Seeds

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Boil a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds with a cup of water in a saucepan.
  2. Simmer for 5 minutes and strain.
  3. When the tea is warm enough to drink, add a little honey.
  4. Consume fenugreek tea about 3 times daily to increase your breast milk supply.
Why This Works

Fenugreek seeds are one of the best ingredients that can increase breast milk supply. They are good sources of estrogen and also exhibit galactagogue properties in nursing mothers (1). (Galactagogues are foods or drugs that increase the production of breast milk.)

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2. Torbangun

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You Will Need

Torbangun leaves

What You Have To Do

Drink torbangun tea or soup. You can also add it to other foods and consume daily.

Why This Works

Torbangun is widely used in Bataknese traditional cuisine. This is another herb that has proven to increase the production of breast milk (2).

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3. Drumsticks

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You Will Need

1/2 cup of freshly extracted drumstick juice

What You Have To Do

Consume half a cup of freshly extracted drumstick juice once daily.

Why This Works

Drumsticks are a rich source of many nutrients that help in stimulating the mammary glands to produce more milk. Consuming drumstick juice also improves blood circulation, which, in turn, increases your breast milk supply (3).

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4. Fennel Seeds

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of fennel seeds to a cup of hot water.
  2. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes and strain.
  3. Allow the tea to cool a little before adding some honey.
  4. Consume fennel tea 2 to 3 times daily.
  5. Alternatively, you can also chew on some fennel seeds.
Why This Works

Fennel is another herb that is used as a galactagogue for nursing mothers. The seeds exhibit estrogenic activities, i.e., they mimic estrogen, a hormone that is known to increase the production of breast milk (4).

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5. Milk Thistle

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You Will Need

Milk thistle supplements

What You Have To Do

Take 2 to 3 milk thistle capsules daily.

Why This Works

Milk thistle is a flowering plant that was used in the ancient times to increase the production of breast milk. It displays estrogenic activity, which helps in increasing the breast milk supply (5).

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6. Goat’s Rue

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You Will Need

Goat’s rue supplements

What You Have To Do

Take goat’s rue supplements daily to increase your breast milk supply.

Why This Works

Goat’s rue is a popular galactagogue in France and other European countries. It not only stimulates the development of mammary tissues but also has lactogenic properties, i.e., it promotes breast milk production (6).

Caution

Goat’s rue might cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Hence, consult your doctor before using these supplements.

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7. Garlic

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You Will Need

Peeled garlic cloves

What You Have To Do
  1. Mince the garlic cloves and add the paste to your dishes.
  2. You can also chew on a few garlic cloves.
Why This Works

Garlic has lactogenic properties that help increase breast milk supply in mothers. It was also found to strengthen the bond between the mother and infant (7), (8).

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8. Herbal Tea

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You Will Need

Herbal teas like anise tea or caraway tea

What You Have To Do

Drink 2 to 3 cups of anise or caraway tea daily.

Why This Works

Herbs like anise and caraway exhibit estrogenic properties. They act as galactagogues and also clear clogged milk ducts, thus increasing breast milk supply (9).

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9. Salmon

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You Will Need

Cooked salmon

What You Have To Do

Consume a portion of cooked salmon 2 to 3 times every week.

Why This Works

Salmon is a rich source of omega-3s and many essential fatty acids, which make it a great option to increase your breast milk production naturally. It is also rich in DHA, one of the most important components of breast milk, which aids brain development of your child (10).

Caution

Avoid consuming too much of salmon as they may contain traces of toxicity from mercury.

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10. Oats

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You Will Need

A bowl of cooked oats

What You Have To Do

Consume a bowl of cooked oats daily.

Why This Works

Oats are rich in fiber and iron, which reduce cholesterol and increase breast milk production. They also induce relaxation, which, in turn, helps increase lactation. These properties make oats one of the best options to increase the supply of breast milk (11).

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11. Whole Grains

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You Will Need

Whole grains like corn, quinoa, and wheat

What You Have To Do

Increase your intake of whole grains like wheat, quinoa, and corn.

Why This Works

The intake of whole grains not just helps increase the production of breast milk but also ensures that your infant is getting all the necessary nutrients for its growth and development (12).

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12. Almond Milk

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You Will Need

Almond milk

What You Have To Do

Consume a small cup of almond milk 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Almond milk is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that help increase breast milk production. Hence, nursing mothers consume almond milk regularly to improve both the quantity and quality of their milk (13).

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13. Carom Seeds

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You Will Need
  • 1-2 teaspoons of carom seeds
  • 1 cup of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Soak a teaspoon or two of carom seeds in water overnight.
  2. The next morning, strain the mixture and consume the solution.
  3. Drink this daily to boost your breast milk supply.
Why This Works

Carom seeds are another excellent remedy that can help in naturally increasing the supply of breast milk (14).

Now that you have an idea about what to eat for increasing breast milk supply, let’s look at the foods that you need to avoid as they may decrease breast milk production.

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What Foods Can Decrease Milk Supply?

The following foods can decrease breast milk supply:

  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Sage
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Alcohol

In addition to avoiding these foods, follow the tips mentioned below.

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Preventive Tips

  • Closely observe your baby for signs of hunger, especially in the first few weeks.
  • Let your baby sleep close to you, at least for the first 6 months.
  • Try and avoid using pacifiers.
  • Follow a healthy diet.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Get enough rest.
  • Try massaging your breasts for increased supply of breast milk.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes. Opt for loose clothing.

Now that you know what you need to do to produce more breast milk, go ahead and start consuming the foods mentioned in this article. They will ensure that you are producing sufficient milk to satisfy your little one. If you are aware of any other foods that might help, please leave a comment in the box below.

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How will I know if I am producing enough breast milk?

If your infant is feeding at least 6 to 8 times daily and there are no signs of pain or discomfort after the first few sucks, it is an indication that you are producing enough milk for your baby. Your breasts will also feel a lot fuller and softer when they are producing good amounts of milk.

Can breast massage help with milk production?

Yes, massaging your breasts can improve milk production. A breast massage clears the milk ducts and causes the milk to flow more freely. And this triggers your milk glands to produce more milk.a

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