Nourishing your little one: Foods and tips for increasing lactation
Congratulations, new parent! You’ve finally entered the wild world of sleepless nights, endless diaper changes, and, of course, constantly wondering if your baby is getting enough to eat. While we can’t promise to solve all of your parenting woes, we can offer some tips on what foods can help increase lactation. Luckily, when it comes to increasing your milk supply, there are a few foods that can give your body the boost it needs and that’s what we are going to cover in this article.
There’s nothing quite like holding your little one close and knowing that you’re providing them with all the nourishment they need. But let’s be real, breastfeeding can be a real challenge.
It is a labour of love, but the benefits for both baby and you are beyond measure.
One of the most common pieces of advice that new mums receive is how to breastfeed their babies. And while breastfeeding can be a beautiful bonding experience, it can also leave new mums feeling like they’re drowning in a sea of conflicting advice over what works best to ensure enough supply. It’s enough to make even the most confident mother question her abilities. It seems like everyone from your grandma to your great-aunt’s hairdresser’s sister-in-law has an opinion on how to feed your little one. It’s enough to make you want to run away to a deserted island with your baby and a gallon of ice cream.
With so much conflicting information out there, it’s inevitable, at times, to lose sight of what’s best for you and your baby. So take a deep breath, trust your instincts, and know that you’re not alone. And hey, if all else fails, there’s always wine. Kidding, kidding…kind of.
First things first, let’s talk about why milk supply can sometimes be an issue. Breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. The more your baby nurses, the more milk your body produces. But sometimes, your body just needs a little extra boost to keep up with your baby’s needs. That’s where these foods come in. Let’s break the clutter, find a quiet nook and make a few notes.
Foods that increase lactation:
These bad boys are chock-full of iron, the kind that can crank up your lactation game to the next level. And not only that, but they’re also packing a serious fibre punch, giving you that full and satisfied feeling all morning long. So don’t be a flake, get yourself a big bowl of oatmeal or blend some oats into your smoothies.
This little gem has been around since the days of Cleopatra, and it’s been known to work some serious magic on lactation. So if you’re feeling like your milk is running a bit low, don’t fret, just pop some fenugreek supplements or sprinkle some fenugreek seeds on your meals like a fairy godmother sprinkling her fairy dust. Trust me, your baby will thank you, and you’ll be feeling like a milkmaid extraordinaire in no time!
Nuts and seeds:
Almonds, cashews, and sesame seeds are the ultimate power trio, packed with protein and healthy fats that’ll have you feeling like a milk machine in no time. So if you’re feeling like your milk flow is a little slow, don’t worry, just grab a handful of these bad boys or toss some seeds into your salads or smoothies. You may even try snacking on a handful while on the go.
If you’re looking to make sure your milk production is on point, then load up on those leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens! These bad boys are like a vitamin and mineral jackpot, especially when it comes to calcium and iron, two nutrients that are essential for lactation. So whether you’re blending some greens into your smoothies like a green goddess or sautéing them up with garlic like a seasoned chef, just remember, it is not just delicious but worth it.
Did you know that chomping on some carrots can actually help with lactation? And the best part is, they’re super easy to snack on! You can even mix it up by dipping ’em in some hummus or tossing them into your favourite salad. Besides they are a great source of beta-carotene, which is important for lactation. Plus, they’re a tasty and easy snack. Try dipping them in hummus or adding them to your salads.
Did you know that salmon is not only delicious but also a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids? Omega-3s can actually help boost milk production. So if you’re looking to increase your milk supply, adding some salmon to your diet could be just the ticket!
But don’t worry, I know being a parent can be exhausting, and who has time for complicated meals? That’s why I recommend baking your salmon with lemon and herbs. It’s super easy to prepare and tastes amazing. Plus, it’s a great way to sneak in some extra nutrition while still keeping things simple.
How about some practical tips?
Breastfeeding can be tough, but with these practical tips, you’ll be able to increase your supply and give your baby all the liquid gold they need.
Your boobs are like a 24-hour diner – the more your baby orders, the more your body cooks up. Breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. Try to nurse your little one frequently, even if it’s just a quickie. Remember, every sip counts and will help increase your supply.
Want to keep your milk factory up and running? Then you need to hydrate like a boss. Guzzle that water like a thirsty camel in the Sahara and avoid any drinks that leave you high and dry, like coffee and soda.
Tip: Always drink a glass of water before breastfeeding. It has an uncanny effect of leaving you parched.
And there is a valid reason for it. When you breastfeed, your body releases a hormone called oxytocin, which triggers milk letdown and helps your baby to suckle effectively. However, oxytocin can also make you feel thirsty by causing your body to retain less water. Plus, let’s not forget the physical demands of nursing, which can leave us feeling like we just ran a marathon. So, fellow moms, don’t forget to stay hydrated and keep a water bottle nearby to quench that insatiable thirst.
Use a breast pump
Here’s a cool trick to boost your milk supply and keep your little one well-fed and happy. Grab yourself a breast pump and give it a go. After each nursing sesh, hop on the pump train and watch the magic happen. The more you pump, the more milk your body will produce. So go ahead, give it a shot and see your milk supply soar.
Remember, every baby is different, and what works for one mom may not work for you. So take a deep breath, trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to seek out help from a lactation consultant or support group if you need it. Eventually, your natural instincts will kick in and guide you toward the holy grail of breastfeeding: making sure your little bundle of joy is well-fed. Trust me, your baby won’t let you forget it! So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get ready to nurse frequently, hydrate like a boss, and pump like a pro. Ready, set, lactate!
And if all else fails, just remember that there’s no shame in switching to formula if breastfeeding isn’t working for you and your baby. After all, a fed baby is a happy baby, and a happy mum is a happy baby’s mum!
18 things no one tells you about breastfeeding (but they definitely should)
7 ways to make breastfeeding easier in those early weeks
Pumping tips for breastfeeding mums