Breastfeeding can be really hard. For sure it’s massively rewarding, and we’re all well versed with how valuable it is for both mummy and bubba, but what happens when milk supply is not meeting demand? If this is something you’re going through, please do speak to a midwife or lactation consultant, but also consider giving Mother Nature a wee boost by trying some foods that will help increase the amount of breastmilk you make.
We’ve been researching – and drawing on our own experiences – to come up with this helpful list of what to eat to improve your breast milk supply. Good luck, mummy! It WILL get easier, we promise.
1 Brewer’s Yeast
Packed with something called phytoestrogens (a plant derived estrogen – we totally Googled that, we’ll be honest), Brewer’s Yeast is long revered for helping with milk supply and giving women more energy (win, win). HoneyKids’ Ed, Jassmin, credits this as an essential boost when she was breastfeeding her own little one, and would sprinkle it on her oats for a double whammy of lactation superfood-ness. You’ll find it in all health food stores and most supermarkets in Singapore.
Pop them in flapjacks, have them for brekkie or make them into cookies. However you take them, oats are great for encouraging a ready supply of mummy milk. They are also bursting at the seams with anti-inflammatory and antibiotic agents – all good things for boosting milk-making hormones.
Fenugreek (or trigonella foenum-graecum, if we want to sound fancy) has been used since Jesus was a small lad (and who knows, maybe Mary was the first to try it) to aid milk supply. Milk production is said to increase within 24 to 72 hours after taking the herb. Why? It contains lots of lovely phytoestrogens (we didn’t have to Google it this time). As a side note, it’s also proven to help with anemia, fever, dandruff, mouth ulcers, insomnia and diabetes. Mum-of-three, Tracy, used this in capsule form to help milk supply with her third child after a planned c-sec delayed her milk for a few days.
Chuck it on a salad or take it in capsule form, but either way this little green leaf is packed with nutrients and contains amino acids, minerals and vitamins – all beneficial for milk production. Fun fact: It’s part of the pea family and has a deep root system that can grow as far down as 40 feet (12 metres)!
5 Fennel plant
It’s not always easy to get your hands on a fennel plant here in Singapore (heads up: Cold Storage is your best bet), but this tasty Mediterranean herb has tons of hidden values. It’s full of those phytoestrogens (again) and also helps with bloating and digestion issues.
Popeye swore by it, and you should too if you’re looking to improve your milk quality and supply. Teeming with calcium, folic acid and iron, spinach also naturally helps your body eliminate toxins.
7 Electrolytes drinks (100 Plus, Gatorade, etc)
HoneyKids team mum, Jana, just popped her second adorable son into the world, and swears that her bountiful supply of milk is helped by a daily glass of electrolytes. Don’t overdo it though, folks: too much salt and sugar isn’t good for anyone! She also finds that when she’s pumping (the joys of being a working mum), having a photo of her little one at hand definitely helps with her let down.
8 Bottle gourd
This green veggie gets its name from its shape – it actually looks like a bottle – and is water rich, so it helps with hydration, which is vital for good milk supply. Include it in a curry (not too spicy as it might give bubba the runs), juice it or just cook and chew.
We’ve never heard of a bunny complaining of low milk supply, so perhaps the humble carrot is a star ingredient when it comes to mummy milk boosters. It promotes lactation thanks to its big vitamin A content.
10 Moringa leaves
Moringa contains an impressive 92 nutrients and 46 types of antioxidants. So, it’s little surprise that this superfood, combined with a high content of amino acids, makes for a great choice for lactating mummies. Eat them fresh, cooked or dried.
So, now that you know better, go enjoy your fennel, carrot and oat cookies and wash it all down with a 100 Plus!
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