Diet to increase breast milk

March 3rd, 2009

There are no specific foods to eat that will stimulate production of breast milk, but there are things that can help with milk production. The best prescription for maximum milk production is effective and frequent breastfeeding or milk expression, plenty of fluids, adequate calories and rest.
Fluids
Drinking enough fluid helps. It doesn’t have to be milk; water or juice is fine. It is a good habit to drink a glass of water while your baby is nursing. Drinking sufficient fluids is important in replenishing lost fluids.
Caffeine, soda and other aerated drinks stimulates milk production, but these also stimulate your baby. They find their way into breast milk and large amounts can act on your baby as it does on you. Caffeine stays in baby’s system longer than in an adult’s, which will prolong its effect. Also, caffeine can make your baby irritable, and interfere with his sleep. 
Barley Grass and Barley Water
Barley grass may be able to increase the fat content of mother’s milk, resulting in a creamier, more nutrient-rich and filling diet for baby. Barley water can also be prepared as a galactagogue. Simmer one cup of flakes or pearled barley in a quart of water for 2 hours. Add 2-3 teaspoons of fennel seeds and steep for 10 minutes, add water as needed.
Spirulina
Spirulina is another green food reputed to increase milk supply and increase the fat content of milk in some lactating mothers
Fennel Seed
Fennel helps to improve milk supply; the seeds are a stronger agent and have been used by women for centuries as a galactagogue. It is recommended that fennel be used only for a couple of weeks or one week on, one week off for longer periods. Paradoxically, a side effect of fennel use can be a depressed milk supply.
Oatmeal
Have a big bowl of oats each morning or snack on it in the afternoon, really helps.
Other foods that help to increase breast milk production are:
Brown Rice – contains B vitamins, selenium, iron, fiber and manganese.
Avocados – contains potassium, vitamin B6,
Beets – high in potassium
Carrots – high in vitamin C
Barley – high in phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin B6.
Dulse – a red algae high in B vitamins, iron, and potassium.
Kombu – edible kelp rich in glutamic acid

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