Carry a child inside of your body for around nine months or so, is one of the most rewarding, exciting, terrifying, yet beautiful experiences you will ever encounter as a mother, yet once you give birth, your rollercoaster of emotions will continue for the foreseeable future. You see, once you give birth to your beautiful child, you then have the task of caring for, and raising your child in a wide variety of different ways. When they’re distressed and upset, it is the parents’ job to comfort them. When they make a mess and fill their diapers, it is again, down to the parents to change them, yet when it comes to feeding your child, that job lies solely with the mother, as she is one with the breasts that produce the milk.
If you do make the decision to breast feed your child, breastfeeding isn’t as easy or as simple as TV shows and magazines make it out to be, as there are a number of factors to consider. To begin with, excessive drinking, smoking, and poor dietary choices will not be permitted as this can hinder the nutritional quality of the milk, and indeed the overall flow of the milk as well. Whilst this may sound a little extreme, you have to remember that this is for the good of your child, as there are numerous health benefits associated with breastfeeding. One common problem that breastfeeding mothers tend to encounter is, not being able to produce enough milk to feed their children, which is where we come into the mix. What you may not have been aware of, is the fact that there are several ways of helping the body to produce enough breast milk, especially when it comes to your diet. Here we’ll be taking an in-depth look at some of the top foods that can help produce breast milk.
Oatmeal isn’t just a fantastic breakfast food that will energize you for several hours throughout the day, it is also an amazing food for when it comes to naturally increasing the supply of breast milk that is able to be supplied by the breasts themselves. Oatmeal is an incredibly healthy and nutritious source of food as it has cholesterol lowering properties, it is rich in nutrients including B vitamins, and minerals including zinc and iron, both of which help to strengthen the immune system, and as well as that, it is also naturally low in unhealthy fats. As far as milk production is concerned however, one of the main benefits of oatmeal, is the fact that it has been found to assist the body with naturally generating a vital hormone involved in the milk producing process, which is known as oxytocin. Experts also believe that, as oatmeal is a rich and creamy comfort food, that also happens to be packed full of nutrients, that it is also great for helping nursing mothers to relax and unwind, which again assists not only with milk production, but also with the let-down process of the milk itself.
When we think of fruits that we consume on a daily basis, generally speaking, apricots are often nowhere to be found, which is quite a shame, as apricots are packed full of natural goodness, that the body thrives upon. Nursing mothers however, can benefit from eating apricots on a regular basis even more, due largely to the fact that apricots are rich in compounds that have been found to increase prolactin production within the body, which is an essential hormone that basically tells the body when it should and should not produce milk. On top of that, apricots are also packed full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin A and C, both of which greatly help to enhance the immune system. In regards to apricots, always opt for fresh, or dried apricots, as the tinned ones are often rich in sugar and may be packed in sugary syrup which will not be considered all that healthy, especially for breastfeeding mothers.
Yoghurt is another food that is considered extremely beneficial for breastfeeding mothers, and, on top of that, there is the added bonus that the yoghurt itself is ready to eat, so you simply have to open your refrigerator door and you have a quick, healthy, and delicious snack in a matter of seconds. The main reason why yoghurt is considered so healthy and beneficial for breastfeeding moms, is the fact that it is rich, not only in protein, but also in calcium as well, both of which assist in growth and development. It is worth noting however, that some mothers will have to give up dairy altogether, if their babies are diagnosed as being intolerant to milk protein.
These delicious little nuts aren’t just ideal for snacking on in between meals, that are also extremely beneficial for helping with milk production during breastfeeding. We mentioned previously about how some babies can be diagnosed as being milk protein intolerant, and if that is indeed the case with your baby, it can be tricky to get enough calcium into their bodies, as most dairy sources are rich in calcium. Almond nuts however, are perfect for these instances as they are packed full of calcium, and obviously, they do not come from a dairy source. Just to give you an idea of how important calcium is, breastfeeding moms are advised to consume around 1000mg of calcium each day, which is mainly down to the fact that the milk they produce will also be rich in this mineral. Not only is this important for your baby, it is also important you, the mother, as a lack of calcium may leave your bones and teeth vulnerable and unhealthy. Almonds are also packed full of protein and healthy fats, making them the ultimate snack food for breastfeeding mothers.
Salmon is an oily fish that is considered one of the healthiest foods in the entire world, especially if you opt for wild salmon as opposed to farmed salmon. Although it is rich in calories and fats, the fats found in salmon are incredibly healthy and beneficial. Salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, that play vital roles in brain development and function, but on top of that, salmon is also packed full of a healthy fat known as DHA, which is vital for the nervous systems of growing babies. Going back to the non dairy diet/calcium conundrum, another top tip to help you get more calcium into your diet is to consume fresh tinned salmon, as this salmon contains tiny soft bones that are edible and will therefore help boost your daily calcium consumption levels.
Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are considered insanely healthy for everyday individuals, so for breastfeeding moms, these veggies should become a staple diet ingredient due to the many health benefits that they can offer. Not only are they all packed full of fiber, and countless vitamins and antioxidants, but they are also rich in essential minerals such as zinc, iron, potassium, and yep, you guessed it – calcium. In fact, some green leafy vegetables such as kale or spinach, contain more calcium, pound for pound, than milk. On top of that, many of these veggies are very versatile so they can be consumed in many different ways, meaning that you won’t get bored of them quite as easily or as quickly as you may have done with other vegetables.
Garlic is a healthy food ingredient that is vastly underused and underappreciated in regards to the many health properties and benefits that it can offer to us. When we think of garlic, we probably just think of it as nothing more than a simple ingredient that helps to give flavour to dishes, and of course, gives us garlic breath after we consume it. In reality however, garlic is crammed full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that help provide countless benefits to the human body. For breastfeeding mothers however, garlic is especially beneficial as it is packed full of compounds that have been proven to help increase natural milk supplies, so if you feel your milk supplies could stand to receive a slight boost, try adding more fresh garlic cloves to your meals. If you are worried about the smell, or if you can’t be bothered peeling and chopping the cloves, you can purchase odourless garlic supplements, that provide all of the benefits, and none of the drawbacks.
Not just a firm favourite of Bugs Bunny, carrots are also a firm favourite amongst lactating mothers, due largely to the fact that carrots are rich in an antioxidant-like compound known as beta-carotene, which is in incredibly high demand when women are lactating. On top of that however, carrots are also naturally high in carbohydrates die to the high fructose sugar content of them, as well as minerals including potassium.