World Breastfeeding Week 2019 starts from today, August 1 and will last upto August 7. The week is aimed at highlighting the importance of breastfeeding for both mother and baby and also the societal challenges faced by the breastfeeding moms. Breastfeeding mothers have their own set of struggles and one of them is decreased lactation but better awareness about a healthy diet for breastfeeding moms can solve the problem. Breast milk acts as important to the mother as it is to the babies, in fact, WHO says that increased breastfeeding could avert 20 000 maternal deaths each year due to breast cancer. Infants should be fed breastmilk within one hour after birth until they are 6 months old but for increased lactation to feed the baby, mothers need to pay attention to the foods they eat and how they manage their health. World Breastfeeding Week 2019: Where Does India Stand on WHO and UNICEF-Recommended Policies for New Moms?
Lactation is the process of producing breast milk, according to which the hormones signal the mammary glands in your body to start producing milk to feed the baby. While there is no certain type of foods that can increase the milk supply in the mammary glands, but a balanced diet that includes a variety of vegetables, fibre, fruits, grains, protein, and a little bit of healthy fat can go a long way. Research has also shown that garlic, onions, and mint may make your breast milk taste different which makes your baby suckle more and increase the breast milk flow. Breastfeeding Provides The Strongest Foundation For Lifelong Health and Optimal Nutrition
Foods are known to increase breast milk production:
Oatmeal is a wholesome food that contains about 150 calories, 4 grams of fibre and 6 grams of protein in one bowl. It isn’t just highly nutritious but also helps improve milk supply in breastfeeding moms. A hearty bowl of hot oats also helps lower cholesterol and regulates blood pressure. 5 Myths About Breastfeeding We Should Stop Believing In.
Fennel + Fenugreek Seeds
A perfect combination of Fennel aka saunf and Fenugreek seeds(methi) can actually help you increase breast milk production. A perfect dosage of the two herb can exert therapeutic effects and works miraculously towards increasing breast milk production. Fennel on its own is great to curb digestive issues and treat bloating, gas, or cramps and these benefits can help breastfeeding moms as well. You can make a concoction of the two spices in forms of tea and consume it. This World Breastfeeding Week Know The 14 Advantages of Breastfeeding For The Baby and The Mom.
Rich in beta-carotene, vitamin A and antioxidants, carrot can help keep breastfeeding moms’ nutrition in check. Carrots act as a healthy source of carbohydrates and potassium that can also help you lose the baby weight. Carrots have been eaten in middle-eastern and Asian countries to help increase lactation. How To Store Breast Milk Correctly.
Chasteberry has been used as a treatment for PMS symptoms, endometriosis and menopause all these days but it is also said to an effective remedy to increase breast milk production. Chasteberry has been know to relieve nursing mothers of painful swelling and engorgement and also act directly on the pituitary glands, inhibiting the secretion of prolactin. Formulas don’t substitute breast milk.
Sesame, if taken in forms of tahini and halvah, is known to be an exceptionally great natural remedy to boost breastmilk production in nursing moms.
Unripe papaya which means the ones that are green in colour act as an amazing galactagogue. They also help to increase the production of oxytocin which that increases the production of milk, in turn.
Green Leafy Vegetables
A breastfeeding mom should include a range of green leafy vegetables into their diet for better overall health and increased lactation. Greens such as spinach (palak), fenugreek leaves (methi), lamb’s quarter (bathua) and other green, leafy vegetables form an important part of a nursing mom’s diet. Breastfeeding Benefits: Why Breast Milk Is The Best Food Mothers Can Give Their Babies.
Cumin seeds also known as jeera in Hindi is a great spice for weight loss. Many breastfeeding moms also consume it for increasing the amount of breastmilk. Apart from improving digestion and provide relief from constipation, acidity and bloating, jeera acts a great source of riboflavin as well.
WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding starting within one hour after birth until a baby is 6 months old and that nutritious complementary food should then be added while continuing to breastfeed for up to 2 years or beyond.