Foods that increase breast milk: The moment you find out about your pregnancy, your entire focus is on your baby. It is your greatest wish that it develops and grows healthy from the womb. Breast milk is very important for your baby’s development and nutrition. Breast milk is the first food that meets your baby’s needs. Breast milk strengthens the emotional bond between mother and baby as well as contributing to the physical development of your baby.
The importance of breast milk has been proven in the first 6 months of your baby’s development. Experts say that only breast milk in the first 6 months of your baby and continuing breast milk with additional foods until the age of 2 is the most effective way of feeding. The biggest concern of breastfeeding mothers is whether their milk comes insufficient amount after the baby is born. Paying attention to the mother’s diet and lifestyle will increase the amount of milk.
What is breast milk and why is it important?
Breast milk; is a dynamic and anti-infective food consisting of 87% water, 3.8% fat, 1% protein, and 7% lactose, which can change itself according to your baby’s needs. The formation of breast milk, which is your baby’s most precious food, is a complex process affected by hormonal, physical, and psychological factors. Prolactin hormone, popularly known as the ” motherhood hormone ” or ” milk hormone”, reaches the highest level after birth and ensures the formation of breast milk.
Oxytocin also called the ‘ love hormone ‘, as well as the prolactin hormone The level of the hormone also increases after birth. Oxytocin hormone is the hormone that makes breast milk come to the nipple. For your baby, whose digestive system is still developing, breast milk is the most important nutrient source that can be digested easily. Breast milk provides your baby’s mental development and physical growth. Thanks to the antibodies it contains, it plays an important role in the immune system and provides protection against common infections, especially in newborns.
What is your baby's daily milk need?
Until your baby is 1 month old, it is called a ‘ newborn ‘. Newborn babies have very small stomachs. They easily complete digestion, which causes them to get hungry quickly.
- In the 1st month, breastfeeding 8-12 times a day and 28-84 grams of milk in each breastfeeding,
- When 2 months of age, breastfeeding every 3-4 hours and 112-140 grams of milk in each breastfeeding,
- Breastfeeding every 4 hours at the age of 3-4 months and 140-168 grams of milk in each breastfeeding,
- When they are 5-6 months old, they need breastfeeding every 4-5 hours and 196-224 grams of milk for each breastfeeding.
- As your baby develops, the amount of milk he needs increases.
Thanks to breastfeeding, the signal to the mother’s brain that milk production should increase, and thanks to the prolactin hormone, the amount of milk produced increases.
What are the important tips for increasing the breast milk your baby needs?
- Communication between mother and baby is effective in increasing breast milk. Sensual contact and eye contact during breastfeeding increase the level of prolactin and oxytocin hormones, thus increasing breast milk.
- The psychological state of the mother affects milk production. Mothers who have slept well and are away from stress have higher milk production.
- Breastfeeding your baby in the right position for you and your baby encourages your baby to suckle. More breastfeeding leads to more milk production. In addition, breastfeeding in the correct and sufficient frequency increases milk production.
- Additional food is not recommended for the first 6 months. If your baby receives only breast milk during this period, it increases milk production.
- Chest ducts may not be opened sufficiently, especially after cesarean delivery. A breast pump is recommended to increase the amount of milk and not waste breast milk.
- Balanced and regular nutrition increases breast milk. Many mothers make diets that starve for a long time or cause malnutrition to quickly get rid of their postpartum weight. Uncontrolled diets reduce the amount and quality of breast milk. Postpartum weight loss should be achieved by following the recommended diet program under the doctor’s control.
The energy need of the mother increases during breastfeeding. If you follow the diet recommended by your doctor, especially if you stay away from foods or drinks that will reduce milk production, your milk will probably be enough for your baby. However, you can take advantage of foods and increase your milk to increase the amount of milk.
Foods that increase breast milk
Foods that increase breast milk: Galactagogues (lactogenic) are substances that enable milk production to occur or increase milk production. In addition to providing psychological relief, they help the secretion of the prolactin hormone. Galactagogues can be of pharmaceutical, herbal, or food origin. Pharmaceutically sourced galactagogues should be preferred especially because of their possible side effects on the nervous system, high in minerals and vitamins, low side effects, energizing food, or herbal-based galactagogues.
- Water: Water, which is the most important building block of life, makes up a large part of breast milk. In order to increase breast milk, the mother should consume at least 2-3 liters of water daily.
- Mineral water: Mineral waters, which are completely natural containing plenty of minerals, regulate blood pressure, provide body balance, and contribute to the increase of milk production of the mother.
- Green leaves: The mother needs plenty of energy during breastfeeding. Green leaf vegetables such as spinach, nettle, kale, dill, lettuce, parsley, arugula, purslane contain plenty of vitamins and minerals. They provide the needed calories to the mother. At the same time, these vegetables containing phytoestrogens contribute to the secretion of hormones that increase milk production.
- Basil: It contains plenty of vitamin C and K. It helps to reduce the stress of the mother and increase milk production.
- Oats: Contains high levels of iron. It regulates blood pressure. In this way, it calms the mother and reduces possible stress. In stressful situations, the suppressed oxytocin and prolactin hormones are secreted again and it increases milk production. At the same time, oat helps milk move forward through the channels.
- Carrot: It is a phytoestrogens plant. It also provides energy to the mother as it contains plenty of beta carotene and vitamin A.
- Protein: Red meat, goat’s milk, kefir, village eggs, home yogurt, hummus, chickpeas, lentils, beans, kidney beans contain plenty of protein. They are good sources of energy.
- Tahini: Using a tablespoon of tahini every day with molasses or salad increases milk production.
- Salmon: Salmon rich in Omega 3 activates the hormones that enable milk production.
- Herbal teas: Fennel tea, nettle tea, ginger, chamomile tea increase milk production. The most recommended herbal tea is fennel tea. Fennel, which is a phytoestrogen plant, can be consumed as a tea or used in meals or fresh salads. It increases milk production. At the same time, fennel, which is mixed with breast milk, and passed to the baby, helps the baby’s digestive problems.
- Amber tea: Amber flower, which is rich in iron and magnesium, provides the secretion of prolactin hormone. It also helps the mother’s stomach and intestinal problems.
- Verbena: Helps the secretion of prolactin and oxytocin. It has a stress-reducing effect and is a sleep-regulating herb.
- Goat psoriasis: It is one of the important herbs that increase breast milk and relaxes the digestive system. It is also a powerful antioxidant.
- Fenugreek: It is rich in calcium, zinc, iron, and copper. Fenugreek, which was frequently used as a tea in ancient Anatolian civilizations due to its milk-enhancing effect, also helps to remove the gas in babies.
- Black seed: It has been proven in researches to increase breast milk, which has a positive effect on many diseases from asthma, rheumatism, headache to eczema.
- Sesame: Contains large amounts of calcium and beneficial oils. It increases milk production and quality in regular use.
- Nuts: Walnuts, hazelnuts, dried figs, almonds are important after birth as well as during pregnancy. It gives energy and increases milk production. 3-4 walnuts and 8-10 hazelnuts can be eaten a day.
- Cumin: Reduces gas problems and increases breast milk.
- Garlic: Garlic is very important for breastfeeding mothers. It is known that garlic, which is effective in strengthening the immune system, enables the baby to be breastfed for a long time.
- White grape: It is a powerful antioxidant-rich in vitamins B, C, E, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and sulfur. It is known to reduce the stress of nursing mothers, improve fatigue, and increase breast milk.
- Apricot: It is a fibrous fruit that regulates hormonal changes during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Brown rice: It increases milk production by stimulating the hormones that provide milk production. It is also a good source of energy for the mother.
- Red beet: Red beet, which can be consumed raw or boiled, has blood purifying properties. It increases the quality of breast milk.
It should not be forgotten that excessive consumption of all foods known to increase breast milk should be avoided, adequate intake in line with your doctor’s advice, and your doctor should be consulted when an unexpected effect is seen.
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