By Nmami Agarwal
Galacta-what? Most probably you must have had some difficulty pronouncing the title of this blog post. Well, galactagogue is a substance which naturally promotes breast milk production that is highly recommended to breastfeeding mothers. It’s amongst the most significant dietary substances that a mother needs, both post and during pregnancy for increased breast milk production to feed a baby to the fullest.
While breastfeeding works on a simple demand and supply principle, at times many mothers are unable to breastfeed baby due to less breast milk supply. And therefore, traditionally new mothers are provided with foods naturally enriched with galactagogue for better milk secretion. Some common foods that may boost the milk supply if your baby is unable to get enough to suckle are discussed below. The suggested foods can be easily integrated into a healthy and well-balanced diet. Scroll down to know more.
- Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds are not just rich in calcium, but also have estrogen-like plant properties, that’s what makes sesame great for breastfeeding mothers to boost breast milk supply. Either you can consume sesame seeds on its own or as an ingredient in some recipes or as a topping on salads.
- Almonds: Nuts are always a perfect complement to any diet because of its high protein and essential fatty acids. The amino acids in nuts like almonds are the building blocks for serotonin, the necessary neurotransmitter for lactation. Eat a handful of raw almonds or through almond milk.
- Fennel: Fennel is widely believed to increase the natural supply of breast milk. Fennel is taken as a herbal treatment post, and during lactation time due to the reason that it has estrogen-like properties. Take fennel water for the same.
- Garlic & Ginger: These two herbs help to treat almost every health ailment. Also, high in galactagogues with additional benefits, these ingredients are a must while breastfeeding. Especially, ginger root positively stimulates the body in several ways, including the release of milk. Taking garlic is just not beneficial for milk but can also reduce the risk of mastitis (and alleviate it).
- Fenugreek: The most commonly used food in lactation as it contains phytoestrogens- component similar to estrogen. Another part called diosgenin that has been shown to increase breast milk supply. Take it in the form tea or gulp it with water.
- Ghee: Food for new moms post and during the pregnancy is specially prepared in ghee only. Ghee not only provides the right nutrition required for that period but also helps in strengthening the bones. Furthermore, it acts as an inducer for breast milk production in moms.
- Chickpea: The ancient Egyptian breastfeeding mothers were known to consume chickpeas for natural increased milk supply as it’s is a nutritious food with high protein content. Also, it contains plant estrogens, which make it reasonable to consume chickpeas as a galactagogue. Add chickpeas to pasta or salads to make the most out of it.
- Oats: Eating oats can help to boost breast milk supply. A compound called ‘saponins’- of which oats are full of, has antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, supporting your immune system and impacting milk-producing hormones. So, do add a bowl of oatmeal in your breakfast and enjoy this simple addition to your diet.
Over to you
Generally, breast milk production is supported by body mechanisms. Thorough and frequent emptying of the breast results in increased milk supply. This post was written on foods that are naturally packed with galactagogues to help mothers in lactation. Do consider adding these foods to your diet, if you have similar concerns.