There are many methods to increase milk supply. Most experts recommend a variety of steps to ensure a healthy supply to meet the needs of your baby, including nursing more often and on demand, pumping after feedings to ensure your breasts are emptied, drinking lots of water, eating a wholesome diet, and getting plenty of rest. Some moms also rely on products that promote lactation ranging from herbal supplements, to nutrient-rich treats. Today we’re taking a look at products that promote lactation and why they may be helpful to you.
Lactation Tea: There are many types of lactation teas each with their own formula of herbs that promote milk production. Some of these herbs include fenugreek, alfalfa, milk thistle, red raspberry leaf, coriander, blessed thistle and fennel, among others. As with any new health regimen, start with a small portion and gradually increase your consumption to ensure you don’t have an adverse reaction.
Lactation Drops: These concentrated drops contain many of the same ingredients as lactation teas. To use simply add them to a cup of hot water and drink up.
Oats: Oats are rich in iron, which boosts blood oxygenation. When moms experience low blood iron levels or anemia, their milk supply suffers. Try anything with oats in it to boost your milk supply including oatmeal, oatmeal cookies, granola, oat-grain bread and oatmeal pancakes.
Dairy: Pregnancy and breastfeeding can strip your body of calcium. Replenish with 2-3 servings or dairy daily. A glass of milk, a cup of yogurt or any form of cheese are great options.
Lactation Cookies: Different types of lactation cookies are available that offer a variety of ingredients that help increase milk production. Ingredients like oats, brewster’s yeast and flax seed are easy to add to cookies and have been shown to have a positive effect on milk supply.
Fruits & Veggies: Ok, these are part of any healthy diet but they are especially important for lactation. The antioxidants, vitamins and minerals found in fresh produce definitely support lactation and are great to pass along to your baby as well. Many fruits and vegetables also contain iron and calcium, which we already established as great nutrients for breastfeeding.
Lactation Smoothies: Many of the ingredients listed above can be great additions to a smoothie as well. Like any other nutrient-dense smoothie, a lactation smoothie should be chock full of healthy, fresh fruits and veggies. Make sure it has protein too – good sources of smoothie protein are Greek yogurt, nut butters and milk. Try adding flax, brewster’s yeast, oats, hemp seeds or chia seeds to increase milk supply, plus they offer a bunch of other super health benefits too.
Herbs & Spices: Seasonings such as ginger, garlic and fenugreek are known galactagogues. They have been used for centuries for therapeutic and medicinal purposes including increasing milk supply. These herbs and spices shouldn’t affect your baby but do talk to your doctor before starting a heavy dosage of any new supplement.
Sources: Parents, KellyMom, SmartMom and VeryWell
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