Foods that Improve Lactation


Breast feeding has long been associated with the health and immunity of a child. And mothers do often find ways to provide heart full of milk to their kids. Many supplements were readily available in the market for feeding mothers. But what about the days when we are devoid of any commercial products to improve mother’s milk. Our elders used some time tested foods that are readily and naturally available within their reach.

Spinach: Most of the women would turn anaemic after delivering a baby. The Iron and Folic acid in the Spinach would let them regain the strength and produce enough milk. The nutrients in Spinach would also help their kids to grow stronger and healthier. Spinach is also known to prevent breast cancer which could be an added benefit. But there is a warning attached to the usage of Spinach! Too much of Spinach can affect the digestion of baby as well as mother.

Garlic: Garlic has been used for centuries to increase lactation. Though there has been little research to support the belief, experts feel that the taste of garlic in mother’s milk be attracting the children to suck more milk. Besides, garlic helps mother to regain from the post pregnancy illness. A few cloves of garlic can be added in dishes or can be fried along with ghee.

Gourd Vegetables: Elders would always advice to include vegetables like Bottle gourd and Snake gourd in the diet of nursing mothers. Gourd vegetables are easy to digest, low in calories and high in nutrition. Besides the high water content in them would keep nursing mothers stay hydrated. With all such benefits, how can we strike off the advice given by our elders?

Papaya: Traditional medicine practitioners suggest eating Papaya for better lactation. But we have to be sure that it is not ripe. It’s not only nutritious for mothers but also helps them in giving much milk. Besides, Papaya works like a mild sedative that helps mothers to relax between their busy schedules.

Fenugreek:  It’s another time tested suggestion to improve lactation. No one was sure about the reason, but everyone was confident about its working. Usage of Fenugreek is known to increase lactation up to 900%. Fenugreek seeds are filled with vitamins and minerals that are good for baby as well as mother. Further the Omega 3 fatty acids in these seeds help the development of baby.

To add to the above list-  numerous foods such as carrots, fennel seeds, oats, salmon, almonds, basil leaves, drumstick, sesame seeds, cumin seeds... would certainly help the feeding mothers to improve their lactation.


- Nirjara.