1. Fenugreek (Methi)
2. Fennel Seeds (Saunf):
Fennel seeds are thought to aid digestion and milk production. They can be consumed directly or used in cooking. They help prevent gas and colic in their baby. The logic is that since fennel seeds are used by adults to ease tummy upsets and aid digestion, the benefits of fennel can be passed to a baby through the breastmilk. There is no research to back either of these beliefs but many mums feel that fennel seeds have helped them or their baby. Here is why traditionally fennel is given to a breastfeeding mother.
Prolactin Stimulation: Fennel seeds may stimulate the release of prolactin, the hormone responsible for initiating and maintaining lactation. Higher levels of prolactin can lead to increased milk production and more effective breastfeeding.
Digestive Benefits: Fennel seeds are known for their digestive properties and can help alleviate digestive discomfort such as gas and bloating. Improved digestion can indirectly contribute to better nutrient absorption, ensuring that both the mother and the baby receive adequate nourishment for milk production.
Antioxidant Content: Fennel is rich in antioxidants, including flavonoids and phenolic compounds. These antioxidants may help protect breast tissue from oxidative stress and inflammation, creating a more supportive environment for milk production.
Improved Hydration: Fennel seeds have diuretic properties, meaning they can promote urine production and help maintain hydration levels. Staying well-hydrated is crucial for effective milk production.
Flavor Enhancement: Fennel's sweet and mild flavor can be transferred to breast milk, potentially making it more appealing to some babies. This can lead to better feeding and increased breastfeeding frequency.
Traditional Wisdom: Fennel has been used for generations in various cultures as a natural remedy to support lactation. Many traditional practices and anecdotes attest to its potential effectiveness in enhancing milk supply.
Recipe: Fennel-Infused Water -Boil a teaspoon of fennel seeds in water for 5-10 minutes. Let it cool and sip throughout the day.
3. Cumin Seeds (Jeera):
4. Garlic (Lehsun)
Garlic is believed to boost lactation due to its potential to stimulate milk-producing hormones. One small study found that the infants of mothers who ate garlic tended to feed for a longer time, suggesting that babies may like the flavour of garlic in breastmilk. However, the study was too small to draw any meaningful conclusions. Here is why garlic can be great for breastmilk production
Phytochemical Composition: Garlic contains various bioactive compounds, including sulfur-containing compounds like allicin. These compounds are thought to have positive effects on lactation by promoting hormonal balance and enhancing the milk-producing glands in the breast.
Prolactin Stimulation: Some studies suggest that garlic may stimulate the release of prolactin, a hormone that plays a crucial role in initiating and maintaining lactation. Prolactin is responsible for signaling the body to produce milk, and increased levels of prolactin can lead to increased milk production.
Improved Blood Flow: Garlic is known to have vasodilatory effects, which means it can help widen blood vessels and improve blood circulation. Improved blood flow to the mammary glands could potentially enhance milk production.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Garlic contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that may support overall breast health. By reducing inflammation in the breast tissue, garlic may create a more favorable environment for milk production.
Enhanced Flavors in Breast Milk: Garlic's distinct aroma and flavor can be transferred to breast milk, making it more appealing to some babies. This can lead to better feeding and potentially stimulate milk production through increased breastfeeding frequency.
Nutrient Content: Garlic is a source of various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6, manganese, and selenium. Adequate intake of these nutrients is important for overall health and may indirectly support lactation.
Recipe: Garlic Paratha- Crush garlic cloves and mix them into wheat flour along with spices and water. Roll out parathas and cook them on a griddle with ghee. Serve with yogurt or chutney.
How do I know if baby is getting enough milk?
Now that you know how to get your breastmilk supply going, the next big question is - Is my baby getting enough milk?
Here are the top 10 ways you can check if your baby is getting enough milk!
Weight Gain: Your baby is steadily gaining weight. In the first few days, babies might lose a small amount of their birth weight before starting to gain weight. However, after the first week, they should show consistent weight gain.
Wet Diapers: Your baby has an adequate number of wet diapers. In the first few days, expect around 1 wet diaper per day of life (1 on day one, 2 on day two, etc.). By day 4, your baby should have at least 6-8 wet diapers a day with pale, clear urine.
Dirty Diapers: Your baby has bowel movements (stools) regularly. In the beginning, babies might have meconium (a thick, black substance), but after your milk comes in, they should have yellowish, seedy stools. During the first few weeks, it's common for breastfed babies to have multiple stools per day.
Alertness and Activeness: Your baby is generally alert, active, and responsive when awake. They show interest in their surroundings and engage with you during feedings.
Satisfied After Feeding: Your baby appears content and relaxed after breastfeeding. They may show signs of fullness, such as releasing the breast on their own or falling asleep.
Audible Swallowing: You can hear your baby swallowing during feedings. This indicates that they are actively drinking milk and effectively transferring it from the breast.
Breast Softening: Your breast feels softer after a feeding. This suggests that your baby has emptied a significant amount of milk from the breast.
Growth and Development: Your baby is meeting their developmental milestones and seems to be growing appropriately for their age.
Breast Changes: Your breasts may feel fuller before a feeding and softer after a feeding. This is a normal indication of milk supply and demand.
Sucking and Swallowing Patterns: You notice rhythmic sucking and swallowing patterns during feedings, which demonstrate that your baby is actively nursing.
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