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Top 5 foods to boost your breastmilk production! - House Of Zelena

Top 5 foods to boost your breastmilk production!


“Why is baby crying so much? Your milk supply must be low."


How many times have you heard this from “well meaning elders” and friends?

When I gave birth, I had very less milk supply and unfortunately my daughter rejected formula completely. I was determined to breastfeed so I consulted with my dietician and gynaecologist who suggested some great home remedies to increase my milk supply! 


Breastmilk is the natural milk that a mother produces to nourish her baby. Sometimes referred to as “LIQUID GOLD”, due to its multiple benefits in the baby's growth and health. It is a complete source of nourishment for babies supplying them with all the required nutrients, hormones, antibodies. enzymes and other essential substances needed to give them health and immunity.  Breastmilk is tailor made for your baby and your body just knows what your baby needs! For example, if your baby is sick, breastmilk will contain more antibodies which help in curing the baby!

Its nothing less than magic! 


However, its not easy! Many women struggle to breastfeed or give up too soon. 

“How is that influencer on Instagram able to breastfeed so long and I cant?”shared Raksha Gulati a new mom!


When we recently did a webinar on newborn care with our zactive mom community these were the common questions that new mothers were asking. 


You are not alone. Doubting milk supply is something every mother must have done at some point. Can you do something to increase the milk supply?

Though the scientific research on galactagogues or foods that increase breastmilk is limited, there are some tried and tested foods that have been used since generations and moms report an increase in breastmilk by consuming them.


Please note that these should be a part of a balanced diet and not consumed in excess. Always seek a doctor's opinion! 


1. Fenugreek (Methi)


Fenugreek seeds are known for their galactagogue properties, believed to boost milk production. Here is why methi seeds are used in various forms like methi laddos and methi theplas and included in the diet of a breastfeeding mother.


  1. Galactagogue Properties: Methi seeds are considered a potent galactagogue, which means they have properties that promote milk production. They contain compounds such as phytoestrogens and diosgenin, which are believed to mimic the effects of estrogen and influence milk-producing hormones like prolactin.

  2. Prolactin Stimulation: Phytoestrogens in methi seeds may stimulate the release of prolactin, a hormone that plays a crucial role in initiating and maintaining lactation. Increased prolactin levels can lead to enhanced milk production.

  3. Enhanced Milk Ejection Reflex: Methi seeds are thought to improve the milk ejection reflex, also known as the let-down reflex. This reflex allows milk to flow from the milk ducts to the nipple, making breastfeeding more effective and efficient.

Recipe: Methi Roti- Mix finely chopped fenugreek leaves with whole wheat flour, spices, and water to make a dough. Roll out rotis and cook them on a skillet with ghee. Serve with yogurt or your favorite curry.



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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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):


Cumin seeds are known to have digestive benefits and are often used in Indian cooking. They provide relief from constipation, acidity and bloating and are a source of calcium and riboflavin (a B vitamin). Here is why you need to include cumin in your diet!


  1. Phytoestrogens: Cumin seeds contain phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds that have a similar structure to human estrogen. These compounds may help regulate hormonal balance, including the hormones involved in lactation, such as prolactin. Estrogenic effects can influence breast tissue development and milk production.

  2. Digestive Benefits: Cumin is known for its digestive benefits and its ability to relieve gas and bloating. Improved digestion can contribute to better nutrient absorption, leading to a more efficient supply of nutrients for both the mother and the baby. Adequate nutrient intake is essential for supporting milk production.

  3. Antioxidant Content: Cumin is rich in antioxidants, such as flavonoids and phenolic compounds. Antioxidants help protect cells from oxidative stress and inflammation, potentially creating a supportive environment for breast tissue health and lactation.

  4. Enhanced Milk Flow: Some traditional beliefs suggest that cumin's warming properties might contribute to increased blood circulation, including in the mammary glands.


Recipe: Jeera Rice- Add cumin seeds to hot oil in a pan, then add washed rice and water. Cook until the rice is fluffy and aromatic. Enjoy with a side of dal and vegetables.

You can also roast them and add them to snacks, raitas and chutneys.


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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


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.



5. Shatavari


Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is an herb commonly used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for various health benefits, including supporting lactation and increasing breast milk supply in nursing mothers. It's considered a galactagogue, a substance that promotes the production of breast milk.


  1. Hormonal Regulation: Shatavari is thought to have phytoestrogenic properties, which means it contains plant compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. Estrogen plays a role in stimulating the growth of mammary tissue and the development of milk ducts. By influencing hormonal balance, shatavari may help enhance the secretion of prolactin, a hormone responsible for milk production.

  2. Enhanced Milk Ducts: Shatavari is believed to have a positive impact on the milk ducts within the breasts. It is thought to support the structural development of mammary glands and create an environment conducive to improved milk flow.

  3. Nutrient Content: Shatavari is rich in essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, as well as minerals like calcium and zinc. These nutrients are essential for overall health and may contribute to the nutritional quality of breast milk.

  4. Anti-Stress Properties: Stress and anxiety can sometimes hinder milk production. Shatavari is known for its adaptogenic properties, which means it may help the body manage stress and maintain a balanced physiological response. By reducing stress, shatavari might indirectly support milk production.

  5. Improved Hydration: Shatavari is known to have diuretic properties, which can help improve hydration by promoting urine production. Staying hydrated is crucial for adequate milk production.

How to consume: Consult a lactation consultant or your gynaecologist for the dosage. It is taken as powder in hot milk traditionally. 


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!



  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Breast Softening: Your breast feels softer after a feeding. This suggests that your baby has emptied a significant amount of milk from the breast.

  8. Growth and Development: Your baby is meeting their developmental milestones and seems to be growing appropriately for their age.

  9. 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.

  10. Sucking and Swallowing Patterns: You notice rhythmic sucking and swallowing patterns during feedings, which demonstrate that your baby is actively nursing.


Remember every baby is unique and every mother does the best for her baby! Share this article with a mother who needs to read this!


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  • minal

    I have just delivered a baby and this will be so useful. I am struggling with milk supply. I will be trying out these home remedies!

  • Urvi Javed

    Useful tips! I used shatavari and it’s helping. Will try the others!

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