The human body is truly a magic. How amazing it is for the baby to solely feed on their mom; I doubted it, until I saw my baby growing healthy just by having breast milk.
After Ava’s birth, I struggled to feed her for the first few days. Our Pediatrician kept insisting us to have a lactation consultant guide me how you can feed in an effective way. I wasn’t sure if I had the right supply for Ava or if I was feeding her right (posture/latch etc). I did a lot of research on lactation by reading through many many articles, conversing with friends/families from India and I started following pretty much all the tips they had provided.
After the first month, I was confident on the milk supply and Ava was gaining good weight. I was very happy with Ava’s growth and even our Pediatrics changed his mind and congratulated me for doing a good job. His congratulations felt like, I received a huge award.
Post fourth month, I felt the milk supply is not as good as before and baby’s demand had also increased. It made me worried and I started having an anxiety of not having enough milk. I specifically did not want to give formula to her as I believe breast milk is the healthiest and a very essential for baby’s initial growth.
I went back on my research to boost the milk supply. I gathered so many good information on foods which could help increase the milk. I was not sure if these would work for me, but I had to try to review the results. I began taking the recommended foods along with my regular healthy foods and I was blown away by the results. Yes, I was back in a good/healthy milk supply and my baby is happy with her feeding.
There is a phrase in Tamil, Unave Marunthu – it translates to ‘Food as Medicine’. It is 100% right when it comes to the foods/super foods to boost milk supply. Our food habit controls the milk supply and there is no need to take any further supplements/over the counter medicines.
Here are few tips and recommendation on foods that helped me with the breastfeeding journey.
- Carrots: Carrots works great in lactation. Baby carrot could be just had daily as salad and also as sabji to eat alongside the meal.
- 2 big Carrots or 10-15 baby Carrots
- 1 tsp - Olive oil
- 5-6 - Curry leaves
- 2-3 - garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp - Cumin seeds
- Any veggie (Optional)- Beans, Broccoli, Spinach
- Any spices-( I used black pepper)
- Heat oil in Pan
- Add cumin seeds and add curry leaves.let them splutter.
- Add chopped garlic and saute till the garlic becomes golden.
- then add chopped carrots, pepper and salt as per taste.
- cover for 2-3 min and let carrots becomes soft and tender.
- You can add whatever you like and make it more delicious 🙂
- Spinach– Spinach contain calcium, iron, and folic acid which helps in making baby strong.
Spinach curry (my mother’s recipe, me and my husband both love this curry with rice or chapati)
Spinach juice- I typically add spinach, apple, cucumber and orange together which is not that bad and you can have once a while. you may add any fruits per your taste.
Additional ways to include spinach in our everyday food includes Spinach dhaal, Spinach paratha, and salads.
- Spinach packet
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tsp - cumin seeds
- 4 tsp - gram flour
- 7 to 8 - Garlic cloves
- salt to taste
- rinse the spinach in running water and cut into small pieces.
- boil 4 cups of water. add spinach into boiled water and add 1/2 tspn salt. close with lid and let spinach cooked for 5-10 mins.
- take small bowl. add gram flour and water to make smooth liquid paste.
- add gram flour paste to cooked spinach and slow down the flame. stir the mixture until mixture becomes even. let it cook on low flame.
- take small pan and heat the oil.
- add cumin seeds and garlic, asofatita and let them splutter.
- add tadka(garlic oil) on spinach curry and mix it well.
- add salt per taste and simmer for 5 min.
- This is super healthy and yummy curry. please try and let me know if you like it 🙂
- Oats– Oats really works in lactation. I have been taking whole oats with granola in my morning breakfast. I use mini 2 liter Hawkins cooker to cook easily and have it like our kheer (pudding), it taste yummy though. Granola adds sweet taste so sugar is not necessary and add your favorite fruits as toppings to make it more delicious.
- Fenugreek seeds– (IMPORTANT) Fenugreek seeds are absolute necessary supplement for lactation.
I soak a spoon of seeds in a glass of water before sleep. The next morning, in addition to drinking the soaked water, I also intake the soaked seeds throughout the day thrice. I know some of you may think, if i have any sense for taste but trust me, soaked seeds doesn’t taste that bitter at all and you don’t need to have lot of at once. Just take few in several times as you get a chance or at least sallow with water.
You could as well add fenugreek seeds in any recipe. I typically add in dosa batter and curd rice.
One time my husband had prepared a Tamil dish, ‘Vendhaya kali’ with rice, jaggery and Fenugreek seeds. I am always excited to try new foods and ofcourse, I loved it.
- Vendhaya kali2017-08-12 13:53:40Vendhaya kali is a very healthy dish and it helps in breastfeeding and also cool our body.Total Time30 minTotal Time30 min1703 calories370 g0 g16 g18 g3 g790 g183 g200 g0 g12 gNutrition FactsServing Size790gAmount Per ServingCalories 1703Calories from Fat 142% Daily Value *Total Fat 16g25%Saturated Fat 3g13%Trans Fat 0gPolyunsaturated Fat 6gMonounsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 0mg0%Sodium 183mg8%Total Carbohydrates 370g123%Dietary Fiber 6g22%Sugars 200gProtein 18gVitamin A0%Vitamin C1%Calcium9%Iron55%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.Ingredients
- 1 cup - Idly rice
- 2 tbsp - Fenugreek seeds
- 1 cup - Jaggery
- 1 tbsp - Sesame oil
- Pinch of salt to taste
- 1 or 2 - Cardamom (crushed)
- 1/2 tspn - dry ginger
- 1 1/2 cup - water
- Wash and Soak Idly Rice, Fenugreek seeds for almost 4 hours.
- Grind the soaked rice and fenugreek seeds to a fine paste by adding enough water a along with the salt and make a idly consistancy.
- Heat the pan and add the batter. keep stirring it continuously at a low flame until batter becomes not sticky.
- Batter should not be sticky means Kali is ready.
- Jaggery Syrup
- Dissolve Jaggery with water, add Cardamom and dry ginger.
- heat the dissolved jaggery to a little consistency.
- Vendhaya Kali
- Keep the Kali in a plate and drizzle the syrup in center, little Sesame oil on top and serve hot.
- Ensure that the entire process is done in low flame else the mixture will form lumps.
- You can use raw rice as well.
- You can make jaggery syrup or jaggery as it is as per your choice.
- Garlic– Garlic is considered as one the best food to increase breast milk. We use garlic in pretty much everything. Try frying garlic with sesame seeds and curry leaves; my sister made this recipe and I loved it as a tasty side meal. One of my friend suggested to have garlic milk – I am not used to this taste but it does help in a good way. I am having garlic milk 3-4 times in week.
- Garlic Milk2017-08-12 14:02:46Garlic milk increases the supply of breast milk.Total Time1 hrTotal Time1 hr375 calories37 g59 g14 g24 g9 g734 g344 g39 g1 g5 gNutrition FactsServing Size734gAmount Per ServingCalories 375Calories from Fat 130% Daily Value *Total Fat 14g22%Saturated Fat 9g46%Trans Fat 1gPolyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 59mg20%Sodium 344mg14%Total Carbohydrates 37g12%Dietary Fiber 0g0%Sugars 39gProtein 24gVitamin A28%Vitamin C2%Calcium88%Iron1%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.Ingredients
- Garlic - 6-8 cloves
- Milk - 3 cup
- Sugar - as needed.
- Heat the pan and add milk, crushed garlic. Boil the milk.
- Simmer and cook until it reaches 1 cup or thinness of you preference.
- Serve with or without sugar.
- Fennal seeds– Fennal seeds shows awesome result in milk supply. We can eat fennel seeds as it is. I soak the seeds in water and have been drinking that water 2 times a day.
- last but not the least- Healthy meal.
I am following the food which is helping me a lot and made me proud mother to feed my little joy. I can’t say enough, How much I was worried before and How much happy I am now.
I am eating good food not just for my baby but also for myself. we are mothers and only mothers knows how much strength we need to raise our kids. so if we take care of our self, it eventually taking care of our baby. Eating good & healthy is going to help us to stay healthy in long way.
Food is important but on top of that your mental stress is also plays a role in breastfeeding. Keep yourself away from stress even though it is difficult. Find ways to keep you happy and strong-
The following are few things we can follow mamma-
- Go for small walk
- Talk with your loved ones
- Watch something good which you like
- Join mothers community like social sites or meetups
- Eat what you love
- Be a kid with your kids
- Do not hesitate to ask help from your closed ones and your life partner
- Even if you are tired, go out for grocery or park.
- once a while go to long drive.
- Go to Hike with your baby (we did our first hike and I will be posting blog soon)
- Most important, always tell yourself, “I am strong Mother, I gave birth to human means I can do anything, ‘impossible’ is not a word in my dictionary. ( This is my slogan.. haha)
Motherhood – we see tough times and frustrating times but there is joy and satisfaction in every single moments. Much power to all of you dear mothers.
Thank you so much for reading my post. I hope this post will help all the new mothers in there beautiful motherhood journey.