Are there any foods that can help me increase my milk supply?
A lot of new moms worry about supply, but in most cases, they’re making plenty of milk. So before you start worrying about food, are you sure you need to increase your supply? If your baby has six or more wet diapers a day, along with a couple of dirty ones, your supply is probably just fine. Make an appointment with a lactation consultant to be sure -- and to help put your mind at ease.
If you’re still looking to boost milk production, there are a lot of foods that are rumored to increase supply -- almost every culture has some kind of food-based remedy said to help mamas make milk. Most of these have never been proven (or tested) in a scientific study, but since most folk food-based remedies tend to be healthy anyway, there’s little risk in trying them.
Quick oats, regular oats, steel-cut oats -- oatmeal in all forms is said to increase milk supply. People of some cultures even blend oats with water, then strain the oats from the water and use the remaining milky water as a supply-boosting drink.
In some Asian cultures, a broth-based seaweed soup is prepared to help boost new moms’ milk supply. Seaweed has a lot of calcium, protein and vitamins, so it certainly can’t hurt.
Fenugreek is an herb that’s believed to (you guessed it) increase supply. In India, it’s often cooked with clarified butter and sugar. In the US, some breastfeeding moms drink fenugreek tea or take fenugreek supplements in capsule form.
Just remember: Since breastfeeding is based on the law of supply-and-demand -- your body makes more milk in response to your baby’s increased demand -- the very best way to increase your supply is to nurse (or pump!) more often.
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