Are you getting enough milk supply for your baby? Do you think you are producing enough milk? For first time moms, breastfeeding can feel entirely displacing–and you’re wracked with uncertainty, stress and self-doubt, not to mention possible post-partum depression. If you have more questions than answers, or you or your baby are still trying to get the hang of breastfeeding, the first thing you need to do is to see a lactation consultant who may be able to help you. She can assess whether your supply is indeed insufficient or low, and she can offer constructive solutions.
Herbal supplements and lactation teas should be take n with caution and treated like medication. What most mothers do not know is that they might be called “organic or natural”, but they aren’t automatically side effects-free. Try lactogenic foods which based on some research, shown may help increase both the quantity and quality of the breast milk your body makes.
Here, Psst.ph asks nutritionist, Onelia Santos for some tips on how to increase milk production the natural way by means of incorporating the following foods in your diet.
You may have heard that a tall glass of beer is the key to healthy breastmilk supply, but that research has shown, alcohol can inhibit milk production. It’s actually barley, a componenet of beer that does the trick. Barley is known as lactogenic. “Barley is the richest dietary source of beta-glucan, a polysaccharide that has been shown to increase prolactin (known as the breastfeeding hormone) levels in both humans and animals,” Santos explains.
Add whole barley to soups, stews, salads and even when you make a risotto. Use barley flakes to make milk or add it to your bread recipe if you know how to bake your own bread.
“When grains are germinated they release malting enzymes which convert barley into a sweet, syrupy malt, which also contains lactogenic beta-glucan. Barley malt syrup can be found at health specialty stores. But make sure it’s 100 percent pure, as high fructose or regular corn syrup is often added to dilute and sweeten it,” warns Santos.
Oats are likely the most well-known breast milk makers. After barley, oats have a higher concentration of dietary beta-glucan than any other food.
Other foods that have potential to boost milk production:
- whole wheat
- brown rice
- red beets
- sesame seeds
- poppy seeds
- anise seeds
- coriander seeds
Stay away from these anti-lactogenic foods:
- Certain herbs like sage, parsley, peppermint and menthol