Maintaining your breastmilk supply can be a challenging journey, especially if your baby is still learning how to latch on properly and pumping is a regular occurrence. Highly determined by the supply-demand factor where the more your baby takes, the more you’ll make; there are also other reasons that can affect the supply of our breastmilk – among all – caffeine, stress, smoking, alcohol, diet, medications and so on.
As mums, we strive to minimise our baby’s contact with medications and chemicals as much as possible, especially when we breastfeed and baby indirectly takes whatever we consume. Fortunately, there are also many other natural ways to increase our milk supply.
1. Fenugreek – Commonly used to boost milk production, fenugreek is a kind of herb that’s also a good source of protein, iron and vitamin C. They can be consumed in tea or capsule form. However, if you are prone to asthma, allergies, hypoglycemic, have low thyroid hormone levels or on certain medications, you may want to avoid this herb.
The Organic Milkmaid Tea by Earth Mama Angel Baby contains organic fenugreek seed as well as organic alfalfa leaf. It comes in a box of 16 bags and is available at Happikiddo.
2. Alfalfa – Touted to be highly beneficial for health, you may add some alfalfa sprouts or seed to your diet, or take them on a sandwich or salad. You may also consume them in capsule form as well.
3. Oats – Eating oats can help with your milk supply. Easy, right? Just have some for breakfast. You can even attempt to bake some homemade lactation oat cookies! Alternatively, get some Milkmaker’s Lactation Cookies. It’s a bag of 10 cookies, and comes in variants of Oatmeal Chocolate Chips or Oatmeal Raisin.
4. Sesame Seed – If you are a big fan of sesame seeds, you’ll appreciate that it does help to increase milk supply. It’s important to eat them in its crushed form though. You can try black sesame soup dessert or tahini, a sesame seed paste in salad dressing.
5. Fennel – Hailed from the celery family, it’s a flowering plant species with phytoestrogens that are believed to help make milk. Use them with caution though as overdosage can cause a reverse effect. You may take them as stir-fried vegetable or in tea. The Neuner’s Nursing Tea contains mainly fennel, followed by fenugreek seeds. It comes in a box of 20 teabags and is available at Happikiddo.
6. Nuts – Get nutty! Nuts are not only nutritious but also great for satisfying hunger pangs. Almonds are known to help improve milk supply.
7. Brewer’s Yeast – Found in beer and sometimes known as nutritional yeast, you can also opt for its supplements form available in most pharmacies.
8. Garlic – Here’s your chance to spot the garlicky breath, for a good reason! A versatile herb in flavouring and health benefits, garlic is said to make mum’s milk more palatable hence the increased demand for it. If you don’t like the garlicky taste or smell, take them in capsule form instead.
9. Dandelion – Used traditionally by the Chinese and Native American to assist postpartum recovery and boost milk production, you can consume the leaves and roots together or just drink the tea.
10. Supply-demand approach – This is the fool-proof, best method to increase and sustain your milk supply. Whenever possible, latch baby on and on demand. Nothing works better than the natural stimulation by baby.