Mother's milk is the only completely natural way of nourishing newborns and infants without any side effects, fully satisfying their needs up to about 6 months of age. Its nutritional values cannot be replaced by even the best mixture based on cow's milk.
What lacting means
Lactation is the process of secreting milk from special glands located in the breasts. It is caused by hormones, especially prolactin, which let glands grow and regulates milk production. Prolactin is secreted by lactotrophs - cells located in the pituitary gland. Lactotrophs are susceptible to stimulation by food.
How to increase milk supply
Increasing lactation is possible with the use of special pharmacological agents. However, it is worth using an alternative in the form of natural milk substances (i.e. galactogues) contained in the food. There is little medical evidence to support the idea that specific food can boost milk production, however, there are a lot of women who claim that certain foods make a world of difference!
Best way to boost milk supply
Eating lactogenic food is such a great idea, however, the best stimulator of milk production is the suckling breast by the baby. Thanks to it, the body receives a signal that it is necessary to produce more milk. So more suckling = more milk.
Here is the list of lactogenic food all-stars. Nothing better than increasing breast milk naturally!
Green Leafy Vegetables
Does barley malt increase milk supply
One of the best lactogenic food that has been used for generations is barley malt. This ingredient is most often associated with beer. Obviously, breastfeeding mothers don't drink alcohol, so alcohol-free barley malt syrup or alcohol-free beers are such a great idea! Unfortunately in the UK, there is not much to choose from among non-alcoholic beers. Most of them contain trace amounts of alcohol. If there is a Polish store nearby, you can drop by and get some 0.0% beer. You can choose flavours. My favourite one is Lech Free - pineapple and guava, Lech Free - pomegranate and acai, and Lech Free - pomelo and grapefruit (I am drinking it right now, yum!). I found out about the barley malt phenomenon by the end of my pregnancy. My friend had called me and she'd been complaining about having too much milk! (yes it can happen, no it's not nice ). 2 weeks later she called again and said it had resulted from alcohol-free beer! When the baby was born, they had a lot of guests and little celebrations. Since she hasn't drunk alcohol, she has been sipping non-alcoholic beers, not knowing that it contains barley malt! I was really surprised the beer can increase breast milk supply, and I guess you know what I've done before my due date. Stocked my fridge!
Meals that increase breast milk supply
I truly love cooking and baking. However, since Maja was born, I don't have time to enjoy it (speed is my ally). However, I always make sure the meals are healthy and nutritious. Also, since I breastfeed exclusively, in the daily menu I try to include foods that increase breast milk supply. Below I gathered my favourite recipes that are packed with lactogenic ingredients. Enjoy some of the breastfeeding-friendly recipes that help you stay happy, healthy and full!
Non-alcoholic beer, for example Lech Free 0.0%
Frequently asked questions
How can I increase my milk supply quickly?
Put your baby to the breast often (make sure you do it correctly)
Be positive and relaxed
Change breasts in one feed
Extract milk with a breast pump
Drink plenty of water
Eat lactogenic food
Drink lactogenic drinks
Be in touch with a Lactation Consultant
What foods kill milk supply?
They negatively affect the milk supply if eaten in large quantities.
Can spicy food affect breast milk?
Yes, spicy food can affect breast milk because it can change the taste of mom's milk. However, it is a very subtle change. Please bear in mind that breast milk is made of blood and not of what the nursing mother eats. Scientists claim what babies get in milk teaches them new flavours and shapes food preferences. Hence, we shouldn't resign from eating spicy food while breastfeeding.
What tea is best for breastfeeding?
The best tea for breastfeeding is the one that contains anise, fennel, cumin, chamomile, lemon balm, nettle, verbena, fenugreek, milk thistle, black cumin, and lemon balm.
What can I drink to increase my milk supply?
Drinks that may increase milk supply are nursing tea, alcohol-free beer containing barley malt, Starbucks Pink Drink, bulletproof coffee, moringa smoothie, and golden oat milk.
I hope you like this blog post! Please let me know if the lactogenic food helped you to increase your breast milk supply or not. I am so curious about your thoughts!