As a new mom there must be many questions on your mind, on how to handle this beautiful yet confusing phase of life! One main question which most moms ask is how to increase the breast milk production?
Mother’s milk is like nectar for her baby. Breastfeeding is a natural process and the more you feed, the more you’ll produce. However, there are also some foods that you can eat while breastfeeding that help increase the amount of breastmilk quickly.
Let’s know which foods that can help to increase the breast milk after delivery.
46 Best foods to increase breast milk naturally
- #1. Cumin Seeds or Jeera seeds
- #2. Sesame Seeds or Til seeds
- #3. Fennel Seeds or Sauf ke dane
- #4. Fenugreek Seeds or Methi ke dane
- #5. Carom Seeds or Bishops seed or Ajwain
- #6. Oatmeal
- #7. Poppy Seeds or Khus Khus seeds
- #8. Pumpkin Seeds
- #9. Chia Seeds
- #10. Anise Seeds
- #11. Barley
- #12. Chickpea
- #13. Legumes
- #14. Eggs
- #15. Brown Rice
- #16. Cow’s Milk
- #17. Yogurt or Curd
- #18. Cold pressed pure Oil and Ghee
- #19. Carrots
- #20. Spinach
- #21. Sweet Potato
- #22. Bitter Gourd
- #23. Asparagus
- #24. Garlic
- #25. Ginger
- #26. Bottle Gourd
- #27. Green or Raw Papaya
- #28. Drumsticks
- Try this:
- #29. Basil leaves
- #30. Dill leaves or Savaa leaves
- #31. Shatavari
- #32. Turmeric
- #33. Alfalfa
- #34. Blessed Thistle
- #35. Salmon
- #36. Meat
- #37. Dates
- #38. Apricots
- #39. Almonds
- #40. Fresh Juices
- #41. Lactation Teas
- #42. Brewer’s Yeast
- #43. Lactation cookies or Ladoos
- #44. Dandelion
- #45. Moringa
- #46. Seaweed
46 Best foods to increase breast milk naturally
#1. Cumin Seeds or Jeera seeds
Cumin contains iron and it improves the milk production of the mother as well as helps to remove the weakness after postpartum. It helps to keep the mother full of energy. Cumin has ability to aid in digestion, improve immunity and lactation.
- You can add cumin seeds in curries, soups and dals.
- You can also use it as seasoning over almost any kind of food. Just dry roast it and grind it and sprinkle over any snack you crave.
#2. Sesame Seeds or Til seeds
White or black sesame are a good source of calcium, minerals and Omega 6 fatty acids. Apart from this, there are also other micronutrients which are beneficial for both mother and infant. It has traditionally been considered one of the best home remedies for increasing breast milk naturally.
- You can eat it by making sesame laddus or til ke ladoos as they are traditionally called.
- You can use sesame oil for cooking, if you like the taste.
#3. Fennel Seeds or Sauf ke dane
This is one of the home remedies to increase the amount of breast milk, after delivery. Fennel helps to digest food quickly and even relieve the pain of constipation in mothers. Traditionally fennel seeds have been used to increase milk supply in breastfeeding mothers. While there is not much research to back this up, the fact that it is a source of phytoestrogens – which helps in the growth of breast tissue – is the primary reason that this home remedy may actually be quite effective. Fennel seed is ia also a diuretic, hence too much consumption should also be avoided.
You can intake fennel seeds after soaking the fennel in the water at night and drink the “saunf ka pani” in the morning.
You can also chew it as the mouth freshener after meals or use as a seasoning over food.
#4. Fenugreek Seeds or Methi ke dane
Fenugreek Seeds has long been considered a galactagogue – foods that help to increase the production of breast milk after delivery. Research has shown that fenugreek seeds are potential stimulators of breast milk. Fenugreek seeds are rich in calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin C and minerals. This is why even doctors also recommend it.
- Fenugreek tea is a healthy option and you can also soak fenugreek seeds in a glass of water overnight and then drink it in the morning.
- You can also eat fenugreek by making methi ke laddus of it.
#5. Carom Seeds or Bishops seed or Ajwain
Carom seeds helps in the improvement of digestive power and constipation as well as helps to increase breastmilk production in the mother. Ajwain seeds also contain anaesthetic properties that reduces back pain, and helps women ro recover from childbirth. Ajwain is ideal for healing the postpartum body because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
- You can add small quantities of ajwain in curries and vegetables.
- For better digestion, take a spoonful of carom seeds, add a pinch of salt and take it with water.
- Make a kada of ajwain, saunf and methi seeds. Boil them together in a pot of water for 15 minutes – strain and keep drinking throughout the day.
Oatmeal as a breakfast has become a healthy option because it contains plenty of calcium, fiber, and iron. A bowl of oats in breakfast can help to increase the amount of breastmilk in lactating women. Though it’s not backed up by any concrete research, oatmeal is considered of the best home remedies to increase breastmilk supply. Many doctors and lactation consultants, as well now recommend eating oatmeal to increase breast milk supply.
- You can make oats poha, oats upma and oats dosa as well.
- You can also make oats cookies and add them to homemade protein bars.
#7. Poppy Seeds or Khus Khus seeds
Poppy seeds or khus khus help to calm the mother. More the mother feels relaxed, she will produce more milk for her newborn baby. It has the enticing property that keeps her calm down while breastfeeding.
- You can have it with milk.
- You can also add it as garnishing over your food, especially baking foods.
- You can add poppy seeds as a seasoning over your food.
#8. Pumpkin Seeds
For a mom who is breastfeeding and want to improve breast milk supply, pumpkin seeds are her best friend. Pumpkin seeds have Omega -3 fatty acid, protein and fiber – all which is important for the growth of baby’s brain and nervous system. It also provides DHA and alpha-linolenic acid that increases the amount of breast milk production in the mom.
- You would like the taste of roasted salty pumpkin seeds.
- You can add pumpkin seeds in salads also.
- You can add it as garnishing over your food like bread baking and granola bars.
#9. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds can be added to the diet for breastfeeding mothers to increase milk as it helps the lactating moms to boost their metabolism. Chia seeds are also considered to be a superfood which contains good amount of protein, fiber, and omega-3 fats. It also improves digestive problems and softens stools after pregnancy which helps to relieve the constipation many women experience postpartum.
- You can soak Chia Seeds in water overnight and eat it in the morning, along with the water.
- You can have it as garnishing over baked foods like cookies and cupcakes.
- Add them to yogurt and smoothies to up the health quotient
#10. Anise Seeds
Anise seeds is an ayurvedic home remedy that treats a cough & cold and stomach problems like indigestion, bloating & intestinal gas. Many of these problems are experienced by breastfeeding mothers and this is a natural and safe way. Anise seeds also increases the blood circulation around the nipples in the nursing moms and also boosts breast milk supply.
- You can eat or swallow anise seeds with a glass of water or milk.
- You can also have a spoonful of Anise Seeds as a mouth freshener after meals.
Barley (or jau) is a grain that is a rich source of fiber. It helps to keep breastfeeding moms hydrated all the time and provides the calories and energy which she needs for optimum breastmilk production.
- You can add barley flour in your regular wheat flour and use this multigrain flour to make chapatis.
- You can also have barley water. Soak barley in water, strain it then drink it.
- Make barley soup with lots of veggies.
Chickpea is of one the oldest and effective home remedies to increase breast milk in the mother. It is a rich source of vegetable protein, calcium, B-complex vitamins & fiber.
- You can eat chickpeas by making hummus of it.
- You can eat it as a snack after boiling them.
- You can have chickpea with salads, just soak it overnight, boil it in the morning and enjoy it.
- Chickpea soup will also be a healthy option to increase breast milk.
Lentils of all kind, beans, and dried split peas all are collectively called legumes and these are rich in potassium, calcium, zinc, dietary fiber, lean protein, and iron. For breastfeeding mothers, masoor dal has been a popular home remedy to improve breast milk supply in India.
- Boil lentils and add to your daily food along with vegetables and rotis.
- You can eat lentil soup.
- You can also use legumes in south Indian dishes like idli, sambar, and rasam.
Breastfeeding moms need the rich amount of animal protein that can be provided by eating eggs. It is an easy source of nutrients, vitamins A, B2, B12, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, phosphorous and minerals. If you are nursing then add eggs to your diet, as they are one the topmost foods to eat while breastfeeding to increase milk supply.
* Keep in mind, if you notice any kind of symptoms like rashes, nausea, breathing problem, it means your baby is allergic to eggs. In such case, you shouldn’t include eggs in your diet.
- You can have eggs in your diet in many ways like boiled eggs, half fry, omelet etc.
- You can also cook egg curry to go with rice or rotis.
#15. Brown Rice
Women who just delivered can replace intake of white rice with brown rice. Brown rice has high fiber and stimulants which can boost breastmilk supply in the mother. It helps new mothers to deal with the erratic sleep pattern after delivery of the baby. It also balances sugar level in the body of the new mommy.
- You can start eating brown rice by making a pulao or biryani.
- You can eat it with lentils or dals also.
#16. Cow’s Milk
If you’re constantly wondering how to increase breast milk then dairy products is the one option you should go for. Dairy products specially made up of cow’s milk are among the best foods that can increase the breast milk in new mommies. Milk is a great source of calcium and helps to maintain calcium level in your body.
*Keep in mind, if you notice any symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, it means that your baby has the milk intolerance. In such case, you need to cut down the intake of milk.
- You can increase the breast milk by having a glass of milk with nuts in the morning breakfast.
- You can intake cow’s milk with oatmeal.
- Have milkshakes or smoothies if you find plain milk boring.
#17. Yogurt or Curd
Yogurt has always been added to the diet of Indian breastfeeding mothers as it contains high amounts of protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus & vitamin B-12. Curd or Yogurt is a great source of probiotics. It maintains calcium and protein in the body of nursing mothers. Yogurt also boosts the immunity and promote a healthy digestive system which is a must post partum when immunity is at low.
- You can simply eat yogurt with a dash of salt in it.
- Make yogurt smoothies with a variety of fruits.
- You can eat yogurt with fruits and nuts as a desert as well.
#18. Cold pressed pure Oil and Ghee
Bad fats are not good for the body but there is no denying that good fat is needed by our bodies. If you are a lactating mother, then consumption of good fat will increase the supply of breast milk in your body. Good fats include coconut oil, olive oil, white butter and desi ghee. Also, full fat dairy products help to increase breast milk, so be sure to add some cream to your glass of milk.
- Cook food in olive oil or coconut oil as per your taste.
- Fry snack and prepare curries in coconut oil or ghee.
- Use olive oil for salad dressing.
Vegetables are healthy not only for the lactating mother but also for her child and everyone else. So, when a woman delivers her baby, the intake of vegetables in her diet should be increased for good bowel movement. Moreover, carrot contains Vitamin A, alpha and beta-carotene which will be helpful in producing more breast milk.
- You can have carrot juice in the morning breakfast.
- You can eat carrots raw as a salad.
- Also can also eat carrots with yogurt dipping
Spinach helps new moms to recover from post-pregnancy anemia as it contains rich amount of iron, calcium, folic acid, vitamins, and minerals. For detoxification of the body as well, spinach works great. A healthy mommy will be able to provide more than adequate breast milk for her baby!
- You can intake spinach cooked with potatoes or cottage cheese.
- You can also prepare spinach soup.
#21. Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is loaded with Vitamin A in form of beta-carotene and it helps to increase breast milk supply in the lactating mothers. Phosphorus, vitamin B1 & B2, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, copper, vitamin B6 are other nutrients which are also found in sweet potato. In addition to these nutrients, magnesium mineral is also found in sweet potato that provides relaxation and de-stresses the mother.
- You can replace potato with sweet potato to make fries and wedges.
- You can also prepare the soup of sweet potato with other veggies.
- Sweet potato pudding is also a healthy choice.
#22. Bitter Gourd
Though Bitter Gourd or karela is bitter in taste, it is very nutritious. It is low in calories, contains folates, rich in phytonutrients and dietary fiber also which helps the new mommy to boost milk supply for her baby. Bitter gourd detoxifies the liver and develops immunity, which is low postpartum. Not only that, it also improves digestion and has antioxidant vitamins A & C.
* In case, if you’re diabetic or had gestational diabetes then you must add bitter gourd to your diet.
- You can have bitter gourd juice in the morning.
- You can eat bitter gourd by cooking it or stir fry it.
- Also, you can prepare stuffed bitter gourd.
Asparagus helps in better digestion as it is a rich source of dietary fiber, Vitamin A & K. For breastfeeding moms, and who wants to increase breast milk supply, Asparagus stimulates lactation hormones that increases breast milk supply.
- You can eat Asparagus by grilling it or steaming it.
It is one of the key ingredients of Indian cuisine and can easily be found in every household. Garlic is one of the lactogenic foods that helps to increase the breast milk in nursing mothers. Its herbal properties have been considered for years as one of the home remedies to stimulate breast milk supply in moms. Just take 2-3 cloves of garlic and you will see the difference.
*Keep in mind, if your baby is suffering from colic then do not include garlic in your diet.
- You can make garlic sauce and add to your sauteed vegetables.
- You can add garlic in curries, soups, and dals
You can also make garlic bread and can prepare garlic rice to go with your evening tea.
Like garlic, ginger is also available in every Indian household. It’s a herb and has many benefits in treating health problems like indigestion, sore throat, cough n cold, muscular aches, hypertension, cramps, constipation, vomiting, fever, infectious diseases and what not.
Ginger is also considered an old galactagogue – foods that aid in the production of breast milk. Properties of ginger like ketones are believed to contribute to its therapeutic and healing effects for postpartum and breastfeeding mothers.
- Ginger tea is quite a popular drink in many countries. So have ginger tea with the addition of Tulsi or basil leaves.
- You can use ginger in curries, soups, vegetables also.
#26. Bottle Gourd
Lauki or bottle gourd is one food that increases the supply of breast milk. It keeps lactating mothers hydrated as it’s nutritious with high water content. Bottle Gourd also helps in easier digestion and bowel movements.
- You can cook bottle gourd with a dash of turmeric and salt.
- You can enjoy the fresh juice of bottle gourd in the morning.
- Bottle gourd pudding and Barfi is also very delicious and healthy.
- You can make a curry of bottle gourd also.
#27. Green or Raw Papaya
The raw version of papaya and has many nutritional benefits. Raw papaya has enzymes which help in boosting digestive system of new moms. It treats constipation problem, bowel movements and increases the breast milk supply in the mothers.
- You can prepare soup of green papaya.
- Raw papaya salad is also popular in many cuisines.
Lactating mothers should increase the intake of drumsticks in their diet. It’s a nutritious green vegetable which is rich in iron and calcium. Drumsticks can stimulate the mammary glands, so the powder of drumsticks is a popular home remedy for improving breastmilk production in new moms.
- South Indians are well aware of the usage of the drumstick. Sambar is incomplete without flavor of drumstick.
- You can also add intake of drumstick by having the juice of it.
- You can prepare curry of drumstick.
#29. Basil leaves
Tulsi is a holy herb for Indians, also known as Basil. It contains carotene, vitamin K, iron, niacin, and thiamine. It’s an easily available herb and has always been a way to increase the breast milk naturally. It had antioxidants property that helps to boost immunity in the baby and the mother. With its calming effect, it helps in calming the baby.
- You can add tulsi leaves in your tea or simply drink Tulsi tea.
- You can also have it by boiling a few leaves of basil in one glass of milk, strain it & then take it warm.
#30. Dill leaves or Savaa leaves
Breastfeeding moms should add dill leaves in their diet as they are high in fiber, and the rich source of vitamin K, A, C, antioxidants, and minerals. Dill leaves help to replenish the huge blood loss that many moms can experience during delivery.
- You can season your food with dill leaves frequently.
- You can add dill leaves to a kada of ginger, tulsi etc and make a herbal soup.
Shatavari is a famous and ancient galactagogue herb which is used to improve the breast milk supply. It is also believed to improve the quality of the breast milk. For nursing mothers who are dealing with problem of less or inadequate supply of milk, this herb should be added in their diet.
Shatavari it is a powerful herb, so it should be used moderately. It is highly recommended as it stimulates the breastfeeding hormones, which are essential for continued breastfeeding. Shatavari has been known to balance the female hormones and promote wellness. It can fight cholera, typhoid fever, dysenteriae, E.coli, and Staphyoloccus aerus.
* Keep in mind, the shatavari should be taken as medicines after having meal.
Medicinal properties of turmeric are legendary and it is widely used in Indian cooking. It is an anti-inflammatory agent,has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Above all it is an antioxidant and a magic food that helps the nursing moms to increase breast milk supply. It also prevents mothers from breast infections.
- Turmeric should be added in curries and dals everyday.
- You can also have turmeric with warm milk, but in a small quantity.
The highly nutritious herb is a popular home remedy for many ailments. Alfalfa leaves have always been to dairy animals as well to increase the amount of milk in them.
Alfalfais a rich source of protein, fiber, Vitamin A ,Vitamin C, minerals. Low in saturated fat and high in antioxidants which is used to treat high blood pressure. Alfalfa detoxifies the blood also and helps in recovering from postpartum blood loss. For mothers who are looking to increase breastmilk supply should take Alfalfa to boost milk production.
- Alfalfa is available in capsules and tablets.
- You can have the tea of alfalfa also, with the powder of alfalfa which is now readily available in the market.
- You can prepare the salad of sprouted alfalfa.
#34. Blessed Thistle
Blessed Thistle is a galactagogue that can increase the supply of breastmilk in the mother. It is also used to treat loss of appetite and indigestion. Colds, cough, fever, bacterial infections, and diarrhea are also treated with many home remedies of thistle. Blessed Thistle is also used for promoting the flow of breast milk in new mommies.
* For better result, have it with other herbs like fennel and alfalfa. The combination of fenugreek and blessed thistle also works good for lactating mothers.
- You can drink blessed thistle tea which is available in the market. Also, the supplement capsules/tablets can be taken but only after consulting doctors.
Fishes are high in protein and Salmon is a rich source of Vitamin D, essential fatty acids, and Omega-3. Omega-3 is very important for growing child as it develops the brain of the child. Salmon is a nutritious option for breastfeeding moms to increase the supply breast milk. It can boost the lactating hormones in new mommies.
- You can prepare fish curry using salmon.
- You can eat fish fry or grilled fish.
- Salmon with brown rice is a tasty and healthy meal.
For the non-vegetarian moms, an easy available option to increase the supply of breast milk is the lean meats and seafoods. It can be helpful for breastfeeding mothers. Beef and pork are called lean meats, while fish and seafood including salmon and tuna are the seafoods, also poultry chicken and turkey can be a healthy choices for the women who are at breastfeeding stage.
- There are so many options to include meat in the diet. By boiling, grilling, baking, cooking and steaming, different dishes made from these foods can be added in the diet.
Balancing sugar levels in the body for women postpartum is quite essential as milk production eliminates sugar from the blood. For lactating mothers, it it necessary to maintain optimum sugar levels. Dates are a great way to get some healthy calories in your breastfeeding diet. Dates are also very rich in potassium, Vitamin A, calcium and iron which help breastfeeding moms to increase milk supply.
- You can eat date by preparing the date puddings.
- You can eat date as a snack if you have a sweet tooth.
- You can also replace white sugar with dates syrup in some sweet dishes.
Fresh apricots contain fiber, calcium, and Vitamin C & A. On the other hand, dried apricots also helps to balance the hormone level in mothers who are breastfeeding.
- You can have it as a snack on the go.
- You can add apricots in your morning oatmeal.
- Indulge in some apricot pie
We all know that nuts are energy boosters and rich in proteins. Almond is the solution when if you are looking for a non-dairy source of calcium. It also contains Vitamin E & Omega 3 which is essential for the growth of child’s brain and also helps to boost lactation hormones. The addition of almond and other nuts in the diet increases breast milk production in the nursing mothers.
- You can have almond as munchies by roasting them with a little bit of salt.
You can add almonds in smoothies.
- You can add almonds along with other kinds of nuts in your oatmeal.
- Soak 4-5 almonds in the water overnight and eat it in the morning.
#40. Fresh Juices
What does a nursing mother requires most? Staying hydrated! It is very important for new mommies to hydrate themselves all the time for continued breastfeeding success.
If you find drinking water boring then add fresh fruit juices to your diet. 2-3 glasses of fresh juices or summer drinks will work like magic to any nursing mother and she will see the difference in the increased production breast milk.
#41. Lactation Teas
Full fat milk teas are popular among women as a way to improve breast milk supply. Lactation tea is a kind of herbal tea that is made up of different kinds spices and dried herbs and that help to lactate mothers to increase breast milk.
- Boil water and make some lactation tea. You can have 2-3 cups with honey everyday.
#42. Brewer’s Yeast
The rich source of iron, chromium, protein, vitamin B & other minerals Brewer’s yeast is highly nutritious supplement. It is made from a fungus and is traditionally considered a galactagogue which can be used by breastfeeding moms to increase breast milk supply.
* Consult a doctor before adding any lactation supplement in your diet. Also, if after adding it, you notice any kind of reaction in your child then stop consumption of it.
Sweet cravings are common when you are breastfeeding your newborn and what would be better than yummy cookies or ladoos! Lactation cookies are a combination of all the ingredients which help to increase breast milk production in the nursing mother. It is made up with eggs, oats, fat, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and etc. These cookies are available in the market or if you want you can make it at home.
In India methi ke ladoos and gondh ke ladoos are considered the perfect snack for a breastfeeding mother as it can boost milk supply.
Dandelion is a plant and a popular herbal galactagogue which is used mostly in US to increase the production of breast milk. As per an expert on breastfeeding, Frank J. Nice, nursing mothers should take Dandelion capsules to boost the supply of breast milk.
- You can have the capsules of Dandelion.
- You can brew a Dandelion tea.
Moringa has been becoming a new superfood and it is also a traditional galactagogue that helps new mommies to boost the supply of breast milk for her newly born kid. Moringa is mostly used by Southeastern women to improve the production of breast milk.
You can add Moringa powder in smoothies or in juices.
In many Asian countries, seaweed is used as a galactagogue and it is considered good for nursing mothers. Seaweeds are high in iron, which can help to increase milk flow and the production of breast milk.
- Have seaweed with noodle or ramen soup
Successful breastfeeding is imperative for both the mommies who just delivers and her support system. So, while adding these foods into one’s diet, mother’s can increase the breast milk production, she also needs lots of support from other family members. Frequent breastfeeding, and good positioning of baby are important for long and successful breastfeeding.
Enough rest and hydration of the body are also essential for the nursing mothers – so be sure to sleep as much as you can. Always have a bottle of water by your bedside and don’t forget to carry a bottle of water when stepping out. Enjoy this special bond with your little one. You can also try to connect with your little bundle of joy by massaging daily with a good baby massage oil.
Have happy and healthy breastfeeding !