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Lactogenic Food - Foods that increase breast milk

Breast milk contains antibodies that boost your child's immunity. Here is a list of lactogenic foods that increase breast milk production.

9 min read
Lactogenic Food - Foods that increase breast milk

Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants. It has a nearly perfect mix of vitamins, protein, and fat -- everything your baby needs to grow. And it's all provided in a form more easily digested than infant formula.

What is the importance of breastfeeding of mother’s milk?

Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. When you're a new breastfeeding mother and struggling to keep up with your baby's demand for milk, it's normal to feel inadequate or desperate.

You might even be tempted to switch over to formula. But before making any drastic changes, there are more than a few home remedies you can try to increase your breast milk supply. Most mothers ask how to increase baby milk intake. But what you should really be focusing on is increasing your breast milk supply. Only when you produce more milk, do you have more to give your child.  In fact, boosting the amount of breast milk you produce can be as simple as switching to breast milk producing foods, also known as lactation aid foods.

There are certain foods that increase breast milk production. Even herbs and beverages can give you just the lift you need. That said, the most important thing to do when you're trying to increase your milk supply is to remove more milk from your breasts. .

A lot of mothers want to increase their breast milk supply as they feel they are not producing enough for their baby’s requirements. This worry is something that’s more in the mind of the woman than something that should be a serious cause for concern. A lot of new moms have this worry; it’s only natural, of course, because they want the best for their little one!

While nursing, the biggest aspect that should be taken care of is the diet of the mother, as it not only impacts the amount and quality of breast milk produced, but also impacts the post-delivery recovery of the mother. It is important to consult a doctor while planning your postpartum diet.

Signs of Low Breast Milk Supply

Most mothers have concerns about their breast milk supply and wonder whether they are producing enough milk. After all, the amount of milk going into the baby’s mouth cannot really be measured. But if you're wondering if your milk supply is low, here are some Signs that your baby is getting enough milk:

There is adequate weight gain. It's normal for newborns to lose up to 5 percent to 7 percent (sometimes even 10 percent) of their birth weight in their first days of life. However, they should be back to their birth weight by days 10–14. Your baby should be gaining about 0.7 to 1 ounce every day during their first days. Take your baby to their pediatrician to ensure that they're gaining weight properly.

Your baby's cheeks look full while feeding. If your baby's mouth is filled with milk, their cheeks will look puffy rather than sucked in while they're breastfeeding.

Your baby's poop is normal for their age. A newborn should poop at least 3 to 4 times each day, and their poop should be creamy and mustard colored. As your baby grows older, they'll poop less often, but having wet-looking poops will still be a good indicator that they're getting enough milk.

Your baby doesn't show any signs of dehydration.

Signs of dehydration include dark urine, tearless crying, irritability, dry mouth, and sunken eyes and fontanels. If your baby is showing any signs of dehydration, call your doctor immediately.

Your baby makes gulping noises and swallows while nursing. These noises indicate that your baby is actively swallowing milk during a breastfeeding session. However, the absence of these noises isn't always a sign of low milk supply. If your baby eats silently but is still gaining weight and doesn't show signs of dehydration, there's probably nothing to worry about.

Your baby is calm after feeding and releases your breast on their own. A full, content baby will release your breast when they're done eating. It's very common for babies to fall asleep after they've been fed. If your baby is irritable and fussy after eating, it could be a sign of low milk supply.

Your breasts feel soft after nursing. Your breasts will be drained of milk after a successful nursing session, which will make them feel softer.

So how to make breast milk come in faster? By eating foods that increase breast milk production, also known as lactogenic foods.

Natural ways to increase breast milk supply

Here are some foods  that can be used as ways to increase breast milk supply fast.

1 .Fenugreek Seeds

These aromatic seeds are often touted as potent galactagogues. They contain estrogen-like compounds that are thought to enhance milk flow, and one small study did find that women who drank fenugreek tea three times a day produced significantly more milk compared to those who didn’t. But there's no widespread evidence to suggest that fenugreek works to increase breast milk supply, so some pediatricians don't recommend fenugreek. Another thing to keep in mind? Some moms who use fenugreek report that it seems to make their babies gassier.

2.Oatmeal or oat milk

Whether in the form of a bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal, a trendy oat milk latte or an oat-filled lactation cookie, breastfeeding moms have long relied on oats to help them make more milk. Why? The whole grain is a source of iron (half a cup of dry oats has close to 2 mg of iron, or around 20 percent of what breastfeeding moms need per day), and low levels of the mineral are known to inhibit milk supply.

3. Fennel seeds

The crunchy, licorice-flavored seeds are another traditional milk booster, and they’re commonly found in lactation cookies and teas. Like fenugreek, fennel seeds contain estrogen-like compounds that are thought to enhance milk supply. And indeed, a handful of small studies have tied fennel seed consumption to greater milk volume and fat content, as well as infant weight gain.

4. Lean meat and poultry

Lean beef, pork, lamb and poultry are top sources of iron. So if getting enough of the mineral promotes a more robust supply, filling up on these foods could be helpful.

5. Dried Apricots

Dried apricots are said to help balance hormones and are full of fiber and calcium, all of which make them an excellent snack for breastfeeding mothers trying to increase milk supply.

6. Garlic

Garlic is well known for boosting the immune system, preventing heart disease, and having curative properties. While it can help boost your milk supply, garlic can also affect the taste and smell of the breast milk. Hence, it must be consumed in moderation.

7. Leafy vegetables

Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, fenugreek leaves, and mustard greens are a great source of minerals such as iron, calcium, and folate. These veggies have plenty of vitamins and are considered to help enhance the production of breast milk. You should have at least one portion of green leafy vegetables on a daily basis.

8. Drumstick

Extract the juice of fresh drumsticks and drink half a glass of this juice everyday for a month. Drink this twice daily for one month to increase breast milk.

9. Cumin

Mix one teaspoon of cumin powder with one teaspoon of sugar in a glass of warm water. Drink this daily before going to bed to boost your breast milk supply

10. Cinnamon

Take a pinch of cinnamon powder and mix with 1/2 tsp of honey. Have it along with a cup of lukewarm milk daily before going to bed.

11. Masoor dal

Eating a bowl of this pink daal can enhance breast milk production. Have it with a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of ghee.

12. Carrot and beet

Make a healthy salad or juice of carrots and beetroots and eat them daily to increase the supply of breast milk.

13. Basil

Boil 5-6 basil leaves in a saucepan for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and let it steep for about five minutes. Strain the water, add some honey and drink it. Drink this twice daily for a few months.

14. Anise seed

It is a common ingredient in Mother's Milk tea and most others like it. The high contents of thymol, terpineol and anethole in anise seed are ideal for promoting breast milk production. But, you can also incorporate ground anise into your diet as a seasoning in your food for an even tastier remedy.

15. Blessed Thistle

Blessed thistle has long been used to treat many health issues, including indigestion, skin and kidney problems. Nursing women have traditionally used blessed thistle in conjunction with other herbs including fenugreek, to stimulate milk production. A strongly brewed tea is the most common way to use it, but capsules are also available

16.Almonds For Lactation

Almonds are  loaded with healthy fats, vitamins and minerals and have a place in any nutritious diet. Do almonds increase breast milk? Yes , The high content of phytosterols in this nut can also aid breast milk production. Snacking on a handful of raw almonds or almond butter made from raw almonds daily, may boost your supply.

17.Green Papaya

In many cultures unripened or green papaya is used to increase breast milk production. It might seem strange to eat the fruit raw, but there's a certain enzyme in the green version that stimulates milk production. Try blending it into a smoothie or shaving it into a salad.

18. Bitter gourd

This vegetable is highly nutritious. It has a high water content which will keep the mother hydrated. It is easy to digest and helps increase the supply of breast milk. While you may not like the taste of bitter gourd, you can always find ways to make it more palatable.

19.Dill seeds

There is no doubt that using dill seeds benefits lactation. Dill seeds are rich in magnesium, iron, and calcium, making it an ideal addition to the diet of a breastfeeding mother.

Prolactin rich foods

The best way to raise your prolactin levels is to breastfeed or pump very frequently. When your baby is born, you should be breastfeeding or pumping at least every two to three hours around the clock.

Adding Hummus – made from chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil,

Papaya – has phytoestrogen and also promotes relaxation.

Asparagus – contains phytoestrogen, fiber, folic acid, vitamins A, C, K and also tryptophan which stimulates prolactin, a hormone needed for milk production.

Fastest way to increase milk supply

Few other changes that increase and improve quality and quantity of milk


When you think you're not producing enough breast milk for your baby, you worry and worry equals stress. But stress itself can decrease your milk supply. It's essential to find ways to minimize stress. For some it's meditation or prayer, for others it could be reading or listening to music. Take some time--even a few minutes--to recenter yourself.

Stop Worrying About Weight

Women have always been concerned with losing the baby weight, but today's "snapback" culture makes it even harder. However, jumping into an intense exercise regiment or a strict diet too soon could negatively impact your breastmilk supply. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be mindful of what you eat or that you should be sedentary, but rather that you should focus less on weight loss and more on overall wellness.

Ditch the Bobo

Pacifiers are not inherently bad. Some babies can use them without any effect on breastfeeding. However, for others, they can reduce hunger as well as cause babies to sleep through feedings. Since that means the baby drinks less milk, it can also mean decreased supply.

Nurse More Frequently

Some babies are used to taking in only a certain amount and will not nurse any longer per session despite a mother's efforts, but those babies are likely to nurse more if you sneak in more nursing sessions. So instead of breastfeeding every three hours, do it every two or every one-and-a-half. You can even breastfeeding both immediately after your baby wakes from a sleep session and just before you put your baby to sleep

Pump after Feedings

If you remove more milk, your body will know it needs to produce more milk. So when your baby is finished nursing break out the breast pump and pump for a few more minutes on each side. Five to 10 minutes immediately after each daytime nursing session can increase your supply significantly within a few days.


The benefits of skin-to-skin contact with your baby do not end when you leave the hospital or birthing room. Engaging in a bit of skin-to-skin with your baby daily will help produce more of the hormones that are essentially for milk production and ejection, as well as boost your feel-good endorphins.


Hydration--just as in pregnancy--is absolutely crucial when you're breastfeeding. You need it to feel your best, but breast milk is made of water, so it's doubly important when you're nursing to keep the milk flowing and to keep the quality of the milk high.

It is very common to hear , how to increase breast milk production while working? By trying the above steps and adding lactogenic foods to increase milk supply to your diet, you can finally answer the question- how to increase milk supply fast? This will surely help. Take help of a gynaecologist if required. Breast milk production is all about supply and demand, so if you don't remove more milk, your body will think you're already producing enough and your supply won't change no matter which remedies you try. So feed your baby or pump often, and then start incorporating these natural remedies.

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