Nursing mothers are expected to feed their babies with breast milk. While the period of pregnancy stimulates the production of breast milk, new mothers need to do more to increase the flow of breast milk to keep up with the baby’s demand. The food you eat helps to boost the breast milk you produce. Keep in mind that as a new mother, you are not just eating for yourself alone but for your newborn. So, the foods you eat have to be those that can boost the production of breast milk to always keep your baby satisfied. Some nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and D, are especially important for lactating mothers.
In this post, we would be looking at some Nigerian foods that you can eat to boost breast milk production.
1. Fura da Nono
Fura da nono is one of the popular local drinks which originated from the northern part of the country. It is made from millet balls (fura) and cow milk (nono). Fura da nono can help to refresh you on a hot day but it proves double beneficial if you are a pregnant woman as it helps to boost breast milk production. Fura da nono contains a lot of nutrients, including calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, fibre, and more. The good thing is when you breastfeed your child, you pass on these nutrients to the child resulting in strong bones and teeth.
Pap is another amazing food that boosts breastmilk production. Pap (Akamu or ogi) is made from corn and millet, and it is packed with a lot of essential nutrients that would not only benefit you but the child as well. The good thing about pap is that it is very common, meaning you can find it just about anywhere. Taking pap during your breastfeeding phase would ensure you always have enough breastmilk for your baby.
Eating rice also works wonders as it helps to boost the production of breastmilk. For best results, you should go for the local type of rice, popularly called ‘ofada rice’. Ofada rice is more nutritious than regular white rice, and eating it would help your breastmilk flow better. Also, it contains less calories, meaning eating it would help you lose some of the fat you gained during pregnancy.
4. Leafy Vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables can also boost breast milk production in lactating mother. Vegetables soup made with fluted pumpkin leaves (ugu), bitter leaf, scent leaf, or spinach are rich in many nutrients, especially calcium. They also contain phytoestrogens boosts breast milk production.
Kunu is a popular Nigerian drink made from sorghum (usually milky light-brown) or made from millet and maize (white). This healthy drink is also recommended for nursing mothers because it helps increase the flow of breast milk. Kunu is richly packed with polyunsaturated fats, and all the necessary vitamins B, C, A, and K, which makes it good for weaning mothers.
Having a plate of oats every day would help you produce more milk for your baby. This is because oat is a good source of iron, which is needed for the production of breastmilk. Eating oatmeal in the morning could supply your body with up to 20 percent of its daily iron need, meaning you get to produce a lot of milk for your child. You can also go for oatmeal swallow when you want to eat delicious soups.
Adding garlic to your cooking would enhance the flavour, giving it a better aroma and taste, But did you know that garlic could also boost breastmilk production for you? Yes, that is right. Eating more garlic would help you produce more milk to feed your child with. Garlic also contains other essential nutrients that would keep you healthy. Just remember to go easy on the garlic so you do not start smelling like it.
Sometimes, all you just need is a good glass of water to keep the milk flowing. Staying hydrated would help boost breastmilk production since breastmilk comprises water as well. As you can now see, breast milk production is another reason to drink more water today.
Grapefruit is full of Vitamin C and Vitamin A, citric acid, fructose and dietary fibre. This fruit is especially good for nursing mothers looking to improve lactation. Nutrition experts always recommend grapefruits for breastfeeding moms.
Nuts are very high in essential minerals such as iron, Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and zinc as well as vitamin K, E and B vitamins. They are also a healthy source of essential fatty acids and protein. Some medical studies suggest that healthy Nigerian nuts such as almond nuts, tiger nuts, cashew nuts, and dates can increase milk supply. Omega-3 fatty acids are also very vital to an infant’s development.
Carrots are another food that boost lactation. They are known to be high in beta- carotene and vitamin A. Carrot juice is especially good for breastfeeding mothers. It is said to boost milk supply and also nourishes the infant.
12. Lean Chicken
Lean chicken is a great source animal protein you can eat to boost breastfeeding. It is easy to digest and loaded with vitamins and minerals like omega 3, omega 6, vitamin A, E, and selenium. These minerals improve the quality of the breast milk, and milk supply. In addition, it is beneficial for the healthy development of the growing babies.
These healthy Nigerian foods that boost breast milk production should be consumed by all nursing mothers. On the other hand, nursing mothers are to avoid alcohol, some herbal medicines, and highly processed foods.