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Breastfeeding Awareness Week: Experts list foods breastfeeding mothers should eat to increase milk supply.

Every year, World Breastfeeding Week is observed from August 1-7 to promote and support breastfeeding around the world.

Breastfeeding a newborn baby up to six months is considered very important because it not only provides him with nutrition, but also gives him immunity to various diseases.

Although scientific research suggests that 90% of women are able to produce enough milk for their babies, only 41% of babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life.

Preethi Gowda, consultant in obstetrics and gynecology at Fortis Hospital in Nagerbavi, said: “The mammary glands signal the brain to release ‘prolactin’.

It is the hormone responsible for milk production. Another important hormone called oxytocin increases milk production if the baby is breastfed regularly, especially at night.

In addition, the mother’s environment, her emotions, her diet and whether she has had any medical problems in the past also determine milk production, the expert said.

Therefore, feeding a nutritious diet and keeping mothers relaxed and stress-free can increase lactation.

Savitha Shetty, Senior Obstetrician at Apollo Hospitals, Bengaluru, says, “Nursing mothers have higher calorie needs than during pregnancy.”

Foods that promote lactation

Shalini Aravind, Chief Dietitian, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta recommends eating foods high in protein, fat, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, folic acid, vitamin B12, calcium and iron. These increase milk production. “These foods promote the flow of breast milk by increasing prolactin levels in the body,” he said.

Lactogenic foods include fenugreek, barley, dark green leafy vegetables, leafy greens, carrots, tapioca, turmeric, walnuts, green papaya, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds and salia seeds which can increase lactation in mothers. A nursing mother should stay well hydrated and eat enough fiber-rich foods to avoid constipation,” added the nutritionist.

In line with this, Dr. Shetty said nursing mothers should consume at least 4 glasses of milk a day and should not restrict their water intake. Certain foods like fenugreek improve breast milk. Add plenty of fresh coconuts to your cooking for breastfeeding mothers. Fenugreek improves milk flow in the mother.

In addition, foods like oats, millet, brown rice, barley, chickpeas, cashews, walnuts, sesame seeds, and flax seeds can also help nursing mothers increase milk production, said obstetrician P Gautami from Milan Hospital.

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