Food for Nursing Mothers


I am sure a new mother has heard this more often either from her mother or her mother in law that whatever she eats or drinks is directly linked to the health of her new born. Breast milk provides complete nourishment to the baby during the first six months. It contains antibodies that help your baby fight off many infections and strengthens the immune system. It protects the baby from diseases too. Here’s how nursing mothers can increase lactation by including these food items in their everyday diet:


**Jeera or Cumin seeds**: So I personally swore by Jeera when I gave birth. My mother used to slightly grind the roasted cumin seeds and mix them in the dals and vegetables. I also remember swallowing portions of roasted jeera and gulping it down with water. It also helped in reducing acidity.

**Saunf or Fennel seeds**: Most of the families do not let the nursing mom drink plain water. Considering you have given birth and the insides are still recovering, most women drink warm saunf water with their meals; soothing their stomach as well as helping in lactating better.

**Milk**- I should have listed this earlier, but yes having more milk will increase breast milk. Have milk twice a day.

Vegetables and Dals- Lentils and green leafy vegetables are a must in the daily diet and that too twice a day. Include palak, methi, carrots and drumsticks (mix it in sambhar) are known to work wonders for lactation. Dals are a good source of protein and fibre which is very essential for a mother; especially the red lentils or masoor dal is said to improve lactation.

**Dry fruits and Nuts**- I still remember the laddos my mother made when my son was born. “Have one with milk every morning” she said. Dry fruits like dates, figs, walnuts, almond, pistachios, and apricots are a good source of nutrients. Include a handful of them in your daily diet.

Dhania or Coriander- Sprinkle vegetables and dals with fresh dhania leaves; it not only adds to the taste but also improves lactation.

**Meat & Poultry products**- Eggs, chicken, white meat are rich source of proteins. Include boiled eggs, chicken stew in your diet.

Remember a lactating mother’s diet should be balanced and nutritious as it will help keep breast milk supply up. Try to remain calm and relaxed even if you are feeding every 2 hours or less. Avoid foods like raw banana, mango and papaya and spicy food. Avoid being overwhelmed and getting stressed too soon if post partum depression creeps in. Try meditating to soothe your mind and body. Bond with your child while breast feeding. It’s a special time.

In the end, I would just like to say, listen to your mothers and mothers in law. They have been there and are the best guidance we can get. Home remedies and desi nuskhe are sometimes even better than the modern techniques.

Happy nursing and nurturing!


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