When you were pregnant you took care to consume the right kind of foods that was important for your baby’s growth inside your uterus. After childbirth, you have to continue to eat nourishing food in order to increase your milk supply and make it nourishing for your baby. Breast milk is best for your baby during the first three months of its growth because it contains all the nutrients that is necessary for your baby. If you breastfeed your baby for at least 6 months, you can get back into shape faster and achieve your pre-pregnancy weight as opposed to a mother who does not breastfeed.
The richness and volume of your breast milk depends on your diet, which is why your diet must contain adequate quantities of fat, vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates. In India, lactating mothers are given snacks with ingredients that increase the volume of breast milk and make it nourishing and rich. I was fed on this diet for the first two months after childbirth, by my mother. These foods not only enrich your milk but also strengthen your body muscles and bones as they have undergone a laborious delivery.
Garlic rice – Garlic is one of the best vegetable to increase your milk supply. You can have it various ways. Add it to rice dishes, stews, soups and bread or better still, have it raw, first thing in the morning. Some new mothers boil about 6 to 7 garlic cloves in 1 cup milk and have it as it gives instant relief from gas for you and your baby. Milk is added in order to stem the heat generated in the body from consuming raw garlic. My mother used to make me garlic rice and I loved it very much. It is simple and very easy to make. Note – the garlic should not get burnt while sautéing.
2 cups of cooked rice (cold), 1 tbsp crushed garlic, 2 chopped green chillies, 2 tbsp each of chopped cashew nuts & almonds, a sprig of chopped coriander / cilantro, 2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Heat the ghee or oil in a wok or pan. Add the green chillies and garlic to it and stir until they turn light golden, add the chopped dry fruits and stir for another couple of minutes. Lastly add the cooked rice, salt, pepper & coriander/cilantro leaves and mix well. Serve hot.
Watch this video to see a variation of garlic rice
Fenugreek seeds/leaves – Fenugreek is the oldest herbal remedy for increasing your breast milk. It has several medicinal qualities and is used to treat fever, wounds, joint pains, intestinal and respiratory ailments. It is also very effective in treating diabetes as it lowers blood sugar levels. In India, lactating mothers compulsorily consume fenugreek seeds and leaves added to savory dishes to stimulate their milk supply. Regular consumption of fenugreek may give a strange odor to your sweat and urine. If you find your bowels get loose or watery after eating fenugreek, reduce the quantity a little. You can add fenugreek leaves to your rice or pancakes.
Watch the video below to watch a healthy recipe of pancakes with fenugreek leaves added to it.
Fenugreek seeds can be added to make many savories. One of them is called Methi (fenugreek) laddu.
250 grams each of ground fenugreek seeds, wheat flour, crushed almonds and dehydrated coconut.
1100 grams of raw cane sugar or jaggery
100 gram coarsely crushed edible gum –It is very good for lactating mothers as it strengthens your back bone.
50 grams ginger powder
10 gram cardamom powder
100 gram crushed coriander seeds
In a large frying pan, melt the ghee, add wheat flour and stir on low heat until the aroma wafts up. Add the edible gum, stirring constantly. Add a tbsp more of ghee and remove from heat after you finish hearing all the gum popping up. Add in the almonds, dehydrated coconut, crushed coriander seeds, ginger and cardamom powder and mix it well. Add more ghee to moisten the mixture a bit if you think it is too dry.
In another pan, melt the jaggery, stirring constantly and take care not to overcook it. Add the flour and almond mixture to the melted jaggery and mix well. After it is well mixed, take 1 tbsp of the mixture and shape them into small balls until the entire mixture is done. Store them in air tight containers and have them regularly.
Dink (Gondh) edible gum – It is extracted from the bark of the gum tree. It heats your body and is very good to had in the cold winter months. It is also an excellent tonic for strengthening your bones, especially the lower back, which undergoes severe strain during childbirth and fills you with instant energy. You can make savories like dink laddus that is a bit similar to methi laddus.
¼ kilo Dink / edible gum
½ kilo each of dehydrated coconut and chopped dried dates or fresh dates
1 cup poppy seeds (khus khus)
1 cup chopped almonds and cashew nuts
1 cup of jaggery or sugar
½ cup of ghee or clarified butter
½ tsp each of nutmeg powder (jaiphal) and cardamom powder (elaichi)
Fry the edible gum in a little ghee till fluffs up quickly into white balls. Crush the gum into a coarse powder and leave it aside. Roast the dehydrated coconut without oil, until it turns light brown. Crush the chopped dried dates and roast it in a little ghee for 5 minutes. Dry roast the poppy seeds, almonds and cashew nuts separately. In a bowl, put the all the roasted ingredients like gum, coconut, dried dates, poppy seeds, almonds and cashews.
In a separate pan, melt the jaggery or sugar in 2 cups of water and boil it until you get a thread like consistency. Add the bowl of roasted ingredients into the sugar/jaggery syrup and mix well. When the mixture is still a little warm, take 2 tbsp of the mixture and shape into balls. Store them in a cool tight container.
Note – smear your palm with a little oil before shaping the balls.
Fry the gum a little at a time as they cook quickly and take care not to burn it.
Carom seeds (Ajwain) – They are very good for providing instant relief from gas and indigestion. Dry roast 2 tbsp of carom seeds lightly for a few minutes. Add 4 glasses of water to it and boil it well. Cool the mixture and drink it throughout the day. Carom seeds can also be added to breads.
Turmeric powder – Turmeric is an excellent antiseptic and heals internal wounds. Boil a glass of milk with ½ tsp of turmeric added to it and drink it before going to bed.
In addition to the above, eat plenty of fruits, leafy vegetables and whole grains. Avoid cabbage, lentils and beans during the first three months after childbirth, as they are believed harder to digest and forms gas in the body. Drink plenty of milk, water and rest well.