People have divided opinion on what specific foods increase breast milk production. A lot of people I have spoke to say no particular food increases breast milk supply however eating well - a nutrition rich diet will ensure a good supply and good health for the nursing mom. After over 3 moths of breastfeeding, here is my experience on what has had a impact from a nutrition standpoint:

  1. 3 glasses of boiled rice porridge every morning. And every evening for the first 10 days after delivery. After that 3 glasses every evening. You can fry boiled rice, ground it and then boil it in a pressure cooker. This boiled- boiled rice can then be consumed mixed either in milk/sugar or with rasam/salt. The taste varies from person to person. If you are a sweet tooth person you can choose the former else the latter.

  2. A lot of people will tell you to drink lots of fluids. Fluids has no direct impact on milk production. Drinking fluids in the form of juices/water/milk will give you the lost calories and the additional energy required to feed your baby through the day. It is a physical drain to feed your baby and you need to ensure you have the physical strength to go through this. On an average I had 5 glasses of milk every day for the past 3 months.
    1 cup with a tinge of coffee at 7:30 a.m.
    1 cup with 2 teaspoons full of Galact at 10:30 a.m.
    1 cup at 4:30 a.m. with a tinge of tea
    1 cup with 2 teaspoons full of Galact at 6:30 p.m.
    2 cups of plain milk at 10:30 p.m.
    In summer, I have also been having 5 glasses of butter milk and at least 6 glasses of water.

  3. It is widely believed in South India that Garlic increases breast milk production. I have not come across any literature that supports this theory. It has helped me so I would suggest this as well. Be careful in your Garlic consumption though. Restrict yourself to 4 cloves of boiled garlic everyday. Increasing its quantity can lead to body heat followed by tummy ache. This can be upsetting to your baby too.

  4. Jeera : Some people believe that jeera in milk or in your vegetables is good. All my vegetables were prepared with adequate jeera/pepper instead of chillies.

Diet can help you only so much. My experience has shown that a healthy, happy and stress-free mother has a good and continuous supply. Days when you are down, stressed, depressed or sad you just don't feel up to it and it would seem as though there is nothing to feed the baby. So eating well, staying happy, proper latching of the baby and continuous feeding is the key to a successful breastfeeding routine. Its all easier said than done and will take sometime to perfect it.