If you're anything like I am, then you know that being a mom means you have to suck it up and do responsible things, like grocery shopping, whether you like it or not. Luckily, if you're struggling with breast milk production but don't want to leave the house, you may be able to save yourself a trip to find some obscure ingredient if you know about the one item in your fridge that could increase milk supply. Long before the idea of having a child ever entered my mind, I loathed doing anything that was considered to be a part of grown-up life. My younger (and much hipper) sister informs me that this is often referred to as "adulting." Whatever you want to call it, I still don't like it. That's why I will gladly accept any helpful information that can save me time, money, and doesn't require putting on pants to leave the comfort of my own home.
As it turns out, there are certain ingredients called galactogogues which are believed to help boost a woman's breast milk supply. In case you're wondering, the term galactogogue refers to any herbs, foods, or supplements shown to increase lactation in mothers who are breastfeeding, according to a recent report published on the official website of the American Pregnancy Association (APA). Though galactogogues can be produced using synthetic methods for medical purposes, there is a long list of natural, readily available items you can use, too. For instance, in a study which was published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), researchers found, "plants with galactogogues components include fenugreek, fennel, goat's rue, asparagus, anise, and milk thistle." Luckily, pretty much all of these items are affordable and easily found in your local grocery store. Even better news, if you don't have any of the typical galactogogues on hand, there is something that virtually everyone has available to them in the comfort of their own home.
The one item in your fridge that could increase your milk supply is actually water. According to a study published in the International Journal of Health Sciences and Research, researchers found that over 85 percent of the breastfeeding mothers surveyed noted that water significantly boosted their ability to produce more breast milk than before. "Water, as we know, is the optimum beverage to help with hydration and ensuring your body's balance is up to par," registered dietitian nutritionist and clinical lab technician Elizabeth Shaw tells Romper. "Breastfeeding can really dehydrate a mother, so it's important that proper hydration ensues to help replenish the supply of milk in her body as well." This makes sense since your baby was also dependent on your body during pregnancy. If you're eating a balanced diet and staying healthy, then your little one will feel the benefits as well.
As the official website of The Mayo Clinic recently reported, mothers who are breastfeeding should, "drink frequently, preferably before you feel thirsty, and drink more if your urine appears dark yellow." In the same article, it's also noted that a good way to remember to stay hydrated is to drink a full glass of water every time you breastfeed your little one.
Whether you prefer a sparkling bottle of water or you drink straight from the tap, the important part is that you're replenishing the fluids in your body that you lose through breastfeeding. Of course, if you ever have any concerns about your ability to breastfeed your child or your personal health, don't hesitate to reach out to your doctor for support. No matter what path you take when feeding your baby, your health and happiness is vital to being the best parent you can be.
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