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    Breastfeeding & Lactation

    25 food items that help to increase the supply of breast milk

    Written on 14 August 2018

    Expert Verified

    Kusum Sabharwal

    Obstetrician & Gynecologist - MBBS| DGO

    It is practically not possible to keep a count on the amount of breast milk that the baby consumes and that makes every new mom curious about the supply of breast milk. According to the lactation experts, here’s a list of the top 25 foods to eat while breastfeeding to increase milk supply:

    • Holy Basil (Tulsi)-

    A hot cup of Tulsi tea in the morning will help you relax because it contains various nutrients like Thiamine, Iron, Vitamin-K and is a great source of antioxidants. It promotes healthy bowel movements, helps to increase breast milk supply, and improves appetite.

    • Fenugreek seeds (Methi)-

    They are a great source of Omega-3 fats and are highly important for the brain development of your baby. They are rich in various nutrients like Calcium, Iron, Beta-carotene, and Vitamin-B.

    • Lentils/Pulses (Dal)-

    Almost all lentils are a great source of Iron, Fiber, and Protein but Red Lentils (Masoor Dal) are believed to increase milk supply.

    • Garlic-

    The lactating mother can consume garlic cloves in moderation as those help in boosting the immune system, prevents cardiovascular diseases, and helps in boosting milk supply. One must not consume garlic in excess because that can affect the smell and taste of breast milk.

    • Fennel Seeds (Saunf)-

    Saunf is considered to be an integral part of the diet for breastfeeding mothers to increase milk. It is one of the traditional remedies for increasing milk supply because it helps in preventing colic and gas in their baby. Fennel tea and fennel water are also known as post-delivery confinement drinks as they help to improvise your digestive system also.

    • Green Leafy Vegetables-

    The list of foods to increase breast milk supply also includes green leafy vegetables. They have plenty of vitamins and minerals such as Folate, Calcium, Riboflavin, and Iron. To enhance the production of breast milk you can consume spinach (palak), mustard greens (Sarson ka saag), lamb’s quarter (Bathua), and fenugreek leaves (methi).

    • Oatmeal-

    One of the foods to increase milk supply, recommended by nutritionists is oatmeal because it increases the production of breast milk and controls post-delivery diabetes.

    • Sesame Seeds (Til)-

    ​​​​​​​This is one of the important nutrients for lactating mothers because it is a non-dairy source of calcium. It is an age-old ingredient that helps in recovering fully from the entire childbirth process.

    • Carrots-

    ​​​​​​​They help in improving the quality of breast milk because they are rich in Vitamin-A and provide a great boost to lactation.

    • Brown Rice-

    ​​​​​​​They hold an important place in your postpartum diet because they help in stimulating the hormones that are responsible for the production of breast milk.

    • Cumin Seeds (Jeera)-

    They have a lot of vitamins and minerals that help in increasing the supply of breast milk. It improvises the digestive system and provides relief from bloating, constipation, acidity, and gas.

    • Nuts and Dried Fruits (Meva)-

    ​​​​​​​Foods to increase breast milk also include almonds, foxnuts (makhana), cashews, dates, and pistachios are a great source of Calcium, Iron, and Omega-3. Snacking on nuts and dried fruits helps to increase the production of breast milk and heals your stretch marks fast.

    • Poppy Seeds (KhusKhus)-

    ​​​​​​​They have sedative properties and also increase milk supply.

    • Barley-

    ​​​​​​​It boosts lactation and helps you stay hydrated all day long. You can either soak them overnight or simply incorporate them into your diet.

    • Dill Seeds (Suwa)-

    It should be consumed in moderation as they are mild diuretic. They are a great source of Calcium, Magnesium, and Iron. It improves the production of breast milk, eases digestion, and improves sleep.

    • Gourd Vegetables-

    ​​​​​​​Sponge Gourd (Tori), Apple Gourd (Tinda), Bottle Gourd (Lauki), and Bitter Gourd (Karela) are highly nutritious and low in calories. They help improve lactation.

    • Porridge (Daliya)-

    ​​​​​​​It can be made up of rice, lentils, or oats and is quite popular with nursing mothers because they can easily digest it.

    • Water-

    ​​​​​​​One must not overlook drinking water because staying hydrated is essential to produce enough breast milk.

    • Chickpea-

    Are a great source of Vitamin-B complex, Calcium, Protein, and Fiber that help to increase breast milk supply.

    • Milk-

    ​​​​​​​If you’re consuming 2 glasses of milk in a day it will help you with the production of milk because it is naturally filled with calcium, folic acid, and healthy fats.

    • Green Tea-

    It helps increase breast milk supply, purifies your system, and helps in blood circulation.

    • Curry Leaves-

    Improves the production of breast milk, boosts melanin, and improves blood circulation.

    • Watermelon-

    It is rich in fiber, fructose, and water which helps you stay hydrated all day and that helps to increase breast milk supply.

    • Tofu-

    It is rich in protein, vitamins, calcium, and minerals which helps you to increase milk supply.

    • Sweet Potato-

    A great source of carbohydrates that provides great energy to the mother. It is also rich in Magnesium, B-complex, and Vitamin-C.

    Pediatricians recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life since this is tailormade for the baby, contains all the nutrients & is easy to digest! Moreover, breastfeeding helps strengthen the mother-child bond.

    Is this helpful?



    Verified Article by

    Kusum Sabharwal

    Obstetrician & Gynecologist - MBBS| DGO
    Written by



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