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Many mothers only start paying attention to their diet during pregnancy and post-birth. This is Part C in a series of articles about recommended nutrition for breastfeeding mothers.
Has long been recognized as beneficial to health and has been known throughout history as a food item that increases breastmilk production. An interesting discovery has found that infants can latch onto the breast better and nurse more successfully if the mother eats garlic prior to breastfeeding. If you dislike the taste of garlic you can take a supplement an hour before breastfeeding instead. If you do not regularly eat garlic, add it to your diet gradually and closely monitor your baby’s reaction. You can also incorporate garlic into your cooking as a fresh seasoning (incidentally, onions also have lactogenic properties).
Please note: Do not add garlic to your diet if you take blood-thinning medication.
Caution: Giving any form of garlic to babies and toddlers is not recommended. Garlic stings baby’s delicate tissues, and it can cause pain and even potential damage to the nose and eyes if it’s placed near them. Instead, babies can enjoy the benefits of garlic through their mother’s breastmilk.
Parsley, anise, dill, and caraway seeds are great additions to your meals. Black pepper in small amounts is also beneficial.
The main seasoning in curry (used in many Indian dishes), turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Current studies are examining the influence turmeric has on preventing diseases such as Alzheimer’s, rheumatism (arthritis), and cancer. Turmeric is also known for its ability to increase breastmilk production, and to prevent or reduce breast inflammation. Half a teaspoon of turmeric a day can prevent breast infections.
Please note: There are some herbalists (herbal medicine experts) who recommend that pregnant women avoid eating turmeric if they are at a high risk for miscarriage.
Next week will be about special foods and interesting menus.