Breast milk boosting foods in Nigeria?
In Nigeria, traditional postpartum care has always been one of our age long customs; this celebrated activity is commonly called Omugwo in Igbo, Ojojo omo in Yoruba and Wanka’n jegoin Hausa.
During this highly anticipated period, new mothers(especially first-timers) are usually encouraged to rest as they ease into their new roles as mothers.
An important aspect of this role is child nourishment, new mothers are usually put through indigenous methods to improve milk production.
One method our African mothers rely largely on is regular suckling by the infant; the more a baby suckles at its mother’s breast, the more milk is produced.
It would interest you to know that this is not just a superstition, it is a fact backed by science. Therefore, the best way to improve breast milk production is to keep on nursing your baby on demand.
Honestly, whether you are breastfeeding exclusively or you combine it with formula, it’s highly important that you take this wonderful self-approach to increase the flow of breast milk.
However, lactogenic foods also known as galactogogues are foods or herbs that have been reported to boost breast milk supply.
Here in Nigeria, different cultures and traditions have herbs and “super foods” that have been used over time to help women breastfeed.
Nigeria is a land rich with green and forage, actually the land here is truly green.
With that said, it has been noticed that the major challenge that breastfeeding women or Mums face on their breastfeeding journey is low milk supply.
However, in this blog post, I will rightly share with you the most common Nigerian foods that boost breast milk production for breastfeeding mothers.
Before then, it’s equally important to know that the WHO (World Health Organisation) estimates that only 23 countries in the world have achieved over 60% exclusive breastfeeding rates; and Nigeria isn’t one of them.
In fact, Nigeria is not even close at all and the major contributing factor is none other than Low Milk Supply.
Then the very question; what are Nigerian foods that boost breast milk production? Well, let’s consider top Nigerian foods for breastfeeding mothers.
Here are some common Nigerian foods the will help you solve the challenges faced by low milk supply as a breastfeeding mother.
1.Akamu Or Pap
Akamu or pap is a standard practice in most Nigerian homes and no doubt about it. A new mum is given pap to take in place of water.
Whoever discovered this must truly be a genius. People say the lighter the pap, the better. A bowl of pap a day…keeps baby’s cry away
Garlic has a lot of benefits and I believe by now you must have heard the saying that garlic is good for ‘everything’?
I’m beginning to think it’s true. Garlic is a good galactogogue or lactogenic food her Nigeria.
Best taken fresh or combined with the next milk booster
Wherever you see garlic, ginger is usually the next. Both are besties. Grate a clove of garlic with a thumb of ginger and pour in a glass of warm water. Your baby will thank you
4.Kunu (A Northern Nigerian Gruel)
Another staple beverage that is quite popular in most parts of Nigeria, especially the north, is Kunu. Commonly made from millet, rice, sorghum, tiger nuts, guinea corn, maize, or a mixture of some or all of these, this locally made drink is just the right thing for you!
Furthermore, Kunu contains lactic acid, carbohydrates, proteins, and fat which are essential for normal body function. This drink would definitely leave you feeling nourished.
In addition, you get more breast milk to nourish your baby.
5.Tiger Nut: Yes ooo you heard that right! It’s not only good as an Aphrodisiac. An aphrodisiac is a substance that increases sexual desire, sexual pleasure, or sexual behaviour.
Tiger nuts are also great for your milk supply. They’re cheap and readily available
Nuts are packed with fatty acids and high calories. Three servings of almonds have been shown to increase milk supply and also improve fat content of breast milk as well
Moringa is hands down the super food of the year! Studies have shown an increase of up to 100% in breast milk supply when used consistently.
It’s no wonder it’s an ingredient in some of our treats. All you need is 2 table spoons of the powder to get you going.
Oatmeal is wonderful and aids digestion. While it helps control weight gain during pregnancy, it also has amazing lactating properties that can help keep your milk supply flowing.
9.Fura de nunu ( Milk and Millet Gruel)
This is a common beverage originating from the Fulani people of West Africa. With Fura de nunu, you have a rich, delicious blend of fermented cow’s milk (nunu) and millet dough (fura).
In addition to refreshing you on a hot afternoon, Fura contains many essential nutrients which improve breast milk production.
It would interest you to know that Nunu is an excellent source of protein, calcium, phosphorous and vitamins A, C, E and B complex.
Fura is also known to contain essential amino acids, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and micronutrients. If taken regularly, this is a sure way to increase the production of very rich breast milk for your little one.
Eating carrots is a great way to boost lactation as they contain vitamin A and potassium, both of which help to improve the quality and quantity of breast milk.
Eating carrots are a great way to increase your supply as well as loose weight
As a plus, they’re a great way to lose that stubborn baby fat. They can be snacked on, juiced or eaten raw in the form of salads. Carrots are available everywhere and may just be the boost your mammary glands need.
Sweet and juicy watermelons are another great addition to this list of lactogenic foods. This fruit is rich in fiber, fructose and a variety of minerals and vitamins.
Additionally, its remarkably high water content would keep you hydrated, get your milk flowing and keep your baby full.
You can slice, dice or even blend this it in addition to other fruits to make a delicious smoothie. In addition, watermelons can be grilled.
12.What About Water?
Breast milk is essentially made up of water. Therefore, staying hydrated is crucial to breast milk production. And what better way to stay hydrated than to drink lots of water?
A minimum of 8 glasses per day is the target! Remember, the goal is not only to increase the quantity of breast milk you produce, but also to improve its quality.
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