Do you want to increase the quantity of your breastmilk? Do you want to know what foods help boost milk production? If you nodded along, you should read our post. Here, we look at how consuming alfalfa can be good for nursing women.
What Is Alfalfa?
Alfalfa is a plant that belongs to the pea family and is cultivated all over the world. It is a herb with many beneficial properties. Alfalfa’s seeds and leaves are both used for consumption. The seeds are eaten in sprouts form. Both leaves and seeds of the plant are also used to make alfalfa supplements.
Alfalfa is a rich source of vitamins E, B1, B6, A, C and K and minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and potassium. It is full of antioxidants, proteins and fiber and contains low amounts fat levels .
[ Read: Foods To Increase Breast Milk ]
Health Benefits of Alfalfa While Breastfeeding:
Alfalfa is one of the richest sources of trace minerals such as nickel, strontium and lead. It has been used in natural and supplement forms to treat many medical conditions. Some of its health benefits include:
- Reduce health problems related to kidneys, prostate, and the bladder.
- Lowers cholesterol.
- Provides relief in medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and asthma.
- Benefits digestive health.
- Increases the supply of breastmilk.
Consumption Of Alfalfa For Breastfeeding:
Alfalfa is considered a galactagogue, which is a substance or a product that helps increase breastmilk production. However, you need to control your alfalfa consumption. As a nursing mom, you should consult your doctor and understand the risks.
Side Effects Of Alfalfa During Breastfeeding:
- Consuming the herb in large quantities is not safe for lactating women. Doing so, can lead to diarrhea in your infant. You may suffer from upset stomach and digestive problems after excess alfalfa consumption.
- Excess alfalfa can cause complications during breastfeeding or pregnancy. If you do consume some amounts of alfalfa during pregnancy, it is a good idea to stop consuming it a few weeks before your due date. It will help ensure that you do not have an oversupply of breastmilk. If breastmilk production is low, you can gradually add alfalfa to your diet.
- Alfalfa consumption can also interfere with anticoagulant medicines due to its vitamin K content.
- Its consumption can worsen the condition of certain autoimmune diseases such as lupus and multiple sclerosis, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and other uterine problems.
- It is better if you consume cooked alfalfa sprouts, as raw alfalfa can lead to complications from salmonella infection .
[ Read: Fenugreek Use While Breastfeeding ]
Using Alfalfa During Pregnancy:
If your doctor gives you the go-ahead to consume alfalfa to increase your breastmilk production, ask for the best ways to consume it during this time.
- You can make concoctions or tea from dried alfalfa leaves.
- Use cooked alfalfa sprouts in salads or fresh leaves for soups and other food preparations.
- Take alfalfa supplements.
Alfalfa in its natural form and in moderate quantities may help lactating women increase the supply of their breastmilk. If you are concerned about consuming alfalfa for lactation due to its many complications, ask your doctor about other galactagogues that you can safely use.
[ Read: Herbal Teas While Breastfeeding ]
Other natural food sources for increasing breastmilk production include herbs like fenugreek, anise, fennel and milk thistle. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and beet leaves; nuts and sesame seeds, oatmeal, yams, and carrot seeds, can all help boost breastmilk production. Stick to a natural and healthy diet and follow your doctor’s instructions for any concerns with breastfeeding your child.
Did you consume alfalfa while breastfeeding? Did you use any other food sources to increase your breastmilk production? Please share your tips and experience with us.
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