Did you know that pumpkin can actually be good for breastfeeding? It's true: Everybody's favourite spooky squash has been shown to boost milk production in nursing mums. So why not take advantage of this little known fact and indulge in everything pumpkin? 'Tis the season, after all.
So why are pumpkins good for breastfeeding?
If you're a nursing or soon-to-be nursing mum, you probably know what the word galactagogue means — but just in case you don't, a galactagogue is something that promotes or increases your breast milk supply. And guess what food falls into the galactagogue category? Yep, pumpkin. As reported by The Digestible, a blog run by San Francisco State University's Nutrition and Dietetics program, pumpkin has been linked to an increase in milk production for nursing mums. Even pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) can be a beneficial addition to the average breastfeeding mum's diet. Pumpkin seeds are also high in fibre and iron (important for nerve and brain cell development), with 28 grams of pumpkin seeds meeting half of the daily recommendation of iron for nursing mums.
Recent studies also point to the importance of having adequate zinc levels in your breast milk for healthy lactation. Why do babies need zinc? Firstly, zinc supports a healthy immune system and protects against common colds and infections. Zinc is great for baby's skin. It also aids in brain development. Zinc allows a baby's body to absorb other vital nutrients as well. Zinc can't be stored, so it is important that we keep eating it regularly to maintain our zinc levels.
Luckily, roasted pumpkin seeds are a quick and delicious way to make sure you're getting enough zinc in yours and baby's diet.
Here’s a great recipe for those who want some spice in life.
What You Need:
- 1 ½ cups raw pumpkin seeds
- 2-3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- A pinch of garlic salt
- 1 tbsp butter
- Salt to taste