Nothing is more stressful than worrying if you’re producing enough breast milk to care for your newborn baby. My lactation consultant (though very knowledgable and super helpful) had the ability to give crazy anxiety to a new mom. After my consultation with her, where I pretty much learned to breastfeed, she left me the task to make sure my baby gained at least 5-7 ounces by our first visit to the pediatrician. Not wanting to fail, I went digging through all my books for all the foods that would enhance breastfeeding. You guys can only imagine how stressful my first week of breastfeeding was…
Thankfully when we went to see Dr. Krantz (our amazing pediatrician), Shiva had not only met the weight quota but she exceeded it by a full pound. Phew!
I caught my breath again and left that office feeling like I just Aced the “mom test”.
Since then, I’ve been lucky to be able to breastfeed my baby with no issues, however fed is best so do whatever works for you! Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re doing a bad job at being a mom because the truth is, nobody knows that baby better than you, mama!
That said, I want to share the foods that have helped me keep up my supply hoping that they can help you too, mama.
*Please note that establishing your milk supply takes time, and that every baby is different.
8 Foods To Boost Your Milk Supply
These aromatic seeds are often touted as potent galactagogues. They contain estrogen-like compounds that are thought to enhance milk flow. Fenugreek is the main ingredient found in Mother’s Milk tea. I drink gallons of this tea regularly.
2. Oatmeal or oat milk
The whole grain is an excellent source of iron (half a cup of dry oats has 20% of what breastfeeding moms need per day). Eat it in the form of a bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal, an oat milk latte (Oatly is my go-to oat milk) or an oat-filled lactation cookie. You guys have seen me eat steel cut oats every morning since my baby was born, and I can vouch that it works!
It contains estrogen-like compounds that enhance milk supply. A handful of studies have tied fennel seed consumption to a greater milk volume and fat content, as well as infant weight gain. I love it in the form of salad, soup, or tea.
Rich in Omega-3 and Vitamin E. Omega-3 helps lactation boosting hormones to help produce more milk. I eat them as a snack (make sure to soak them overnight) or I use almond milk as the base to my smoothies.
5. Oils & Healthy Fats
An essential part of lactation because they assist in absorption of vitamins and minerals present in other foods you eat. They also help in balancing the supply of healthy fat to your baby. My go-tos are olive oil, avocado, and ghee.
An excellent source of EFA (Essential Fatty acids) and Omega-3 which are highly nutritious and essential for lactating mothers. Including salmon in your menu boosts lactation hormones and makes your milk more nutritious.
Dates can increase prolactin, which is the hormone that tells your body to produce milk. Dates contain essential nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. Dates are also calcium-rich, high in fiber and naturally sweet. Fresh is better and they make a great sweet treat.
Coconut is a part of a unique group of foods composed of good saturated fats known as “medium chain fatty acids” and a mother’s breast milk is another. EFAs and Omega-3s help increase a woman’s supply several ways. The first is by simply improving mom’s nutrition so she can produce the hormones necessary for milk production. Also, essential fatty acids are actually part of what breast milk is made of.
Naturally, having more EFAs available will allow mom to produce more nutritious breast milk. Coconuts also contain an incredible fat called Monolaurin which naturally boosts the growth of brain cells as well as helps reduce the impact of other behavioral issues later in life. A super simple way to do this is by supplementing Virgin Coconut Oil into your diet—just one tablespoon a day is enough to boost a mother’s breast milk supply for the next three days. Oil is not your only option as grocery stores are packed with coconut products galore: milk, water and coconut meat are all fantastic ways to consume your daily serving.
Eat up so your baby can drink up! Xo Gigi