Nature tends to give Breastfeeding mothers the means and methods to feed their babies. Yet sometimes, even with nature on our sides, we want a little insurance in the supply department. If you are concerned, or have felt you are suffering supply drop, here are 11 foods that increase milk supply.
Oatmeal is not only hearty, but it is nutrient packed and great for nursing mothers. While there is no scientific evidence that this power food truly increases supply, many, many mothers have found it to be beneficial. A soothing bowl of oatmeal for breakfast may soon see your supply increasing, and your freezer stash full.
Nursing mothers need to stay hydrated. Drinking to thirst is the best way to accomplish this. There is no need to oversaturate yourself, yet sipping anytime you feel the urge or a tingle of thirst is the best way to protect from dehydration.
Garlic has long been known as a Nursing Mothers friend. The compounds found in garlic help increase milk supply, while babies that enjoy the taste garlic can impart to breastmilk are said to latch on easier – though for some babies, this taste can induce fussiness or gas.
Chocolate not only tastes good, but the contains Theobromine, which is known to help boost milk supply. A word of caution, Theobromine can mimic the affects of caffeine, which can disturb some babies. If you find you little one more fussier than usual after ingesting chocolate, either reduce your intake or cease.
Known for making urine pungent, this nutrient rich vegetable also finds fame when it comes to increasing milk supply. High in fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin K, it can help stimulate the hormones necessary for milk production.
6. Sweet Potato
Boasting 10% the recommended daily intake of potassium, along with Vitamin C, B-Complex and magnesium, Sweet Potatoes are known to help boost milk supply for many mothers.
Or rather – the malted barely in beer. Found in all types of beer (even non-alcoholic ones!) barely is a star player in increasing prolactin, a key component in breastmilk production. The relaxing affect of the Hops can also stimulate Oxytocin, the other half of the hormone equation.
However, please note that alcohol can actually suppress milk production in some mothers. While the CDC recommends NO alcohol intake for Nursing Mothers, it does go on to state that moderate drinking (up to 1 standard drink per day) has not been shown to be harmful to the infant. That said, any and all alcohol consumption by a nursing mother should be weighed carefully.
8. Brown Rice
Like oatmeal, Brown Rice is rich in vitamins and minerals that help increase supply. It also helps keep hunger at bay with a higher fiber count. You can enjoy it in place of white rice or even in a casserole.
Fenugreek is the #1 most prescribed of recommended OTC herbal galactagogues on the market today. While evidence of its milk producing power are anecdotal at most, science is on the hunt to substantiate the many claims that it helps increase milk supply. For the scientifically curious, this 2016 study can tell you more.
Available in a variety of forms, including tea and capsules, Fenugreek is used the world over to increase milk production. It is also the herb that lends artificial maple syrup that particular scent we all know and love. When it comes to taking this herb, the actual amount needed fluctuates from person to person, though a general guideline is to take enough that your sweat smells like maple. Possible Side effects can include nausea, vomiting, reduced glucose levels in the mother and diarrhea in the infant.
While not directly associated with increasing supply, carrots are touted in many places as a complimentary food that boosts other milk inducing foods. High in nutrition and energy, carrots are a great choice for nursing mothers.
Fennel can help boost supply AND help other foods taste better with it’s distinctive flavor. A bonus? Many say that Fennel can also help ease colic when ingested by a nursing mother.
What about you?
Have you found certain foods give you a boost? Has another mother told you something worked for her? I would love to know – drop a comment below!
If you enjoyed this article, please be sure to check out some of my other Breastfeeding posts: