Galactagogue foods can be like magic when it comes to increasing milk supply naturally. Breastfeeding mamas can dramatically change their health and milk supply by choosing the right foods for a breastfeeding diet that promotes healthy lactation and breast milk production.
Not all galactagogue foods are created equal. Some are more potent than others, which is why we created a list of the top foods to increase milk supply.
What constitutes a galactagogue food?
You might be wondering what makes a food a galactagogue. Basically, if a food has nutrient properties to promote lactation and balance hormonal function for breast feeding - this food is considered a galactagogue. Many healthy fruits and veggies could be considered helpful for milk supply because of their nutrient power, but they aren't the most potent in terms of increasing milk supply. Let's get into the foods that will have the best impact on your milk supply, so your breastfeeding diet will increase your supply naturally.
The top galactagogue foods that help increase milk supply:
Salmon (vitamin B12):
Vitamin B12 is essential for brain development in babies, as well as vitamin B9 (folate). Salmon is rich in B vitamins, and one superfood you can't get enough of while breastfeeding. Vitamin B12 has been shown to help ward off postpartum depression. Lactating mothers need more vitamin B 12 to support growing baby, and if there isn't enough available for mother and baby, this could affect milk supply. Here is a peer-reviewed study to prove this:
Three mothers in India with vitamin B12 deficiency due to very low dietary intake were given a single 50 mcg intramuscular injection of vitamin B12. Their milk levels increased from 40 to 70 pmol/L (54 to 95 ng/L) prior to the dose to around 1,000 pmol/L (1,350 ng/L) later that same day or the next day.
Of course, salmon isn't always easy to have on the menu, so Milk Dust offers both Vitamin B 12 and Vitamin B 9 (live versions, L-Methylfolate and
Methylcobalamin) to help mothers ensure they are getting adequate amounts both for baby and for milk supply needs.
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Pumpkin Seeds (Zinc):
Zinc is really important during lactation because it is the only source of Zinc for breastfed babies. Babies need zinc to support their immune system and protect them from disease. Zinc levels have now been associated with poor lactation. One study even suggests that women with abnormally low supplies in Zinc can have trouble breastfeeding. This study was done at Penn State, and the researchers determined that low levels of Zinc are correlated with poor lactation in mothers.
They suggest that by identifying women with abnormally low levels of zinc in breast milk, they may be able to more quickly recognize mothers who might have trouble breast-feeding.
Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia.
Functioning and health of the breasts are really important to proper lactation, and a mother's body does not have enough of the proper nutrients, it can't function as it should. Health for both mama and baby are so important, which is why we included pumpkin seeds in our formula as well. Pumpkin seeds are easy to add on top of smoothies, into oatmeal and salads as well, making them a super rich, nutrient-dense food that can be eaten daily.
Sweet Potatoes (potassium) + Sea Salt (sodium):
Electrolyte balance, specifically referring to potassium and sodium is essential for proper lactation. Sweet potatoes are high in potassium, as well as bananas, broccoli, spinach and other fruits. Filling your plate with fruits and vegetables at every snack or meal can play a tremendous role in ensuring your body has enough potassium. There was a study done that specifically looked at the correlation of potassium and ability to breastfeed. There were multiple factors to be considered in this specific study, but they did determine that lower levels of potassium correlated to a shortened/stopping breastfeeding early.
We report that, among exclusively breastfeeding mothers at day 7 postpartum, those with milk supply concerns were significantly more likely to exhibit biochemical evidence of less progress toward mature lactation (elevated ratio of breast milk sodium to potassium concentration). Furthermore, an elevated ratio of breast milk sodium to potassium concentration was predictive of early weaning.The Journal of Pediatrics
Lactation involves electrolytes and balanced water levels in the body for muscles to function properly. Both potassium and sodium are really important to the functioning of our bodies in general, so it is no wonder these minerals are correlated with breastfeeding success. Milk Dust offers super fruits and veggies in our formula to help add to these needs. You can also blend smoothies with cooked sweet potato for a creamy consistency that packs a lot of nutrient power for milk supply.
Strawberries (vitamin C):
Strawberries are a fun food to eat because they taste great alone, or blended in smoothies! They are full of vitamin C, which is important for the absorption of iron, as well as healing, cell function, cell repair and more. Studies are starting to show the link to vitamin C and milk supply. One study in particular looked at vitamin C supplementation during lactation, and found that those who took higher doses of vitamin C secreted more urine. They suggest that the secretion of liquid from vitamin C could help with the secretion of breast milk. Another study confirms that the more fruits and veggie consumed, the better the vitamin C levels in the breast milk. This is why we suggest blending our Milk Dust with fresh or frozen fruits and veggies. It is a quick and easy way to get in the essential nutrients! There are very limited studies on vitamin C in particular, but because of the studies done to illustrate the importance of vitamin C for baby, and the fact that vitamin C levels increase in breast milk according to fruit and vegetable intake, we believe it can correlate to milk supply as well.
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These are your top galactagogue foods that will help you increase your milk supply.
Your breastfeeding diet is one of the biggest factors in how your body functions, feels and feeds your baby. What you put in is literally what you get out in terms of milk supply and nutrient quality. Putting in nutrients directly puts nutrients to baby.
Milk Dust is created to partner with these nutrient rich foods. It is a supplement you can add to your diet to help you with nourishing yourself, as well as increasing your milk supply using nutrients and herbs. Proper nourishment is also the foundation to weight loss after baby, which is important as well. Extra weight throws off your hormones, and can affect milk supply as well.