Written by Andrea Tran RN, BSN, MA, IBCLC
As a breastfeeding mom, you may worry if you are making enough breast milk. Many moms do. You want to make sure that your little one is getting everything he needs to grow big and strong.
The good news is that most moms will make as much milk as their baby needs. Milk supply works on a supply and demand basis the majority of the time.
However, there are a variety of things that can cause a temporary decrease in mom’s milk supply. There are also are moms who always struggle to make enough for their babies.
One easy way to increase milk supply is through your diet. There are foods that are called galactagogues, which means they help increase milk production. They are also referred to as lactogenic foods. If you are looking for foods to increase your milk supply, you have many tasty options to choose from.
Grains That Increase Milk Supply
Oats are a popular galactagogue. One great thing about oats is how versatile they are. Cooked oats or overnight oats are a popular choice for breakfast. But you also can add oats to cookies, muffins, and smoothies. Some cooks even put it in their meatloaf recipe.
Oat milk has become a popular dairy alternative. Cooking up some oatmeal with oat milk is an excellent way to get a good dose of this lactogenic food. Many mamas LOVE mixing Milk Dust protein powder with oatmilk in smoothies. It is delicious, and blends up super creamy.
Barley is another grain that helps with milk production. It is believed that a polysaccharide in barley can increase the milk making hormone, prolactin. It is typically used in soups and stews. But you can get creative in your kitchen and come up with other ways to incorporate some barley into your diet.
Barley malt syrup has the same lactogenic properties as the grain. It can be used as a sweetener in drinks or for baking. Look for a brand that does not add additional sweeteners.
Brown rice is another grain that is believed to help moms make milk. Brown rice also adds fiber to your diet and can be substituted any time that white rice is used.Milk Dust uses brown rice protein as part of the unique formula to help so many mamas increase their milk supply.
Protein rich foods aid in robust milk production. Meal prep can help busy nursing moms increase their protein intake. Many mamas underestimate the power of protein for milk supply, and immediately jump to the carb-heavy, sugary snacks as a quick fix to boost their caloric intake, rather than adding more protein-rich foods. Many breastfeeding mamas do not crave protein like they do sugar, so Milk Dust is an amazing option that offers the essential amino acids from protien for new mommies, as well as a delicious, sweet taste!
- Make a dozen Hard-boiled eggs once a week. Store them in the fridge.
- Peel and eat one or two by itself
- Make an egg salad sandwich
- Chop up and add to your favorite salad.
- Cook several chicken breasts all at once in the crockpot or oven.
- Milk Dust protein powder can be added to make delicious smoothies.
Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs
Fenugreek is a very popular galactagogue. It is an herb that is used in many cultures to increase milk supply. While many moms take it in capsule form or as a tincture, it can also be brewed as a tea or added to foods. Fenugreek is the most widely researched herb when it comes to milk supply and lactation, and it is an essential part of our formula.
You can tell when a mom is consuming a lot of fenugreek because it will give her body a maple syrup smell. This is why we do not soley use Fenugreek in our herb blend. High-doses of fenugreek can cause stomach issues, a maple syrup smell and very rarely, the opposite affect for some mothers. We use a smaller does of Fenugreek, in combination with other lactogenic herbs to ensure our customers get the best herb blend possible.
Fennel seeds are another popular herb used by women to help make more milk. This herb has a taste that is similar to licorice. Fennel is also available as a vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. Fennel seeds are also an important piece in our lactation herb blend for Milk Dust.
Dates are a yummy fruit that helps mamas build a good milk supply. Delicious by themselves, they are also a popular ingredient in energy balls. Dates, oats and Milk Dust can create a fabulous energy-ball snack, that breastfeeding mamas can quickly grab for a big milk boost.
Pumpkin is a galactagogue that can be used in muffins, cookies, pancakes, or to make soup. There are also some really yummy snacks you can make using pumpkin and Milk Dust.
Making a pumpkin pie or pudding and adding Milk Dust will make it extra tasty and have extra milk boosting properties. Fenugreek has a nutty and maple flavor profile that complements the taste of pumpkin.
Papaya is a lactogenic fruit that can be eaten raw if it is ripe. Green papaya should be cooked. You can also add frozen papaya chunks into lactation smoothies for a delicious, creamy texture!
Nursing moms are encouraged to eat a lot of dark leafy green veggies to help them produce lots of milk. Dark, leafy greens like Kale, Spinch, Arugela and Broccoli are fabulous for adding iron, phytonutrients, calcium and more. Milk Dust has spinach, spirulina and chlorella in the formula to help nursing mothers get plenty of these vitamins in one shake.
Other Food Products
Brewer’s yeast has long been used by mamas who are trying to increase their milk production. It is a dietary supplement that is available as a powder, flakes, or liquid. It can be added to baked goods as well as smoothies or pancakes.
Combining the Top Foods to Increase Milk Supply
For the mama who is looking to get the most out of her time in the kitchen, many of these lactogenic foods can be combined.
- Think pumpkin oatmeal muffins with a boost of brewer’s yeast and fenugreek.
- A smoothie with Milk Dust protein powder, frozen fruit and a few handfulls of fresh spinach.
- Protein pumpkin bars made with Milk Dust protein powder
Lactogenic snack foods have become very popular. They are available in different flavor varieties. And who doesn’t love a time saving convenience food? Unfortunately, many of the prepared lactation are full of sugar and less-than healthy options. Milk Dust Bars will be available soon, which are full of protein, healthy ingredients, low in sugar, and milk-boosting! Some other prepared foods include the list below. Keep them on hand for times when you will need something on-the-go, or a sweet fix.
- Lactation cookies
- Lactation snack bars
- Lactation brownies
Foods to Avoid
There is very little reasearch on food sthat will actually decrease milk supply, Some anecdotal findings, where mothers ate very large quantities of peppermint, sage or parsely, noticed a decrease in supply. Keep in mind, that these herbs will only cause a decrease in supply if taken in very large quantities.
If you are really struggling to make enough milk be sure to contact a lactation consultant. She can help you figure out what is causing your low milk supply and come up with the best plan to help you maximize your milk production.