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10 Foods to Increase Lactation

We’re chatting about something super close to our hearts, and well, our chests – breast milk. This magical potion is pretty much baby’s first superfood. It’s packed with everything your little munchkin needs to grow and thrive in the world. However, breastfeeding is no walk in the park and is a monumental part of motherhood that we should all respect and acknowledge. Sometimes it’s a river of milk, and other times it feels like you’re squeezing out droplets from a stone.

Regardless if you’re feeling like a milk factory or finding it tough to meet your baby’s demand, we’ve got your back! There’s a secret weapon that can help level up your lactation game – galactagogues. Say it with us, gah-lac-ta-gogs. Rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it?

So, what on earth are galactagogues? It may sound like some alien tech, but they’re really just foods, herbs, or supplements known to amp up your milk production or make the whole ejection process smoother. These are essentially the superheroes of the breastfeeding world, quietly working in the background to keep your milk supply in tip-top shape. Think of them like a natural boost for your boobs.

Stay tuned, because we’re about to take you on a tantalizing tour of delicious foods and thirst-quenching liquids that can give your breast milk supply a nice little kickstart. We’re talking about everything from oatmeal and spinach to almonds and good old H2O. Seriously, some of these might surprise you!

However, before we dive in, there’s something important we need to address. This article, while full of super handy tips and tricks, is no replacement for professional medical advice. Navigating the breastfeeding journey can be tricky, and if something doesn’t feel quite right, or if you’re dealing with any concerns or worries, it’s time to bring in the big guns. Get in touch with your doctor or a lactation consultant ASAP. These professionals can provide personalized advice, ensuring that you and your baby remain healthy and happy throughout your breastfeeding journey.

So let’s embrace the milk-making magic and explore the wonderful world of galactagogues together! Because when it comes to nourishing our little ones, we could all use a little extra help. Let’s dive in, shall we?

1. Water

a glass of water used to increase breast milk supply

Here’s a top tip: never underestimate the power of good ol’ H2O! Staying well-hydrated is super crucial in making sure your milk flow doesn’t run dry.

You might be surprised to know, but a big chunk of us (about 75% of Americans) are always a little thirsty – we’re chronically dehydrated. And truth be told, that percentage might even be a lowball. When we don’t drink enough water, our body gets sneaky and dims our thirst signals, leading us to drink even less. It’s a real bummer because less water means less breast milk.

Now, don’t go guzzling down oceans of water all at once. The magic number to aim for is 8 glasses, or 64 ounces, a day. That’s the base level of hydration your body needs to keep everything – including your breast milk production – running smoothly.

Here’s a hack for new moms: keep a bottle of water handy, especially when it’s feeding time. Those first few weeks with your new bundle of joy can get you parched pretty quick. You might not be thirsty before you start breastfeeding, but trust me, it won’t take long – about five minutes in and you’ll be reaching for that water bottle. So, always have one within arm’s reach. Stay hydrated, keep the milk flowing, and rock on!

2. Oatmeal

a bowl of oatmeal used to increase breast milk lactation

Have you thought about oatmeal as a superstar in your breastfeeding journey? That’s right! It’s not just for a cozy breakfast anymore. This wholesome grain is one cool milk-making machine! Start your day with a warm bowl of oats or mix it up by adding some on top of your favorite yogurt. The oat power doesn’t just stop there. They are also heart-friendly, helping to lower cholesterol and keeping blood pressure in check.

But hang on, there’s more! Oats do wonders for your bones too, making them stronger. Now, who wouldn’t want that? You know what, let’s get even more adventurous with your diet. How about adding some nutritious whole grains into your mix? Think along the lines of chia seeds and quinoa.

Just imagine a hot breakfast porridge, quinoa based, brimming with goji berries and topped with superfoods like raspberries or blueberries. Oh yes, this not only sounds tasty, but it’s also loaded with all things good for you and your milk supply.

3. Cookies

choc chip breast milk lactation cookies

Get this: Cookies aren’t just for Santa anymore! We’re talking about supercharged, lactation-boosting cookies that have been passed down from one generation of breastfeeding moms to the next. These treats aren’t just yummy – they’re a fab way to naturally ramp up your milk production.

These magical cookies don’t come with the pesky side effects of some supplements like fenugreek extract (who needs extra bathroom breaks, right?). These cookies don’t just help with your supply; they’re loaded with nutrients for your little one too! So, while baby is enjoying all that extra goodness from your boosted supply, you can kick back with a well-deserved treat. After all, breastfeeding isn’t just about baby – it’s about taking care of mom too!

So next time you’re in between feedings or out and about, remember to pack a lactation cookie or two. They’re a delicious, natural way to keep that milk coming and give yourself a little break too! Trust us, your taste buds, and your baby, will thank you.

Here is the recipe.

4. Garlic

cloves of garlic are great to help increase breast milk

Let’s chat about a tasty little helper that’ll boost your milk production and keep your baby healthy. Yep, we’re talking about garlic! Who knew, right? This little flavor bomb does way more than making your spaghetti taste extra yummy. It’s a great pal for nursing moms like us, as it can give our milk supply a pretty neat boost!

No need to chow down whole bulbs, though! Just a bit of garlic, whether it’s minced in your favorite dish or a raw clove on its own, will do the trick. Not a fan of the ‘garlic breath’? Don’t sweat it! Research has shown that if you opt for garlic in pill form, there’s no lingering aftertaste. So, you get all the lactation perks without any of the breathy side-effects. How cool is that?

So, let’s add a pinch of garlic to your diet. It’s all about keeping you and your little one healthy and well-fed.

5. Carrots

a bunch of carrots that are great to improve breast milk supply

Have you ever wondered why Bugs Bunny always seems so jolly? Maybe it’s his favorite snack, the good old carrot. Now, these crunchy delights aren’t just for making bunnies hoppy – they can help breastfeeding moms like us too!

Packed with beta-carotene, these orange buddies give us a helping hand in producing vitamin A, essential for our little munchkins. Plus, they’re loaded with potassium, a hidden hero that might aid in shedding that lingering baby weight.

But there’s more! Recently, scientists have found that noshing on carrots can give a real power-up to our milk-making superpower. It turns out, the humble carrot can potentially boost our milk production, making sure our tiny humans are well-fed and growing strong. So, next time you’re thinking of a healthy snack, why not go for the Bugs Bunny special? Your body and your little one will thank you!

10 foods to increase breast milk infograph

6. Fennel

a couple of fennel's that help increase breast milk supply in women

Fancy trying something a bit different to boost your milk supply? Well, how about introducing fennel into your meals? Yeah, that’s right, the plant with a slight hint of licorice to its flavor!

Fennel is not just tasty; it’s also known as a fantastic ‘galactagogue’ – a fancy word that simply means it can help ramp up your milk production. So, if you’re looking for a fun and flavorful way to help keep your milk flowing, fennel could be your new best friend.

But that’s not all. Been feeling a bit off with your digestion lately? Maybe you’re trying all sorts of new foods to help with lactation and your tummy isn’t too happy about it? Well, guess what? Fennel is here to save the day again. It’s well-known for being great at settling a troubled tummy.

You can cook fennel in loads of ways to keep things interesting. Sauté it, stew it, or if you’re after a crisp, refreshing bite, just chop it up and toss it raw into your salads. This versatile veggie has got your back whether you’re cooking up a storm or just looking for a quick and easy meal.

So, for all the milk-making mamas out there dealing with an upset stomach, why not give fennel a try? It’s a tasty way to keep your milk flowing and your tummy happy!

Whether you sauté it, stew it, or toss raw into salads; fennel has proven to be an excellent galactagogue for those who love licorice and want something different. Fennel also helps with digestion – so if your stomach’s acting up this week (maybe because of all these seasonal foods?) try adding some fresh chopped fennel to help calm things down.

7. Nuts

a pile of nuts, which are beneficial in increasing a woman's breast milk supply

It’s important to take care of yourself amidst the chaos. So why not treat yourself to a delicious and healthy snack? Nuts are the way to go!

When it comes to increasing breast milk production, cashews are the MVP. Packed with beneficial fats, they work wonders in boosting your milk supply. Not only do they taste great, but they also provide the essential nutrients your body needs.

But let’s not forget about almonds! These little powerhouses contain antioxidants that help your body fend off harmful free radicals. They make for an excellent snacking option, ensuring you’re nourishing yourself while taking care of your little one.

When shopping for nuts, it’s always a good idea to read labels carefully. Opt for raw nuts, as they won’t have any added oils that could compromise their health benefits. Stay away from processed varieties and go for the natural goodness.

So, the next time you need a breather and a quick energy boost, reach for a handful of nuts. Not only will you be treating yourself to something tasty, but you’ll also be supporting your breast lactation journey.

8. Green Papaya

a green papaya sliced in half, papaya helps women to increase their breast milk supply

If you’re looking for a natural way to increase your breast milk production, why not give green papaya a try? This might sound unusual, but in Asia, it’s a time-honored tradition that has been passed down through generations.

In countries like Thailand, green papaya salad, also known as Som Tam, is a go-to dish for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers who want to boost their milk supply. You can easily order it from your favorite Thai restaurant or even make it at home by steaming the fruit until it becomes soft and tender. Want to try an authentic recipe? Look up popular Thai salad recipes for inspiration.

Green papaya is packed with essential nutrients that can do wonders for lactation. When cooked or stir-fried in oil, it releases natural compounds that help stimulate milk production. It’s like a secret ingredient that nature has provided to support moms-to-be in their breastfeeding journey.

If you’re not keen on preparing green papaya yourself, don’t worry. You can find green papaya tablets available for purchase on Amazon. These tablets offer a convenient and easy way to incorporate this traditional food into your diet.

So, next time you’re looking for a little boost in your milk supply, consider adding green papaya to your menu. Give this age-old Asian tradition a try, and you might be pleasantly surprised by the results.

9. Sesame Seeds

Sesame grains in large wooden spoon, grain and wheat is helpful to increase breast milk supply

Did you know that sesame seeds can do more than just add a delightful crunch to your favorite dishes? These tiny powerhouses can actually help increase your milk supply while adding a burst of flavor to your meals! While sesame seed bagels may not contain enough sesames to do the trick, there’s a delicious alternative that can work wonders: tahini.

Tahini is a buttery paste made from these little green kernels and has been cherished since ancient times by nomadic tribes exploring the Arabian lands. Why? Because it’s packed with essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which have been reported by breastfeeding women to enhance breast milk production. So, not only does tahini taste great, but it also supports lactation—a win-win!

But hey, we get it. Tahini might not be everyone’s cup of tea (or paste, in this case). So, if you’re looking for another mouthwatering option to increase your milk supply, consider trying halvah. This popular choice offers a delicious and enticing way to boost lactation.

So, whether you’re a fan of tahini or prefer the tempting allure of halvah, incorporating these foods into your diet can help you increase your breast milk production while tantalizing your taste buds. Enjoy the journey of nourishing your little one with the power of these amazing ingredients!

10. Ginger

ginger clove with some chopped ginger slices, ginger helps to boost breast milk supply in women

Guess what? Ginger is not just a remedy for morning sickness, it can also help boost your breast milk supply. How awesome is that? This amazing spice is commonly used in Asian and Indian cuisine, so if you’re already cooking dishes from these regions, you’re in luck!

You can easily incorporate ginger into your meals by exploring new recipes that feature this incredible herb. It adds a delightful flavor and brings some lactation-boosting benefits to the table. But hey, we get it, sometimes you’re just not up for an elaborate cooking session. No worries! You can still enjoy the perks of ginger by snacking on some delicious ginger snaps. They’re quick, easy, and give you all the good stuff without the hassle.

So, whether you’re whipping up a flavorful Asian stir-fry or simply nibbling on some tasty ginger snaps, this magical spice can work wonders for increasing your breast milk production. Give it a try and let the lactation powers of ginger do their thing!

When it comes to boosting your milk supply, there are some fantastic foods that can come to your rescue. Remember, while these foods may not work like magic for everyone, they have been praised by countless nursing moms throughout the years.

While these foods can certainly lend a helping hand, it’s important to remember that every breastfeeding journey is unique. If you’re struggling with low milk supply or have concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to a lactation consultant or healthcare professional for personalized guidance.

So, there you have it, fellow mamas. Embrace these lactation-boosting foods as your allies, experiment with delicious recipes, and most importantly, enjoy the process of nourishing your little one. Here’s to happy nursing and abundant milk supply!

About the author

Parent Diviner

A bit quirky, I started blogging after successfully getting my son to eat by talking like a robot. I then transformed into said robot and have been writing about my parenting learnings ever since. Inspired by my infant daughter, imaginative toddler son and supportive husband, I document life as I know it: chaotic, coffee soaked and filled with awesomeness. In my spare time I enjoys fake shopping online, writing love letters to Ryan Gosling, and avoiding folding laundry.

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