Yummy Food That’s Helped Boost My Milk Supply

 

I’d like to start out by saying that I am in no way a professional nutritionist/dietitian/lactation consultant. I’m simply going to share some tips, tricks, and information I’ve learned that has helped me maintain my milk supply.

I exclusively breastfed my son for his first six months of life, and then we decided to slowly introduce some solid foods (we like the motto “food before one is just for fun”).

As a first time mom, I was more afraid of breastfeeding than I was to give birth (and I had a natural water birth at home)! I have so many friends that struggled with, or could not breastfeed their children. I knew that no matter what, fed is best- but I wanted to try my hardest to breastfeed.

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Since I knew I wouldn’t be returning to work after giving birth, I didn’t feel any pressure to build a huge ‘freezer stash’ of milk. I did want a small amount stored so I could leave my son with my husband, or in case of an emergency. I have tried LOTS of the most common foods/drinks that are supposed to help with lactation, here’s what I’ve learned…

1. Eat lots of oats, oats, oats!

  • Make your oatmeal fancy by adding a splash of your favorite milk (nut/soy/dairy), a drizzle of honey or agave or maple syrup, a handful of nuts, and even some chopped fruit like bananas/apples/strawberries. Cinnamon and cacao powder can even make oatmeal taste like a treat. Don’t like oatmeal- add some oats into a smoothie!

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2. Forget the cookies, make some lactation brownies!

  • Ivy Carnegie shared an amazing recipe for “lactation brownies” that taste so indulgent but are made with wholesome ingredients like OATS, brewer’s yeast, flax seed, and dates (which are all supposed to help support lactation).

3. Drink like a fish… water that is!

  • Lactating mothers should consume as much water as they are thirsty for, but it is assumed that they are consuming at least 64 ounces of water a day. Keep a water bottle like a BKR or a Hydro Flask nearby to make it easy to stay hyrdated.

 

4. Make sure you’re eating enough calories

  • Weight loss may be on your mind, but it shouldn’t be a priority when you’re establishing a milk supply for your baby.

  • On average, breastfeeding moms need an extra 500 calories every day.

5. Keep it simple - eat the rainbow

  • Eat a balanced diet of leafy greens, whole grains, and high quality protein.

  • Eating a wide variety of food will help make sure you won’t have any nutritional imbalances or deficiencies.

 

6. When all else fails, supplements are available

 

I wish that all mamas would hear this one bit of advice: eat when you are hungry and rest as much as you can. It doesn’t matter if you are breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or formula feeding - you are working so hard to care for your little one and “you can’t pour from an empty cup”.

Make caring for yourself by staying hydrated and well-fed a priority in your new motherhood journey. You are doing awesome :)