Increasing your milk supply may be as easy as adding a few things to your diet.
I say may because while the things on this list have been known to help some women get a good boost, the science isn’t all the way conclusive on how or why. Personally I ate a handful of things on this list while I was breastfeeding and had a noticeable increase in milk. Regardless, most of these foods are probably already in your home so experimenting to see what may or may not work for you is definitely worth trying.
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Here is a list of 10 foods that may increase your milk supply in no particular order:
Many nursing mothers swear by the power of garlic. Its effects are not completely understood, but studies show some babies enjoy the taste which causes them to suck more which in turn boosts supply. The obvious drawback is the strong odor, good thing garlic pills can also be taken in its place.
I highly recommend oatmeal. It’s easy to make, can be eaten as a meal or snack, healthy and helped boost my milk supply in one day. Eating a bowl of oatmeal a few days a week can dramatically increase your milk supply. The high amounts of iron in oats is one reason experts think oatmeal is a great food for boosting milk production.
Spinach is another food full of iron that can stimulate milk production. Just don’t eat too much because it has been known to cause diarrhea in babies.
Carrots are full of vitamin A, which not helps promote lactation but also improves the overall quality of your milk. You can eat them raw, cooked or juiced down. I’m not a big fan of carrots so I prefer the juice form.
5. Cow’s Milk
Now I know some people are starting trend away from this one but drinking cow’s milk really can increase your own supply. I also know some breast fed babies have allergic reactions to milk and cheese in their mom’s diet so only incorporate it if you know can baby can tolerate it.
Nuts are rich in calcium and protein which are two things you need as a new mom. That protein is what helps promote lactation. Raw nuts are the first option that comes to mind but you can also take in the form of almond milk or cashew milk.
Not only can salmon boost your milk supply but it is full of Omega-3 which is super nutritious for you and your baby. Salmon can have an effect on your hormones which helps with lactation.
I will never stop preaching the benefits of water! It is especially important during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Drinking just 50-60 ounces a day can dramatically help your supply. If you are exclusively breast feeding you may need to drink even more.
Breast milk is made of mostly water. There were times while breastfeeding that I wasn’t drinking enough and would wake up extremely thirsty. My skin was noticeably dry and my lips were cracked all because my body was using so much water to make milk.
9. Lactation Cookies
You’re probably surprised to see these on this list but what can I say? I’m always down for a cookie situation. I know these take a few ingredients to make but I still feel they are worth mentioning.
You can make these yourself or purchase them. Milkmakers Lactation Cookies are popular in many mom circles and for good reason. They are jammed pack with oats, flaxseed and fenugreek all items that have been shown to really get the milk flowing.
10. Brown Rice
Brown rice is a side staple in many homes, we eat it at least twice a week. Like oatmeal, it’s something you can make quickly and add to practically any meal.
While there is no guarantee that any of these will change your milk production, women from cultures all around the world have sworn by eating these foods to help increase their overall milk supply.
Cieara is a wife and mom of two, passionate about empowering parents to not just survive but thrive. She offers practical and expert advice on topics related to parenthood.