Food to Increase Breast Milk
As a nursing mom, you want to nurture your baby with everything you can—from your care, attention, and affection to your breastmilk. That’s why you try to keep yourself healthy and nourished too. A breastfeeding mom needs all the energy she can muster and that she has enough milk to feed her little one. But if you’re not sure you have enough, you need to see a lactation consultant or nutritionist as they can evaluate if you are producing enough breastmilk.
We have a list of some of the foods and herbs that have been found to help increase the quantity and quality of breastmilk and have been tried and assessed by nursing moms:
1. Barley. It’s the richest source of beta-glucan, a polysaccharide that’s been shown to increase prolactin (the breastfeeding hormone) in humans and animals. You can add barley to your soup, salads, and stews. Or if you still have time to bake, use barley flakes in your homemade bread.
2. Fennel and fenugreek. Fennel the vegetable, and fenugreek, its seeds contain phytoestrogens. They’re believed to increase breastmilk production. Fenugreek is more known as it’s been used for hundreds of years by lactating moms in India and some parts of the Middle East. You can eat fennel raw as it’s delicious by itself or toss it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and you’re good to go.
You can make your own lactation herbal tea with fenugreek: rinse the seeds (around one teaspoon per cup of water), boil water in a pot, transfer the seeds to the boiling water, steep the seeds for around 3 minutes, and voila! You have your own fenugreek tea! But if you want a tastier lactation tea using fenugreek, add cinnamon, fennel, nettle leaf, red raspberry leaf, and dandelion.
3. Oats. It’s the second richest source of beta-glucan, after barley. So yes, you can use oats in your muffins, cookies, and crumbles! There are lots of recipes online where you can add oats in or, better yet, why not check out what Milky Mothers has for you! Our lactation cookies have oats and other nutrients that help you produce breastmilk.
4. Whole grains. Aside from barley and oats, you’ll find brown rice and whole wheat rich in beta-glucan. Use whole wheat instead of regular wheat when making bread, pancakes, and muffins; substitute brown rice for white anywhere you would use it.
5. Brewer’s yeast. This is an ingredient commonly found in lactation snacks and is commonly recommended as a milk booster. It is high in B vitamins, iron, protein, chromium, and selenium. It tastes very bitter so use a small amount when baking some goods like cookies and muffins.
Just for additional information, here are other foods that may help increase milk production: dill, apricots, asparagus, garlic, red beets, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, anise seeds, and coriander seeds.
At Milky Mothers, we make sure you get all the premium ingredients in every pack of our lactation cookies. They are made to support the needs of breastfeeding mothers and manufactured in a high-grade food production facility that’s been manufacturing food for over more than 40 years in Victoria, Australia.