The Top 5 Foods to Eat While Breastfeeding
I know that I’m one lucky momma. I have more milk than I know what to do with. I’m not sure exactly what I did right but I can say that there’s some research behind the foods you eat and the activity you do that has some baring on how much milk you produce. So today I’m going to share with you some foods that help mommas produce milk and the reasoning behind it. I want you to let go of the frustration and possible heartache that can come with not being able to breastfeed your baby. Everyones bodies are different and unique and breastfeeding can be extremely challenging and may not come naturally to everyone. Be easy on yourself and accept your own unique situation. Being a mom is hard. Pick your battles and try not to dwell on breastfeeding if it’s not your thing. I promise your baby will be just fine 🙂
1. Oatmeal– How can a person not love oatmeal? There are so many variations when preparing oats that the possibilities are endless and it’s really hard to get sick of eating the stuff. Because of oatmeal’s abundance in nutrients, it’s a super food when it comes to helping a woman’s milk supply. Oatmeal has iron in it which also is a must for breastfeeding mothers and helps promote milk supply. This powerful food’s hot, rich, and soothing effects while eating it can also help lower stress levels. High stress levels have been proven to lower a woman’s milk supply as well. So help yourself to a hot bowl of oatmeal at least once a day for breakfast or a snack! Eat it sweet or have it savory, just be sure to help yourself to as many servings a week as you see fit.
2. Fenugreek Seeds– Research has shown that by including these seeds into the diet, milk production can increase within a week of consumption. You can put them on vegetables, ground them in smoothies, and throw them into meat dishes. Because these seeds can be a diuretic, you could also consider drinking them in the form of Fenugreek tea. If you don’t want to purchase the tea, you can also make your own. Try drinking two to three servings per day of the tea to achieve the benefits.
3. Drink Fluids– I say “fluids” because it doesn’t have to just be water. As I mentioned with the fenugreek seeds, it can be mildly dehydrating and the best way to replenish those fluid stores is to drink liquids. Breastfeeding can be very dehydrating and cause your body to hold onto any fluid that it can in order to feed your baby. You don’t need to drink an over abundance of fluid to receive the benefits. Just drink the recommended 8, 8 ounce glasses a day. If you prefer water, that is certainly the top choice but if you’re like me and have trouble consuming water due to its bland taste, you can try these alternatives:
- Naturally flavored seltzer water
- Decaffeinated tea or coffee
- Diluted 100% fruit juice
- Water heavy fruits and vegetables like watermelon, celery, cucumbers, apples, oranges and grapes.
- Broth based soups
- Milk or milk alternative such as almond milk (my favorite)
4. Consume Protein– In addition to fluids, your body also needs protein in order to produce milk. Many times, as a mom, you reach for quick and easy snacks and meals to keep you going. If you are eating sugary snacks in place of protein, you may see a drop in your supply. Try replacing unhealthy snacks with protein rich snacks such as:
- Nuts or homemade trail mix that include nuts
- Hard boiled eggs
- Slices of all natural and organic deli meats
- Organic cheese
- Protein rich snack bars such as Lara bars or Kind bars
- Apples or celery with nut butter of choice (I like almond butter)
5. Brewers Yeast– Brewers yeast is recommended to increase milk production because it’s full of B vitamins, protein, iron and minerals. Nutritional yeast will also work in a pinch. Brewers yeast has a cheesy flavor and can be incorporated into many foods to enhance the flavor. Replacing cheese with Brewers yeast works the best. You can easily sprinkle this super food on eggs, pasta, veggies or pizza.
Of course eating food alone isn’t the only way to increase your supply while breastfeeding. Other recommendations include:
- Nursing often
- Pumping often, especially after nursing
- Stress less
There’s no magic formula for producing a sufficient amount of milk for your baby and some mamas just aren’t able to produce enough milk for their baby’s needs. If you try all these tips and you still aren’t able to produce enough milk, forgive yourself and give yourself a HUGE pat on the back for trying. As moms, we are all just trying our best to give our children what we think they need. Just remember, there is no right way to do things. Providing what you can for your child and your situation is what is right.
15 Comments on “The Top 5 Foods to Eat While Breastfeeding”
Yep. As a new mom myself (I’ve got a mega-healthy 7 month old on my hands), I often have little pow-wows with my fellow new moms (I work in an office where there is a couple of us just a few months shy of each other), and breastfeeding is always a hot topic that we are all constantly trying to get new tips on. As healthy as my son is; I still feel a struggle to produce enough milk for his daily needs at daycare. Just goes to show you – even to best moms with uber supplies of milk can benefit from tips 🙂
Love that you have a mommy group at work!! It can be so hard to keep the milk supply up while at work (I really struggled with this when I went back to work with Ellie) so great work on keeping at it! You should have a baby food making party with your work/mommy group!! Drink a little and make some baby food! Win/Win!!
Above you mention pumping often ( especially after nursing)… Does this mean nursing your baby, and then strapping on the pump directly after?
Yes, I would pump after feeding baby but only during the day to boost my supply (I had a weak supply). I would not do this at night. Depending on what you are looking for – more breast milk, back up stash of milk, etc? Let me know and I can answer more.
I did this with my second son. My first I failed at and my second I was so determined I went a year. They are 11-13 I just had our daughter (beautiful surprise) and I asked for a breast pump in the hospital and they looked at me sideways and tried to tell me I had to give her formula and just pump. I looked at them sideways lol I knew what I was doing 🙂 I just wanted a jump start!
Hi I am a first time mom, my baby is 13 days old and just not latching. While I am working with him to get him to breastfeed I am pumping milk every two hours and including some if not all of the above in my diet. If my son doesnt feed from my breast will I be able to maintain supply just by pumping and if so for how long? Thanks for your help
I would recommend that you see a lactation consult to get to the bottom of the latching issue. My first baby had a hard time latching and staying latched and was the slowest eater on the plant (still is) and I went to my local hospital for a breastfeeding support group, there were wonderful and totally helped me get the latching solved. Not sure where you live, but this site can help
Also, yes I know of serval moms that have just pumped and bottle fed their baby and never breast fed and their supply was healthy.
I hope this helps!
Hi I have a 5 months old baby and is my second one I will advice to just put often in breast and it will increase the milk supply ,I struggle first weeks but I didn’t stop keeping him in my breast even when he was not putting weight on but after for weeks my milk supply increase a lot I never use the pomp is baby that increase the milk.I took fenugreek capsules three time per day eat oatmeal and a healthy diet and keeping the baby closer to you.With my older son i listen to people and i just keep him 20 min in breast and always i thought i dont have enough and gave him bottle this thing decreases my milk supply unil it stoped.So dont stop breastfeeding
Zahra hello my 4mo.old son was the same way he would have me in tears sometimes when nursing then he’d fight to latch on so I would pump& pump and give him milk out of the bottle.Now he takes both and I had to purchase a seperate deep freezer to store his milk🤦♀️. keep pumping and encourage the breast to him he will come around to liking both breast and bottle
Hi, I have been struggling with enough milk for my month n a half son so I have had to supplement and it kills me.. I am also strictly pumping then bottle feeding him breast milk at the moment as he gets frustrated with the flow being too slow to nurse… I’m trying so hard not to give up n just need some tips on what I can do. I am always busy so it gets hard eating throughout the day sometimes. I start back at work tomorrow and afraid my supply will die…
Going between the breast and bottle can be hard. My son did not latch appropriately until 2 months in. But he also had a tongue and lip tie. I’m not sure what kind of bottle you use but our lactation consultant recommended the premie dr brown nipples and doing paced feeding(holding bottle horizontally). This will slow down bottle feeding and mimic the breast and allow for him to not get so frustrated. It really really helped for us.
What if I hate oatmeal is there a way to ge the benefits? I think oatmeal is disgusting
You can try adding oats to a smoothie or in muffins or pancakes or just leave it out of your diet altogether.
I usually hate oatmeal, too! However, I found this awesome recipe that has completely revolutionized my view on it:
It’s chewy and not sopping wet like normal oatmeal. Sometimes I like to add maple syrup instead of honey and some sliced turkey sausage. It’s like pigs in a blanket, but in a bowl! I’d highly recommend giving it a try to anyone who’s like me and normally can’t stand oatmeal. I could even see me making it after I’m done with my breastfeeding journey.