Common Foods That Increase Milk Supply

If you are not producing enough breast milk for your baby, or even if you are producing enough but are looking to build up a storage or freezer stock for the future, then you may be looking for ways to boost your supply. Below is a list of common foods that increase milk supply naturally.

Water

Increasing your water intake is important for your hydration and can improve your breast milk production. Breastfeeding and pumping can lead to dehydration if you are not getting enough water. Dehydration will cause a decrease in breast milk supply, but it can also lead to headaches, dizziness, fainting spells and a number of other symptoms that could ultimately lead to a hospital visit if not cared properly. It is best to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water a day!!

I know that some people have a hard time drinking water or do not like the taste. If you are one of those people, try spicing up your water with some fruit infused water or even the various flavor drops available today. Some drops even have added electrolytes which can be helpful to the lactating mama as well.

Spinach

How does Spinach increase your breast milk supply? Well there are studies that suggest that women with low iron levels have struggled with their breast milk supply as well. Spinach is a great source of iron! If you are struggling with keeping your milk supply up and think it may be related to a low iron level, add some spinach to your diet.

Some other foods that are high in iron are leafy greens, red meat, chick peas and beans. If you think low iron levels are contributing to your lack of breast milk supply, it may be a good idea to see your doctor and ask for some blood work to check your iron levels.

Oatmeal

There is not a lot of scientific evidence out there that suggests that oatmeal actually aids in milk supply. However, many lactating mothers swear by it. There are also quite a few lactation cookies on the market to help increase breast milk supply that use oats. Plus oatmeal is high in fiber and energy!

Regardless of the lack of research, if you like oatmeal there is nothing wrong with giving it a try to see if it helps you!!

Almonds

Almonds are a great source of protein, omega-3 and vitamin e, and it is said they help improve lactation and milk supply, making them a wonderful addition to your diet!

Fennel

Fennel is a food that may be more difficult to find in its raw form, unless you go to a specialty grocery store, but there have been studies that suggest consuming fennel may have a small relationship with a better breast milk quality and supply. It is used to make a few teas and supplements that are marketed to increase breast milk production as well. I have personally never tried fennel, but apparently the taste of it is comparable to licorice.

Fennel seeds, which are found in the spice section of most grocery stores, can be used as an alternative to raw fennel. They are most likely easier to find, but the results will not be as good.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek is probably one of the most talked about things when it comes to supplements for breast milk production. Most of the breast milk supplements available contain fenugreek in them. This makes sense because there have been many women who have successfully increased their breast milk supply after taking fenugreek for a couple of days.

There are some draw backs to using fenugreek though. Some mothers do not respond well to it, and can actually see a decrease in milk supply as a result. It is also a common belief that fenugreek can cause increased gas for some babies.

It is best to hold of on trying this to increase your supply until you are at least 10-12 weeks post-partum. That is when your milk supply tends to regulate. If you are one of the mothers who have a negative response to fenugreek, trying it too early would be bad for maintaining your supply. If you wait until your supply has regulated and stop taking the supplement, you should go back to your regular output of milk fairly quickly.

Barley

Have you ever hear that drinking beer can help increase your milk supply? Well the thought is not entirely wrong. Barley has been shown to help with breast milk production, and it is one of the main ingredients found in beer. I wouldn’t get too excited though if I were you, because alcohol can actually decrease your supply. You could try drinking some non-alcoholic beer though, that might help.

Anything Else?

There are many stories out there claiming different foods will help increase your milk supply. Some moms will swear by a certain food or diet that helps them. The foods listed above are the most common foods that in one way or another have been proven to increase breast milk production. The most important things to remember are to drink enough water and to eat enough calories. It is recommended to intake 300 extra calories a day while breastfeeding to support the needs of you and your baby. If you struggle to do those two things, you will most likely have difficulty maintaining your supply.

As always, if you have any questions, comments, concerns or stories, please feel free to leave them in the comments section!!

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Common Foods That Increase Milk Supply”

  1. Very interesting topic, and very useful as well. I think more people should know about these ways to increase milk supply, both women and men alike. Thanks for such a great post!

  2. Thanks for the advice. I wish I had this article when I was pumping for my first baby. I had a hard time keeping up my milk supply and ended up supplementing with formula.

    1. Thank you for your comment Malika! I am sorry to hear you had trouble with your supply. That is a common problem among breastfeeding moms, especially those who end up having to pump exclusively. Formula is great for that reason, and at the end of the day the only important thing is that the baby is fed! I wish you the best!
      -Kait

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