Lots of breastfeeding moms try to look for ways to help increase their breast milk supply.
Something that you may not have thought of trying is food!
Yep, that’s right.
Believe it or not but eating certain foods may actually BOOST and PROMOTE breast milk production! This study here actually talks about Nutrition during Lactation.
Here are some of the most common lactogenic foods to increase milk supply.
Some of these foods you may even have at home already!
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Lactogenic Foods to Increase Milk Supply
1. Green Veggies
Dark green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, lettuce, and alfalfa are high in calcium, iron, and folate.
But these green veggies also contain phytoestrogens. And phytoestrogens just so happen to help promote breast milk production!
Green vegetables are a great and healthy addition to have in any meal.
Oatmeal is an easy, warm, and yummy meal!
It has fiber making it good for digestion and contains iron which helps with breast milk production!
Oatmeal is a commonly used lactogenic food to help increase breast milk supply. You can even find it in LOTS of different lactation cookie recipes.
But don’t worry though if you don’t like oatmeal or scared about overdoing it! Oats can be used in many different ways!
You can use them to make cookies, dry cereal, bars, granola, crisp, and MORE!
This delicious orange vegetable is rich in vitamin A and has beta-carotene which in fact, can help increase breast milk production!
Carrots also make for an easy snack! Which is convenient for days when you are on the go!
Make up a bag of carrots for you to snack on throughout the day!
Asparagus actually stimulates a hormone that’s responsible for lactation! Meaning, this food can promote breast milk production.
You even get vitamins A & K and some good ol’ fiber when you eat asparagus too.
Asparagus can be boiled, baked, grilled, or roasted!
Eating raw almonds may help increase a nursing mother’s breast milk.
Almonds contain vitamin E, omega-3s, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fats making this a super healthy snack for anybody!
Almonds have even been said to help reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels as well.
Get a bag of raw almonds and eat them throughout the day and enjoy all of their wonderful benefits!
6. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods! They taste great AND they help increase breast milk supply!
These guys are high in vitamin C, B-complex, magnesium, and they contain beta-carotene which is known to help increase breast milk production.
Sweet potatoes can be baked, boiled, or you can even make them into sweet potato fries!
But however you decide to cook them, these babies will make for a super yummy meal!
Apricots stimulate a hormone that promotes breast milk production!
And what else? This yummy lactogenic fruit is high in calcium, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.
Eat fresh apricots or buy a bag of dried apricots for an easy on-the-go snack.
Garlic is a galactagogue that helps with the production of breast milk.
But keep in mind that eating garlic does give your breast milk a garlicky flavor and smell.
Depending on the child though, your baby may not mind it!
You can add garlic to many different kinds of foods. Try adding some to your dish sometime to give it a different flavor!
9. Brown Rice
Whole grains such as brown rice, are said to help increase breast milk production.
Eating brown rice actually stimulates a hormone responsible for breast milk production.
Switch to brown rice flour and use brown rice instead of white rice for dishes.
You could even incorporate some of our other lactogenic foods (carrots, broccoli, almonds, garlic) into your brown rice dish as well!
Fresh salmon is a great addition to add to your diet! It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B12, vitamin D, and other essential fatty acids.
Salmon also contains DHA fat which has been said to help with the development of the baby’s nervous system.
And what else does this superfood do you might ask?
Salmon helps to increase breast milk supply!
However, remember that even though salmon is low in mercury, it’s still recommended that you only have 2 servings of it per week to lower you and your baby’s exposure to the mercury.
Staying hydrated is SUPER important to maintaining your breast milk supply.
Breast milk is actually made of 90% water!
Your thirst may even increase when you’re breastfeeding. But of course, there’s no need to go OVERBOARD with water.
Even though you may need to increase your water intake doesn’t mean you need to drown yourself with the stuff.
Drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water a day and just drinking when you’re thirsty should be just fine!
12. Brewer’s Yeast
Brewer’s yeast is often recommended and is considered safe for nursing mothers. In fact, this nutritional supplement has been said to actually help increase your breast milk supply!
In addition to that, Brewer’s yeast can even promote healthy skin, hair, nails, and eyes!
This nutritional supplement is loaded with B vitamins, iron, protein, magnesium, zinc, and other minerals!
Brewer’s yeast can be taken by tablet or powder and may be added to drinks, foods, or taken alone.
But keep in mind that it does have a bitter taste!
Before taking Brewer’s yeast you should consult with your doctor first as it can interact with certain medications and some conditions may need to use caution when using it.
Barley is a type of grain that has been used in many cultures to help promote milk production.
It’s known to help increase prolactin in breastfeeding mothers.
You can add it to salads, stews, and soups.
14. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds are another widely known food used for a mother’s breast milk supply.
You can eat these seeds plain or thrown on top of a salad.
15. Fennel Seeds
This galactagogue food has been used for centuries to help increase breast milk.
Fennel contains vitamins like B-6, vitamin C, vitamin A, and calcium.
You can use it as a garnish or use it as a replacement for celery in soups.
16. Unripe Papaya
An unripe or green papaya helps stimulate the production of the breastfeeding hormone, oxycontin.
This is a common fruit used in Asia to help boost the flow of breast milk.
You can eat green papaya in soups or salads.
These seeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
Whenever I eat flaxseeds I always notice my milk supply is up the next day!
You can incorporate them in smoothies, granola, pudding, and energy balls/bars.
Whole flaxseeds typically hold more nutrients than the pre-ground flaxseeds you can buy in stores.
18. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are another lactogenic food that can be used to increase milk supply.
They contain healthy fats, vitamin B, antioxidants, and protein.
You can eat them alone or used them in recipes like soups, stir-frys, salads, or trail mix.
19. Nursing Teas
You can buy certain teas that can help boost your breast milk!
It promotes healthy lactation and contains milk boosters like fennel and fenugreek.
20. Ginger Root
Ginger not only tastes good but is also a natural galactagogue.
You can use ginger root to make tea, with rice dishes, stir-fry, and soups.
21. Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans
For centries women have used chickpeas to help promote lactation.
You can add them to curry, hummus, pasta, and salads.
22. Poppy Seeds
Poppy seeds possess sedative properties.
This can help nursing moms to relax and calm down which in turn, encourages breastmilk production.
You can add poppy seeds to salad dressings, muffins, breads, or with a sauted vegetable like asparagus.
Moringa is a a common galactagogue in Asia to help boost the production of breast milk.
It contain lots of healthy components such as vitamin A, vitamin B1, B2, & B3 as well as folate.
Moringa is often recommended to nursing mothers to help induce lactation.
You can take it as a powder and mix it with water, smoothies, juices, and even yogurts.
24. Dill Leaves
Dill leaves are another common food used to boost breastmilk supply.
They contain vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin D, folate, iron, copper, magnesium, and zinc.
You can add them to salads, with potatoes, or use as a garnish for vegtables and soups.
25. Dill Seeds
Dill seed contain magnesium, calcium, and iron.
Besides making pickles, you can use dill seeds for breads, vegetable based meals, and soups.
26. Basil Leaves
Basil contains beta-carotene and antioxidants.
Basil oil can also help with increase milk supply.
27. Bottle Gourd
Bottle gourd helps with hydration, digestion, and contains vitamin E vitamin B, vitamin K, vitamin C, iron, and folate.
You can add bottle gourd to salads and purrees.
It can also be consumed as a juice.
28. Cumin Seeds
Cumin seeds contain B6, iron, vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin E.
You can soak cumin seeds overnight in water and drink it to help stimulate lactation or grind the seeds up into a powder and use as a seasoning for dishes.
29. Beet Greens
Beetroot greens contain calcium, folic acid, vitamin K, and iron which is great for breastfeeding moms.
You can cook them with eggs, add to pastas, or sautee them.
30. Pumpkin Seeds
I love love LOVE pumpkin seeds!
They contain zinc, vitamin K, and manganese.
Whenever I snack on these guys I always notice an increase in breastmilk the next day.
They are great to eat alone, mixed in with trail mix, and salad.
What foods help produce breast milk?
Some other foods that can promote milk production are:
- Mustard greens
- Macadamia nuts
- Coconut oil
- Danilion greens
- Cold-press olive oil
What can I drink to increase my milk supply?
Water is the best and easiest thing you can drink to help maintain and increase you milk supply.
Other things that can help are:
- Nursing teas
- Green tea
All-in-all ensuring that you are keeping yourself feed, hydrated, and nursing accordingly, is really all you need to help keep your milk supply maintained.
If you’re wanting a little boost though or think that your milk supply is starting to drop, then these lactogenic foods may help increase your milk supply.
But if you continue to have troubles with it, I would suggest talking with a lactation consultant about it for a more in depth one-on-one help.
(Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor, lactation consult, or a breastfeeding specialist. I’m only a Mom who is going off of her own experiences and research. If you’d like to know more you can read my full disclaimer policy here.)
What’s your favorite lactogenic food? What foods have you noticed help you boost your milk supply? Let me know below in the comments! And if you liked it, give it a share! Thanks!