6 Best Foods to Boost Lactation

words Alexa Wang

Boost Lactation

Picture: Wes Hicks

Many things can impact a parent’s breast milk production, such as medications, medical conditions, stress, and an ineffective latch. Not being able to produce the milk your baby needs can be stressful, especially when you want to ensure they receive all the benefits of your own milk supply, such as antibodies and nutrients.

However, a dwindling milk supply doesn’t have to be a permanent problem. You might be able to give your milk production a much-needed boost with some of the following meal choices.

Lactation Muffins

While many parents are looking for information on how to wean from breastfeeding, you might be looking for quick and easy ways to boost your milk supply. Lactation muffins can tick that box for many people. Lactation muffins follow a standard recipe but include a foundation of oats and healthy ingredients like eggs, blueberries, and honey. Many recipes are also designed to be free from gluten, nuts, and dairy, for parents and babies with sensitivities. According to anecdotal reports, oatmeal is one of the best foods to boost your milk supply while providing zinc, magnesium, fiber, and iron.

Bone Broth

Bone broth is a liquid made from boiling animal bones and connective tissue. While it’s an excellent base for gravy, sauce, and soup, many people drink it on its own, and some swear by it to boost their milk supply. There are no studies to confirm bone broth’s efficacy in boosting milk production, but there’s no harm in considering this food option post-delivery to provide your body with the amino acids it needs for various bodily processes.

Dark Green Vegetables

Dark green vegetables, like kale, broccoli, and spinach, form the foundation of many plant-based diets. However, you don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan to include these nutrient-rich ingredients in your diet. Leafy greens contain phytoestrogens, plant-derived estrogen-like compounds, and these might assist in boosting your milk supply.

Protein

Some early studies indicated that protein intake in lactating swine and rats could result in increased milk volume. While there isn’t substantial evidence to support this theory, there might be no harm in increasing your protein intake to see if it makes a difference. Some of the best protein sources include dairy products, poultry, seafood, lean meats, and eggs.

Alfalfa Sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts are a delicious addition to sandwiches, salads, and other meals. Some lactating parents also swear by them for modest lactation benefits. While there haven’t been any clinical trials to support their value, they are a core ingredient in many supplements and lactation teas. They have also been described as generally well tolerated and recognized as a safe food by the FDA.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin is one of the many foods described as being a galactagogue, or lactation-promoting. While its effectiveness hasn’t been studied in great detail, it’s a nutrient-dense vegetable containing copper, fiber, manganese, folate, and vitamins A, B1, B6, and C. Whether you consume it in a dessert, soup, salad, or another meal type, you might see its value for boosting lactation.

A dwindling milk supply can be frustrating, especially when you want to be able to provide your baby with everything they need. Consider these food options above and discuss your concerns with a healthcare professional. You might then be able to feel like you’ve done everything in your power to give your baby the best start in life.

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