Once you have your baby, you’re thrown into breastfeeding. As a first time mom, it’s a world you have no experience in, and can be quite daunting. Even if you do have experience, each child can be different, and your body is always changing. Milk supply may not have been an issue with one child, but it could be with another.
There are tons of products, foods, and beverages that claim to help increase breast milk production, but it can be hard to sift through them all to find what really works for you. When your production decreases, you may become desperate to find any way to increase your supply. Finding an answer is also time-sensitive, as you have a little one depending on you for your breast milk. So before diving deep into the world of breastfeeding, take a look at these foods and beverages that can help increase your supply, and make sure you always have them around ⸺ just in case.
Oatmeal is not only a quick and easy breakfast or snack, it’s also a food that has been said to help increase breast milk supply. Oatmeal provides mothers with an amazing variety of nutrients that can create a richer supply of milk. Oatmeal is also a source of iron, which can be a factor in low milk supply. So by eating oatmeal, a mother could quite possibly be compensating for her low iron level, which may be the reason her supply is decreasing.
This is an amazing option for many reasons, the main one being that it’s an easy food to include in your diet. Through simply eating plain oatmeal, or making cookies with an oatmeal base, this is an easy addition to your day.
Pregnant moms are told to drink 90 ounces of water a day to provide enough hydration for themselves and their baby. But once they have their baby, they often drop back down to an average amount of water intake each day. Swaddles N’ Bottles discusses how breast milk is 88% water (wow). By no means do you have to drink an obscene amount of water, but being aware of your water intake can be helpful to your milk supply. Try drinking at least a glass of water each time you breastfeed. That way you’re replenishing your system, even when water is being taken through your milk.
This is also a pretty simple thing to add to your day. Drinking water has plenty of helpful benefits, so there are various reasons that you may already want to consider drinking more water daily.
Brewer’s yeast is a pretty well-known supplement that people claim to be helpful in increasing milk supply. That’s why many lactation cookies contain brewer’s yeast. It’s a highly nutritious supplement. Many swear by this mode of increasing supply, while others never noticed a difference. It’s definitely worth a try!
Flaxseed has phytoestrogens which many claim helps milk supply. Flaxseed is also filled with omega-3 fatty acid, which many believe can be helpful in producing more milk.
It’s important to be aware that this is another item that some disagree with. Although many swear by flaxseed, there are others who thought it didn’t have any effects on their supply. You may never know how flaxseed could work for you, so it may be worth a try.
Recipes for lactation cookies vary, but this specific recipe from Belly Belly has ingredients that you’ll find in most lactation cookies. Among many other ingredients, steel cut oats, brewer’s yeast, and flaxseed meal are included. Many claim that these ingredients help increase milk supply.
These lactation cookies are so popular that there are thousands upon thousands of recipes online. They’re definitely worth a shot if you’re in the mood for a cookie!
Obviously breastfeeding changes the amount of calories and vitamins/minerals that you’ll need to take in each day. Without compensating for the amount that goes into producing your breastmilk, your supply may decrease due to lacking those necessary nutrients. Dark leafy greens like spinach, are packed with calcium, iron, folate, and many other important vitamins and minerals. That’s why many believe spinach can increase your milk supply.
Fennel comes in many forms, and has been attributed to increases in milk production. Fennel has been used for many various issues and ailments, including stimulating the increase of breast milk. Fennel can be taken in many various ways (tea-form, seeds, capsules, cooked), and could quite possibly help you increase your supply.
As with everything, moderation is key. Too much fennel could actually lead to a decrease in supply. Which leads us to our next herb…
Ah, good old Fenugreek. This maple-syrup smelling herb has been highly debated. Many claim their increase in milk supply was because of fenugreek. However, many refuse the notion that it increases supply, claiming that it actually decreased their production of milk.
Very Well Family cited a study that reported fenugreek capsules increasing milk production by 20 percent. However, the placebo group also reported similar increases.
That study does lead to some concerns about how helpful fenugreek actually is, and how much of it is in our own heads. It may still be worth giving it a try, as many moms swear by this herb.
Almonds are filled with protein and calcium, which may be nutrients that you’re lacking. Compensating for those missing nutrients could help build your supply back up. It’s another easy addition, and a simple snack to add into your day.
Garlic is known to help in many ways. From a general health-standpoint, it’s beneficial. Many also claim that it helps build up your supply and stimulate production. Garlic is an extremely easy item to add into almost any meal, and will only make it taste better!
Go ahead and try these items for yourself to see if they work for you. Everybody is unique, and certain foods and beverages may have nutrients that stimulate your milk production, even though they may not help someone else’s supply. If you have a severe decrease in supply, make sure to discuss your concerns with a lactation consultant! However, if you’re just looking to help boost your supply, these items are a good place to start!
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