If you are a mom, you are probably looking into every possible angle to make sure that your little one receives only the best care and attention. If you are new to breastfeeding, chances are you are also looking for ways to provide the best nutrition to your little one.
Well, worry no more! Here is a comprehensive list of lactogenic foods that help increase milk supply. A little word of caution though: this list does not mean you should eat only these foods! It is always best to eat a variety of healthy foods while incorporating the following into your meals and snacks.
In this article:
- Green leafy vegetables
There are a number of ways to incorporate seeds in your diet. Depending on the kind of seed, you may take them raw after soaking them in water overnight, add them as spices, make a tea out of them, eat them as vegetables, or find them packaged as capsules.
1. Fennel — Fennel seeds have phytoestrogens and are believed to be a galactagogue, which means it helps promote lactation. It helps the baby’s digestive system and prevent colic and bloating. As this may have side effects, consume it in moderation especially if you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
2. Fenugreek — Also containing phytoestrogens, Fenugreek seeds are also packed with iron, protein, Vitamin C, and Omega-3. Fenugreek seeds are said to help moms avoid post-delivery constipation.
3. Sesame — Sesame seeds are rich in micronutrients and are a well-known source of non-dairy calcium.
4. Cumin — Cumin also helps the baby’s digestion, such as avoiding constipation, acidity, and bloating. It is rich in B Vitamins, Riboflavin, and calcium.
5. Poppy — Poppy seeds are excellent in helping moms relax and cope up with stress.
6. Caraway — There are contradicting reports about caraway seeds being a galactagogue, but they are still good in aiding digestion.
7. Anise — Not to be confused with star anise, anise seeds are said to prevent indigestion and gas. It is also good for coughs and colds.
8. Coriander — Studies about coriander seeds are inconclusive, but there are reports of it being a galactagogue.
9. Flaxseed — Flaxseed contain phytoestrogens and fatty acids that help increase milk production and quality.
10. Buckwheat — Buckwheat along with other whole grains can help avoid deficiency in milk supply.
11. Quinoa — Quinoa seeds are gluten-free and a good protein source. It has also been traditionally believed to help increase milk supply.
12. Carom — Carom seeds aid digestion, preventing gas and colic in your baby.
13. Pumpkin — Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc, protein, fiber, Omega-3, and DHA.
14. Chia — Chia seeds are rich in fiber, protein, and Omega-3. They are also good for metabolism.
15. Dill — Dill seeds are good for digestion and improving sleep quality. It has iron, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Nuts are a really excellent source of protein, calcium, iron, vitamins, nutrients, and Omega-3. If you are not allergic to nuts, they are good to include in your diet. You can eat them on their own as snacks, crush them, add them in your oatmeal, or depending on the kind, make milk out of them. Some nuts are:
16. Almonds — Almonds are also said to help ease itching caused by stretch marks.
There are so many ways to make delicious recipes out of protein-rich legumes! They can be added to spice up meals, turned into salads, boiled, soaked, or made into hummus. A little care should be taken though, as they may cause gassiness in your little one if you consume too much of them.
19. Chickpea — Chickpeas are rich in protein, calcium, Vitamin B complex, vitamins, and fiber. They are rich in phytoestrogens, too, which increase milk production.
20. Alfalfa — Also rich in phytoestrogens, it is no wonder that alfalfa has been used for a long time to help increase milk supply. It is also an excellent source of protein, fiber, and Vitamins A and C.
21. Lentils — Lentils are packed with vitamins, minerals, iron, potassium, calcium, and zinc. However, moderation is needed when consuming lentils as there are reports that it causes gassiness in babies.
22. Lima beans — Protein-rich lima beans are a perfect source of energy for a breastfeeding mom!
23. Green beans — It is no wonder that vegetarians substitute beans for animal meat as a major source of protein. Green beans are also lactogenic, meaning it helps increase milk supply.
Healthy fat is important to include in your diet. You can mix them in your salads, use them in cooking, or add them to your meals and snacks. Some healthy fats can be found in:
24. Olive oil
25. Rice bran oil
26. Flaxseed oil
27. Peanut oil
28. Coconut oil
29. Clarified butter
Green leafy vegetables
Even as children, we are always told to eat our greens. It is then no wonder that they are great at keeping a good milk supply. What’s even more awesome about green leafy vegetables is that they are easy to mix in your diet!
30. Spinach — Spinach probably tops the list of green leafy vegetables that are good for increasing milk supply. This phytoestrogen-rich food is rich in iron, calcium, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, beta-carotene, riboflavin, and folic. It can help moms replenish blood loss during delivery.
31. Moringa — Moringa leaves are reported to have significantly increased milk supply among mothers. These are also rich in iron and calcium.
32. Kale — Kale leaves are also rich in phytoestrogens, iron, folic, vitamins, and calcium.
33. Broccoli — Similar to kale, broccoli is a good source of calcium and phytoestrogens.
34. Fenugreek — Not only are fenugreek seeds good for you, but also its leaves. They contain beta-carotene, Vitamin B complex, iron, calcium, riboflavin, and phytoestrogens.
35. Fennel — You can pretty much consume fennel seeds, leaves, stalk, and even its bulb! It is a galactagogue that can surely help promote milk production.
36. Mustard greens — Also rich in phytoestrogens, mustard greens, in addition, can give you protein and calcium.
Herbs do not only make your food full of flavor but can also help you increase your milk supply. You can add them to your meals, make tea out of them, eat them as they are, take them as supplements, and so much more!
37. Basil — Basil leaves will help you feel relax. It also contains thiamine, iron, niacin, Vitamin K, and carotene.
38. Holy Basil — Holy basil, while also having a calming effect, is not to be confused with basil leaves. They also help in digestion and inducing a healthy appetite.
39. Dill — Dill contains fiber, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. Dill is also claimed to be a galactagogue.
40. Blessed Thistle — Blessed thistle is a known galactagogue that is most commonly taken with fenugreek.
41. Milk Thistle — Milk thistle has been used for generations to increase milk supply. It is said to be containing phytoestrogens.
42. Curry leaves — The melatonin in curry leaves helps a mother feel calm and relaxed. It also helps regulate blood circulation and break down nutrients.
43. Lamb’s quarter — The iron, calcium, folate, beta carotene, and riboflavin found in lamb’s quarter are good for the body. They are also said to be good for increasing milk supply.
44. Shatavari — Shatavari is a known galactagogue herb. Aside from this, it is also reported to help ease bleeding, fatigue, and depression that come after giving birth.
Vegetables are not only healthy. They sure can help enhance your milk supply and they are really easy to incorporate into your regular meals and snacks!
45. Asparagus — Asparagus is an excellent source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and folic acid. They help increase hormones that are involved with milk production.
46. Bottle gourd — Since bottle gourds are made up of 92% water, they sure can help you stay hydrated. Bottle gourds are also easy to digest and can help regulate blood sugar levels and calories.
47. Drumstick — A natural galactagogue, drumsticks are also a good source of iron and calcium.
48. Bitter gourd — Bitter gourds not only help with your milk supply. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and folate.
49. Apple gourd — Apple gourds, like bitter gourds and bottle gourds, are low in calories and are easy to digest.
What more can we say? Fruits really are just delicious and healthy. You can eat them on their own, add them to your salad, make a variety of smoothies from them — the possibilities are endless, really!
50. Unripe papaya — Green papayas are considered a galactagogue. It can also induce the production of oxytocin, thus helping you relax.
51. Avocado — Avocados are rich in healthy fats, which is not only good for your health, but also for your breastmilk supply.
52. Apricot — Apricots have phytoestrogen and are also a good source of calcium. It also contains fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and potassium.
53. Dates — Also a good calcium and phytoestrogen source, dates, in addition, have iron, potassium, Vitamin A, and fiber. It can also help give you extra energy.
54. Watermelon — Watermelons help you stay hydrated. It also has fructose and fiber.
55. Grapefruit — Rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, citric acid, and fructose, you can surely add grapefruits to your diet.
56. Dried fruit — Other dried fruits are also good sources vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
Meats are usually looked down on when it comes to dieting. This is a misconception. Taken at the right amounts, meats are an excellent source of protein and calories. These are important in keeping a healthy amount of milk supply. Some kinds of meat are:
Vegetables that grow under the ground are nutritious and good for both you and your little one. You can eat them on their own, easily incorporate them in meals, make tea, add them to your salad, and so much more.
61. Red beet — Red beets have folic acid, iron, fiber, calcium, and minerals. Not only will it help you have a good milk supply, it is also good for you if you are anemic.
62. Garlic — Garlic is good for the cardiovascular system, can help avoid cancer, and boost your immune system. It also helps avoid colic in your little one. Just be observant, though, as your little one may or may not like the changes garlic may make to the taste of your milk.
63. Carrot — Also a galactagogue, carrots are an excellent source of phytoestrogen, Vitamin A, carbohydrates, potassium, beta-carotene, and alpha-carotene.
64. Sweet potato — Sweet potatoes can provide you not only carbohydrates, but also beta carotene, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, copper, and magnesium. What’s more, it can help you relax and be calm.
65. Onion — Onions are rich in antioxidants and also contains folic acid and some minerals. Like garlic, it can also affect the taste of your breastmilk.
66. Turmeric — It is no wonder that turmeric is called the “Queen of Spices!” It has properties that are antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral.
67. Ginger — Ginger is excellent for easing digestion problems. Did you know that it is also good for colds, sore throat, muscular aches, and hypertension?
68. Fennel — You can take advantage not only of fennel seeds, but also of its bulb, stalk, and leaves — pretty much the whole plant is edible and good for increasing your milk supply!
Fish are not just delicious. They are healthy, easy to eat and mix with regular meals, and good for your milk supply. They contain Essential Fatty Acids and Omega-3, which are good for you and your little one!
69. Salmon — Probably the chief of breastmilk-production-friendly fishes, salmon is also a good source of Vitamin D and it is also low in mercury.
Dairy products are not only delicious. They are a good source of calcium and are beneficial if you want to increase milk production.
75. Cow’s milk — Cow’s milk is a good source of EFA and calcium.
76. Yogurt — Yogurt helps digestion because it contains probiotics. It is also a good source of protein, calcium, and phosphorus.
In choosing your grains, always pick whole grains over refined ones. Whole grains retain their nutrient content and are a better fiber source compared to refined grains. Just be observant if your little one is allergic to gluten.
77. Oatmeal — Oatmeal probably tops the list of excellent galactagogue grains. This excellent source of fiber and iron is also a versatile staple or ingredient in many nutritious recipes!
78. Barley — Barley, also fiber-rich, has beta-glucan that helps increase your body’s prolactin production.
79. Brown rice — Brown rice is richer in fiber compared to white rice. It gives more energy, helps stimulate healthy appetite, and regulate hormones.
80. Wheat — Another example of fiber-rich whole grain, wheat is a good food to include in your diet!
81. Barley malt — Although barley malt being a galactagogue is still debated, an extra beta-glucan in your diet surely would not hurt.
82. Eggs — Eggs are an excellent source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12, and Omega-3.
83. Brewer’s yeast — Some mothers take supplements of brewer’s yeast to get a boost of iron, protein, and B Vitamins.
84. Hummus — This thick paste is usually made of a combination of galactagogues like chickpeas, sesame seeds, and other beans.
85. Tofu — Tofu is an excellent source of proteins, minerals, and vitamins.
86. Water — Granted, water is not food. However, this is probably what is most taken for granted when it comes to nutrition. Remember that your body takes up a lot of fluids and calories when breastfeeding so it is important that you stay hydrated. Make it a habit to drink a glass of water before and after feeding.
From this list, you can definitely say that there are many ways to help you increase your milk supply. However, remember that there is no single kind of food that you should consume on its own all the time. In the end, it all boils down to a good balance of healthy foods from different food groups!