10 Foods to Increase Lactation

Having an adequate milk supply for your baby is essential to his/her nutrition. If you are looking to increase lactation these following foods can help:

  1. Water

While not a food, water is one of the most important items needed for an adequate milk supply. “According to studies, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.”

Try drinking 8 glasses (64 ounces) of water a day, especially when starting to breastfeed.

  1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is known to help lower cholesterol and regulate your blood pressure, but did you know it can also help in building and maintaining your milk supply? Next time you’re thinking of what to have for breakfast – try some hot oatmeal!

  1. Cookies

Special chocolate chip lactation cookies are not only tasty but included brewer’s yeast and flax seed, both known to increase a mother’s milk supply.

  1. Garlic

Garlic has been used for years by nursing mothers to stimulate breast milk production and increase milk supply. “When studied, it was observed that when breastfeeding mothers consumed garlic, their infants stayed at the breast and breastfed longer.”

Tip: If you don’t like garlic in your food, try garlic pills. They are available at most stores and have no taste!

  1. Carrots

Eating carrots has many benefits! They are a healthy source of carbohydrates, boosts your potassium, and helps with weight loss. They also contain Vitamin A which helps with lactation and increases the quality of your milk

  1. Fennel

The fennel plant has estrogen-like properties and is an excellent galactagogue, or food that increases the flow of a mother’s milk.

Fun fact: Fennel can also help with digestion and an upset stomach.

  1. Nuts

“Cashews, almonds, and macadamia nuts are the most popular choices for giving your milk a boost—they’re also high in good fats and antioxidants. Go for raw nuts when possible since many commercially available nuts are heavily oiled and salted.”

  1. Green Papaya

In Asia, green papaya (or an unripe papaya) is a traditional food used to increase milk supply.

Eating green papaya can boost the production of the Oxycontin hormone, the hormone used to regulate the production of breast milk, increasing milk flow. If you’re not a fan of papaya try taking the herbal supplement available at most stores.

  1. Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are high in calcium but also help boost your milk supply. You need more than a couple of seeds so try new recipes that include sesame seeds.

  1. Ginger

Ginger is another food that effectively increases breast milk supply.Try boiling fresh ginger root in 1 cup of water. Cutting 1-2 slices of raw ginger root and steep the chopped roots into simmering plain water for two to three minutes. Drain the mixture and enjoy a cup of hot ginger tea.