Breastfeeding mothers tend to worry about their milk supply and production. Since there is no way to measure the amount of milk produced and consumed, mothers are left worrying about whether their supply is enough.
There are several ways of determining whether your milk supply is sufficient. The amount of care you provide yourself with is directly proportional to your baby’s health.
A healthy and happy mama means a healthy and happy baby.
That being said, mamas frequently ask, “is my breastmilk supply enough?” and “how can I make sure my supply is enough?”
The safest way forward is to maintain a healthy diet low in processed sugars and empty calories. You should focus on eating fruits and vegetables, staying hydrated, and getting your proteins and nutrients in.
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Although no study proves that any specific food increases breastmilk supply, mamas have used galactagogues for years. Galactagogues are foods that have breast milk supply-boosting properties.
Besides, these natural foods are also regularly recommended by doctors to ensure the health of both mama and baby.
Given the importance of monitoring your diet and ensuring you eat well, we have compiled a list of 30 natural galactagogues you can consume to increase breastmilk supply and production.
Table of Contents
Water is one of the most underrated natural foods to increase breastmilk supply and production. Everyone tends to overlook water.
Staying hydrated is vital for breast milk production. A breastfeeding mother needs about 5 liters of water every day to steer clear of dehydration.
According to Stanford University, fluid intake ranks top of any mother’s dietary requirement, with water being the most important.
It is better to pace yourself and drink water at intervals instead of large amounts all at once.
Figs are rich in minerals and vitamins. They provide many positive effects on mothers’ breast milk supply and production.
Among figs’ many benefits, facilitating digestion, strengthening bones, and reducing iron deficiencies are just a few.
Berries, in general, are a wonderful natural food. They are a great addition to any diet.
Due to the abundance of iron and phosphorus, strawberries help with breast milk supply. They are also rich in vitamins B, C, and K.
Aside from increasing breast milk production, they also reduce anxiety, clear up your blood, and are a wonderful antioxidant.
It is already the season. But, Fall aside, pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamins C, K, and E. Other nutrients found in pumpkins include iron, phosphorus, omega-3, and beta-carotene (a carotenoid and antioxidant).
Pumpkin strengthens your immune system, revitalizes your skin, and accelerates your metabolism. Plus, pumpkin can be incorporated into your diet as a soup, entree, side dish, or dessert.
We cannot stress enough just how important leafy green vegetables are. Literally, everywhere you look, the benefits of leafy greens never seem to end. Iron? Vitamins? Calcium? Folate? They have it all.
Leafy green vegetables are known to help increase breastmilk production. Breastfeeding mothers should consider adding at least one portion of leafy greens to their daily diet.
Leafy greens are highly recommended for breastfeeding mothers.
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Rich in vitamin A, carrots are wonderful boosters for lactation. They are also known to improve the quality of breast milk production.
Carrots provide the best benefits when consumed in their raw form. Add them to your salads or have them fresh with a hummus platter. You can juice them as well.
The presence of phytoestrogens in carrots increases milk production.
Beetroot is a miracle vegetable. It purifies the blood, is stocked with healthy minerals and rich fibers and is highly nutritious.
Not only has it been found to improve breast milk production, but it also enhances the quality of milk.
You can consume it cooked or raw. Some of the best ways to eat beets are to have them steamed or add them to salads and juices.
We are all familiar with the curative properties of garlic. From boosting the immune system to preventing heart disease, garlic is also great for increasing breast milk supply.
The strong flavor and aroma of garlic can change breast milk’s taste and smell. Hence, you must consume it in moderation.
Sweet potatoes are packed with carbohydrates that are instrumental in providing mamas with energy. They are also rich in magnesium and vitamins C & B-complex.
Sweet potatoes are highly versatile and can be cooked and consumed in various ways – both savory and sweet.
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A superfood, chickpeas contain plenty of healthy nutrients. Proteins, fibers, vitamin B-complex, and calcium are some of the main nutrients found in chickpeas.
They have also been found to improve breast milk supply and production. One thing to note is that chickpeas make mamas and their breastfed babies gassy.
For that reason, help your baby pass the gas properly following feedings. It is also advised to keep the consumption of chickpeas moderate.
Fennel seeds are one of the more commonly known natural foods to increase breast milk supply. You can consume them by soaking a teaspoon of fennel seeds overnight in a glass of water.
Drink the water and eat the seeds on an empty stomach in the morning. You can also use fennel seeds in tea brewing.
Fennel seeds are also known to reduce bloating and gas.
Sesame’s high levels of calcium make it a prime choice for mothers. Not only is calcium crucial for the development of babies, but it is also needed by the postpartum body for healing purposes.
A great source of non-dairy calcium, sesame can be used in many dishes. One of the easiest ways to add sesame to your diet is using tahini paste.
A great source of vitamin K, basil soothes the digestive system and reduces stress and anxiety. It also promotes healthy bowel movements and improves appetite.
For generations, basil has been used by lactating mothers to increase and improve breast milk production. It can easily be incorporated into your diet by adding it to salads or tea.
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A great source of energy, oatmeal is rich in fiber. Consuming oatmeal always has a positive effect on the digestive system.
It is often used by mothers postpartum to control diabetes. Nutritionists recommend adding oats to lactating mothers’ diets to improve breast milk production.
All across the world, fenugreek seeds have been used for generations to increase breast milk production. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that improve babies’ brain development.
Even fenugreek leaves are rich in nutrients and can be consumed as well. Lactating mothers have found that adding fenugreek seeds to herbal teas is the easiest way to add it to their diet.
Aside from being a delicious fruit, both fresh and dried, apricots have a lot of health benefits. They are rich in iron, fiber, and calcium.
Apricots aid greatly in reducing hormonal imbalances. They are highly beneficial during pregnancy and postpartum.
Their benefits also extend to lactating mothers as they improve milk supply. One of the best ways of adding apricots to your diet is by including a few with your first meal of the day.
Fresh salmon is absolutely necessary to add to your diet. The omega-3 and EFA fatty acids in salmon aid with lactation.
These acids ensure that the milk produced has a higher nutritional value. The manner of cooking salmon does not matter. You can steam, grill, or fry it.
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Almonds contain polyunsaturated fats and are famous for being rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Incorporating this superfood into your diet is super easy.
They make for a delicious snack on their own and are known to improve breast milk supply. You can add almonds to your smoothies, baked goods, desserts, and main entrees.
Dill does not get the credit it deserves. Unsusceptible in appearance, dill is rich in calcium, iron, and magnesium.
This makes the herb essential for the nutrition of a breastfeeding mother. You can include dill in your diet by adding it to salads or soups.
A summer favorite, watermelon is a delicious fruit that is highly hydrating. The composition of watermelon makes it easy to consume.
Its high water content makes it essential to a lactating mother’s diet. Aside from being hydrating, watermelon also contains a plethora of minerals that are known to increase breast milk supply and production.
Chockful of minerals and antioxidants, green tea is known for its health benefits. It helps your body and mind relax as well as purifies your system.
But did you also know that it helps increase breast milk supply? Aside from improving cholesterol levels and blood circulation, a cup of green tea daily can help lactating mothers.
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Sumac is a spice that deserves to be in everyone’s kitchen cabinet. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.
Not only does it add immense flavor to your meals, but it also protects the body from cardiovascular diseases.
Lactating mothers can benefit significantly from sumac. It helps increase breast milk production.
Lately, dates have been getting a lot of attention, for a good reason. Rich in vitamin A, they also contain many minerals that improve heart health.
Not only do they increase breast milk production and supply in lactating mothers, but they also improve digestion.
In some regions of the world, grapefruits are considered mega fruits. Rich in fructose, citric acid, vitamins A and C, as well as dietary fiber, grapefruits are quite healthy.
They are considered one of the most healthy additions to any diet. Lactating mothers have much to benefit from grapefruits – including a boost in breast milk supply.
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High in fiber as well as vitamins A and K, asparagus is known to stimulate a lactation hormone. It is very easy to add asparagus to your diet.
One of the easiest ways to cook asparagus is to steam or saute it lightly. It can be a snack or a side dish to the main meal.
While no scientific evidence exists that turmeric boosts breast milk supply, it is a healthy and useful herb for lactating mothers.
Clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of turmeric in treating mastitis. The anti-inflammatory properties of the herb benefit lactating mothers greatly.
It eases mastitis symptoms, prevents it from (re)occurring, and boosts mothers’ immunities. It also helps ward off flu and cold in the baby and mother.
Nursing mothers need to add avocados to their diet. This nutritional powerhouse is packed with heart-healthy fats.
Being nearly 80% fat, avocados help meet mothers’ increasing need for higher calories. The nagging hunger new lactating mothers feel can easily be quenched with avocados.
Other nutrients in avocados include vitamins C, E, and K, potassium, and folate.
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Unripe papayas have many benefits. Aside from increasing lactating mothers’ supply, they act as a natural sedative.
With all the stress experienced during the first few weeks of parenthood, parents hardly get time to relax. Papaya’s sedating properties can help you relax.
Many Asian countries regard unripe papaya quite highly for its breast milk supply-boosting properties. Unripe papaya can be grated into salads for a delicious addition to your diet.
Being healthy aside, brown rice has the capacity to increase breast milk production. It contains a hormone stimulant that aids lactating mothers with supply issues.
Before cooking brown rice, it can help to soak it overnight. This makes the grains softer and hence easier to digest.
Brown rice is an excellent source of nutrition for mamas and breastfed babies.
Ginger is excellent for improving your health. A lot of Asian cuisines incorporate ginger rather generously.
However, some people do not like the strong taste and flavor. In that case, you can always consume ginger by adding it to your tea or smoothies.
Ginger promotes a healthy and abundant breast milk supply. It is excellent for lactating mothers due to its breast milk production-boosting properties.
If you have lactation problems, it would be wise to consider incorporating these herbs and natural foods into your diet. As a new parent, finding the time to cook and prepare meals is already quite difficult.
These natural foods can be consumed with little to no preparation. Aside from being healthy sources of nutrition, they are filling and host many healing properties.
Have you tried incorporating any of these foods into your diet? Let us know your lactating experiences with these natural foods in the comments below.