Galactagogues. Try to say that fast a few times!
If you are a nursing mama, galactagogues will soon be your best friend. Galactagogues are foods, herbs, and medications considered to be milk-inducing. Today I’ll be focusing on just the foods that boost milk supply. By incorporating them in to your daily diet, you just may see an increase in your milk supply. Not to mention the milk drunkenness of your baby.
Eating a well-balanced diet is absolutely crucial to starting and maintaining a strong milk supply. I’m constantly reminding myself that it takes 9 months to grow a baby and it will usually take at least that long to lose the baby weight. The advice I’m giving myself (and you) is to forget the scale in those early months and focus on eating quality food often so I can sustain myself and my baby. Are you on board with that plan? Alright then, let’s support each other by fueling ourselves, and therefore our babies, with the best food!
The most common food you will hear about as a galactagogues is oatmeal. When consuming oatmeal for milk production be sure it is a quality steel-cut type oat. I haven’t seen as good of results from the microwave instant ones. Don’t be alarmed at the lack of “instant-ness”, you can make steel-cut oats in your crockpot.
Many mamas stop at morning oatmeal, but there are a TON of other options …
- Green smoothies and juices, look for ones with spirolina and wheatgrass
- Dark beer
- Almond and coconut milk
Fruits & Veggies
- Figs, dates, apricots, green papaya, and other stone fruits
- Sweet potatoes
- Leafy greens like Swiss chard, spinach, and kale
- Legumes, think chili
- Chicken and turkey
- Squid, more deliciously known as calamari
- Blackstrap molasses, great blended into a peanut butter shake or in molasses cookies
- More Milk Cookies
- Almond butter
- Sesame seeds and tahini, hello hummus!
- Pumpkin seeds
- Fennel seed
- Nutritional yeast, sprinkle on top of your oatmeal or cereal
- Healthy fats like omegas, and cold pressed olive oil
- Flax seed
- Brewer’s yeast
I know it is daunting to read all these options and turn them into a meal, so if you are looking for more information and recipes to increase your milk supply, I highly recommend The Boho Mama’s e-book, More Milk, Naturally. At only $4.99, it’s a steal!
Last, but not least, before going crazy with galactagogues be sure to consult your doctor or lactation consultant. In most cases, mamas are producing just enough milk for their baby and eating milk-inducing foods every once in awhile is plenty. Babies do the best job at regulating the supply and demand with your milk so allow your little one to nurse often. Babies know best, so grab a lactation cookie, settle into the couch, and nurse away!
Tuesday 27th of November 2012
I found out boosting milk supply during pregnancy is different than if you're not expecting. I became pregnant when my little one was only 5months old (yes became pregnant twice while exclusively BFing) and I talked to a lactation consultant because its different and some things can't be done. Fenugreek is one thing that's a no I guess. I think eating healthy and nursing often is the best advice I've ever heard :) good luck fellow nursing mamas.