When it comes to breastfeeding, one topic of concern is low milk supply which leads mothers to search for tips on how to boost their supply.There are certain foods that have been known to help. These foods are called galactagogues, which have milk-enhancing ingredients. Although the milk-boosting effects haven't been scientifically proven for all, several mothers swear that these foods help boost milk supply.
This summary gives you an overview of some foods that have been used for generations to increase milk supply naturally. We've also included a few delicious breast milk boosting recipes at the end. Most of the recipes only take 5 to 10 minutes to prepare - ideal for your busy schedule!
Foods To Boost Breast Milk Supply
OatmealAccording to informal reports, oatmeal is one of the top foods for boosting the milk supply. It is also a great source of nutrients that are important for breastfeeding mums and babies.
ChickpeasWomen have been eating chickpeas to boost breast milk supply since ancient Egyptian times. They contain plant estrogens, which may be responsible for their use as a galactagogue. Whether they have that effect on you, chickpeas are healthy, nutritious food high in protein.
Dark leafy greensFull of nutrients, like calcium. Dark leafy greens also contain phytoestrogens that may have a positive effect on breast milk supply.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts can give your milk production a boost. Packed with healthy fats and antioxidants, cashew, almonds, and pistachios are all great alternatives.
PapayaGreen or unripe papaya increases the production of oxytocin, which can boost breastmilk production. Papaya leaves also contain quercetin, which can activate the hormone prolactin and help boost breastmilk supply.
Brewer’s yeastNaturally rich in B vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Widely recognised as traditional food, Brewer's yeast can help boost your energy levels and breast milk production, promote metabolism, and help in weight loss.
FennelSome small studies suggest that fennel may increase levels of prolactin, the main hormone responsible for stimulating milk production, and it might increase milk volume and infant weight gain
FenugreekSmaller studies have shown that Fenugreek has contributed to boosting milk supply significantly. Researchers aren’t quite sure why it works. It could be due to the phytoestrogens (plant chemicals similar to estrogen) that fenugreek contains.
MoringaNative to Asia and Africa, the moringa tree (often called 'The Miracle Tree') has been praised for its medicinal properties. It has been used to improve nutrition in infants and breastfeeding mothers for generations.
NettleWhile there are many species of nettle, stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is one of the most well-known. It has been used to stimulate milk production and increase the supply of breast milk for generations. It is also believed to help treat a variety of health problems.
PegagaConsisting of nature's most powerful healing herbs used for centuries in Asia, boosting breastmilk supply & quality is one of the many health benefits of our star product Pegaga. This scientifically proven blend of 100% natural, plant-based superfoods has been used for centuries in Asia for its extraordinary health benefits.
Blessed thistlePeople use the flowering plant’s leaves, blossoms, and stems to increase breast milk supply as well as to improve indigestion.
GingerGinger is believed to help mothers heal from childbirth, and to stimulate milk production. While there’s evidence that supports this, more research is needed to determine if and how effective ginger is in boosting milk supply.
LecithinA natural emulsifier. It is good for your brain, promotes fat burning, helps ease lactation, and seems to help some mothers prevent the blockage of milk ducts.
Breast Milk-Boosting Recipes
Here are some easy recipes to include in your diet. If they don’t directly increase your supply, they will benefit you in other ways with their high nutritional content.
Recipe: Milk Booster Smoothie
Here’s a smoothie that you can start your day with or have any time of the day. It contains almond milk, like almonds, in particular, which seem to be the most beneficial for boosting milk supply out of all the nuts. You can also substitute with other non-dairy milk.
- 1.5 cups almond milk
- 1 banana
- ½ cup oats
- 1 tbsp nut butter
- 1 tbsp flaxseeds (ground)
- *optional to add 1 tbsp cocoa powder if you want a chocolatey drink
- Simply add all ingredients to a blender and blend till smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add more milk or water
Oat & Ginger Cookies
These cookies are delicious and comforting to have around. Not only you’ll love them, so will anyone else in your house. And don’t worry, they are perfectly safe to be eaten by those that aren’t breastfeeding!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1cup brown sugar
- ½ cup softened butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups oats
- ½ cup crystallized ginger
- 2 tbsp brewers yeast
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and brewer’s yeast.
- Using a mixer, beat brown sugar and butter until creamy. Add in the vanilla extract and eggs one at a time. Once all mixed, add in the flour mixture. Switch off the mixer once all ingredients are well combined.
- Using a spoon, fold in the oats and ginger.
- Take a heaped teaspoon of mixture and place it on the baking tray. Keep the cookies about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the tops are golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from the tray.
- Keep the cookies in an airtight container.
It’s best to minimize the caffeine whilst breastfeeding, and although this tea may not give you that caffeine buzz, it just may give you that milk boost you are looking for.
- ½ tsp fenugreek
- ½ tsp fennel
- 1-inch grated ginger
- *optional honey
- Break dried chilies and remove seeds. Soak in hot water for 30 minutes until softened. Drain and set aside.
- Blend together softened dried chilies, red chilies, and shallots in a food processor until fine.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add in chili paste, season with salt and coconut sugar. Stir for 10-15 minutes until sugar has dissolved and sauce has thickened.
- Spoon out fried chili sauce and set aside.
Energy & Breakfast Milk Boosting Breakfast
Only natural ingredients are used in this breakfast, topped with Brewer's yeast, lecithin, and flaxseed powder which are great as lactation boosting foods. At the same time, they give you a sense of satiety, and also give your energy levels a quick boost. As an extra plus, flaxseed powder is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for skin and brain development.
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (Options: Soybeans, Oats, Rice or Almond Milk)
- 1.5 cups oats soak in the milk for about 5 minutes to soften
- 1 medium banana
- 1 tsp Brewer's yeast
- 2 tsp lecithin
- 1 tsp flaxseed powder
- ½ cup flaxseed powder
- 2 types of fruit (such as banana, mango, blueberries)
- Mixed nuts and seeds (such as almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds)
- Chia seeds (as much as needed)
- Mix all the ingredients (A) in a blender.
- Pour the paste-like mixture into a bowl.
- Finally, add your favorite ingredients (B) to add texture.
A well-balanced diet will support the health of both you and your baby
Choosing what you consume wisely will not only help in the production of good quality breast milk but also in maintaining the health of breastfeeding mums.
Whilst these foods may help your supply, ensure that you drink plenty of water, eat a well-balanced diet, get enough sleep, and the more your baby latches on, the more milk you will supply. If you are still having trouble, seek help from a lactation specialist.
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