What you eat after pregnancy, affects the quantity of breast milk, so if you want to increase your breast milk supply, these are the top 5 foods you should eat more often. If you have any concerns, or you think that you are allergic to some of these foods, contact your physician or a lactation consultant first.
Fenugreek seed is a common herb for increasing milk production. Used around the world in cooking and baking, fenugreek is a good source of protein, iron, vitamin C and more. Taken in tea or in capsule form, this herb generally increases milk supply within a few days. There are some cautions — if you are prone to asthma or allergies, use fenugreek with caution. If you have low thyroid hormone levels, are hypoglycaemic, or are taking blood thinners, you may want to avoid fenugreek.
Some people think it’s an old wives’ tale, but eating oats can help to increase milk supply. Saponins — which oats are full of — are antibiotic and anti-inflammatory, supporting the immune system. But they also impact the milk-making hormones produced by the pituitary gland. So add a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast or bake some oatmeal cookies and enjoy this simple addition to your diet.
Cultures all over the world use garlic for its medicinal properties as well as its culinary flavoring. Used in moderation, garlic may have a lactogenic effect — but this may be because babies like the flavor. One study found that babies nursed more often and took more milk when mothers took a garlic supplement before nursing. So, the increased breast stimulation helped to increase milk supply. Go ahead and enjoy a garlicky meal. If you don’t especially like the flavor, consider taking garlic in capsule form.
High in proteins and essential fatty acids, nuts are the perfect complement to any diet. The amino acids in nuts are building blocks for serotonin, which is a necessary neurotransmitter for lactation. The best nuts for improving milk production are almonds, whether by the handful raw or through almond milk, maybe even some marzipan if you’re looking for a sweet treat.
In most parts of the globe, you can find commercial lactation teas marketed especially for increasing milk supply. These are usually combinations of galactagogues, and should be used according to package directions. Specific ingredients might include anise seed black tea, fenugreek, alfalfa, blessed thistle, red raspberry leaf, marshmallow root, goat’s rue, and more. The best teas are made from fresh and organic ingredients.