We don’t have to tell you that breastfeeding is hard work, right? You’ve probably already discovered as much. By now it’s likely you know your body needs to be properly nourished in order to keep your milk supply flowing.
But it may be challenging to find the time (or energy!) to prepare a quick meal or snack. And let’s face it, eating healthy may be the last thing on your mind right now. Still, it’s important to fuel yourself regularly so that you can truly feel your best.
What’s more, eating nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day is the best way to ensure a healthy milk supply for your baby.
Fortunately, there are many quick and easy-to-prepare recipes made with ingredients that may help improve your milk supply. Plus, these recipes are packed with nutrients you need as a breastfeeding parent.
Here are some tasty recipes that can help keep you energized and may give your milk supply a boost.
1. Pumpkin spice lactation smoothie
Autumn or not, this pumpkin lactation smoothie has all the flavor of a traditional pumpkin spice latte. Plus, it’s packed with nutritious ingredients, like pumpkin, which
Remember to choose dairy milk or milk substitutes that are fortified with vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, and perhaps vitamin B-12 to support your breastfeeding needs. View the recipe.
2. Blueberry lactation muffins
These easy-to-make blueberry lactation muffins are loaded with healthy ingredients like flax seeds, blueberries, and eggs. Plus, they’re gluten-free and include honey for natural sweetness, so they’re lower in sugar than traditional muffins. View the recipe.
3. No-bake lactation bites
These no-bake bites are perfect for a quick snack in between nursing sessions or when you’re on the go. They take only 10 minutes to put together, and they’re sure to satisfy your sweet cravings in a quick, healthy way. View the recipe.
4. Healthy lactation cookies
Let’s face it, everyone needs a cookie now and then. Especially breastfeeding parents! This recipe combines nutritious ingredients like oats, flax, brewer’s yeast, and spices to create a delicious and nourishing cookie. View the recipe.
5. Herbal nursing mom tea
Staying hydrated while breastfeeding is important. This homemade tea blend can help you get the job done. It uses herbs and spices like fennel, which has been
6. Lactation overnight oats
Some breastfeeding parents swear by oatmeal for boosting their milk supply. This overnight oats recipe is made ahead of time — consider it a little gift for future you.
It’s also a highly versatile recipe, which is perfect for busy moms. Try adding nutrient-dense toppings like walnuts, fresh fruit, and chia seeds.
If you’re forgoing dairy for a milk substitute, be sure to choose a product that contains added vitamin D and calcium to best support your lactation. View the recipe.
7. Slow cooker bone broth
This nourishing bone broth recipe is packed with amino acids, collagen, and minerals that your body needs to heal post-delivery. Bone broth can act as a warm, nourishing stand-in for coffee, if you’re trying to cut back on your caffeine consumption. View the recipe.
8. Salmon salad and lactation-boosting dressing
While breastfeeding it’s essential that you eat plenty of protein, healthy fats, and colorful veggies. This tasty salad recipe combines them all.
9. Nursing omelet
Don’t be afraid to eat plenty of healthy fats while breastfeeding. This omelet combines multiple sources of healthy fats like avocado, cheddar cheese, and eggs. Throw in some greens for an extra nutrition boost! View the recipe.
10. Green lactation smoothie
When your hands are full taking care of your baby, you may need a quick source of calories. This green smoothie is an easy way to get your veggies in while breastfeeding.
Because it’s vegan, we recommend that you choose a fortified soy or nut milk as a base in order to meet lactation needs. View the recipe.
11. Turmeric and kale chicken soup
Your whole family will enjoy this hearty, nourishing soup. It’s full of nutritious ingredients like chicken and fresh veggies that will give you the energy boost you need to breastfeed. View the recipe.
Now that you have some ideas for quick and easy recipes to stay fueled during breastfeeding, you may be wondering why breastfeeding is so beneficial in the first place.
Before we dive in, know that breastfeeding isn’t for everyone and many parents choose to forgo breastfeeding for a number of reasons, both personal and medical — and that’s perfectly okay. You do you, no judgment.
Now that we’ve made that clear, there are a number of benefits that breastfeeding offers both you and your baby.
For baby, you’re transferring antibodies and the nutrients they need to grow, especially in your colostrum when you first start breastfeeding.
Breast milk may also help fend off colds, the flu, and other infections, while reducing your baby’s risk of
- ear infections
- childhood obesity
There are benefits for you as well. First off, breastfeeding is convenient — and free! Additionally, it may help
Breastfeeding may also help you lose the weight you gained while you were pregnant. (Though, that doesn’t work for everyone!)
It’s common to think you’re not producing enough milk when, in fact, you’re producing plenty.
That said, if your milk supply seems to be dwindling, know that there are a number of reasons why you may not be producing enough milk. A great first step is reaching out to your health provider for some guidance.
Here are several common reasons why your milk supply might be dwindling:
- not nursing often enough
- ineffective latch
- some medications
- certain medical conditions
- infant illness
Many issues with low milk production can be overcome with a little help.
Eating regularly and getting enough calories through a variety of healthy foods (fruits and vegetables, lean meats, low-sugar snacks) is a great step in the right direction.
Take care to get adequate rest. If you find it difficult to “nap while the baby naps,” enlist the help of your partner — or another family member or trusted caregiver — to give you the time you need to get some good shut-eye.
Although some parents swear that certain foods help increase their milk supply, it’s important to keep in mind that this evidence is, well, mostly anecdotal.
However, there is some (limited) scientific evidence that the following foods may increase milk supply:
- Pumpkin. Eating pumpkin has been associated with increased milk supply, though
- Protein-rich foods. Consuming chicken, eggs, tofu, and seafood has been
associatedwith increased milk volume. Plus, eating protein-rich foods can help keep you full between meals.
- Fennel. Fennel may have galactogenic properties according to some scientific
research. You can use this flavorful veggie in salads or make a fresh fennel tea.
- Fenugreek. This herb may have
lactation-promotingeffects. Fenugreek can be used to flavor recipes or be made into a tea.
Although scientific research is a bit lacking in this arena, many parents claim that foods like oats, sesame seeds, beer, and brewer’s yeast boost their milk flow. Hey, whatever works!
Keep in mind that some herbal remedies that are promoted as natural ways to promote breast milk production may contain ingredients that aren’t safe. In fact, they may have adverse side effects in some people.
It’s always best to check with your healthcare provider before you take any herbal supplements while breastfeeding.
When you’re busy, exhausted, and trying to comfort your baby, eating a nutritious meal isn’t very high on the priority list. We get it.
But good-for-you food is a great way to boost milk supply and promote overall health. Plus, it can be delicious, especially if we’re talking about healthy cookies and blueberry muffins, like the recipes featured above.
If you have issues with your milk production — any at all — contact your healthcare provider, pronto. They’ll be able to guide you in the right direction so that you, and your baby, can get all the support you need.