Are you unsure what to eat or drink while breastfeeding to boost supply? Hear from fit mom Liz. Liz is a Registered Dietitian from Louisiana now living in Texas. She lives with her husband of three years, 9 month-old son and 12 year-old dog. In her spare time, Liz enjoys making healthy food for her family including homemade purees for her son and cheering her LSU tigers to victory on the football field. She blogs at www.jacobsjambalaya.blogspot.
We all know eating healthy is essential to breastfeeding, but have you ever wondered how to give yourself an extra boost in supply? Well, look no further. I have done the hard work for you and compiled the five very best foods/drinks to give your supply a jump start.
1. Fruit and Vegetables- The more the better but at least 5 servings a day. Not only are they good for you, they really give a boost for your milk supply. If you are finding it hard to fit in all the servings, look to specialized products. V8 Fusion (they even make a lighter version to save you some calories) or Juice Plus+ (a product that encapsulates fruits and vegetables into pill form) are great places to start. Juice Plus+ also has lots of scientific research backing it up which nutritional professionals like myself love to see!
2. Avocado- Yes yes, I know I already said you should eat fruit, but avocado especially gives you a huge boost. And YES, you read that correctly, avocado is a fruit, not a veggie! The fat found in avocado is of the unsaturated variety which means it is good for your heart and just so happens to do double duty as a milk supply booster. I ate avocado a few times a week while breastfeeding. I would put it on sandwiches, add it to salads or simply sprinkle a little salt and pepper on it and eat it on its own- yum!
3. Whole Grains- Not only are they good for your digestive tract and help to lower cholesterol, they help to keep you feeling fuller longer which may aide in post-partum weight loss. (Who doesn’t love a food that helps you lose weight?) Whole grains will also help to give you longer lasting energy which we know all new mommies would love to have. Women who consume whole grains usually make other healthy food choices as well, which is why whole grains are sometimes referred to as the “gateway to healthy living”.
4. Oatmeal- Old fashioned oats. Again, yes these are technically whole grains, but they are important enough to stand on their own. You can eat them in any form, but I loved making oatmeal and putting things such as apples, cranberries and nuts in it. Oatmeal is also delicious blended into smoothies to give them some extra texture. There are some recipes for “lactation cookies” floating around that utilize old fashioned rolled oats that I hear are amazing. I have made some delicious baked oatmeal ahead of time and had a delicious breakfast for an entire week.
5. Water- No need to over do it but be sure you are drinking enough water. Even though most lactation consultants will tell you drinking more water does not positively effect milk supply, I noticed a definite drop in my supply if I wasn’t drinking enough. Also, it is easy to become easily dehydrated during breastfeeding so drinking enough water is key for both baby and mommy. I found it easiest to keep a 32 oz cup on my desk and re-filled it throughout the day. For some reason, drinking from a cute cup also helped me to drink more.
Do not be afraid to try different combinations of foods and think outside the box of the “norm” of foods known to boost milk supply. This is my own opinion of what worked for me and other moms that I know. As with anything diet or health related, it’s always best to consult a Registered Dietitian, Lactation Consultant or Physician before altering your diet while breastfeeding.
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Whether you’re thinking about becoming pregnant or ready and waiting to welcome your new baby into the world, fitness is probably part of your plans. Will the year ahead find you cycling, swimming, running and yoga-ing your way to fitness, or will you try one of the hot new trends?
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