Join   Sign In  

10 Foods to Increase Lactation and Your Breast Milk Supply

What To Eat To Increase Your Breast Milk Supply


A galactagogue - your SAT word of the day, is a food, herb or supplement that aids breast milk supply or ejection. Read our gallery to learn about what foods you should be eating to help boost and increase your breast milk supply.

This gallery is not meant to substitute medical advice--if you have any concerns, contact your physician or a lactation consultant immediately.

1. Water

a glass of water used to increase breast milk supply

OK, so water is not technically a food, but it is the most essential aspect to increasing your breast milk supply. According to studies, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. You do not need to drink gallons a day, but you do need to be adequately hydrated. 8 glasses (64 ounces) of fluid a day is an absolute must. In the early stages of your breastfeeding journey its a necessity to have a bottle of water next to where you are going to nurse. You might not be thirsty when you sit down, but it is not uncommon to be overwhelmed by thirst after a few minutes.

2. Oatmeal

a bowl of oatmeal used to increase breast milk lactation

Oatmeal is fantastic for building and maintaining your milk supply. Whether you enjoy a hearty bowl of hot oats in the morning or you sprinkle granola on your yogurt, make sure you are eating some oats. You already know that oatmeal helps to lower cholesterol and can aid blood pressure regulation, but increasing your breast milk supply is another awesome benefit of chowing down on oats.

3. Cookies

choc chip breast milk lactation cookies

Not just any cookie, but special lactation boosting cookies. This recipe has been making the rounds for decades, and we are sharing it with you. Here is the recipe, enjoy!

4. Garlic

cloves of garlic are great to help increase breast milk

You don’t need to go overboard, but adding garlic to your foods not only adds another layer of deliciousness, it also boosts your milk supply. Garlic has been used by nursing mothers for centuries to help boost their milk. A modern bonus for moms who don’t like garlic: garlic pills are commercially available and are said to have no aftertaste.

5. Carrots

a bunch of carrots that are great to improve breast milk supply

Get your Bugs Bunny on, mama! Carrots are full of beta-carotene, which just happens to be in extra demand when you’re lactating. Carrots are a healthy source of carbohydrates and will boost your potassium, too. Snacking on carrots is also a great way to help you lose some of that stubborn baby weight. Peel and slice a bag of carrots at a time and store them in your fridge for easy snacking.

6. Fennel

a couple of fennel's that help increase breast milk supply in women

Whether you sauté it, stew it, or toss it raw into a salad, fennel is an herb that is widely believed to be an excellent galactagogue. If you particularly dislike anise or black licorice, this herb is not for you. For those with an adventurous palate, fennel is full of healthy phytoestrogens. Bonus for those with queasy stomachs—fennel is also known to be fantastic for aiding digestion and settling an upset belly.

7. Nuts

a pile of nuts, which are beneficial in increasing a woman's breast milk supply

Sometimes being a new mom can make you feel a little nuts. Take a breather, grab a handful of nuts, and enjoy a snack that will help your breast milk supply. Cashews, almonds, and macadamia nuts are the most popular choices for giving your milk a boost—they’re also high in good fats and antioxidants. Read labels and go for raw nuts when possible. Many commercially available nuts are heavily oiled and salted—opt for low sodium, or salt-free versions when possible.

8. Green Papaya

a green papaya sliced in half, papaya helps women to increase their breast milk supply

Yes, we’re talking about eating unripe papaya… In Asia, green papaya is a traditional galactagogue. If you have a favorite Thai restaurant, order Som Tam, which is a green papaya salad. If you’re not a fan of Thai food, try steaming or stir frying on high heat until tender. Green papaya is also available in tablet form.

9. Sesame Seeds

Sesame grains in large wooden spoon, grain and wheat is helpful to increase breast milk supply

Sesame seed bagels are delicious, and we’ve all had a burger on a sesame seed bun, but you need to get more than just a dash of seeds to help boost your milk supply. Tahini is a delicious buttery paste made of sesame seeds that you can add into recipes and sauces for a Middle Eastern flair. For those with a sweet tooth, halvah is a delicious sesame seed snack—just don’t eat too much of it because it’s also loaded with sugar. Sesame seeds are not only tasty, but high in calcium to boot.

10. Ginger

ginger clove with some chopped ginger slices, ginger helps to boost breast milk supply in women

Do you still have ginger ale, candied ginger, and ginger pops left over from your days of morning sickness? They won’t be going to waste after all, ginger is another widely used milk-boosting food. Many Asian and Indian recipes call for ginger, so expand your menu and try cooking some ginger inspired international cuisine. If you’re tired and have no time, enjoy a few ginger snaps instead.

3 Is It Safe To Follow a Diet While Breastfeeding?
What is Safe to Have While Breastfeeding? 4

You Might Like