First off, I’m not a doctor. I’m not a lactation consultant, I’m just a mom, who has successfully breastfed two healthy babies. My first time breastfeeding was at best, good. My second time breastfeeding has been amazing! Ton’s of research, trial and error, and preparation definitely made a huge difference with baby number two. Food is a MAJOR factor in not only the amount of breast milk you produce but also the QUALITY. Here are the 8 best snacks that gave me the best results in quality and quantity of breast milk.
- Avocados & Guacamole. Avocados are a fantastic source of healthy fat for a breastfeeding mom. I love avocado on toast, bagels, or in a salad but the easiest way for me was to make guacamole. Every week I would make 1-2 batches of guacamole. It’s super simple! Take 2-3 avocados, mash them up, and mix in a guacamole mix of your liking. Try to avoid anything spicy, no one wants a gassy baby. Also avoid adding tomatoes as those are said to cause infant gas as well. The best part about guacamole and avocado is it’s filling for you and it makes the fat content in my milk much higher.
2. Hummus & Naan Bread. While researching foods to eat while breastfeeding I came across a few bloggers who mentioned hummus. I’ve always loved it so I was happy to see it listed. Chickpeas, what hummus is made with, are a great source of fiber, rich in plant based protein, and also help with blood sugar control. Chickpeas are also said to help manage weight due to having low calorie density. They are full of vitamins and minerals. So not only are they good for mom but they are good for baby too. I really enjoyed the Marketside Lemon Cilantro Hummus from Walmart along with the Naan dippers. I’m no scientist but on days I enjoy hummus, my nightly pumping sessions are about .5-1 oz more.
3. Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds. These individual packs are perfect to have at your breastfeeding station. They are a filing, easy snack. Not only do they taste great but almonds and dark chocolate are full of goodies for you and baby. Antioxidants, fiber, iron, and both have been known to help manage cholesterol. Obviously dark chocolate isn’t an all you can eat weight loss food, but in moderation they are a great snack for a breastfeeding mommy.
4. Oatmeal Cookies. Who doesn’t love a good oatmeal & raisin cookie? Oatmeal is one of the foods that is ALWAYS recommended to breastfeeding moms. Doctors, lactation consultants, all of them recommend oatmeal. I’ve heard moms say that just about any brand of oatmeal cookie works for them. I try to find the lower sugar ones, and ones that have the least ingredients and preservatives so you get the BEST oatmeal. I like to get the freshly baked cookies at Walmart or I make them at home. There are COUNTLESS lactation recipes on Pinterest for oatmeal cookies, balls, and shakes. I normally eat at least 1 oatmeal cookie before bed or before a pumping session when I’ll be away from baby.
5. Carrots. These little babies are normally on breastfeeding lists. Carrots are high in beta-carotene and Vitamin A. They are a well known galactagogue, which promotes lactation. I eat them raw or cooked, but many moms go for the carrot juice. Be sure to juice on your own or find a carrot juice that’s natural/organic. You don’t want all the added sugars that some bottled drinks contain.
6. Apples. Apples are an all around healthy food. They are high in fiber so they are very filling and they are known to help with weight management. Apples have not been linked to increasing lactation but for you to make healthy milk, you need to be healthy. As they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
7. Coconut. Anything and everything (healthy) coconut! I drink coconut water, eat coconut cookies, and coconut Quest Bars! Coconut has been linked to increasing milk supply and milk quality. Coconut increases the lauric acid in your milk which increases the fat content in your milk. These Quest Protein bars offer low sugar, lots of protein, and some of the benefits of coconut. These Bai brand coconut drinks, especially the Andes Coconut Lime, are delicious and full of antioxidants. I also like to have a few of the snack size Almond Joy candy bars at my pumping station. Definitely in moderation but really good for a small sweet tooth craving.
8. Sweet Potatoes. Sweet potatoes are full of Vitamin A, which is essential for proper growth and development in babies. Our bodies need all the regular vitamins and nutrients but we need a much larger amount of them. Finding foods that a rich in certain vitamins is important and sweet potatoes are a great source. They are filling and delicious. These sweet potato fries are a much easier way to eat them! Another easy way to get your sweet potato fix is in the frozen food section. These steamable sweet potatoes are quick, easy, and have great taste. You can also saute them in avocado or olive oil.
All of these foods have given me a boost in lactation or have helped me maintain my supply. All babies are different but I’ve not seen any reaction from my baby to these foods such as fussiness or gas. Hopefully they work for you too!