What to Eat When Breastfeeding to Boost Your Supply
The Truth About Galactogogues

In this article we take on the evidence behind how to boost your milk supply. At Fooblie, we’re food people, so we stick to things you can eat or drink that can help you out. Remember, you are not alone! So if you want to connect with a lactation consultant, you can get some personalized support. You’ve got this!

Do you feel like you’re not making enough milk? Well, you are not alone! 

First, there are only a few reasons documented that cause moms to have low supply. These are excessive blood loss at birth, a history of hormonal disorders, a rare medical condition called mammary hypoplasia, or breast trauma like surgery. If this is you, talk to your doctor.

Now to the reality of the world…most moms think they have low supply 

Next, let me tell you the REAL truth about supply and demand. Breastmilk works like this, when you empty the tank, more milk will come. As most economic and life theories, remember there are many factors to success. For example, there is latching, positioning, etc…These are perfect things to talk to a lactation consultant about.

Furthermore, we’re here to tell you that you’re probably making just the right amount for baby’s bitty belly!  But you want to boost your milk supply, so we’ll let’s give you some evidence. What can eat or drink for this breastfeeding magic to be easier or to boost your milk supply?

In summary…all you need is to do is eat a balanced diet. 

Wait what? No magic bullet? Nope. However, there is something called a galactogogue, or a food that will (maybe) stimulate milk production. For instance, these foods are: 

  • Oatmeal and whole grains
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Chickpeas
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Ginger
  • Papaya
  • Cumin Annice, Turmeric, Fennel 
  • Fenugreek 

What says the evidence?

Interestingly, there is no evidence to say any of these foods work (even the herbs…) to boost milk supply. Womp, womp. Even so, let’s talk about the two biggies out there, tea and cookies.

Breastfeeding Tea

First, the tea. The evidence does not support teas and studies that have been done were not done well. Additionally, there is anecdotal evidence (so people reporting it works) and the data does suggest the teas are safe, but be sure to follow any directions. Meaning don’t over do it because it can actually decrease supply.

Lactation cookies

Now to the cookies: there is no data that this works to boost supply. But, cookies are yummy! So if you want a cookie eat one. Watch out though, some of these packaged cookies are really expensive and not worth the cost because you’re sorta paying for the label.

Bottom line: There is no evidence that galactagogues boost milk supply but cultures have sworn by them for a very long time 

Lastly, there are many old wives tales that suggest some foods stimulate milk production. Yet, there is no evidence to support this. Now that you know there is actually no data to support the effectiveness of galactagogues, make your own call.

Here are 2 recipes that are packed with galactagogues. These meals taste good and also fit that ‘balanced diet’ game. Yum yum!

 

Overnight Oats

Oatmeal, Apricots, Almonds, Dates, Chia seeds, Flax seeds, Sunflower seeds, Nuts, Candied Ginger

 Instructions: First scoop ½ cup of oatmeal mixture a bowl or jar. Stir in 1 cup milk or cold water. Keep it in the fridge for the night. In the morning, add toppings like fruit (I like halved grapes or raspberries), honey, or agave if you like it sweet!

 

Barley Risotto

Barley, Spinach, Garlic, Carrots, Sweet Potato

Instructions: In crockpot add ½ cup barley, 2 cups water, ½ cup carrots, ½ cups butternut squash, ½ cup sweet potato, 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning, 2 tablespoons dried sage, 3 cloves minced garlic, salt and pepper. Next, cook on low for at least 7 hours. When ready to serve, add spinach, lemon zest, and salt and pepper and stir it all up. Serve with some parmesan cheese.

 

Want more help?

If you need some reassurance or help troubleshooting in the breastfeeding department Fooblie coaches are lactation consultants and they are here to help. Learn more about connecting with one today. You’ve got this!