For many mothers, breastfeeding can be the most natural and amazing journey to embark on, but for others the journey is often a struggle, and it certainly can require some patience and perseverance.
Although everyone’s journey looks different, there are a few ways that breastfeeding mothers can at least help to increase milk supply and quality of milk.
So can what you eat and drink really affect the quality and quantity of breastmilk? The short answer is yes! In this article we’ll be looking at which drinks have been proven to increase milk production and support overall wellbeing for breastfeeding mothers.
As the saying goes, you are what you eat (and drink!)… so if you’re a breastfeeding mother it’s important to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need, for the benefit of both yourself and your baby.
Remember – women that are breastfeeding need an additional 330 to 400 calories per day, as well as extra liquids to stay hydrated, so it’s important to ensure you’re consuming the right vitamins and minerals to support your wellbeing needs.
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This delicious caffeine-free organic herbal tea is packed full of galactagogens that stimulate the production and volume of milk supply.
This tea contains fennel seeds, fenugreek and spearmint leaf amongst other important herbs that can not only support lactation but also help to balance hormone levels, energy levels and blood sugar levels.
Another delicious herbal tea that has been shown to increase breastmilk production is this delicious natural tea.
This tea also contains a number of galactagogens as well as a whole host of antioxidants that will supply both you and your baby with the nutrients you need, as well as helping with your baby’s digestion.
A new drink to hit the market which boasts huge benefits for breastfeeding mothers is the BodyArmour Super Drink.
The nutrient profile of the BodyArmour super drink has been said to provide breastfeeding mothers with essential vitamins and minerals needed to support both lactation and overall wellbeing, plus it’s a tasty way to support with the extra calories needed when breastfeeding!
BodyArmour contains coconut water, magnesium, calcium, folate and vitamin B12 amongst other nutrients, which have all been proven to increase lactation and boost energy levels.
4. Milk Thistle
Milk thistle is a flowering herb related to the daisy flower, found mainly in Mediterranean countries. This herb boasts estrogenic properties which can increase prolactin levels and therefore the supply of breast milk.
Milk thistle tea can be found in most supermarkets and organic health stores.
Protein powders are a delicious and easy way to add extra protein and nutrients to your diet.
Picking the right protein powder can help support breastmilk supply, as well as providing breastfeeding mothers with the essential vitamins needed to balance your energy, hormones and immune system.
5. Nut and seed milks
Small but mighty, nuts and seeds are certainly one of nature’s biggest superfoods, especially when it comes to boosting breastmilk supply. Nut milks can be found in the form of almond milk, cashew milk, tiger nut milk, macadamia nut milk, hemp seed milk and more.
Nuts and seeds are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that can boost breastmilk supply whilst supporting the overall health of the breastfeeding mother.
These healthy monounsaturated fats can also boost brain health, metabolic health, skin health and more, all of which will give your breastmilk a healthy dose of nutrition that will pass through to your baby.
Our tip; create a delicious smoothie that incorporates your favourite nut milk with berries and a sprinkle of mixed seeds. We recommend adding flaxseeds, chia seeds or pumpkin seeds.
6. Golden Milk
This full flavoured golden milk comprises some of the most powerful herbs and spices needed by the body to produce breast milk as well as support your immune system, brain health, muscles and hormones.
Containing tumeric, coconut milk powder, cinnamon, ashwagandha, fennel and ginger… this golden milk is a great option to give your body that extra boost it needs.
We all know that vegetables are loaded with important nutrients and antioxidants, so of course blending them into smoothies is a great easy way to get all of the essentials you need to support your body’s health and increase breast milk supply.
Some of the best vegetables that have been proven to increase lactation are avocados, spinach, broccoli, kale and other leafy greens.
8. Ginger tea
Ginger is loaded with antioxidants and has many powerful health benefits including better digestion, better immunity, nausea relief, heart health, lung health and even weight loss (just to name a few!)
This aromatic spicy root works as a great natural lactation aid when consumed regularly.
The best way to consume ginger is to grate fresh ginger root into hot water or add it into a smoothie to create your own nutritious ginger drink.
Although not the most flavourful drink in the list, staying hydrated by drinking adequate amounts of water is essential for breastfeeding mothers.
As a nursing mother, you need about 16 cups per day of water, which can come from food, beverages and drinking water, to compensate for the extra water that is used to make milk.
One way to help you get the fluids you need is to drink a large glass of water each time you breastfeed your baby.
DIY Breastmilk drinks
If you’re a fan making your own smoothies and drinks, we’ve put together a helpful Breastmilk Essentials Smoothie guide for you to pick from to build your own.
All the foods and drinks listed below have been shown to increase lactation.
Step 1: Pick one of the following bases
- BodyArmour Super Drink
- Almond Milk
- Cashew Milk
- Hemp Seed Milk
- Macadamia Nut Milk
- FreeSoul protein powder (mixed with water)
- Coconut water
Step 2: Pick three of the following fruits
- Green Papaya
Step 3: Pick two of the following vegetables
- Cooked pumpkin
Step 4: Pick one of the following herbs or roots
- Milk thistle Seeds
- Fenugreek Seeds
- Brewers Yeast
Step 5: Sprinkle in one or two of these nuts and seeds
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
Step 6: Chose a sweetener (if needed)
- Agave nectar
- Stevia sweetener
- Protein powder
Unsurprisingly, it takes a lot of energy for your body to produce this super nutritious milk for your baby, and breastfeeding can be both rewarding and tiring at the same time.
This is why it is so important to consume the right nutrients your body needs to encourage lactation, increase the nutrient profile of your milk and provide you with all of the energy, health and wellness you need for your own mental and physical wellbeing too!