Eating healthy and for weight loss and for increasing milk supply can be overwhelming.
The good news is that it can be quite simple when you know certain principles that affect milk supply and that aid in weight loss so the first thing, I want to do is discuss some of those principles.
Let’s start with increasing milk supply.
Make sure to read until the end where I share a yummy Lactation Smoothie you can enjoy for breakfast, snack or any meal!
Increasing Milk Supply Principles
- Feed on the breast as much as possible.
- Skin to skin contact with baby.
- Breast compressions.
- Nutrition and galactagogue foods.
Frequent Feeding on The Breast
The best way to increase milk supply is by feeding on the breast on demand and as much as possible the first few weeks.
I made this mistake with my first baby, and I started pumping too soon.
While I did nurse him for 12 months, I struggled with having enough milk supply. I pumped and pumped and nursed and nursed and I barely had enough.
With my daughter, I strictly nursed the first 4 weeks without pumping and it made a world of difference.
Also, with my son, he was a sleeper, so he went longer periods at time without nursing, which was great for my sleep, but not good for my milk supply.
My daughter was the opposite, she woke up almost every 2 hours the first month to feed, but the benefit of that is that it told my body to produce a lot of milk.
It was hard, but in the long run it was much easier. I was able to stop pumping at 6 months and had enough milk for another 6 months.
If you are struggling with nursing, my first advice would be to consult with a lactation specialist. It’s so worth it. I saw one both times.
Skin To Skin Contact with Baby
This is super important to do right from the beginning… literally as soon as baby is born and as much as possible.
Skin to skin contact increases the release of prolactin and stimulates oxytocin which are two hormones that can help milk production.
This is a method of gently squeezing the breast as you nurse to encourage the milk glands to let down more milk.
If you are unsure how to do this, consult with a lactation specialist.
When breastfeeding, oxytocin is released, which stimulates thirst. That is your body’s way to make sure that you drink enough water to meet your extra fluid needs while nursing.
This increase in thirst while breastfeeding is why proper hydration can help in promoting milk production.
If you feel dehydrated or have a hard time drinking water, I would invest in an electrolyte powder that is low in sugar or has no sugar that you can add to your water to help restore hydration.
You can get these at a local nutrition store or even on amazon.
Nutrition & Galactagogue Foods
Making sure you get the proper nutrition is crucial for nursing as your baby is getting most of his/her nutrients for proper growth and development from the food you ingest.
Getting your nutrition in check is also super important for weight loss postpartum.
Most mamas are eager to lose the baby weight and feel like themselves.
But the fact that we can’t exercise for about 6-9 weeks postpartum along with the lack of sleep and the crazy hormones makes it incredibly hard to lose weight.
Which is why nutrition and supplementation is key during postpartum and while nursing.
Nutrition is a topic for an entire post for itself, but I’ll give you a few guidelines that are sure to help you eat in a way to help with milk supply and promotes weight loss.
- Eat a lean protein in all or most meals.
- Include fresh fruits in vegetables in a few meals a day.
- Have healthy fats in at least 2 meals a day.
- Include healthy complex carbs in your diet a few meals a day.
- Omit or diminish pre-packaged foods, sugar, wheat or gluten and reduce dairy significantly.
It’s super easy to follow the nutrition principles above while including galactagogue foods.
Galactagogue foods are foods that stimulate milk supply.
Here are some foods that are galactagogues.
Dark Leafy Greens
These foods are high in vitamins, minerals and enzymes. They also supply phytoestrogen which may support lactation.
- Swiss Chard
- Collard Greens
This fruit is also high in vitamins, minerals and enzymes and are a great source of vitamin A and C and is considered a galactagogue.
Red and Orange Veggies High in Beta Carotene
These vegetables are important for the production of breast milk.
These foods have anti-inflammatory properties and are considered a comfort food which is associated with the release of oxytocin which helps the production of milk supply.
- Brown Rice
These foods also have milk boosting properties.
This is a great snack to add to your postpartum diet for a good source of healthy fats and they also support milk production.
- Macadamia Nuts
This is also known as nutritional yeast and is a great source of iron and protein and it contains phytoestrogens which aids in lactation and milk production.
This is easy to add into any healthy baked treat or in a smoothie.
It’s a bit bitter but mixed into a smoothie or chocolate chip cookie, it’s barely noticeable.
I know this was a lot, but I hope it helps you be a bit more proactive in helping your milk supply.
At least there are plenty of things you can do to increase it.
Lastly, I want to share with you a Lactation Smoothie that you can have for breakfast or snack.
Smoothies like this are great because you can add protein powder which will help reduce the hunger hormone, curb cravings and help speed metabolism.
And you can also add tons of galactagogue ingredients to also help you increase milk supply.
It’s a win win!Print
- 1 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 banana
- 3/4 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 tablespoon chia or flax seeds
- 1/4 cup oats
- 2 scoops vanilla mPower Protein for Breastfeeding Moms
- 1 cup unsweetened dairy free milk of choice
- 1 tbsp Brewer’s Yeast
- ice (to desired consistency)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Add ice until you reach desired consistency
If you like the idea of aiding your weight loss and increasing milk supply with a smoothie, here is a delicious smoothie I like to call the mama pick me up : The Yummiest Coffee Lactation Smoothie
And here’s a blog with tons more lactation smoothies you can try and enjoy.
All with ingredients that promote milk supply and support weight loss while giving the baby tons of great nutrients. Click here: Milk Lactation Smoothies For Breastfeeding Moms
If you want more information on how to improve your nutrition check out this video for more pregnancy nutrition tips.