Congratulations on your new little bundle of joy. By now you have likely experienced some of the highest highs, and some challenging lows. After having a baby, your hormones drop dramatically leaving you feel emotional, tired, and incredibly fatigued. That combined with sleep deprivation can make for a very challenging situation. Remember that while you don’t have control over everything, you do have control over what nutrients you are putting into your body, and in turn, your babies body.
While breastfeeding works on a simple supply and demand principle, occasionally you may need some extra help with milk supply. Some common foods may help to gently boost your supply if your baby hits a growth spurt, if you’re pumping at work, or if your baby is unable to breastfeed.
Top 5 supplements to add in for immediate energy and nutrients:
B vitamins (Max B by Premier Research Labs)
Greens (Vitamineral Green x 1 tsp daily, or 3 caps greens by Premier Research Labs)
Desiccated Beef Liver (Radiant Life)
MTC oil (1 T daily in smoothie or tea/coffee)
Fermented Cod Liver/Butter Oil x 3 daily (Green Pastures)
Magnesium Glycinate x 2 daily (Premier Research Labs)
*note: Magnesium Oil is a great alternative. Put 2 oz into a foot soak or a bath and soak for 20 minutes 3 times a week. Option to add ½ cup epsom salts and essential oils to relax.
Foods to reduce:
If baby is having trouble digesting your milk (spitting up, colic, tummy troubles) these are the top 6 things to avoid.
Note: If you are craving coffee, try an herbal coffee such as Teeccino. If you do have to have coffee, try bullet proof coffee, and add in 1 tsp grass fed butter, and 1 tsp coconut oil to support adrenal glands.
Foods to Boost and Support Lactation:
Water: This one goes without saying, but you will have to stay hydrated to survive this phase. I suggest 8 glasses minimum, but 10 or 12 is best. Also, be sure you are drinking clean spring water, or filtered water with added minerals. I like Trace Mineral Research Essential Trace Minerals.
Oatmeal: Organic, Gluten-free rolled oats are my favorite. This is my superfood supercharged oatmeal recipe.
Super Charged Breakfast Oats
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup water
¼ tsp sea salt
(Boil water and salt. Add oats and cook on stove top 15-20 minutes)
1 T hemp seeds
1 T raw honey or maple syrup
1 T chia seeds
1 T MTC oil, coconut oil, or grass-fed butter
1 handful slivered almonds or nuts of your choice
Garlic: This has been used by nursing mothers for centuries to help boost their milk. Garlic is a natural anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial. It’s great to keep your (and babies) immune system strong while nursing. If you don’t like garlic, you can supplement with garlic pills from your health food store.
Carrots: These are high in beta-carotene, which just happens to be in extra demand when you’re lactating. These will give you energy, and will boost your potassium, too.
Beets: These are a natural blood purifier very high in minerals, calcium and iron to support breastfeeding and encourage milk production.
Try this super delicious organic fresh pressed juice to get your carrots and beets in. Make sure all ingredients are organic.
NourishMint’s Mama’s Juice
1 lb carrots
1” piece ginger
2 apples (green is best)
1 cucumber (optional)
Fennel: This is a great galactagogue to add in while breast feeding. It naturally aids in digestion, so it will help support both you and baby in this delicate process. It’s also full of healthy phytoestrogens which can help you get those hormones back in balance.
Ginger: You might already be in the habit of buying this after using it for morning sickness. Ginger is incredible to boost your hydrochloric acid, which is key for optimal digestion. It’s also a great supportive milk boosting food. Try making a fennel ginger tea: Steep ¼ tsp fennel seeds for about 2 minutes. Add in a few pieces of peeled and sliced ginger. Add a little lemon and honey for good measure and enjoy!
Sesame Seeds and Calcium: Sesame seeds are the food highest in calcium on the planet! Who knew? This will definitely help your milk supply, and keep you nourished during a very taxing stage. Try making hummus with tahini (ground sesame seeds) or sprinkling them on meat, or salads. YUM!
Gelatin-Rich Bone Broths
Bone broth has been a staple of many cuisines throughout history for centuries. Gelatin, which broth is also rich in, is a very important and easily digested protein which improves tissues all over the body. Gelatin has been demonstrated to support digestion and soothe the intestinal mucosa. It is also known to be great for hair and nails, supportive to the endocrine system and naturally great for detoxification. It’s awesome for pregnancy because of the rich protein and healthy fat content. Consume a small cup with every meal. For more info about gelatin, check out my blog here.
Nuts: As a nursing mama, getting plenty of healthy fats is vital. Great choices include walnuts, almonds, or macadamia nuts. Or, try combining a handful of cashews with a banana. That is know as natures prozac! Get raw nuts when possible. And to support digestion even more, soak them for 30 minutes or so. That will cut the fat in half, and increase the protein by about 2/3.
Gluten-free Lactation Cookies:
1/4 cup grass fed butter
1/4 cup raw organic honey
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 egg (happy)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
1 1/4 cup almond meal
1 cup gluten free oatmeal (I like Bob’s Red Mill GF quick oats)
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
3 Tbsp. gluten free, beet-derived brewer’s yeast
3 Tbsp. flax seed, ground
1/4 cup prunes, chopped
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs