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A Diet That Produces More Milk for Breastfeeding

author image Eliza Martinez
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.
A Diet That Produces More Milk for Breastfeeding
Some herbs are thought to increase breast milk supply.

Many new mothers worry that they are not producing enough breast milk for their baby's growth. Monitoring an infant's weight gain will tell you whether your baby is eating enough, but always check with her doctor if you are concerned. Most doctors recommend pumping or feeding more often to increase your milk supply, but some dietary changes can help as well.

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Drink enough fluids.
Drink enough fluids.

Breastfeeding makes many women extra thirsty, so drinking lots of fluids is important to prevent dehydration. Fluid intake is also correlated with breast milk production. Increasing your beverage intake could help you make more milk for your baby. Choose water, juice or milk over soda, coffee or cocktails. Caffeine and alcohol pass through breast milk and could cause sleep and mood problems for your baby. Keep a glass of liquid near you as you breastfeed and be sure to drink up at regular intervals throughout the day.

Fruits and Vegetables

Dark, leafy veggies will help support healthy breast milk supply.
Dark, leafy veggies will help support healthy breast milk supply.

Care for your body by eating healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables, which will help you produce more breast milk. In addition, a nutritious diet will create higher-quality milk for your baby. Certain vegetables have lactogenic properties, meaning they can increase the amount of breast milk you produce. Carrots, beets and yams increase your beta-carotene intake, which is necessary during lactation, and the minerals, vitamins and enzymes in dark, leafy green vegetables support healthy breast milk supply. In some countries, green papaya is used to stimulate milk supply.

Oatmeal and Yeast

Oatmeal has been shown to increase milk supply.
Oatmeal has been shown to increase milk supply.

Both oatmeal and yeast have been shown to increase a mother's milk supply. Adding oatmeal to your breastfeeding diet meal plan could result in more breast milk production. In some countries, women eat oats as soon as their baby is born to jump-start milk supply. Yeast is another food that contains nutrients that contribute to breast milk production, including protein, B vitamins and phytoestrogen. Begin adding a small amount to your meal plan and increasing the dosage, which will offer milk supply benefits without making you gassy. Yeast is available in tablets, but baking your own bread is another good way to incorporate it into your diet while breastfeeding.


Fennel increases breast milk production in some women.
Fennel increases breast milk production in some women.

Many herbs are known to boost milk supply. However, minimal research has been done on whether herbs are truly able to increase breast milk flow, and you should always talk to your doctor before using any kind of herb because some can be harmful to you or your baby. Fennel is one herb that many women report increases their breast milk supply; fenugreek is another. Take either in capsule or seed form. Milk thistle, motherwort, red raspberry and chamomile are other herbs that have been reported to have a positive impact on breast milk supply and can be used in tea or taken in capsule form.

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