Many women struggle with low milk supply. There are a whole host of herbs and supplements that are available to help women who are struggling with this, however, it can be hard to navigate the world of herbs and even more difficult to find the right ones you are looking for. Thankfully, there are a couple foods that you can incorporate into your diet that reportedly help to increase milk supply.
Note: It is always recommended that you consult a IBCLC if you suspect breastfeeding problems. I am not an IBCLC or any sort of medical professional.
Eating a bowl of oatmeal is a frequent recommendation for women struggling with low milk supply. While there is no scientific evidence of this being true, there is enough anecdotal evidence for me to be convinced. Why might oatmeal work to increase milk supply? Oatmeal is a great source of iron. It is well known that low iron levels can lead to a decrease in mil supply, so it would make sense that something high in iron would increase milk supply in many women. Oatmeal is associated with lowering cholesterol. A couple of herbs that are often touted for increasing milk supply (fenugreek and alfalfa) are also associated with decreasing cholesterol levels. Oatmeal contains oat bran, which is associated with lower cholesterol levels.
Ever heard someone tell a nursing mom to drink a beer to help her supply? Brewer’s yeast is the reason why. The nutritional makeup of brewer’s yeast can prove beneficial to a nursing mom even if it doesn’t increase her milk supply. Brewer’s yeast contains chromium, which works to stabilize blood sugar levels. B-complex vitamins in brewer’s yeast, including thiamin, niacin and riboflavin, break down carbohydrates to give the body energy and support the nervous system. Brewer’s yeast is available is powder, flake or capsule form. I found it at a local specialty beer shop. And yes, I got some interesting looks walking in there with my two little ones!
There are several recipes floating around the web for lactation cookies, however, I wanted something that I could eat in the morning and that my husband would not be as likely to want to eat as well. Enter the lactation muffin. While I am not a IBCLC or any sort of medical professional, I can vouch that after consistently eating these muffins I was dripping milk each time my baby was ready to eat.
Yield: 30 muffins
- 2 eggs
- 1 banana
- 2 cups coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 cups old Fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 1/4 cup brewers yeast
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 3/4 cups milk (I used coconut, but you can use dairy if you can tolerate it)
- 1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350. Using a potato masher, mash the banana in the bottom of a very large mixing bowl. Add the egg and whisk well. Add vanilla, coconut oil and honey to the bowl and stir until well combined. Stir in oats, salt, baking powder, flax, brewers yeast and cinnamon. Fold in raisins. Line muffin tins with muffin papers and fill each cup to the top with batter. These do not rise much at all, so don’t worry about them overflowing in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and enjoy!