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Herbs and Foods To Support Lactation

Updated: Jul 22, 2023



Hello breastfeeding and future breastfeeding baes! In this blog you will find a quick list of foods that support lactation and herbs that can increase milk supply. And then some :-)


A few notes from your Doula:


1) REMEMBER! If you are producing milk and baby is putting back on weight after the first week, there is no need to try and "boost" your supply. Your milk takes 3-5 days to come in, before that, colostrum is all your baby needs. PERIOD. Most babies typically lose weight in the first week of life - their bodies have to adjust to this new way of eating. Don't panic, it's not you! It's them.


2) Trust that your body will make the right amount for you baby. And in the first week, that isn't much! You will NOT fill up that 4 oz bottle, because your baby's belly is very little. They feed every two hours for a reason! They only need frequent feedings of very small amounts in those first few days, any more than that can stretch out their tiny bellies before they are ready. Also, comfort sucking is a real thing. They don't just come for the food, they want the feeling of love and safety that comes with nursing - even if nothing is coming out. If they are still fussy you've fed them, it's not cause they are hungry. They just want you!


As you can see below - you don't need that much!



3) It's not so much the amount you make, but the amount of healthy fats in your milk that count. It is important that you let the baby weight live with you the first few months and embrace that postpartum body. You need that weight to support your body's production of nice, fatty breast milk for your growing baby. So eat well and stay thick ma!


3) Keep in mind you will naturally experience dips in your milk supply (growth spurts, stress, when your period returns, etc). That is when you need to add lactation supplements. If you are constantly using lactation supplements, you will never get a true gauge on how much milk your body can make on its own. And then, when you really need them to work - they won't! Save the lactation supplements for dips. Eat the foods to maintain your milk supply.


4) I recommended that you keep a food journal the first 3 weeks after birth. That way you can track what foods/herbs/drinks effects you and baby!


Foods to support milk supply:


  • WATER!!! - ok so not a food but it's important. But don't overdue it! Too much water can decreased your milk supply

  • Fennel

  • Avocado

  • Oatmeal

  • Beans

  • Quinoa

  • Leafy greens

  • Salmon

  • Apricot

  • Hummus (Chickpeas)

  • Papaya

  • Almonds

  • Apples

  • Beet root

  • Sweet potato

  • Mushrooms


If you are having a dip, you can try these herbs to increase milk supply:


ALWAYS IN MODERATION!

  • Fennel seed

  • Chamomile

  • Dandelion

  • Cardamom

  • Fenugreek - can also decrease milk supply so pay attention

  • Irish Moss (Sea Moss)

  • Blessed Thistle

  • Lemon grass

  • Marshmallow Root

  • Stinging Nettle

  • Red Raspberry Leaf

  • Chaste Berry

  • Goats Rue

  • Red Clover

  • Moringa Leaf

  • Black Seed

  • Alfalfa

  • Shativari

Avoid: Peppermint, Jasmine, Sage, Parsley, Fenugreek (sometimes)

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