We all want what’s best for our little one, but we also shouldn’t forget to take care of ourselves. We should eat nutritious food and supplement this with fluids to increase our milk flow.
Basically, mothers need to eat regularly and get enough calories to support milk supply. There’s not much restriction on what you can eat, but its best to make sure that you eat healthy food.
I recommend that you eat meals that include protein, greens, grains, and vegetables.
Breastfeeding mothers should also be drinking enough, otherwise you will feel dehydrated. Your body is working hard to produce milk, and you may suffer from constipation, haemorrhoids, and even nasty anal fissures when you don’t drink enough (I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want that!). It helps to stay hydrated by taking in more fluids.
You can use your urine as a guide. If its pale, then keep up what you are doing. If its dark yellow or if there’s a strong smell, chances are you may be dehydrated.
I can’t stress enough that you should be drinking enough water. No need to drown yourself in water though. While you’re feeding, your body releases the hormone oxytocin, and it is responsible in making you thirsty. Hence, it is a great idea to have a water bottle or glass of water beside you.
If you get tired of plain water, be careful of juice or sugary drinks. Instead of losing the pregnancy weight, you might gain more. Too much caffeine is also not recommended since it can interfere with your baby’s sleep or agitate them. I sure you will agree that sleep is very, very important. So just keep it to 2-3 cups max, nothing more than that.
You can try nursing teas that contain a combination of different herbs like fenugreek, blessed thistle, milk thistle, and fennel. It will help you with your digestion and keep up with milk (how good is that, right?).
This is one of the more common drinks mothers run to when increasing milk supply is a challenge. It’s so easy to prepare and generally considered safe.
You can easily purchase nursing teas at the grocery or online. Each brand will have it own combination of herbs designed to promote relaxation and a healthy supply of breast milk.
Green drinks can be very helpful as it increases the fat content of breast milk. This includes barley-grass, alfalfa leaf, spirulina, chlorophyll, kelp, oat-straw and other herbs with lactogenic and medicinal properties.
Barley can also be mixed with water. It is used medicinally to treat colds, intestinal problems (both constipation and diarrhea), and liver disorders. Make a pot in the morning and drink it throughout the day, warming each cup and sweetening it with a natural sweetener as desired. Take it for a week or two.
Moms out there swear by coconut milk as it has helped increase milk production. I love coconut milk because its such a great alternative to water, and it is jam-packed with nutrients.
Do you know that the lauric acid found in coconut milk is the same as human breast milk?
Coconut milk can also increase metabolism and aid in weight loss.
It can also help in achieving clear complexion. It can clear up and tone the skin. Notice that there are so many coconut based products in the market.
Almonds are wonderful in increasing your milk supply. It contains calcium and its a great snack.
Almond milk is an alternative to cow’s milk and it is low in both fats and calories. A cup of plain almond milk only contains 30 calories!
It also does not contain cholesterol or harmful saturated fats. It offer so much protein goodness, and it is rich in vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin A, and calcium.
The considerable amount of omega-3 fatty acids in almonds can enhance your breast milk production.
Almond milk can also boost your immune system, protect your bones, prevent aging, protect against macular degeneration, and give you a radiant, glowing skin. What’s not to love about almond milk?
Tip: You can mix almond milk and coconut water (50:50) with a little raw cacao for a yummy drink.
Okay, this is not exactly a drink but I’m including it here as it is a good source of fluids while you are breastfeeding. I have always heard time and again that when you are breastfeeding, you should always eat soup. A nutritious protein-rich soup with fresh ingredients can provide essential vitamins, minerals and folate in the breast milk.
Now that we’ve covered lactation beverages, watch out when we talk about what lactation foods will be best for nursing moms. Cheers!
If you have any questions or would like to share what makes breastfeeding a good experience for you or anything you have tried that works, please leave a comment. I would love to hear all about it!
Great article! When I was breastfeeding, I could always tell when I wasn’t drinking enough water because my milk supply would go down. Who knew about coconut water and almond milk? I wish I would have known, I really could have used these to increase my milk supply. I tried fenugreek but it didn’t seem to really have any effect for me.
Thanks Teresa! It’s really good that there are different lactogenic food and drinks that we can try, and see what works best for us. Love coconut water and almond milk! It’s always best to keep hydrated, even with plain old water. Cheers!
This is so true – that drinking enough yourself is important if you want to be successful at nursing!! I totally learned that first hand.
Those first crazy weeks with a newborn are difficult. I remember being so sleep deprived that I had to basically set out water/healthy juice at each spot where I’d nurse, and then make myself drink the whole glass/bottle while nursing. That way, I’d drink a substantial amount every 3-4 hours.
I like your suggestions of different healthy drinks. Personally, the nursing teas weren’t great for me. Fenugreek and blessed thistle both gave me and my little one gas like crazy. Poor little guy… as soon as I cut that out, his stomach calmed down, and so did mine. It took me a while to figure out what was the problem, so perhaps if there are any new moms out there with babies with gas issues, try cutting out the herbs to see if that’s what it was for you too.
Thanks for sharing, Marlaine! Having a drink beside you really helps to keep you hydrated. After all, it will be more difficult to reach for a drink once your baby is latched on (which might even take a while especially when you have a newborn)! As for the drinks, it’s finding out what works well for you. All the best!
This is very useful information. Thank you. I always drink a lot of water. And I drink even more now since I’ve been breastfeeding for 18 months. I used Mother’s milk tea thoughout the first year to boost my supply when needed. I also enjoyed coconut water to get a break from regular water and avoid juices and soda. I had no idea about the green drinks. I’ll keep that in mind with my next baby.
Thanks Casey! It’s wonderful that you’re keeping yourself hydrated. I think it’s so important. Mother’s milk tea does help to increase milk supply. The green drinks are good in increasing the fat content of your breast milk. You might also want to try moringa next time. All the best!
Hello Raquel, I love your site and I absolutely agree with these beverages that it can help boost milk supply among breastfeeding mothers. I just have to add drinking skimmed milk can also boost milk supply. Since we gave birth, we lose some part of our bone structure literally, so, drinking milk will help boost milk supply and at the same time replenish our calcium body storage.
Thanks Jezza! Milk is indeed a great source of calcium and it helps to keep us hydrated. We don’t necessarily need to drink milk though to produce milk. What I would suggest as an alternative is almond milk. It is low in fats and calories, plus it has omega-3 fatty acids to help boost your milk supply.
Great post for new mothers! I wish someone gave me some of these ideas when I had my first baby and was trying to nurse her.
To jazz up plain water, I use an infuser water bottle. You can buy them really cheap now, and I put frozen fruit in the center and wait for it to thaw out before I drink. It flavors the water slightly, and sometimes I will add a little natural sweetener for even more flavor.
You can also make flavored and sweetened green tea in the Keurig machine if you’re in a rush. I like it iced as well as hot.
Thanks Theresa! Lots of folks drink infused water nowadays, and its great because its healthy and you won’t be dehydrated. Green tea is good as long as it is in moderation. Drinking it iced is a wonderful solution for hot days.
I did have a question for you:
Have you ever heard of eating pickles since they have a lot of sodium in them which does help the stay water inside of you. I remember when I ran track we alway ate pickles because they helped keep us hydrated.
You’re right, they’re good for hydration and digestion. They even have more electrolytes than Gatorade. They are also good for lactating mothers, but personally, I don’t like the taste of pickles. 🙂
Interesting read here about nutrition. The principles are applied to nursing mothers, which is vital, but they can be applied equally to other situations.
It is possible that many of our physical and mental health issues are linked to what we are eating.
Will you do a blog in the future about post-partum syndrome? Many nursing mothers struggle emotionally, so it would be fascinating to read your thoughts on how to help them cope.
Thanks Duncan. Yes, I think while taking care of our babies tend to be our priority, it is still important for mothers to eat properly. Nothing beats eating right, after all breastfeeding does take a lot from you. 🙂 I do believe that you are what you eat.
You are right in the struggles during breastfeeding. Although there may be several points to consider, my primary focus for now will be on how to increase breast milk supply. Cheers! 🙂
I totally agree with you that you need to drink up in order to boost milk supply. I strongly believe in breastfeeding and it’s great that you promote this.
Can you recommend any nursing tea you have personally tried that helps boost milk supply? Perhaps you can recommend something from Amazon or iHerb or other affiliate sites you know?
As for the other drinks, you can do some product recommendation as well and put relevant product images links so that your viewers can buy. Such as where to buy – barley grass, alfalfa leaf, spirulina, chlorophyll, kelp, and oat-straw. Can I find these in dry versions (because finding fresh produce will be difficult)?
Would you consider providing recipes for the drinks/ soup you mentioned? Something easy to prepare for nursing mothers.
Hope this helps!
Hi Ismelin. Its good to promote breastfeeding so that hopefully more moms would give it a go. It takes commitment, but the rewards are immense. Thanks for the suggestions! That’s the plan… 🙂 Watch out for product reviews, recommendations, and recipes in the future. 🙂
Your post makes perfect sense aand goes into a lot of detail on what types of liquids are good for us, breastfeeding or not.
I remember nine years ago when I was breastfeeding I took something that contained berries which I used to dilute with water. I wonder if they still sell that as it worked like a bomb. I just can’t remember the name.
Thanks Michel! Yeah, you’re right. Those drinks are good even for those who aren’t breastfeeding. 🙂 In case you remember the berry drink, do drop a note to let us know. Will be great to add that to our list. Might work wonders for others too. 🙂
This is one of the best blog because you have giving powerful and correct information. Moms should come to your blog, your blog really give good information about drinks that would help our health. Indeed water is the best drink ever for weight lose, clearing skin and it has tons of benefits. Nursing drinks, green tea is also very helpful.
Thank you Adeel! You got it right, sometimes there’s too much focus on what we can eat and what to avoid. Thought it would be great to focus on lactation beverages too. Let me know if you have anything else to add. 🙂