Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural way to nourish your newborn, but many mothers worry about their milk supply. One effective way a certified lactation consultant encourages new moms to boost milk production is through their diet by incorporating lactogenic foods. These foods contain nutrients and compounds that can help stimulate and increase milk supply. In this blog, we’ll explore what lactogenic foods are, how they work, and provide a list of 20 foods along with a delicious breastfeeding cookie recipe to help you naturally enhance your milk production.

What Are Lactogenic Foods?

Lactogenic foods, also known as galactagogues, are foods that help to increase milk supply and promote breast milk production. They work by providing essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that support the hormonal processes involved in lactation. Some of these foods also contain phytoestrogens, which can mimic the hormone estrogen and stimulate milk production.

How Do Lactogenic Foods Work?

Lactogenic foods support milk production through various mechanisms. Some foods work better than others for different people. All of the galactagogues listed are wholesome and nutritious on their own, so it won’t hurt to try them and see what works best for you!

  • Nutrient Supply: They provide essential vitamins and minerals that are crucial for milk production.
  • Hormonal Balance: Some foods contain phytoestrogens that can help regulate and enhance hormonal activity related to lactation.
  • Digestive Health: Foods rich in fiber can improve digestion and nutrient absorption, indirectly supporting milk production.

Top 20 Lactogenic Foods & How to Include Them in Your Diet

  1. Oats: Enjoy a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast or add oats to smoothies, cookies, and muffins.
  2. Barley: Add barley to soups, stews, and salads for a hearty and nutritious boost.
  3. Fenugreek: Use fenugreek seeds or supplements, or drink fenugreek tea.
  4. Fennel: Add fennel seeds to your cooking or drink fennel tea.
  5. Spinach: Add fresh spinach to salads, smoothies, and omelets.
  6. Carrots: Snack on raw carrots or add them to soups, stews, and salads.
  7. Garlic: Incorporate fresh garlic into your cooking for added flavor and lactogenic benefits.
  8. Almonds: Snack on raw almonds or add them to yogurt, salads, and baked goods.
  9. Sesame Seeds: Sprinkle sesame seeds on a salad, stir fry, or add them to homemade granola.
  10. Ginger: Use fresh ginger in teas, smoothies, and stir fries.
  11. Chickpeas: Make hummus or add chickpeas to salads and soups.
  12. Brown Rice: Serve brown rice as a side dish or add it to soups and casseroles.
  13. Sweet Potatoes: Roast sweet potatoes or make air fryer sweet potato chips.
  14. Basil:  Add fresh basil to salads, pasta dishes, and sandwiches.
  15. Dill:  Use fresh dill in salads, soups, and dressings.
  16. Apricots: Snack on dried apricots or add fresh apricots to salads and desserts.
  17. Pumpkin Seeds: Snack on raw pumpkin seeds or add them to salads and baked goods.
  18. Beets: Add beets to salads, smoothies, and roasted vegetable dishes.
  19. Flaxseed: Add ground flaxseed to smoothies, oatmeal, and baked goods.
  20. Papaya: Enjoy fresh papaya as a snack or add it to fruit salads and smoothies.

Lactation Cookie Recipe

These delicious and nutritious cookies can be a wonderful addition to your daily routine and assist with your caloric intake, which is crucial during breastfeeding. However, please note that lactogenic ingredients are only effective when combined with regular nursing or pumping.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup brewers yeast
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, whole wheat flour, ground flaxseed, and brewers yeast.
  3. In another bowl, mix the melted coconut oil, honey, egg, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well mixed. If desired, fold in dark chocolate chips and chopped nuts.
  5. Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, forming small cookies.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
  7. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack before enjoying.

Increase Your Milk Supply & More Lactation Services

By incorporating these lactogenic foods into your diet, you can support your body’s natural ability to produce milk and ensure your baby is getting the best nutrition possible. Happy breastfeeding! Reach out to Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny if you need additional support with low milk supply or an oversupply. Our certified lactation consultants are here to guide you on many topics from latching, pumping, to feeding twins, and more.

About The Author

Carole K. Arsenault is the founder and CEO of Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny. She has years of experience working with newborns as a lactation consultant, sleep coach, and of course an RN specializing in Obstetrics and Maternal Health. In addition, she is the award winning author of Newborn 101. She has three grown children and loves to share mindfulness tips to friends and parents.