57 Amazing Lactogenic Foods to Increase Milk Supply
Throughout history women have consumed specific foods to support their milk production and naturally boost their breast milk output and quality.
Lactogenic foods (also known as galactogogues) are foods, spices and herbs that contain specific nutrients that support lactation.
The word LACTOGENIC comes from the latin word ‘LAC’ which means “milk,” and ‘GENIC’ which means “producing.”
So lactogenic foods are foods that help produce milk!
It’s important to know that everybody is different - and while some foods will influence the milk supply for some women, it may not for others.
…and GOOD NEWS!
All of the following are healthy and nutritious on their own, so it won’t hurt to try them out and see what works for you!
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Disclaimer: The absolute non-negotiable to maintaining and increasing milk supply is removing plenty of milk… and often. Galactagogues will not work without adequate and frequent milk removal.
Lactogenic Food List
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Contains minerals, vitamins, enzymes and phytoestrogens. Green leafy veggies are a powerhouse of iron and calcium and are natural diuretics, which helps the body retain less water and boosts milk output. They’re also considered “blood builders,” and since breast milk is made from your blood supply it’s no wonder that consuming green leafy vegetables is beneficial for milk production.
Contain a high amount of polysaccharides, specifically beta glucan, which encourages prolactin secretion (the hormone responsible for milk production). Barley is the richest dietary source of beta glucan while oats contain the 2nd highest levels.
Contain Omega 3 fatty acids which transfers to breast milk after consumption and helps baby’s brain development.
Nuts & Seeds
Contain protein, calcium, healthy fats, and tryptophan, which stimulates the release of prolactin. They also improve the quality of breast milk by increasing the healthy fat in your milk
Orange root vegetables
Contain beta-carotene which is needed in extra amounts during lactation
Rich in calcium, fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium and tryptophan. Plus, they travel well and are perfect for snacking.
Oils and fats
The kinds of fats a mother consumes will influence the composition of fats in her breast milk. It’s important for women to choose healthy fats.
Cold-pressed olive oil
Flax seed oil
LACTOGENIC FOOD ALL-STARS!
Many mothers have noted significant boosts to their milk supply after consuming brewers yeast. It contains chromium, vitamin b complex, proteins and phytoestrogen. Also, as a bonus it may help get rid of your postpartum baby blues.
Contains enzymes, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamins C, A, B, and E. Green papaya is a popular lactogenic food across Asia and is the unripe papaya fruit. It needs to be simmered until soft before consumed.
Asparagus is of the best plant-based sources of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that stimulates prolactin release.
Although it’s available in seed form, fennel is best eaten as a whole food, either raw or cooked. Contains phytoestrogens and tryptophan.
Consuming ginger is helpful for the letdown and milk flow. You can also have ginger ale!
Contain a triage of galactagogues - oats, brewers yeast, and flax seed.
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Lactogenic herbs & spices
Disclosure: Herbs and spices are powerful galactagogues. Keep an eye on your supply and adjust usage as necessary. Also, before taking any supplement versions of milk boosting foods herbs, or spices, talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant.
Foods, spices and herbs that can decrease milk supply.
Use sparingly or not at all…