Foods To Increase Breast Milk Supply That Are Vegan
I was very fortunate that I had very few problems with breastfeeding. In fact, by the time my baby was 7 months old I had donated over 1,000 ounces to other babies in need.
By the time he was 11 months old, I no longer had an oversupply but made enough for him alone. I don’t say this to brag, far from it.
I say this in the hopes to help other moms out who are having trouble increasing their breastmilk. I believe that part of the reason my breastmilk supply was plentiful was due to my diet.
Below I list several vegan foods to increase breastmilk supply. All of them are considered galactagogues which is a substance that increases milk supply.
*Please note that I’m not a medical doctor and am only sharing my experiences. You should consult your own doctor for approval.
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Best Vegan Foods To Increase Milk Supply Fast
There is currently not a clear reason why eating oatmeal increases milk supply in some women and not others.
Whether it’s due to its high iron content or its cholesterol-lowering abilities, it is effective and delicious.
For a daily milk boost, I try to eat one bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Instant oats, rolled, steel cut – it didn’t seem to matter what kind.
Variety is key when it comes to food so you don’t get tired of it and give up. For some ideas, here is a list of ways to sweeten your oatmeal without sugar.
One trick to sneak in TONS of oats is to make banana bread that uses oats instead of traditional flour. This freezes wonderfully as well.
Overnight oats are a cool refrigerated option for the hot summer. If breakfast smoothies are more your thing, add the oats to the smoothie and blend them right in.
A major benefit of oats is that they are far less expensive than many lactation supplements.
Whether you prefer coconut meat, coconut milk, coconut water, or coconut oil, they all seem to have a benefit.
Too much saturated fat is associated with raising bad LDL cholesterol that causes heart disease.
What makes coconut oil different than the saturated fats in butter and lard is that over ½ of it is medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs) are in the form of lauric acid.
This may account for the boost in good HDL cholesterol that occurs after eating coconuts.
Lauric acid is associated with boosting immunity and fighting viruses and bacteria. Coconuts also contain antioxidants and essential fatty acids.
These are all components of breast milk.
Coconut oil is the most concentrated coconut fat and should be used sparingly out of this list of foods. I use it for cooking.
Coconut milk is great at thickening soups or in smoothies. Coconut water is a refreshing electrolyte drink that’s not full of added sugar and dyes.
Coconut meat is good in smoothies, baking, or a snack.
3) Moringa Leaf Powder
Moringa Oleifera is a tree native to India. Each part of the tree has different uses in traditional herbal medicine.
The leaves, in particular, have extremely high nutrient values. They are usually dried and ground into a powder.
A study in The Philippine Journal of Pediatrics showed moringa powder increasing breast milk output by day 4 of ingestion. That’s really fast!
While their sample size was small, the hypothesis is that the moringa increases prolactin production which creates its lactogenic effects.
This is the exact brand that I use and love.
I add a heaping tablespoon of moringa leaf powder to my daily green smoothie. It has a “green” taste but is easily masked with an over-ripe banana blended in.
How To Sustain Increased Milk Supply Naturally?
Eating galactagogues alone will not create a sustained milk supply increase.
Pairing these with other natural ways with help increase your milk supply over a longer timeframe.
Here are a few things you can do to increase your milk supply fast naturally:
These suggestions get your baby or your breast pump to stimulate more milk production.
Increased nursing and pumping tells your body to produce more milk, like when your baby goes through a growth spurt.
Ensuring proper latch from your baby with a lactation consultant makes sure your baby is eating effectively and able to get all of the milk out.
If your baby is eating ineffectively and leaving lots of milk, that is telling your body to make less milk so its important to make sure that isn’t happening.
My pediatrician’s office had a lactation consultant come in once a week for appointments that were covered by my health insurance. I was able to go a few times to get better latching and nursing holds.
If you’re having trouble with milk supply, this is an option that may be available at your child’s pediatrician.
My Vegan Breastfeeding Diet
I consider the foods listed above as being breast milk boosters. I use them temporarily in order to get an increase in breast milk supply.
Once my breastmilk increases in production, I taper down those foods to a maintenance amount.
Here is the diet I eat in order to have optimum nutrition and health while breastfeeding.
What To Eat While Vegan Breastfeeding
Breastmilk is made up of the nutrients that you eat. If your diet is crummy, your milk may be lacking in nutrient density.
More likely, YOU may be lacking in nutrients since your body is putting them all into the breastmilk for your baby, leaving you with whatever is leftover.
In order to sustain a healthy breast milk supply while on a vegan diet, I made sure to eat plenty of the following:
Drinking lots of water is one of the easiest things to do to increase your milk supply. Many people go about their days not realizing they’re dehydrated.
Breastmilk is mainly made up of water so it makes sense that if you’re low on water, your milk supply will go down.
In order to stay hydrated, I carry around a 40 oz water bottle wherever I go.
I make a point to drink one bottle from the time I wake up to before lunch, a second bottle between lunch and dinner, and close to half a bottle in the evening.
By the recommendation of my doctor, I continue to take a daily prenatal multivitamin, B12 spray, Vitamin D3 with K2 drops, and prenatal DHA while I’m breastfeeding.
When my breastfeeding journey ends, I’ll switch over to a regular multivitamin but still take weekly B12 and the Vitamin D3 with K2 daily in the winter.
All of the vitamins & supplements I use can be found listed here.
Ask your doctor about these vitamins and supplements before starting them for yourself.
3. Dark Leafy Greens
I try to eat at least one meal a day containing dark leafy greens. This can be spinach, Swiss chard, kale, or collard greens.
The reason greens are such an important part of a breastfeeding mom’s diet is the sheer amount of nutrients they contain. Greens are high in iron, vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, folic acid, fiber, and antioxidants.
All of this goodness gets passed into your baby through your milk.
In my household, avocados are practically a food group. Thankfully we live in the south so avocados are plentiful without exorbitant pricing.
Avocados are an extremely healthy fat-filled superfood. High in vitamin K, potassium, and fiber, avocados can help lower cholesterol.
Eating healthy fats with your meals helps in nutrient absorption. I probably eat equivalent to half an avocado a day paired with salads and other vegetables where it may assist in nutrient uptake.
5. Nuts and Seeds
Seeds and nuts are antioxidant powerhouses. They are concentrated energy sources for plants that growing sprouts would live off of in the beginning.
A handful of nuts and seeds are all I have in a day. My favorites are pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and almonds.
6. Legumes and Beans
While listed last on the list, legumes are some of my most favorite foods. Beans are a staple of any vegan’s diet, with good reason.
Lentils, chickpeas, black beans, peas, and tempeh make up the majority of the protein I eat. With so many options and varieties, it’s tough to get tired of them.
Aside from protein, legumes and beans contain many vitamins and fiber that digests slowly to keep you full longer.
Vegan Breastfeeding Overview
I focus on using a vegan diet to naturally increase my milk supply instead of complex supplements. A vegan diet while breastfeeding done right is a great way to get lots of nutrients and antioxidants into your breastmilk.
I hope my list of vegan foods to increase breastmilk was helpful. If you have any other suggestions for foods that increased your milk supply, let me know in the comments.
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