Updated April 14th 2023
If you’re feeling like your milk supply needs a boost, the most effective way to increase milk production is to effectively remove more milk. This is because milk production works on supply and demand; the more often milk is removed, the more milk is made.
Removing milk could be by your baby at a feeding or by a pump or by hand expression. What’s most important to consider is that the milk removal is effective. If milk is removed ineffectively, milk will be left behind in the breast.
What does ineffective milk removal mean?
This would be anytime milk isn’t removed well from the breast. It could be because your baby is having troubles with nursing or your pump flange is the wrong size. Either of these would affect how much milk is being removed which would then affect how much your body is making.
When milk is left behind, the body adapts and slows down milk production. When your baby is effectively removing milk because they have a good latch and you’re still concerned about your supply, you may start considering galactagogues with the support of an IBCLC.
What’s a galactagogue?
There are foods and supplements (and medications) that can increase milk supply. These are called galactagogues. While there’s many products out there claiming to boost milk supply, it’s important to know galactagogues are not a “quick-fix”. Galactagogues will not stimulate a let down nor will they help empty the breasts. They need to be combined with an effective latch (or flange fit) and frequent milk removal.
Ultimately any use of a “milk boosting” supplement should be discussed with and used under the direction of a lactation consultant or a herbalist. This is because some can interact with medications and be contraindicated depending on your medical history. For this reason, I chose to make this smoothie with milk boosting foods instead of herbal supplements.
This smoothie is made with milk boosting foods including moringa and flax seed. It’s also balanced nutritionally. This smoothie won’t send your blood sugar spiking because it contains protein, fat and fibre. This will satiate your breastfeeding appetite and prevent you from getting hangry.
One milk boosting ingredient I’ve included in this smoothie is moringa. Moringa is a tree native to India and often called the “tree of life” because it’s a superfood. It has a high iron content, rich in many different minerals and vitamins and has cultural use to increase milk production. Because it’s the leaves from a tree, when we talk about it’s safety, it’s similar to eating a green veggie.
Flax seed is another ingredient I have added into this smoothie. It’s a source of protein and healthy plant based omega 3 fat and has some evidence that it supports milk production. I prefer to purchase whole flax seeds and grind them with a coffee or spice grinder as I need them. This ensures they remain fresh. Because they are a source of plant based omega 3 fats, they could go rancid if not properly stored. Keeping them whole and in the freezer optimizes their freshness. I grind about 1/2 cup at a time, keeping them in a glass mason jar in the fridge.
Oat milk is the base of this smoothie. Oats are also considered a galactagogue but more so when they are consumed in their whole form and not necessarily as a milk. I just enjoy the flavour of oat milk and it a great dairy free option.
Almond butter is included in this smoothie as a source of healthy fat and protein. Almonds are also a source of B vitamins, vitamin E as well as minerals.
When talking about eating for breastfeeding, it’s largely about nourishing your body. You are still growing a human being. They are just on the outside of your body now. No matter what you eat, your body will make the most nutritious milk for your baby. Some vitamins and minerals are prioritized in your milk supply when you are breastfeeding when means over time, your body can become deficient. Ensuring you are eating a variety of nourishing foods means your body is supported in addition to your milk supply.
Let’s make this smoothie.
What you’ll need:
- 1 ¼ cup vanilla oat milk (sweetened or unsweetened)
- 2 scoops collagen powder (I prefer the Collagen Generator)
- 1 scoop vanilla vegan protein
- ½ tsp moringa powder
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- ½ cup frozen berries
- ½ cup frozen cauliflower (trust me, you won’t taste this)
Add everything to a blender and blend until smooth!
Depending on the consistency of smoothie you prefer, you may need to add more liquid or some additional cauliflower or ice. This smoothie makes an easy and fast breakfast especially when you’re a busy new mom. It’s also a great afternoon meal when you’re feeling hungry.
As I mentioned, milk boosting foods may help your supply but it’s most important to have frequent and effective milk removal. To learn more about milk production and learn ways you can maximize your production, you can watch my free class below