“5 Breastfeeding Smoothie Recipes to Boost Your Milk Supply” is written by Josie Brenan and reviewed/edited by Jamie Adams, MS RD LDN. Josie is a current junior undergraduate student at San Diego State University studying Foods and Nutrition and exhibits a special interest in holistic nutrition focusing on the connection between the mind, body, and spirit.”
Many new moms worry about having low breast milk supply. While nourishing a brand new baby, it can be challenging to keep up with the demands to nourish yourself. Even though you know you need to fuel up, it can be so daunting due to the strain upon your own body and time constraints.
After childbirth, your body requires specific nutrition and calorie intake in order to produce breast milk and create a smooth postpartum recovery. On top of the nutrient demands for healing postpartum, breastfeeding requires extra calories. You may need to eat an extra 500-600 calories per day.
A breastfeeding smoothie is a great choice to help you meet the increased nutritional demands while breastfeeding. Here we share what foods to add to your breastfeeding smoothie to help boost your milk supply, plus 5 breastfeeding smoothie recipes to get you started!
Why a breastfeeding smoothie is a great choice to pack in nutrition while breastfeeding
Breastfeeding smoothies are quick to make and pack in a load of nutrients. They only require a handful of ingredients and are easy to drink while nursing and cuddling with your newborn.
They are also easy to customize. Don’t like mango? Do banana instead! Another great thing about smoothies is that you can make them ahead of time! Just add your ingredients to a ziplock bag, freeze, and pour it into a blender when you are craving a smoothie.
What foods will help boost my milk supply?
A food or nutrient that increases milk production is known as a galactagogue. This word is derived from the Greek “galacta-”, which means milk. There are many different types of galactagogues to include in your breastfeeding smoothie. Let’s take a closer look at some of our favorite galactagogues to add to breastfeeding smoothies:
Oats increase the production of the hormone oxytocin, which increases milk production. Additionally, oats are rich in bioactive phytonutrients called Avenanthramides. This compound increases nitric oxide, which increases blood flow to the cells. This helps to increase the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to your organs, including your mammary glands!
Omega-3 fatty acids
Foods high in Omega-3’s, such as ground flaxseeds, coconut oil, MCT oil, and chia seeds, increase EPA/DHA in your breastmilk. These fatty acids work to develop the brains in babies.
Brewer’s yeast, or nutritional yeast, is high in iron, selenium, chromium, protein, and B vitamins. It has been used as a nutritional supplement to boost milk supply for generations.
Dark leafy greens
Spinach and kale are efficient galactagogues due to their protein, iron, and vitamins A, E, and K content. Dark leafy greens also contain phytoestrogens which are believed to promote breast health.
Bananas are rich in vitamins and minerals. It is a high-calorie fruit that will help with hunger pains while breastfeeding and works to increase your folic acid levels. Further, the potassium in bananas helps to maintain fluid and electrolyte levels, which maintains a good breast milk flow.
Our ability to create new collagen decreases over time, and breastfeeding women are especially susceptible to the risks of inadequate collagen availability. Collagen contains essential amino acids which help to repair tissue and improve the gut lining. You can read all about collagen while breastfeeding in our latest blog post!
The high antioxidant content of berries helps to fight free radicals that could damage cellular DNA. Antioxidants are also known to pass through breastmilk to support baby too!
When should I drink a breastfeeding smoothie to help boost milk supply?
Everyone’s body is different, but you can expect the smoothie to work 6-12 hours after consumption. Looking for a boost in the afternoon? Drink a smoothie upon awakening. Low supply at the end of the day? Have a lactation smoothie as a mid-afternoon snack. If you find your milk supply is low for early morning feeding, enjoy a breastfeeding smoothie as a bedtime snack.
Another great benefit about these breastfeeding smoothies is that you will feel an energy boost quickly, within the hour! This is great for those early mornings or late afternoons when you need a pick me up. Rather than reaching for that cup of coffee, whip up a breastfeeding smoothie that will not only nourish your body, but your baby too!
Key tips to remember: breastfeeding smoothies
What works for you may not work for others. Thus, some foods may have better results than others for individual mamas. Keep a detailed log of the amounts of your milk production, food consumption, sleep, and movement. This gives you a clear idea of what is working and what doesn’t.
5 breastfeeding smoothie recipes to help boost milk supply
Strawberry Banana Lactation Smoothie
This Strawberry Banana Lactation Smoothie is the ultimate breastfeeding smoothie! Oats are well known galactagogues and thought to increase oxytocin and relaxin, two hormones involved in milk production. Oats also contain a blend of protein, carbs, and fiber which help to increase milk supply. Brewers yeast is rich in protein, iron, and Vitamin B which boosts energy, maintains healthy sugar levels, and boosts the immune system, all which help support milk supply.
Chocolate Lactation Smoothie
Pack in a nutritional punch with this Chocolate Lactation Smoothie as its contents of bananas, oats, and flaxseeds work to boost your milk supply! The presence of dates in the smoothie increases prolactin, which is the hormone that tells your body to produce milk. Even more, peanut butter is packed with healthy fats to improve your energy levels.
Spinach Mango Lactation Smoothie
Chock full of vitamins and nutrients from spinach, mango, oats, and brewers yeast, this Spinach Mango Lactation Smoothie is a great go-to breastfeeding smoothie to refreshen your day.
Green Lactation Smoothie
Looking for a refreshing way to get in some milk boosting foods? Check out this Green Lactation Smoothie to add to your breastfeeding routine. This breastfeeding smoothie may not only help you to produce more milk, but it’s also loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals to nourish mom and baby!
Pumpkin Pie Protein Lactation Smoothie
This Pumpkin Pie Protein Lactation Smoothie is quite the fall treat! Beyond being a fall staple flavor, pumpkin is linked to an increase in milk volume for nursing mothers. Paired with flaxseed and almonds, this breastfeeding smoothie is a great option for milk supply. Additionally, when you are nursing, your protein needs are virtually as high as when you are pregnant. The protein powder in this smoothie is a great supplement to provide more protein in your diet.
More Ways to Boost Your Milk Supply
In addition to nourishing your body with optimal nutrients from breastfeeding smoothies, there’s more you can do to help boost your milk supply. It’s well known that stress can interfere with milk supply and production. Stress increases cortisol production which can decrease milk supply.
Breastfeeding itself can be a stressful time for many moms, let alone the stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep that can come for many moms in those early postpartum days. Repeating postpartum affirmations can help build a positive mindset, decrease stress, and provide a host of benefits to both you and your baby. Having resources and support on hand to help you prepare for your breastfeeding journey and postpartum period can help you feel more confident, at ease, and less stressed in your motherhood journey.