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Postpartum

The Best Breastfeeding Snacks To Boost Your Energy and Milk Supply

Best breastfeeding snacks

NEW MODERN MOM

12/13/23

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Written by:

Barbara Mighdoll

Finding the best breastfeeding snacks that are not only tasty but also promote good health and milk production can be a bit daunting. After all, when you're juggling the responsibilities of a new baby, you crave convenience as much as nutrition. Meal prep can certainly help here, but there are tons of easy to grab snacks we recommend. Let's get right to it and learn more about snacks that are not only good for you, but also help boost your milk supply and keep your energy levels up.

What makes a good breastfeeding snack?

Breastfeeding can be a beautiful but challenging journey, and having breastfeeding snacks on hand is a great way to add convenience in your life. So, what exactly comprises a good breastfeeding snack? The answer lies in understanding three key aspects – meeting nutrition needs, maintaining energy, and supporting a healthy milk supply.

Meeting nutrition needs and maintaining energy

Breastfeeding moms require extra energy and nutrients, and choosing the right snacks can make a significant difference. Opting for whole grains, such as oatmeal or quinoa, can provide sustained energy throughout the day. Additionally, incorporating protein-rich foods like Greek yogurt or nuts can help promote healthy milk production. Including a variety of fruits, such as berries or bananas, can offer essential vitamins and minerals for both mom and baby.

Supporting a healthy milk supply

Certain foods, such as oats, fenugreek, and fennel, are well-known for their galactagogue properties. These natural substances have been studied and found to contain compounds that can stimulate the production of breast milk, helping to ensure that your little one receives a plentiful supply of this nourishing liquid. Incorporating these galactagogues into your diet can provide support for breastfeeding mothers who desire to boost milk production.

What foods and herbs help increase milk supply?

Oats

Oats are not only a great source of dietary fiber but also rich in iron, which can help increase your milk supply. A bowl of oatmeal for breakfast or oat cookies as a snack can do wonders.

Bowl of flaxseed which is a good snack to support breastfeeding

Photo by micheile henderson on Michelle Henderson on Unsplash

Flaxseed

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, flax seeds can help improve your milk quality, providing beneficial nutrients for your baby. Try sprinkling ground flaxseed on your oatmeal or adding it to a smoothie.

Brewer’s Yeast

Used for centuries by breastfeeding mothers, brewer’s yeast is packed with B vitamins, iron, protein, and minerals, all of which can help boost milk supply. It’s a popular ingredient in lactation cookies.

Leafy greens

Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are rich in iron and calcium, essential for maintaining your health and milk supply. They make a great addition to salads, smoothies, and even main dishes.

A bowl of Kale and chickpea salad; a great snack to support breastfeeding

Photo by Deryn Macey on Deryn Macey on Unsplash

Fennel Seed

Fennel seed is another herb renowned for its milk-boosting properties. You can add it to your tea, use it in cooking, or even chew on a few seeds for a quick snack.

Protein

Protein-rich foods, such as eggs, lean meats, and legumes, can increase milk production and keep you feeling full and energized throughout the day.

Moringa

Known as a “miracle tree,” moringa is full of essential nutrients and is believed to dramatically increase milk production. You can add moringa powder to smoothies or teas for an extra nutritional boost.

Quick and Easy Snacks for Nursing Moms

When you're breastfeeding, hunger pangs can catch you off guard, especially at odd hours. That's why it's important to have quick and easy snack options on hand. Here are some ideas to keep you nourished and satisfied:

  1. Fresh fruit and cottage cheese
  2. Veggies and hummus
  3. Cheese and whole grain crackers
  4. Whole wheat waffle and peanut butter or other nut butter
  5. Avocado toast and scrambled eggs

Additionally, consider incorporating these nutritious options into your breastfeeding snack repertoire. Ttaking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your little one!

A plate of flatbread, tomatoes, zucchini, and hummus as a breastfeeding snack

Photo by Cristi Ursea on Cristi Ursea on Unsplash

Lactation Smoothies

Looking for the ultimate breastfeeding smoothie? Introducing the Bodily Lactation Latte Mix – a blend that will boost your milk supply and keep you energized throughout the day. Check out the ingredients you need to create this delicious and nutritious Salt & Baker Banana Almond Smoothie:

  1. Oats: Packed with milk-boosting properties
  2. Flaxseed: Another ingredient known to enhance lactation
  3. Brewer's yeast: Helps increase milk production
  4. Spinach or kale: Rich in iron and calcium
  5. Protein powder or Greek yogurt: Provides a protein boost

Blend, pour, and enjoy!

A cacao Lactation Latte to support breastfeeding and lactation

High-Protein Snack Ideas

When it comes to nourishing your little one, be sure to feed yourself as well by consuming extra protein. High-protein snacks are a great choice to boost energy and support milk production. Consider these protein-rich goodies:

  1. No-bake lactation energy bites
  2. Greek yogurt, granola and chia seeds
  3. Overnight oats made with maple syrup sprinkled with pumpkin seeds
  4. Protein banana muffins with dark chocolate chips
  5. Hard-boiled eggs
  6. Tortilla wrap with slices of deli meat and cream cheese
  7. Tuna
  8. Salmon jerky

Next time you feel peckish, reach for one of these options to keep you fueled and satisfied.

A chocolate chunk muffin, made with ingredients to support breastfeeding.

Photo by Bethany Randall on Bethany Randall on Unsplash

Best Snacks for Middle-of-the-Night Feeds

When it comes to night feeds, you need quiet, easy-to-eat snacks that won't leave you feeling overly full. Here are some of the best breastfeeding snacks for those late-night feeding sessions:

  1. Fresh fruits
  2. A spoonful of almond butter
  3. A slice of whole grain bread
  4. Trail mix with banana chips, pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  5. Protein bars

Our advice? Keep these snacks handy to help you power through those twilight feeds.

Homemade granola bar to support  lactation

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

And remember, Stay Hydrated!

Hydration plays a crucial role in maintaining an optimal breastmilk supply. And while it's not technically a snack, never underestimate the power of water! Keep a glass or bottle of water near you during feeds, and in your diaper bag when on the go to ensure you stay well-hydrated.

Helpful Answers to Common Questions About Nursing Snacks

Other Factors That Can Impact Milk Supply

Breastfeeding isn't as simple as calories in, milk out. Though proper nutrition plays a crucial role, there's more to milk production. Hormones, baby's latch, and the frequency of nursing can all impact your milk supply. Also, stress and lack of sleep can affect your body's ability to produce milk.

Are There Foods I Should Avoid While Breastfeeding? 

While there's no specific list of foods to avoid while breastfeeding, some babies may be sensitive to certain foods and develop gas or fussiness. Some common culprits include spicy foods, dairy, caffeine, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. It's always a good idea to pay attention to your baby's reactions after you eat certain foods and make adjustments as needed.

Are There Supplements That Help with Milk Supply?

There are supplements that claim to increase milk supply, but it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements while breastfeeding. Some mothers have had success with natural galactagogues like fenugreek and blessed thistle, but there is limited scientific evidence to support their effectiveness.

How Many Additional Calories Should I Be Eating When Breastfeeding? 

Breastfeeding burns extra calories, which can be helpful in losing pregnancy weight. However, it's important to make sure you're eating enough to support your body and milk production. Most healthcare professionals recommend an additional 300-500 calories per day while breastfeeding. But don't stress about counting every calorie – just focus on nourishing your body with a balanced diet and listening to your hunger cues.

Photo by " target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Nutriciously on Unsplash  

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