Whether you’re pregnant or already postpartum, it’s never too late to start focusing on your nourishment, especially if you plan on breastfeeding.
With all of the new changes and to-do’s of caring for your new baby, it’s easy to forget about nurturing your own body, especially if you’ve decided to breastfeed. Below you’ll find a few nutritious foods that will support and nourish your body while breastfeeding your new baby.
A note about calories: It’s crucial to make sure you’re consuming enough calories throughout the day to keep a steady milk supply. Aim to add one to two extra snacks to increase your daily calorie intake by 200-500 calories.
Everyone is different, so be sure to listen and respond to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.
My picks for optimal breastfeeding nutrition
The perfect warming drink for early postpartum. Bone broth is packed with hydrating electrolytes, gelatin, and easily absorbable minerals.
Coconut is an excellent source of healthy fats, which are crucial for rebalancing hormones, boosting metabolism, sustained energy, and a steady mood.
You can also purchase various forms like coconut oil for cooking, flaked coconut for baking and smoothies, and coconut milk for soups and curries.
Look for organic, pasture-raised eggs for maximum nutrition. Eggs are an excellent source of choline, which is crucial during breastfeeding! Choline will support your immune system and help support your growing baby as well.
Deep orange veggies like winter squash contain vitamin A. Blend into a creamy soup or add pureed butternut squash to baked treats.
Try incorporating seaweeds to help replenish depleted minerals like iron and calcium. Make a seaweed broth or soup, and try sprinkling dulse flakes on your salads and grain bowls.
Pumpkin and sesame seeds
Add in seeds daily to rebalance your hormones while increasing nutrients like iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium. You can also try incorporating tahini or pumpkin seed butter into your meals.
Ground flax seeds
The fatty acids in flax seeds are fragile, so purchase them whole and then grind in a coffee grinder or a high-speed blender. These are packed with fiber and helpful for boosting lactation.
Another great healthy fat option! Avocados are also packed with potassium and fiber, and you can enjoy them on pretty much everything. My favorites are avocado toast, guacamole, and as a topping for bowls.
Fatty fish like salmon is a great way to take in essential omega-three fats that support babies’ nervous system development and help calm inflammation.
Dark leafy greens
Add in various greens to your weekly meals like arugula, kale, chard, spinach, and collard greens. They are incredibly nutrient-dense, and you can add them to smoothies, soups, salads, and bowls!
Whole grains like brown rice, oats, and quinoa contain complex carbohydrates that will keep your energy up throughout the day and add in fiber and b vitamins.
These tiny legumes are packed with nutrition! Add them into your soups and stews for plant protein, fiber, and b vitamins.
Besides the above food suggestions, make sure you’re replenishing the liquids you lost at birth and staying hydrated by keeping a water bottle by your side. Bone broths, brothy soups, and herbal teas are other healthy hydration options.
Read next: Your Postpartum Nutrition Guide and Easy Meal Ideas
Recipe: Milk-Boosting Chocolate Chip Cookies
There are also various amazing foods called galactagogues that can boost milk production and support lactation. I developed a tasty cookie that contains a few of these galactagogues like flax seeds, oats, and brewer’s yeast.
Pass this recipe along to your postpartum doula, a family member, or friend so that they can bake a batch for you for early postpartum.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup spelt flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground flax seed
- A handful of chocolate chips
- Optional: 1 tablespoon Brewer’s yeast
- Optional: handful of chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine oil and sugar in a bowl. Whisk in the egg.
- In a separate bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, ground flaxseed, and brewer’s yeast, if using.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet and combine well to form a dough.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Form into ten equal-sized balls. Flatten slightly.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Want to learn more?
Great news! Seattle mamas can order from my meal delivery options. I have a Nourished Mama Package that utilizes many of these key ingredients in this post.
I also offer virtual consultations and personalized menus. Sign-up for a free 30-minute connect call to learn more.
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As a Certified Nutritionist with a Master of Science in Nutrition from the National University of Natural Medicine, I understand the importance of eating well - and the conflicting information that comes with it. This is why I’m passionate about helping others tune out the noise of dieting and, instead, rediscover how to nourish their body well and find joy in food.