Would you be surprised if I told you that most vegetables, besides being tremendously beneficial for both mom and baby, are actually lactogenic?
After all, they provide numerous vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and enzymes — all essential for a breastfeeding mother’s wellness and postpartum recovery.
And it’s not just vegetables that contain beneficial lactogenic compounds — but fruits, nuts, seeds, proteins, and oils as well.
So why does it seem like grains get all the fun?
It’s all for a good reason.
Worldwide, grains (and legumes) are touted as milk making superfoods since they do, in fact, support the chemistry of lactation and are relatively inexpensive and easy to find.
They also offer their fair share of nutritional benefits to a lactating mother, especially when properly or traditionally prepared.
But what happens when a new mama has a difficult time tolerating or is sensitive to gluten and grains? Surely there has to be another solution to still get nourishing, lactation supporting foods on your plate.
Well, it’s time to move over oatmeal, brewer’s yeast, and barley! Sure, you might have a reputation for boosting milk supply — but you’re not the only superstars in town.
For any mama who has found herself (or her baby) sensitive to gluten and/or grains — OR if you’re just looking for a change of pace and want to add more variety to your lactogenic kitchen — these amazing foods will help get you started!
STOCKING YOUR LACTOGENIC KITCHEN
High in proteins, enzymes, essential fatty acids, and DHA — in addition to vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin B12, folic acid, and beta-carotene — the combination of these foods are a must-have in every lactating mother’s kitchen!
- Green leafy vegetables (such as): spinach, butter lettuce, beet greens, romaine, endive, arugula, dandelion greens, watercress, Swiss chard, kale, collards
- Sweet potato, yams, potato
- Asparagus, artichoke (including Jerusalem artichoke)
- Carrots, beet root, fennel
- Broccoli and cauliflower
- Peas, snow peas, sugar snap peas, sting/green beans
- Stone fruits: apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, sweet cherries
- Mango and papaya (especially green papaya)
NUTS & SEEDS
- Sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds
- Almonds, cashews, pecans, macadamia
FATS & OILS
- Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- Cold-pressed sesame seed oil
- Coconut oil
- Organic, grass-fed butter and ghee
- Chicken, pheasant, turkey (note: foods high in the amino acid tryptophan supports the production of prolactin making it lactogenic)
- Pasture-raised eggs
- Fish, crab, calamari
- Grass-fed beef, lamb, deer/venison, pork (trotter and shank)
- (See legumes, nuts, and seeds above)
THIS LIST IS NOT EXTENSIVE & THERE MAY BE MORE FOODS THAT COULD BE CONSIDERED LACTOGENIC.
LIST ADAPTED FROM — JACOBSON, H. MOTHER FOOD: FOOD AND HERBS THAT PROMOTE MILK PRODUCTION AND A MOTHER’S HEALTH. ROSALIND PRESS, 2004.