Cassandra’s Top 8 Foods for Lactating Mums

by Cassandra Turp

My little boy is a hungry one, and luckily from the start I’ve had a good milk supply to support his needs! Although at times my supply has waned a little, maybe at times I was a little bit stressed or sleep deprived or maybe I didn’t hydrate enough, either way I’ve been able to get back on track easily by increasing my water intake and including the following foods in my diet, and as always making sure I eat a wide variety of fresh fruit & vegetables, lots of protein and good fats.

Mum and Bub

My top 8 foods for lactating mums are:

  1. Wild Caught Salmon – Essential fatty acids EPA and DHA are needed for growth & development of the nervous system- DHA is especially important for cognitive and visual development in the first 6 months of life. Deficiency can be associated with learning difficulty and behavioral problems such as ADHD. Other good sources include tuna, mackerel and eggs.  – Try oven baked salmon with sautéed spinach & asparagus or make delicious salmon cakes with sweet potato & chia seeds.
  2. Chia Seeds – Chia seeds are an easy addition to your diet, and are packed full of goodness, they contain essential fatty acids, minerals such as calcium, magnesium & potassium as well as protein and fibre. Chia can help regulate blood sugar and support healthy energy production. – Add chia seeds to smoothies, porridge or in fish cakes and fritters for extra ‘pop’ or make chia coconut puddings-, which are another staple in our house as they can be made the night before.
  3. Sweet Potato – Contains vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), which is needed for optimal health, growth and development in the first 6 months of life. Breast milk is an essential source of vitamin A especially as almost all children are born with low stores of vitamin A. Sweet potato also contains minerals such as iron, potassium and magnesium and vitamins such as B6 and is a good source of fibre, helping to regulate blood glucose and energy. – Baked, mashed, made into soups, burgers, or roasted and added to salads, sweet potato is versatile and god for the whole family.
  4. Fennel Tea – Fennel has long been used to support lactation. It belongs to a group of herbs called galactagogues, which can help increase supply and improve let down. Fennel is also a ‘carminative’ herb which helps to settle an upset tummy and works wonders for breastfeeding babies. – Lactation tea at the Peninsula Herbal Dispensary contains fennel along with other herbs to promote healthy lactation. Sauté fresh fennel with other greens to serve with fish, or add shaved fennel to yummy summer salads.
  5. Nuts – I always have a supply of raw nuts with me. I prefer to buy them from the health store or whole foods store not the supermarket as they may not be as fresh and can contain undesirable additives. Raw nuts such as cashews, walnuts & almonds provide good sources of minerals, good fats and protein to keep me going and keep up the supply. – Soak almonds for 12 hours to activate. This makes them more digestible, and increases their nutrient value. Make a mix of your favorite raw nuts and carry a tub wherever you go.
  6. Oats – Organic wholegrain rolled oats contain minerals such as iron and zinc and are a great source of fibre. Oats have been used traditionally for increasing milk supply. – Organic wholegrain rolled oats contain minerals such as iron and zinc and are a great source of fiber. Oats have been used traditionally for increasing milk supply.
  7. Avocado – Avocados have been shown to improve production and quality of breast milk.  They contain good amounts of monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, folic acid and potassium. These nutrients are required for proper growth & development, cell structure, nervous system health, bone formation and immune regulation. – Add to green smoothies, top veggies with a few slices at dinner time, make fresh guacamole to have with veggies sticks as a healthy snack or make delicious avocado cacao mousse.
  8. Eggs – Eggs are an excellent way to increase your body’s extra demand for of protein, they are packed with B vitamins, zinc, iron and DHA, which improves the quality of breast milk and can, improve mood and help with post-partum depression. – My favourite brekky eggs- sauté 3 sliced mushrooms in pan, add some chopped kale, sprinkle some turmeric, add in 2 eggs, & scramble. Sprinkle with dukkah and raw cashews… Yum!

For more personalised help with pregnancy, breast feeding, infant and children’s health you can book an appointment with Cass by clicking our book now button.