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Eating a balanced diet with lots of vegetables, fruit, grains, and protein - as well as staying hydrated - is vital for everyone's health and wellbeing. But it's especially important when you're breastfeeding your baby or expressing breast milk to give to them in a bottle.
When you're exclusively breastfeeding, it's recommended that you eat between 300 and 400 extra calories a day. Breastfeeding parents are also advised to take a daily vitamin D supplement.
While there's no one 'magic' food that is scientifically proven to boost breast milk supply, some parents swear that certain foods can help to produce more breast milk. On the other hand, there are some foods and drinks that you should avoid or limit when breastfeeding.
Let's run through what foods you can include in your breastfeeding diet and cover how they support breast milk production.
Foods like dark leafy veggies, ginger, garlic, lean meat, legumes, nuts and whole grains are sometimes referred to as lactogenic foods or galactagogues. They contain specific nutrients that support the production of the hormone prolactin and therefore boost lactation and breast milk supply. They include...
Breastfeeding is thirsty work, and hydration plays a big role in maintaining a good breast milk supply. Put simply, if you're dehydrated, you will produce less milk. So, it's important to drink plenty of fluids (water is best) throughout the day and a good idea to have a drink beside you when you're breastfeeding or expressing breast milk using a pump - drink when the baby drinks!
To wrap up, if you're struggling with maintaining your breast milk supply, don't hesitate to raise your concerns with your doctor or lactation consultant.
Don't yet know your areola from your elbow? No problem! Read on to learn some breastfeeding lingo.
Breast Milk Production: A Super Simple Guide
We've put together this guide to the different stages of breast milk production and its benefits to help you through!