What To Drink To Increase Breast Milk: A Complete Guide

When breastfeeding, staying hydrated is one of the most important things a nursing mother can do. After all, nursing mothers everywhere know that it’s hard enough keeping up with their hungry newborn’s feeding needs without worrying about milk supply. But are there other liquids besides water that help increase your breastmilk supply? 

While water is extremely important and should make up the majority of your liquid intake, there are other drinks that can naturally boost milk production.

  • Coconut water
  • Coconut milk
  • Lactation smoothies
  • Lactation herbal teas
  • Lactation protein shakes
  • Fenugreek tea
  • Beetroot juice
  • Gatorade

The rest of this article will illustrate the benefits of these drinks for breastfeeding moms, how they increase milk supply, and even what drinks to avoid when nursing. 

What To Drink To Increase Breast Milk

What Should I Drink to Increase Breast Milk Supply?

Coconut Water

While coconut has a more polarizing taste, there’s no denying how it boosts breast milk production.

Not only does coconut water contain tons of electrolytes to keep you hydrated (as the number one enemy of breast milk production is dehydration), but it also contains lauric and capric acid, both of which keep you and your baby healthy by protecting against viruses and germs. 

If you can’t stomach the taste of coconut water, consider adding it to a lactation smoothie or adding some seltzer and fruit slices to it. You could even fill an ice cube tray with coconut water and add the ice cubes to seltzer water or as part of a smoothie. 

Coconut Milk

This creamy and versatile beverage can be added to smoothies, baked goods, and other recipes. It is also a great dairy-free alternative for those sensitive to lactose.

 In addition to being high in electrolytes, lauric acid, and capric acid, coconut milk is a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium – all vital nutrients for nursing moms. 

Lactation Smoothies

If you have a blender, lactation smoothies can be a satisfying and simple part of your day. Common recipes include ingredients such as bananas (for creaminess), chia and flax seeds, various fruits, and supply-boosting liquids such as coconut water, coconut milk, oat milk, and almond milk.  

Lactation Herbal Teas

Several herbal teas contain herbs that naturally boost milk production. Besides fenugreek, which we will be covering in more detail later in this article, lactation teas include some or all of the following herbs:

  • Fenugreek
  • Blessed thistle
  • Fennel
  • Goat’s rue
  • Stinging nettle
  • Anise
  • Moringa
  • Milk thistle

Teas such as Mother‘s Milk Tea, Pink Stork Lactation Tea, and Buddha’s Herbs Milky Cloud Nursing Tea are just some of the teas that contain milk-boosting herbs. They are sold in stores and can also be bought online. 

Breastfeeding Protein Shakes

Having enough protein is important for nursing mothers. While most protein powders are considered safe for nursing mothers, there are some specifically created for boosting breast milk supply. 

Some of the best protein powders for increasing milk supply are: 

  • Milk Dust Lactation 
  • Majka Nourishing Lactation Protein Powder
  • Ora Organics
  • Orgain
  • Booby Body
  • Vital Proteins

Fenugreek Tea

Fenugreek is one of the best supplements for increasing milk supply. It is an herb native to the Mediterranean and has a subtly sweet taste, commonly described as similar to maple syrup. 

While fenugreek is sold in pill form at most natural food stores and some supermarkets, fenugreek tea tastes great and is a soothing beverage. Perfect for those stressful first weeks of motherhood! 

Teas containing fenugreek are usually marketed as lactation tea or mother’s milk tea and can be bought pre-packaged, making it more convenient both to find and to brew. 

Beetroot Juice

With its unmistakable dark red color, beetroot juice is a popular health supplement due to it being high in iron, folic acid, and beta carotene. You could drink it by itself or mix it with fruit juice for a sweeter flavor.

Gatorade

This popular sport drink is packed with electrolytes, which help you stay hydrated. Make sure to choose the sugar-free varieties to cut down on excess sugar in your diet.

Drinks to Avoid when Breastfeeding

Caffeinated Drinks

While small amounts of caffeine (under 200 mg daily) are generally safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding, larger amounts of caffeine decrease milk supply. The most common caffeinated drinks are: 

  • Coffee
  • Leaf teas (green, black, oolong, etc.)
  • Sodas
  • Energy drinks

Alcohol

Don’t let old wives’ tales fool you. There is no evidence that any amount of alcohol during pregnancy and breastfeeding is safe. 

Certain Herbal Teas

The following teas contain herbs that dry up breast milk, so avoid them during nursing. 

  • Sage tea  
  • Peppermint tea 
  • Lemon balm tea 
  • Kava kava
  • Ginseng

How can I Increase My Breast Milk Fast?

The following are some of the best ways for increasing your breast milk fast. 

  • Drink lactation tea
  • Stay hydrated – while hydration is essential for everyone, nursing mothers need more water than the average person. 
  • Eat a balanced diet – healthy foods, like leafy greens, are packed with vitamins that help boost milk supply
  • Pump at least once every 2 – 3 hours, in between breastfeeding your baby
  • Prioritize rest – while it may be easier said than done, getting enough rest helps your body produce more milk
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol – both decrease milk supply and are unhealthy for both you and your baby

Does Drinking Water Increase Breast Milk?

Yes. Water is the best liquid for nursing mothers to drink to keep their milk supply up. One of the best ways to do this is to invest in a large, reusable water bottle and carry it with you throughout the day, keeping it filled. This will help you stay hydrated at all times and keep track of how much water you are drinking. 

If you find your milk supply dwindling, drink lactation smoothies or lactation teas alongside your daily water intake. 

Why is my Milk Supply Not Increasing?

If you’re struggling with a low milk supply, consider drinking more water, adding drinks that boost milk supply, and taking breastfeeding supplements such as fenugreek capsules. Pumping is also a great way to increase milk supply fast, as it signals your body to produce more. 

Some of the most common factors that contribute to low or decreased milk supply for nursing mothers are: 

  • Waiting too long to begin breastfeeding
  • Not breastfeeding often enough
  • Supplementing with formula
  • Ineffective latch (when the baby’s mouth isn’t properly latched to the nipple)
  • Certain medications

What To Drink To Increase Breast Milk Final Thoughts

In conclusion, there are many things that can increase your milk production, but it is important to consult with a doctor before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle. Water is extremely important and should make up the majority of your liquid intake, there are other drinks that can naturally boost milk production, the top 5 are:

  • Coconut water
  • Coconut milk
  • Lactation smoothies
  • Lactation herbal teas
  • Lactation protein shakes

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