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13 Delicious Lactation Smoothie Recipes for Breastfeeding

These delicious lactation smoothie recipes can help quench your hunger and thirst when nursing, and may help with milk production! Save that time for spending with your little one and make these easy breastfeeding smoothies in minutes.

Bottle of pumped breast milk on wooden table

Disclaimer – This post is for informational purposes only and is not for diagnosing or treatment. See your medical provider or Registered Dietitian for individual recommendations. 

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As a mom who has nursed three babies, I’m well aware of the constant hunger that comes up while breastfeeding.

And as a dietitian, I’m also well aware of the nutritional needs and considerations you need as a nursing mom!

Which is why I love lactation smoothie recipes – they’re nutritious, filling and can be enjoyed with one hand, if need be!

If you’re a new nursing mom, you’re probably really familiar with the constant breastfeeding hunger that comes up.

Especially if and when you return to exercise and running, running and breastfeeding can make you feel constantly hungry.

A good variety of smoothies for breastfeeding were (and still are) my go to’s, as I lounge in my comfy Kindred Bravely favorites.

Many of these breastfeeding smoothies are also great as smoothies for pregnancy, or as an addition to a healthy pregnancy breakfast on the go.

I’m a big fan of nutrient dense breastfeeding snacks, and have previously shared a bunch of healthy postpartum snacks.

I like to sit down and enjoy them with a nice hot mug of milkmaid tea, too! Great for nursing.

But, this roundup of lactation smoothie recipes should help with the hunger AND thirst, and may help with a healthy milk supply.

Why You Are Constantly Hungry While Breastfeeding

A simple way to think about why you are always hungry when breastfeeding is that you are expending energy and calories through producing milk. Your nutritional needs are high!

When your baby is nursing, your baby is drinking the milk that you produce, stimulating your body to produce more milk

mom breastfeeding baby on bench

While the amount of calories a mom burns while breastfeeding will vary based on the person, a general range is 400-600 calories per day, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

In other words, your body is using (burning) calories and energy to make milk, and so you feel hungrier and thirstier to make up for that difference. 

Lactation smoothies can be an efficient way to make up some of the calorie deficit for moms, while helping with milk production.

Plus, breastfeeding smoothies for moms can be quick and easy, which is a must.

tray with lactation smoothie recipes and fruit

Hunger is never something to be ignored, especially when you are a lactating mom.

Your body, milk supply and baby will thank you for nourishing your body properly with a lactation shake. 

Even better – you can rely on these postpartum smoothies for middle of the night feeds too! A great option for some hydrating snacks for breastfeeding at night.

I’m known to have Milkmaid tea, an orange mango smoothie or peanut butter coffee smoothie to start the day or readily available after a workout because I hate the feeling of being overly hungry.

So, What is a Lactation Smoothie?

An easy lactation smoothie, or breastfeeding smoothie, is a smoothie with specific ingredients believed to help moms stimulate and support breast milk production.

However, I also find that these hearty lactation smoothies can also help to quench hunger and thirst. 

Plus, it’s easy to drink smoothies while breastfeeding, which is another win. Adding in key nutrients, like amino acids in collagen that help with repair, and micronutrients that aid in fluid balance, were important parts of my smoothies for nursing.

Collagen during breastfeeding was an easy way for me to get additional protein and specific amino acids for repair, which are important during the postpartum period and for a nursing mama.

carrot banana smoothie in kids smoothie cups and glass cup

Do Lactation Smoothies work?

For good reason, many people wonder if lactation smoothies really work. I’ve talked to several IBCLC’s and read through the research and my conclusion, as an evidenced-based Registered Dietitian is that they can’t hurt!

A proper lactation smoothie is filled with lactogenic foods (aka galactagogues) and is rather easy to blend in with other ingredients. I love to enjoy a good breastfeeding smoothie with tasty lactation cookies.

Galactagogues are herbs and foods that have been used historically by breastfeeding women to maintain and increase breast milk supply. 

They may help stimulate oxytocin or milk supply to help aid in breast milk ejection.

brewers yeast powder

While we don’t have sufficient research on the efficacy of lactation smoothies, smoothies for breastfeeding moms can be extra helpful because they are portable, easy to hold with one hand, hydrating and full of nutrient-dense ingredients.

Load them up with your favorite ingredients, healthy fats, extra protein and extra nourishment, and it’s a great way to sip extra nutrition, get some more electrolytes for postpartum, keep your energy up and more.

While this isn’t official medical advice, I just find that easy smoothies for breastfeeding moms are super convenient, easy to prep in advance or can be made in minutes, and are very tasty and hydrating.

blender with yogurt and fruit

Many of the new moms that I work with are struggling to feed themselves enough, which is why I always recommend smoothies for breastfeeding moms.

If you have specific questions, you should talk to your lactation consultant.

Lactation Smoothies Recipes and Ingredients

These smoothies for breastfeeding moms contain many lactogenic ingredients, such as:

  • Oats – Oats provide iron, energizing carbohydrates, fiber, and B-vitamins to help with the production of energy. Oats are typically the mainstay ingredient in lactation cookies. You could also use oat milk as your liquid.
  • Whole grains – Whole grains also have a balanced nutritional profile that may help support the necessary hormones responsible for the production of breast milk and help release oxytocin. Oatmeal, barley, millet, farro and brown rice are other whole grains to include in your breastfeeding diet. 
  • Brewer’s yeast – Brewer’s yeast is a powder, so it is easy to add to smoothies and baked goods. Brewer’s yeast is high in B vitamins, iron, protein, selenium and many other minerals. I love this brewer’s yeast because it’s made by and for nursing mothers. While it is slightly bitter, when combined with other ingredients, you can mask that flavor. 
  • Flax seeds – Both flax seeds and sesame seeds are full of phytoestrogens, which may help with milk production. Flaxseeds also have essential fatty acids to help minimize inflammation. They are easy to add to smoothies!
  • Almonds – Almonds and other nuts are high in protein and healthy unsaturated fats, both of which can help keep you fuller for longer periods of time, which helps with nursing hunger.  Ground almonds up in a food processor or add almond butter to your nursing smoothie recipe. 
  • Garlic – Garlic has been shown to have antioxidant properties and many health-promoting properties, as well as being a galactagogue. 
  • Fresh Ginger Root – Ginger is a well-known galactagogue in Thailand. A study published in Breastfeeding Medicine found that women taking ginger root had higher milk production than women not taking ginger. 
  • Greens – Dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale, arugula, swiss chard and collard greens are filled with essential vitamins and nutrients. They also contain phytoestrogen, which can help with lactation. 
  • Teas – There are also some teas that may help with milk production. I swear by Earth Mama’s products and this Milkmaid tea is one of my favorites.
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

Many of the options below for breastfeeding smoothies have delicious and nourishing flavors and ingredients, full of stimulating galactagogues to make easy smoothies for breastfeeding moms.

I like to call these lactation smoothie mixes mom’s best friend. See which one you like best, and change it up as you see fit, with soy milk, plant-based milks, etc.

Lactation Smoothie Recipes for Breastfeeding

These lactation smoothie recipes are great smoothies for breastfeeding moms, full of nourishing nutrients and that taste good!

Tips for Making Smoothies for Breastfeeding

The great thing about these ingredients for breastfeeding smoothie recipes is that you can cater them to your taste.

  • Add in greens and ginger – These galactagogue ingredients are easy to add to any existing smoothie recipe, plus they amplify nutrition. For example, this sweet potato smoothie is already high in anti-inflammatories, but adding some ginger and oats can turn it into an ultimate lactation smoothie.
  • Use fruit as a sweetener – Fruits, like mixed berries and mango, can be great sources of Vitamin C for your breastfeeding smoothies. I also love this carrot banana smoothie for its natural sweetness.
  • Add in brewer’s yeast – Brewer’s yeast is also a great source of protein, so you can add some to any smoothie, or even your morning bowl of oatmeal to get some nursing friendly support.
  • Add oats to your favorite existing smoothie recipe – Personally, I love adding oats to thicken up this already thick strawberry banana smoothie bowl, or I’ll add a plethora of ingredients to my favorite greek yogurt smoothies to make them more lactation friendly.
  • Freeze in bulk – Try to blend and freeze in bulk so you have several smoothies for breastfeeding in the future!
  • Don’t skip the healthy fats– Healthy fats, like nut butters, coconut milk, seeds, etc. are important for milk production and hormones. Don’t go on a low fat diet when breastfeeding.

I hope these tips and recipes help inspire you to create the ultimate lactation smoothie for your breastfeeding needs.

You may enjoy some of these other BREASTFEEDING AND PREGNANCY POSTS

nourishing lactation smoothies with text overlay

References:

  1. Bonyata, Kelly IBCLC. How Does Milk Production Work? Kelly Mom. Accessed April, 2020 from https://kellymom.com/hot-topics/milkproduction/
  2. Breastfeeding Your Baby: FAQs. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Accessed May 1, 2020 from https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/labor-delivery-and-postpartum-care/breastfeeding-your-baby
  3. Nice, Frank. Common Herbs and Foods Used as Galactogogues. Ican: Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition. 3: 129-132 (2011). doi: 10.1177/1941406411406118.
  4. Moberg, Kerstin, and Prime, Danielle. Oxytocin effects in mothers and infants during breastfeeding. Infant Journal. 9(6): 201-206 (2013). Accessed from http://www.infantjournal.co.uk/pdf/inf_054_ers.pdf
  5. Panwara Paritakul, Kasem Ruangrongmorakot, Wipada Laosooksathit, Maysita Suksamarnwong, and Pawin Puapornpong. Breastfeeding Medicine. Sep 2016.361-365.http://doi.org/10.1089/bfm.2016.0073
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