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The 10 Best Lactation Smoothies for Breastfeeding

These delicious lactation smoothie recipes can help quench your hunger and thirst, 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

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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 lactation smoothies for breastfeeding were my go to’s!

So, if you’re searching for the best lactation smoothie recipe to nourish you and your baby, you’ve come to the right place!

Many of these breastfeeding smoothies are also great supplements to a healthy pregnancy breakfast on the go, and can be paired with other things for full meals.

Mother breastfeeding child in bed

What is a Lactation Smoothie?

A lactation smoothie, or breastfeeding smoothie, is a smoothie with specific ingredients believed to help moms stimulate milk production, while also helping to quench hunger and thirst. 

Plus, it’s easy to drink smoothies while breastfeeding, which is another win. 

Do lactation smoothies really work?

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.

A lactation smoothie is filled with galactagogues, and is rather easy to make (or save as a freezer meal for new moms)!

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.

Load them up with your favorite ingredients, healthy fats, extra protein, or extra nourishment, and it’s a great way to sip extra nutrition.

This smoothie bowl with strawberry and banana is easy to make, and is healthy and tasty.

What Are Galactagogues?

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

They may help stimulate oxytocin or milk supply, to help aid in breast milk ejection. There are lactogenic foods and ingredients that may help improve milk supply.  

closeup of garlic cloves in white basket

Lactation Smoothie Recipe Ingredients

These smoothie recipes for nursing moms contain many of those lactogenic ingredients, such as:

  • Oats – Oats provide iron, energizing carbohydrates, B-vitamins to help with the production of energy, and fiber.
  • 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 with keeping 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 booby 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. 
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

Recipes for Breastfeeding Smoothies

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

nourishing lactation smoothies with text overlay

Lactation Smoothie Recipes for Breastfeeding

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

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.

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

Mother nursing baby

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. 

This hunger may manifest as:

  • growling stomach or pain in the stomach
  • headaches
  • dizzy
  • obsession with food or constantly thinking about food
  • feeling extra tired and lethargic
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. 

I’m known to have 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.

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

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 galactogogue 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-inflammatory things, but adding some ginger and oats can turn it into an ultimate lactation smoothie.
  • 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!

I like to call these lactation smoothie mixes mom’s best friend. I hope these tips and recipes help inspire you to create the ultimate lactation smoothie for your breastfeeding needs.

Mom nursing baby on chair

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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