A lactation smoothie can help quench your hunger, thirst and help with milk production! These 10 lactation smoothie recipes for breastfeeding are full of nutritious ingredients that may help with milk production (galactagogues)!
If you’re a new nursing mom, you’re probably really familiar with the constant nursing hunger that comes up. Especially once you return to exercise and running, balancing nursing and running can make you feel constantly hungry. Lactation smoothies were my go to!
Have the thoughts, “Why am I always hungry while breastfeeding?” or “How to curb hunger while breastfeeding?” ever crossed your mind?
Well, there’s a reason for that!
Why You May Have Constant Hunger While Breastfeeding
A simple way to think about it is that you are expending energy and calories through producing milk. When your baby is nursing, he/she is drinking the milk that you produce, stimulating your body to produce more milk.
While the amount of calories a mom burns while breastfeeding will vary based on the person, a general range is 400-600 calories, 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.
Hunger while breastfeeding can manifest in different ways, like:
- growling stomach or pain in the stomach
- obsession with food or constantly thinking about food
- feeling extra tired and lethargic
Hunger is ever something to be ignored. Your body, milk supply and baby will thank you for nourishing your body properly.
If you need another resource to help you identify hunger and fullness, this 50 page Ebook has nutrition tips, journaling prompts and more.
Let’s talk about some of the best smoothies for breastfeeding.
Do Lactation Smoothies Work?
A lactation smoothie, or breastfeeding smoothie, is 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.
While we don’t have published research on the efficiency of lactation smoothies for breastfeeding, I think smoothies for breastfeeding mothers can be extra helpful for nursing moms because they are both hydrating and filling, filled with galactagogues, and rather easy to make (or freeze for later)!
What Are Galactagogues?
Galactagogues are herbs and foods that have been used historically by breastfeeding women to maintain and increase milk supply.
What Do Lactation Smoothie Recipes Include and How To Make Lactation Smoothies
For a smoothie to be considered a lactation smoothie, it would typically contain some ingredients or lactogenic foods that help with milk production, known as galactagogues.
Some of these ingredients include:
- 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.
- Flaxseeds – Both flaxseeds 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 lactation 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.
10 Delicious Lactation Smoothie Recipes for Nursing Moms
If you’re searching for the best lactation smoothie recipe, you’ve come to the right place!
Many of the options below have delicious and nourishing flavors and ingredients, full of breastfeeding galactagogues.
Pack in the protein and antioxidants with this creamy blueberry lactation smoothie. It’s filled with blueberries, almond milk, almond butter, and oats.
This avocado lactation smoothie boasts a creamy blend of oats, avocado and greens. Therefore, this orange creamsicle smoothie is a great milk boosting smoothie!
This momma lactation smoothie shake is full of nourishing lactation ingredients, like oats, fruit, chia seeds and flaxseeds.
A vegan, apple banana smoothie with oats, made with your choice of milk.
Full of fruit and healthy fat, this strawberry tahini milkshake is creamy and filling. Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds. Add oats and flax seeds for an extra lactation boost!
This smoothie boasts freshly grated ginger, spinach greens, and healthy fats from coconut flakes and chia seeds for a lactation boost!
It’s difficult to find a lactation smoothie with brewers yeast, but this one has it! This smoothie includes brewer’s yeast, oats, flaxseed, almond butter and ginger for a maximum lactation boost!
An immune-boosting smoothie for breastfeeding with turmeric, ginger, and flax seeds. The greek yogurt adds some extra fat and protein and you could also add greens.
This lactation smoothie strawberry banana ginger is thickened with oats and greek yogurt, and adds ginger to help minimize nausea.
A blend of healthy fats, protein, and complex carbohydrates, this peanut butter banana oatmeal smoothie provides sustainable energy from oats, greek yogurt, flax seeds and fruit.
More Smoothie Recipes?
Check out this roundup of 30+ greek yogurt smoothies – great for breakfasts, snacks, pre/post workout and extra hydration.
This Sweet Potato Beet Smoothie is great for serving fruits and veggies with ample antioxidants.
An orange mango smoothie is the perfect tropical addition to our day, filled with protein and tons of Vitamin C!
Need a boost of caffeine in your smoothie? Try this peanut butter coffee smoothie to start the day!
- Bonyata, Kelly IBCLC. How Does Milk Production Work? Kelly Mom. Accessed April, 2020 from https://kellymom.com/hot-topics/milkproduction/
- 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
- Nice, Frank. Common Herbs and Foods Used as Galactogogues. Ican: Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition. 3: 129-132 (2011). doi: 10.1177/1941406411406118.
- 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
- Breastfeeding Medicine. Sep 2016.361-365.http://doi.org/10.1089/bfm.2016.0073