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10 foods for nursing moms and expectant mothers to increase breast milk production and lactation in wake of baby formula shortage

Photo of Dominic Genetti


benefits of breastfeeding for newborns.  happy motherhood.  family values.

benefits of breastfeeding for newborns. happy motherhood. family values.

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American mothers are doing everything they can to get their hands on baby formula as a major shortage is impacting the country.

There are bare shelves in stores, and even the federal government is getting involved to move production along.

But some mothers may be nursing and trying to do everything they can to increase or prolong their very own breast milk production to avoid the stresses and worries of the shortage.

First Cry, a parenting website, released a list of different foods in 2019 that are the best for increased breast milk production and for enhanced breast milk nutrients. Below are 10 of those foods for moms to consider, no matter what their situation the baby formula shortage may be.

carrots


Carrot colorful overhead group in studio lined up on old rustic brown wooden table

Carrot colorful overhead group in studio lined up on old rustic brown wooden table

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With their crunch and natural sweetness, First Cry says carrots can increase lactation and is loaded with Vitamin A.

The Vitamin A alone helps with the overall quality of breast milk.



Asparagus


Fresh raw green Asparagus on wooden chopping board.

Fresh raw green Asparagus on wooden chopping board.

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Vitamins A and K are very much present in asparagus and the high-fiber is very beneficial to one’s overall health.

In fact, First Cry says the properties of asparagus can trigger the hormone responsible for lactation.



Green Leaf Vegetables


Scallions on a cutting board.

Scallions on a cutting board.

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From spinach to scallions and kale to mustard greens just about any kind of green leaf vegetable is going to help with increasing breast milk supply.

While there are a lot of nutrients and properties that have fantastic overall health benefits, First Cry says it’s the vitamins these foods contain that in the end play a part in lactation.



Garlic


One whole garlic head and one head of garlic cut in half on wooden surface

One whole garlic head and one head of garlic cut in half on wooden surface

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Garlic has a lot of properties that can increase overall health, but First Cry advises that garlic’s potency in smell and taste could play a role in the taste and smell of breast milk, so moderation is suggested.



Sweet Potatoes


Sweet potato isolated on white background.

Sweet potato isolated on white background.

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Sweet potatoes are one of those super foods that can be used in a variety of dishes and recipes and be very heart and health happy.

First Cry points out that the elements of sweet potatoes, such as Vitamin C, B-complex and magnesium are very nutritious for nursing mothers. Amongst many things, their makeup results in giving mommy the energy she needs.



Salmon


Fresh raw salmon fillets on a wooden board with lemon and fish net background.

Fresh raw salmon fillets on a wooden board with lemon and fish net background.

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With all the pomp and circumstance surrounding salmon, at this point the fish might as well swim within waters and streams wearing superhero costumes with capes.

Salmon is beneficial for everyone and practically everything — must be why bears wait so intently to catch the right one. And one of those beneficial nutrients the popular fish entree is fatty acids.

First Cry says no matter how you cook it, salmon can make breast milk more nutritious.


Oatmeal


Healthy breakfast Organic oat flakes in a wooden bowl Gray textile background Top view Copy space

Healthy breakfast Organic oat flakes in a wooden bowl Gray textile background Top view Copy space

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“You can use these oats to make oatmeal, bread, whatever you want. I don’t care, they’re your oats.” – Dwight Schrute, The Office

Oats certainly do have a lot of uses and from breakfast to beer they can certainly make for great recipies and concoctions, but as it turns out just plain and simple oatmeal will do its part in getting mothers plenty of nutrients that will be transferred to the breast milk.

And it’s just not oatmeal, oat muffins, oat cookies and oat bread also have their benefits.



apricots


Apricots with leaves on the old wooden table.

Apricots with leaves on the old wooden table.

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Apricots are not only delicious, but they’ve also got some great health benefits in their makeup.

They’re rich in calcium and fiber, however, First Cry notes that they also stabilize hormonal imbalances so mommy should get her fair share both before and after delivery.



watermelon


Watermelon slices.

Watermelon slices.

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If watermelon needed two words to describe it, those words would probably be “sweet hydration.”

From it’s fructose, fiber, and yes, water, watermelon can increase breast milk production, First Cry says, and also maintain it. Staying hydrated and eating foods with water increases hydration and lactation.



grapefruit


Grapefruit is a super fruit that can help women with breast milk quality and production.

Grapefruit is a super fruit that can help women with breast milk quality and production.

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Grapefruit always seems to have just the right stuff in it when it comes to all of its health benefits, doesn’t it?

Well, the same can be said for lactation.

Vitamins C and A can be found in grapefruit, which First Cry identifies as a super fruit, and between the fructose, citric acid and dietary fibers, grapefruit can not only improve lactation but the quality of the breast milk.


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