Healthy Foods That Help With Breastfeeding

Joanna Marie O. Santos
August 8, 2023

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It’s perfectly normal for breastfeeding moms to think about their milk production during the first few months after their child’s birth. Natural milk is essential for their child’s health and it is always advised for moms to feed breastmilk to their children as much as possible until the child reaches 6 months of age. After 6 months of age, breastfeeding parents are still advised to continue breastfeeding until after 2 years of age while the child is feeding from appropriate foods.


Mothers are encouraged to provide breast milk to their growing infants, ‌ which is why it is common for parents to wonder if they are producing enough milk to feed their children. A parent’s health is an important factor that will heavily affect their milk-producing abilities, but their diet also contributes to it. In this article, we will discuss some of the most nutritious foods that can help a breastfeeding mom produce healthy milk.


Protein-rich Foods


Image from SafeFood


One of the most essential nutrients that breastfeeding moms should not lack, protein, is a combination of essential amino acids that the body needs in order to function properly. For lactating moms, these building blocks are essential in helping them produce more breastmilk to help sustain their children. Breastfeeding is necessary for a child’s growth and development and protein-rich foods help to breastfeed moms to produce the necessary amount of milk for the child. 


Below is a list of protein-rich foods for breastfeeding moms:


  • Chicken

  • Fish

  • Eggs

  • Cheese

  • Yogurt

  • Lean Beef


Soy And Soy Products (Can Be An Alternative Protein-Source)


Image from Good Housekeeping


For mothers who are looking for vegan or vegetarian protein-source alternatives, soy, and other soy products are good foods to consume. Soy and soy products can be eaten by breastfeeding moms alongside meat and dairy products as well. A plant-based source of protein, soy, and soy products is a healthy alternative for moms who want to support their capability of producing breast milk for their children.


Below is a list of plant-based protein-rich foods for breastfeeding moms:


  • lentils

  • Soy-based meat substitutes

  • tofu

  • miso, tempeh, natto, and soy sauce.

  • Soymilk, edamame, soy nuts, and sprouts, 

  • Nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews, Pine, Brail, Hazel nuts)


Citrus Fruits


Image from The Spruce Eats


An excellent source of vitamin C, citrus fruits can help enhance a breastfeeding mom’s health and benefit breastmilk production. Vitamin C is necessary for health, especially for women who are producing milk for their infants. Vitamin C helps increase a person’s immune system, which ‌can also help enhance the breastfeeding baby’s health. 


Below is a list of Vitamin C-rich fruits for breastfeeding moms:


  • Orange

  • Limes

  • Kumquat

  • Lemon

  • Pomelo 

  • Calamansi


Citrus fruits can be consumed as a snack, or they can be juiced and enjoyed as a beverage. It is important to note that just like most foods, someone should not excessively consume citrus fruits, as they can cause stomach problems. Excessive consumption of citrus fruits can also increase the risk of high acidity or heartburn. 


Dark Green Veggies 


Image from OSF Healthcare


Dark green veggies are beneficial foods to eat for everybody, especially for breastfeeding women. Dark green vegetables are rich in essential vitamins like A and K, which are necessary vitamins that can help our bodies support skin, bone, and reproductive health. Dark green vegetables are also a great source of vitamin C.


Below is a list of dark green vegetables for breastfeeding moms:


  • Kale

  • Broccoli

  • Lettuce

  • Mustard Greens

  • Spinach

  • Romaine

  • Water spinach

  • Watercress


Apart from being rich in vitamins A, K, and C, dark green leafy vegetables are also a great source of folate, which is beneficial for both the health of the breastfeeding mother and baby. 


A Healthy Diet For The Mother And Her Baby


As parents, it is normal for mothers to be concerned about their milk production, especially if their baby is just a few months old and is still under 6 months of age. Mothers want to provide only the most beneficial food for their babies, so eating nutritious foods and keeping their health optimized is necessary. Consider including the foods mentioned above in your diet if you are a breastfeeding mother. It is also important to remember to consider your own nutritional needs, what your doctor advised, and your own dietary restrictions.