My friend Jennifer asked me about foods that promote lactation.  She absolutely loves breast-feeding and when I read her feedback on it I thought that I need to share her experiences with you. Thank you Jen!

“I absolutely love breastfeeding. It’s the most beautifully bonding thing a woman can experience with her baby. Plus it’s absolutely amazing how I’ve gotten my figure back with not much exercise in the past six months. It burns 500calories a day! My husband is blown away at how amazing nature has a way of such things! It has helped me fall asleep quickly when doing late feedings and has promoted so many happy feel good hormones. No post partum depression that’s for sure!” (Jen T.)

Jennifer and James April 2010

Breast-feeding has tremendous nutritional, immunological, emotional and psychological benefits for the new born and I can just encourage all new mothers to breastfeed as long as possible. You lay the foundation for your child and provide him/her with the most amazing gift.

There are certain foods that promote lactation which include:

  • Asparagus
  • Borage (European herb)
  • Dill (use fresh to garnish foods)
  • Fennel (enjoy a cup of fennel tea in between meals)
  • Nigella (Indian spice)
  • Black sesame seeds (dry roasted),
  • Juice from cooked aduki beans
  • Carrot
  • Sweet potato
  • Fermented soy beans in miso, tempeh and tamari (consumed in moderation)

To promote lactation it is also essential to nourish and strengthen the kidney through adequate rest and relaxation after the delivery (6 weeks minimum) and via the intake of the following foods:

  • Mussels
  • Fish (particularly broths)
  • Millet
  • Legumes (e.g. Aduki beans, mung beans, black beans)
  • Kelp (garnish your foods with it)
  • Kombu (add when cooking soups or stews)
  • Parsley
  • Spirulina
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Wild rice
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Almonds (soaked and peeled)
  • Bee pollen (1/4 tsp in your breakfast every 2-3 days)

8 Responses to “Foods that Promote Lactation”

  1. MsJ says:

    I’m sorry, who here can really eat this stuff on a regular basis?

  2. Fati says:

    Who can’t eat some carrots every day?

  3. CAH says:

    Carrots, sweet potatoes, asparagus, and black beans are pretty standard. If you’re eating healthy, which you should be anyway but especially should have been during pregnancy and should be while breastfeeding, these foods should be very easy to find and incorporate into your diet. Don’t feel like you have to eat all of these things everyday but if you buy 1 or 2 items that you wouldn’t normally buy everytime you go shopping, you’ll have them. Or when you stop to buy a coffee or soda, buy a green smoothie instead (Naked juice and Odwalla each make a version). The green smoothies have spirulina among other amazing nutrients and despite the color, taste really good (the base is usually apple juice and bananas). Thanks for this info. I will pass along.

  4. MsSmith says:

    I agree, who cant eat a few simple healthy food everyday, my two yearold can do it so can you

  5. foeby says:

    Fenugreek. Good for lactation!

  6. Sophia says:

    I have always had a tough time keeping up with my babies’ growth and hunger. Fenugreek and other herbs did nothing but make me stink. Tons of fluids, whole milk and whole milk cheese/yogurt, whole-grains and regular fish plus plenty of rest (good luck with that, btw) seem to help.

  7. JHof says:


  8. Mary says:

    Ok so I don’t agree with the list of foods on this list. For example parsley affects the woman’s body as if she were taking sudaphed which consuming parsley will dry up your milk supply. Legumes and seafood should be limited until well after 6 months atleast . It’s all about eating healthy and nursing on cue and not schedule. There isn’t a Special Food to make you have gallons of milk lol. Eat And drink and rest.

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