Which food is best for increasing breast milk? Breastfeeding Nutrition Myths Busted by Postpartum Dietitians

  • Don’t drink coffee!
  • Certain foods will increase your milk supply.
  • You need to drink milk to produce milk.
  • Vegan mothers can’t breastfeed. 
  • Always avoid peanuts and other foods that cause allergies.

There are so many more myths out there about breastfeeding and diet. They do more to scare new mothers than support them during this very challenging time. 

Another big myth: breastfeeding is easy.

Breastfeeding takes planning and support, and ideally, a healthy balanced diet. Today, we want to discuss breastfeeding lore, addressing these myths one by one.

  1. Can I drink coffee while breastfeeding? Yes. Yes. Yes. It seems unfair after sleepless nights to have to give up that delicious morning cup of coffee. Relax. Pour yourself a mug of coffee and enjoy it. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommend no more than 200 grams a day – about two small cups of coffee. Try to time your coffee indulgence AFTER feeding, so it’s not right before a feed.
  2. Which food is best for increasing breast milk? None. A woman’s body produces the just right amount of milk for her baby unless there’s a physical or physiological problem. As a rule, eat a balanced diet to nourish yourself, and your body will take care of nourishing your baby. Biology works in wonderful ways!
  3. Do I need to drink milk to produce milk? No. Humans are the only animals that ingest milk from other animals. While yogurt, cheeses, and other dairy products are healthy snacks, it’s not necessary to ingest more of them (or any of them) to produce breast milk.
  4. Can I breastfeed if I am a vegan or vegetarian? Yes. Yes. Yes. I know your great-grandmother, the neighbor, and the UPS delivery person might’ve told you otherwise. You can absolutely breastfeed as a vegan or vegetarian mother. Just be mindful to get the nutrients and calories you need.
  5. Can I eat foods that commonly cause allergies while breastfeeding? You might have heard you should steer clear of peanuts, strawberries, and seafood. Well, if you are allergic to these foods, absolutely. If not, enjoy! 

Breastfeeding isn’t as tricky as people make it out to be. It’s not easy. But if you’re eating a balanced diet, and taking care of your body, your body will do the work to take care of your baby. 

Work with a lactation nutritionist to get a diet plan to help you heal postpartum, improve your breastfeeding experience, and feel more energetic. Get meal plans and feel empowered to choose the best foods for you and your growing baby.