However, a lot of factors can affect milk supply including sleep, stress, hormones, hydration and diet. Getting enough calories is important for your body to be able to produce milk. To keep up your energy and caloric needs a balanced diet full of protein and healthy fats is important.
Food is not only nourishing but also healing. However, as a busy mother it can be difficult to find the time to nurture yourself while taking care of your little ones. A meal may entail eating your kids’ leftovers while standing over the sink or having a handful of candy for lunch. Or just not eating at all and running on empty.
Here are some quick and easy meals you can eat that can nourish, heal and help with your milk supply.
Nuts. These are a great, easy and healthy snack. Buy a couple packs and keep one in your car or purse (just make sure your child does not get to them if you don’t yet know whether or not they are allergic!). All nuts are excellent but we love almonds. These tree nuts are packed with nutrients, proteins and healthy fats. And just a handful make a satisfying - and convenient - snack.
Breakfast is considered by many nutritionists as the most important meal. It sets up a foundation for you for the rest of the day and fuels your activities. However, a bleary-eyed mom who’s been up all night might not be able to tell you what day it is much less whip up an nutritious first meal. But a good breakfast doesn’t have to be a fancy acai bowl with 12 different ingredients and an Instagram-worthy color profile.
It can be as simple as a bowl of instant oatmeal that you microwaved for 1-minute. You can also put some oats into a cup, pour milk in until they’re covered and let it sit in your fridge overnight. In the morning you can add a spoonful of honey and a dash of cinnamon or top with any fruit you may have around; bananas are a great option. If you want some lactation power try topping the oatmeal with a Mrs. Patel’s Lactation Treat.
Our Lactation Treats feature fenugreek to aid milk production, improve digestion and to ease inflammation. (Note: we use a culinary quantity of fenugreek not a concentrated dosage.) These treats have coconut, an excellent source of healthy fat which is also high in lauric acid, and almond meal sourced from a local family-run farm of 4th generation farmers. The bars also have two special ayurvedic herbs - peepramul for postpartum healing, gastric discomfort and joint pain and high-in-fiber acacia gum for lower back and pelvic pain. You can use the bar bites as toppings or have them on their own for a handy, nutritious and filling snack that can help with lactation.
For lunch or dinner, simple soups and stews are both healthy and good for postpartum digestion. You can prep and freeze a variety ahead of time. However, for an even quicker and simpler meal, try a porridge. We recommend the foundational Ayurvedic dish Khichari, which is the Queen of Porridges. This rice and mung bean dish is comforting, nourishing and features the superfoods turmeric and ghee. You can also add mild spices like cinnamon sticks, cloves, ginger and cumin for digestion and flavor. It takes less than 5 minutes to put together (no chopping!) and less than 30 min to cook (less if you have an instant pot or pressure cooker). See below for Mrs. Patel’s Khichari recipe.
There are meals you can prep and freeze ahead of time before you give birth, meal trains your friends and family may set-up for you after baby arrives and there are more and more healthy and delicious meal delivery options available. These all are great options as well.
Just make sure you don’t forget to feed YOU while you are feeding and nourishing your baby!
Mrs. Patel’s Breakfast Avocado
Like any fresh food, pumped breast milk needs to be stored properly or it can spoil. And the last thing a pumping mother wants to do is throw out precious liquid gold. Or, even worse, sicken her child with milk which has gone bad. Here are some guidelines to keep your pumped milk safe for baby.