Click above to watch my VLOG – The Best Plant-Based Foods to Eat When Breastfeeding. Or, feel free to read the transcript below instead!
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Our vlog topic this week is The Best Plant-Based Foods to Eat When Breastfeeding. We go from pregnancy to birth very quickly, to a big focus on lactation and breastfeeding. We want to make sure that we want to give our bodies the best possible foods to support healthy milk production and to give our babies the best possible nutrients to keep their immunity up and to really support their growing system.
Plant-Based During Pregnancy and Post-Pregnancy
I will personally say that I’ve been plant-based for over a decade, so I definitely had a plant-based pregnancy and post-pregnancy with Bubby. I was very grateful to be able to produce a lot of milk.
The foods that I’m going to share with you today have solid research behind them and were some of the ones I really relied on. I can say from personal experience it really helped me produce a lot. I was feeding Bubby, I was pumping, I was freezing milk, and I hope that these foods really help you as well.
These are foods I definitely plan on incorporating a lot of as I go into this next breastfeeding cycle. And I want to say you don’t have to be fully plant-based to follow this. You can be an omnivore, you can be a pescatarian, but research shows that if you can increase the amount of these foods in your diet, no matter what your overall diet, you’re going to benefit your breastfeeding.
In fact, a 2017 study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that mothers who consumed a vegetable rich diet while breastfeeding ended up having babies who liked the taste of healthy food. Not only is this a great time for baby’s actual development, it also sets them up for a lifetime of healthy eating. It’s a really beautiful time and a beautiful gift to give your little one.
Food #1. Coconut Milk
The first food I want to talk about here, which really came to my attention from my Ayurveda teacher, Dr Jay, is coconut milk. And we did a whole YouTube video of how coconut milk and I want to say that it’s considered a miracle liquid due to its ability to build up the body’s immune system.
We know that there’s all sorts of healthy compounds in coconut milk such as lauric acid that can boost immunity and are anti-bacterial. We know that the healthy fat helps to really promote extra lactation from an Ayurvedic perspective.
There’s manganese and iron that’s really great for building healthy breast milk. The lauric acid is also easily absorbed and used by your body for energy, which all moms can use. I can’t recommend enough.
Using coconut milk in a lot of creamy soups and purees, but smoothies can work as well.
Food #2. Galactagogues
The next is, galactagogues. This is a group of foods that promote breast milk production. Specifically, there are herbs in Ayurvedic medicine which have been known to stimulate breast milk production, namely, fenugreek, cumin, and fennel.
These three spices and herbs should just be around your kitchen as you get into breastfeeding, you can cook with them, you can make a tea. This came from my teacher as well, with one tablespoon of fenugreek seeds soaked overnight and it’s a cleansing seed, which is said to not only help your breast milk, but also to help soothe baby’s colic.
You can try it for yourself. Try shaved fennel and salad. You can get fennel tea, but again, fennel, cumin, and fenugreek are some of the best galactagogues.
Food #3: Oatmeal
Third is oatmeal. Oatmeal is a wonderful food. I definitely had a lot of oatmeal when I was breastfeeding last time. It helps to promote a relaxation through oxytocin released in your body that comes from eating complex carbs, gluten-free carbs like oatmeal.
Now you want to make sure that you’re getting an organic oatmeal and you can look at the bag to make sure it’s processed in a gluten-free facility as sometimes there can be crossover and gluten can get into your oatmeal. This is what I usually look out for when I am sourcing my oatmeal. It’s also a great source of iron, which is great for new moms and the fiber is great for healthy digestion and promoting backup in constipation, which is also important for new moms.
Food #4: Healthy Fats like Chia Seeds & Avocado
Now healthy fats besides coconut milk are super important like avocado and chia seeds. Remember your breast milk has a lot of healthy fat in it as well as protein and water. So you want to make sure that you’re upping the good healthy fats, which are a great source of omega-3 fats.
I have been having a Power Protein Smoothie pretty much this whole pregnancy. I plan to continue during lactation and I will put my chia seeds in there. This is a great way that you can get them in.
Tip #5: Leafy Greens
And lastly, I want to say dark leafy greens are amazing for all these amazing nutrients which will pass to baby, the folic, the carotinoids, the antioxidants. I mean, there’s a billion unaccounted for, phytonutrients. We’re still discovering more and more that comes from these natural foods which are so, so powerful.
You really want to help get these into your system for healthy cell regeneration and formation passing to baby. I highly recommend that you drink your Glowing Green Smoothie® as you’re breastfeeding. It’s also very hydrating. Hydration is important for healthy breast milk, so keep all of it going.
Increase your levels, you’re probably going to be really hungry when you’re breastfeeding. You may be up at night so you can make your smoothies in batches and be another easy thing to grab from the fridge when you’re hungry at 3:00 in the morning.
Look out for more information about breastfeeding and healthy pregnancy and fertility, which is obviously on the top of mind right now. I send you so much love Beauty. I will see next week in our next vlog. Till then, take care and so much love.