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Are you a mom who’s struggling with producing enough milk and looking at drinks that increase breast milk supply? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Let me start by saying that experiencing a sudden drop in milk supply when breastfeeding is totally normal: many women, me included, have experienced it at least once during their breastfeeding journey. There are many reasons why you may be experiencing a decrease in milk supply and, depending on the reason, there are a few things that you could try to fix it, including trying the drinks listed below.
If you want dig deeper into why you are actually not producing enough milk, and what all the different options are to increase your milk supply, then have a look at this article first: Sudden Drop in Milk Supply (Signs, Causes & How to Fix it!)
Why these Drinks will Boost your Milk Supply
Let me start by explaining why the following drinks can help produce more breast milk.
Breastmilk is made of 90% water. For this reason, it’s very important to stay hydrated and have a good fluid intake. If you are significantly dehydrated, your body will slow down its breast milk production and your own health will be impacted.
Some experts recommend drinking about 128 ounces of water per day. However, I don’t think you need to get too fixated with a specific quantity. Just make sure you drink enough to satisfy your thirst.
And fluids can come from different sources, not just water! So, all the drinks below will help you stay hydrated to prevent your milk supply from taking a dip.
Note: Be particularly careful if you are at the beach with baby and the weather it’s very hot! Staying properly hydrated is going to be extremely important in this case.
Further to that, there are lots of foods and herbs that can really help with breastfeeding (called galactagogues), so these lactation drinks also include herbal teas or smoothies that contain specific ingredients that will stimulate your body to produce more milk.
Drinks that Increase Milk Supply
Here’s a list of 14 drinks to increase breast milk production.
Drinking lots of water might seem like a given, but it’s really important to understand that dehydration can seriously affect your milk supply, and water is the easiest, most accessible drink that will help with that.
It’s so easy to get distracted throughout the day, particularly with a newborn, and forget to drink enough water. So, if you are experiencing a drop in milk supply, start by adding a couple more glasses of water a day to your diet.
I actually love always having a water bottle with me, so that it’s easier for me to keep track of how much I am drinking, and so that I know I always have water with me wherever I go. Many moms like using a Tumbler, but I personally really enjoy using one of these stainless steel bottles. Both are insulated and can carry either hot or cold drinks.
Don’t forget to put water on the top of your list of essentials items to pack, if going to the beach with baby during summer. If you like drinking cold water, a cool tip is to freeze water the night before going to the beach.
2) Infused Water
If you don’t like plain water, you can try infuse it with lemon, cucumber, or mint leaves. These ingredients will give the water a refreshing taste and might help you go through a few more glasses a day.
3) Seltzer Water
Another idea if you don’t like plain water is to try drink seltzer or carbonated water. My wife is actually addicted to seltzer water and can’t even stand plain water anymore.
4) Coconut Water
Another one of the best drinks to increase milk supply is coconut water. This drink is naturally refreshing and it’s packed with electrolytes, minerals and vitamins.
In case you didn’t know, electrolytes are electrically charged minerals, such as sodium, phosphate, potassium, calcium or magnesium. These minerals help regulate the balance of fluid in the body and retain fluids to prevent dehydration. That’s why sports drinks full of electrolytes are perfect for after exercising!
And for this reason, coconut water is much more effective than water at keeping you hydrated and can help increasing your breast milk supply.
Another added bonus of coconut water is that it can help boost baby’s immune system by providing added antimicrobial protection into the breast milk. In fact, a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that lactating mothers who consumed regular amount of coconut milk have increased level of lauric and capric acid (antimicrobials) in their breast milk.
Coconut Water vs Coconut Milk
Coconut water is not to be confused with coconut milk. Coconut water is a clear liquid in the fruit’s center that is tapped from young, green coconuts. Whereas coconut milk is made by grating the flesh of mature, brown coconuts and simmering it in hot water: the mixture is then strained to remove any solid remnants.
Coconut milk contains way more calories, carbs and sugar. Here’s the comparison between 1 cup (240 mL) of coconut water and milk (source):
|Coconut Water||Coconut Milk|
|Carbs||9 grams||13 grams|
|Sugar||6 grams||8 grams|
|Fat||0.5 grams||57 grams|
|Protein||2 grams||5.5 grams|
of the Daily Value (DV)
|18% of the DV|
|Magnesium||15% of the DV||22% of the DV|
|Manganese||17% of the DV||110% of the DV|
|Sodium||11% of the DV||1% of the DV|
|Vitamin C||10% of the DV||11% of the DV|
|Folate||2% of the DV||10% of the DV|
5) Herbal Teas
If you like drinking tea, there are also a lot of herbal teas that can help increase your milk production. In fact, all these teas contain herbs that are natural galactagogues, meaning substances that promote lactation and increases breast milk supply. Some of the most common galactagogues herbs are fenugreek, fennel or blessed thistle.
Mother’s Milk Tea
Mother’s Milk Tea is America’s number 1 lactation tea. It has helped breastfeeding women for a long time now and many women swear by it. It contains fennel and fenugreek, both herbs known to increase milk supply.
Both my wife and I stocked up on Mother’s Milk Tea when we found out we were pregnant, and I think it really helped when I was breastfeeding.
Pink Stork is another option. It has a great selection of lactation teas, made from 100% organic herbs including fennel, anise, marshmallow root, fenugreek, and more. They also have a great selection of Postpartum Teas that can really help with postpartum recovery!
Earth Mama Milkmaid Tea
Earth Mama Milkmaid Tea is another favorite from breastfeeding moms. Still made from 100% organic ingredients, including: fenugreek, fennel, milk thistle, nettle and raspberry leaf, and more.
6) Coconut Water Infused with Tea
If you want to take the benefits of coconut water and amp it up even further, then try experimenting with this Frosty Coconut Mint Green Tea Mocktail. It works by infusing coconut water with some green tea, fresh mint, and ice.
Just blend it all up in your blender and you have one delicious and hydrating mocktail to sip, particularly during summer.
7) Body Armor
Body Armor is another one that’s often mentioned as a drink to boost milk supply, and many breastfeeding moms love it! It’s almost like coconut water but on steroids and this is why …
Body Armor is a sports drink made with coconut water concentrate, added electrolytes, antioxidants and B vitamins. It is designed to hydrate while replenishing your body with electrolytes, in higher quantities compared to simple coconut water.
The normal Body Armor drink contains sugars, so consider drinking the Body Armor Lyte with no added sugar. This drink is made with natural sweeteners and it comes in different interesting flavors: peach mango, blueberry pomegranate, watermelon, berry punch, strawberry lemonade, tropical coconut, coconut and orange clementine.
8) Starbucks Pink Drink
Who’s hasn’t heard about the Pink Drink increasing milk supply? The Pink Drink is a Starbucks iced beverage made with ice, a strawberry acai base, coconut milk, and freeze dried strawberries, and it’s become famous on social media for saving lots of breastfeeding moms who weren’t producing enough milk.
Now, I won’t go through all the debates on whether this actually works or not. I think the testimonies of all moms that could swear this helped them is enough to understand that it actually does something. However, don’t expect the Pink Drink to work like a magic pill!
It simply works by hydrating the body and, because it’s a very nice drink, it encourages moms to drink more. Plus it’s got coconut milk with all its added benefits 🙂
That said, I much prefer the homemade and unsweetened version. The actual Pink Drink from Starbucks has got a bit of sugar in it, which can be totally cut out (or adjusted to your liking) if done at home. Not to mention that it would be much cheaper to do it yourself instead of buying it from Starbucks every time!
9) Milk Boosting Smoothies
If you love drinking smoothies as much as I do, then you’ll be please to know that there are so many different smoothies that can help boost your milk supply! And, as long as you understand what ingredients are effective in promoting lactation, you can get creating yourself in the kitchen and come up with different combinations.
I have listed some of my favorite smoothies below, but here’s also some of the most common galactagogues that you should look for if you want to try other recipes: beets, carrots, dark and leafy greens (like kale or spinach), oats, brewer’s yeast, nuts and ginger. And don’t forget our favorite ingredient: coconut milk!
Blueberry Banana Chia Smoothie with Coconut Water
This yummy tropical smoothie is packed with a whole lot of delicious ingredients, including coconut water. Check these out:
- frozen blueberries
- frozen banana
- coconut water
- raw honey
You can head over to Hawaii Travel with Kids for the full recipe.
Green Lactation Smoothie
This Green Lactation Smoothie is so good and filling you could have it for breakfast. It contains: kiwi, raw spinach baby leaves, banana, fortified almond milk, chia seeds, oats, hemp powder and peanut butter.
You can find the full recipe at My Pure Plant.
Avocado Berry Smoothie with Collagen
I love avocado, in any shape or form, so I had to add this Avocado Berry Smoothie from Cook at Home Mom. Here’s the ingredients:
- frozen peaches
- frozen mixed berries plus extra for garnish
- gluten free rolled oats
- unsweetened almond milk
- frozen or fresh riced cauliflower
- collagen peptides (optional)
This Pineapple Smoothie contains both coconut water and milk, to give it a nice consistency, as well as: pineapple, bananas, honey and vanilla extract. You can head over to Healthy Recipes 101 for the full recipe.
Other Smoothies that Increase Milk Supply
Here’s other ideas and recipes:
- Iron Rich Smoothie: made with spinach, dried apricots, kiwi, and coconut milk
- Avocado and Spinach Green Smoothie Bowl: made with avocado, fresh spinach, banana, fresh ginger, turmeric powder and coconut water
- Berry Beet Smoothie: made with pineapple, banana, carrots, strawberries, beet, coconut water and Stevia sweetener
- Tropical Fruit and Charcoal Smoothie: made with pineapple juice, raspberries, lime juice, coconut water, ice and activated charcoal powder
10) Protein Powder Mix
One of the reasons why you may be experiencing a drop in milk supply is that you are not eating and consuming enough proteins, so your body doesn’t have the energy to produce enough milk. For this reason, supplementing your diet with lactation proteins should definitely be something for you to try.
Protein powders offer high concentrates of essential vitamins and minerals that are normally difficult to consume. They are derived from organic and clean ingredients, and many of them are vegan, plant-based and free of allergens.
Here’s some of the best lactation protein powders. Add them to some water, coconut water, or to a smoothie!
Milk Dust Lactation Protein Powder
Milk Dust Lactation Protein Powder is a plant-based protein powder derived from pea protein, brown rice protein, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds. It is specifically formulated to boost your milk supply, while also helping you lose weight (by stopping all your sugars cravings). It has stellar reviews from many breastfeeding moms.
Majka Breastfeeding Protein Powder
Majka Breastfeeding Protein Powder is another awesome powder that will help increase your milk production. It contains a special lactation blend with fennel and fenugreek, as well as probiotics, digestive enzymes, a fruit blend and a greens blend.
Ora Organic Vegan Protein Powder
Ora Organic Vegan Protein Powder is another powder mix that includes plant protein as well as superfoods and greens, so you are getting more than just protein. It also contains digestive enzymes that break down the plant protein, which helps eliminate bloating while maximizing absorption.
11) Brewer’s Yeast
While brewer’s yeast is commonly used when making beer or bread, you should know that it’s also a galactagogue, promoting breast milk production.
It comes from a one-celled fungus as a byproduct of beer making and can be grown as a supplement. It contains iron, protein and vitamin B, as well as lots of different minerals.
12) Blue Gatorage
We’ve already looked at Body Armor. However, other sports drinks with electrolytes are also good, as they can help replace lost salt and retain fluid, therefore preventing dehydration and a decrease in milk supply.
In particular, drinking Blue Gatorage for breastfeeding seems to be a solution for lots of moms who swear by it in breastfeeding forums. I honestly cannot find a logical reason as to why blue is better than any other color (I will park this in the “internet legends” department 🙂 ), but that is the color that seems to be doing the magic!
If you want to give it a try as a drink that increases milk supply, just make sure you don’t overdo it though, as there’s a lot of sugar in Gatorade drinks.
13) Premama Lactation Support Mix
Similarly to the protein powder mixes, the Premama Lactation Support Mix is another specifically formulated powder to enhance milk production in breastfeeding moms. It contains folic acid, vitamin D3, and calcium, as well as fenugreek, fennel seed, and blessed thistle (all galactagogues).
I personally haven’t tried this one, but it’s got amazing reviews on Amazon!
Last but not least, if your milk supply is low because you are experiencing vomiting, diarrhea or lots of sweating, then you should try this DripDrop ORS (oral rehydration solution) which quickly replenishes electrolytes, speeds up re-hydration and increases fluid retention.
Beer to Increase Milk Supply?
Is it true that drinking beer while breastfeeding can increase milk supply, or is it just is just an old wives’ tale?
Well, there is some evidence that the polysaccharide carbohydrates found in beer, such as barley and hops, do help with milk production. However, alcohol itself has the opposite effect, and can cause a temporary and significant decrease in milk supply (not to mention other side effects). Hence the reason why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend drinking alcohol while breastfeeding.
One study, Beer, Breast Feeding and Folklore, found that breast-fed infants consumed an average of 23 % less milk after their mothers had just one alcoholic beer. So, if you want to try beer to boost your milk supply, be careful!
Things to Watch Out For
While all drinks listed above have the potential to boost your milk supply, there’s a couple of things that you should watch out for:
- Fenugeek: this herb is known for increasing milk supply but also for causing the opposite effect in some women (especially moms with a thyroid problem). It can also reduce blood glucose levels, which can be a problem for women with diabetes or hypoglycemia. So, if you are drinking anything with fenugreek, make sure that your milk supply doesn’t start tanking.
- Too much water: I know I put a lot of emphasis on staying well hydrated and drinking lots of water, but make sure not to drink too much. Apparently, drinking too much water and forcing fluids has been shown to diminish milk production. So, drink enough to satisfy your first, and maybe a little bit more – but don’t overdo it.
Drinks that Increase Milk Supply: Final Thoughts
So, I hope I have answered your question on what to drink to increase breast milk supply! There are lots of different drink choices in this article and I am sure you can find your favorite drinks to stay well hydrated throughout the day and that will support your lactation needs.
Just remember not too focus too much on just finding ingredients, whether that be foods or drinks, that will boost your milk production. You need to look at your body not producing enough milk from an holistic point of view, and get to the root cause as to why it’s happening. It might be dehydration, and imbalanced diet, the fact that you’ve been sick, stress, etc.
Identifying the reason why your milk supply has dropped will help you come up with the perfect plan to boost it up again, and these drinks can support that plan and speed up the progress. But they probably won’t fix the whole problem by themselves.
Galactagogues, for example, only work when breastmilk is being removed frequently and effectively from a mother’s breasts. Otherwise they won’t work at all!
Also, if you are wondering how much for how long you should be drinking one of the above beverages, the answer is that it really depends on the person. Give it a go and see how your body reacts.
If you are really struggling, then I’d highly recommend you enroll in a breastfeeding or pumping course, or talk to a lactation consultant. I saw a certified lactation consultant when my daughter was very little and it was one of the best investment I could have done for my breastfeeding journey.
Here’s some related articles that might help:
- Sudden Drop in Milk Supply (Signs, Causes & How to Fix it!)
- 20+ Best Online Breastfeeding Courses (FREE Classes too!)
- Sore Nipples While Breastfeeding?! 15 Tips that Saved Me!
If you are pumping and feeding your baby with a bottle, also check out these articles:
- Paced Bottle Feeding (Benefits & Tips to do it Right!)
- 25 Formula & Bottle Feeding Tips (to Make it Easier!)
- Baby Suddenly Refusing Bottle (Why & 19 Things to Try!)
Are you a mom that’s experiencing a drop in milk supply and have some questions about what I’ve written here? Or did you find another drink that increases milk supply and would like to share it with other moms? Then please let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!
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