I have been blessed with a very successful breastfeeding situation. I am aware that not everyone has it as easy as I do on the breastfeeding front. More importantly, everyone needs a little help sometimes, and that is where I found myself about a week before classes started this year. A combination of a baby growth spurt plus me being super anxious about how we as a family were going to manage 3 days a week of mommy not being home lead to my supply not being what it once was. Up until a few weeks prior, I could consistently get 2-3 ounces out after the morning feeding. And thank God for that because I would not have had the stockpile in my freezer without it and I would have been even more stressed!
In any event, I had to find a way to boost my supply, because Aaron was waking up a bajillion times a night to feed, plus during the day, and I couldn’t get anything done around the house! Moreover, I was kind of hoping to add just a little bit more to my stockpile in the freezer. Thus begins my search for a lactation smoothie. I figure a smoothie is faster than cookies, which was the other option I was looking into for a lactation boost, so here we are.
Solgar – Brewers Yeast 7-1/2 Grains Vitamin B12, 250 tablets
The first thing I will advise is that if you are truly having lactation struggles, the one thing that I have consistently heard good things about across the Internet is Brewers yeast. I did not use any in my first try of this smoothie because I couldn’t get my hands on any at the time (and I ended up not needing it). My mom says you are most likely to find Brewers yeast in the health food aisle of the grocery store, and you can also order it online in the above link (also linked below in the recipe, for your convenience). My grocery store doesn’t have a health food aisle, so I will be ordering if I ever find myself in dire lactation straights. Important Note: if you decide to use this I’m told you should definitely use a sweetener (such as honey) because this stuff has a really strong/icky taste.
Flax Seed and Chia Seeds
The second most consistent thing that I found in my research was chia seeds and flax seed. I used a spoonful of each for this smoothie.
The next thing I heard was oats, however, I forgot them the first time I made this smoothie, and never really got into the habit afterward. Also I had made myself oatmeal a few days prior and had seen no meaningful results. If you want to add oats, I would say maybe 1/2 a cup will be fine for this smoothie?
Another thing that is supposed to help with lactation is Almond Milk. I measured by eye how much I thought I would need for a good consistency. I’m gonna say it was probably around 2-3 cups.
Fun Fact: drinking/consuming a great deal of dairy products can cause your baby to colic! I thought this was an old wives tale, but since cutting out milk from my diet my son has not colicked at all, and on days I put milk in my cereal he is a bit more fussy.
A large spoonful should do it. I tend to buy peanut butter enriched with Omega-3 because I don’t have as many opportunities to eat fish anymore, and it’s good for your brain! This is mostly here to add protein, make your smoothie creamier, and to go with the bananas. If you’re allergic/hate peanut butter you will be fine without it.
You need 2. This works best if the bananas are frozen, but on days that I forget to throw them in the freezer I have also added a fruity flavored popsicle so everything comes out nice and cold. You can add other fruits to taste as well, I keep meaning to try it with strawberries but they never look particularly nice in the store/are out of season at this point. Supposedly bananas help with lactation, however, so I would keep them as the core fruit in your smoothie.
I also add a pretty significant drizzle of honey as a sweetener, but that’s just because I have a sweet tooth ?
And that’s it! Throw it all in your blender and get lactating ?
*******EDIT: I recently tried this with a carton of frozen blueberries and I got better results than usual! I don’t know if this maybe has something to do with antioxidants in blueberries or if there is an outside factor that I am not taking into account, but it’s definitely worth a try!*****
Here is the recipe in a more straightforward format:
Banana Lactation Smoothie:
2 bananas (preferably frozen)
2-3 cups almond milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 large spoonful peanut butter (optional)
1/2 cup rolled oats (optional)
1 carton of blueberries (optional)
Brewer’s yeast (here’s a link to what I’m talking about: Solgar – Brewers Yeast 7-1/2 Grains Vitamin B12, 250 tablets) (optional for extra boost)
Honey (to taste; you will need a lot if you’re using the Brewer’s Yeast)
Combine and blend well.
This smoothie has worked wonders for me, especially when I had to go back to school and the anxiety of leaving Aaron totally murdered my milk production. If you tried this smoothie or have other suggestions for helping a nursing momma with her lactation, please leave me a comment below!
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