When is the best time to drink a breastmilk boosting smoothie?
Since we’ve launched our Breastfeeding Superfood Smoothie Mix – we’ve been inundated with questions about the best time to drink it to get results. And it makes a lot of sense – when you have a baby you’re all about schedules and timing to make things work right? So let’s discuss – including actual schedules if you’re that way inclined.
What makes MILKIE work?
Firstly – let’s start with the superfood ingredients that are in MILKIE to boost your breastmilk supply. They are called galactagogues or lactogenic ingredients – and they contain chemical properties that stimulate lactation.
The following foods are good examples of galactagogues:
- Brewers Yeast
- Flax Seeds
- Flax Oil
- Dark Leafy Greens
- Coconut Milk
- Bone Broth
We’re all different and women will react differently to various lactation-boosting ingredients. We’ve found that the combination of oats, ground flaxseed, and brewer’s yeast gives an amazing boost to breastmilk supply when it starts to dwindle (and these amazing superfoods give you a nice burst of energy too!). Our smoothie mix has been formulated to include the perfect combination, and optimum daily dose. To maintain breastmilk supply we recommend 1 scoop of our mix per day. But what if you want to boost your supply? See our recommendations below.
First things first. Before superfoods, you need to get breastfeeding right
Galactagogues are amazing for boosting breastmilk supply and I can hand-on-heart say they worked for me. But in order for them to work, you must first make sure you are set up for breastfeeding success. That is, your baby is latching correctly (or you have pumping set up and working for you) and you are frequently and sufficiently draining your boobs to keep up your supply. If you’re not sure you’ve got this bit right, make sure you go and see a lactation consultant so they can assess everything from your babies latch, your posture, your breastfeeding environment and your schedule/frequency.
When is the best time to drink a lactation smoothie?
The golden rule is 6 hours before you want a boost – which is when the lactation stimulating ingredients start to take effect. We’ve outlined some ‘Smoothie Schedules’ for different baby stages below.
Newborn – 3 months
You are feeding on demand during this period, and your body can do with all the extra nutrients it can get.
Maintenance: 2 smoothies per day. Once in the morning – around 9am is a great time because it should give you a boost by the mid-afternoon (around 3pm) feed. And once at night to give you a boost overnight (for your 2am feed). If you’re not into smoothies at night – try eating a Chia Pudding for desert instead – you can find the recipe here.
Boost: To boost your supply during this period you can drink 3 smoothies per day (Morning, lunch and dinner), and one galactagogue snack such as a lactation cookie, tea or one of our snack recipes (bliss balls or chia pudding) made with our superfood mix. Your 2am feed is a great time to have your snack (if you’re hungry) so you can replenish for the (actual) morning.
Babies 3-6 Months
You should now start to feel more established in your breastfeeding, and hopefully have a schedule starting to form (but if not - that’s totally normal and ok too).
Maintenance: 1 smoothie in the morning. 8-9am is a good time so you have good supply for the mid afternoon feed.
Maintenance + a little booster: 1 smoothie first thing in the morning and 1 late morning/lunch time. Ideally you want your supply boosted during the day and not overnight (because you want your baby to be well nourished during the day to try and encourage as much sleep out of your baby as possible overnight)
Turbo Boost: To really boost your supply you can drink 3 smoothies per day (morning, lunch and dinner), and one galactagogue snack such as a lactation cookie, tea or one of our snack recipes (bliss balls or chia pudding) made with our superfood mix mid afternoon. Once you feel like your supply is flowing again, you can decrease this back to once a day (maintenance level).
Babies 6-12 Months
Babies will now be eating solids, and it’s normal for babies to drink less breast milk if they are eating a significant amount of solid foods. The general recommendation is that from six through nine months you should breastfeed first — to assure that your baby gets the milk they need — then “top them up” and get them tasting a variety of solid foods.
Maintenance: 1 x smoothie at lunch time, for a boost to your "before bed" feed.
Boost: 1 smoothie first thing in the morning and 1 late morning/lunch time.
Turbo boost: Add some galactagogue snacks such as lactation cookies, tea or one of our snack recipes (bliss balls or chia pudding) made with our superfood mix. You can enjoy these any time throughout the day.
1 year plus
Maintenance: 1 smoothie in the morning (or lunch) to boost your supply and keep your energy levels up.
Boost: 2 x smoothies per day (ideally breakfast and lunch). I’m currently still breastfeeding my 18 month old and although it’s just morning and night, sometimes I need a boost. Especially when my toddler is sick or going through a growth spurt when I feel like my supply is dwindling and I need an energy injection. I find if I have a smoothie at night I feel super full (and a bit uncomfortable) by morning so personally I avoid smoothies at night.
Hopefully this helps our breastfeeding mums out! Feel free to post comments or questions below.
Co-founder of Vivalex MILKIE