There is no hunger like the hunger of a newly nursing mama. It’s taken me by surprise in both of my postpartum experiences– but it totally makes sense when you think about it. Your body is literally nourishing and keeping this tiny human alive, on top of healing itself and working with minimal sleep. It NEEDS that extra nourishment to function and replenish so many important nutrients for you and for baby.
It’s pretty incredible in so many ways– that women’s bodies can not only create, grow, sustain & give life to other human beings… but that we can also be their main form of nutrition, too (if that’s what we choose and what feels in alignment with our goals, mental health & vision).
It’s kinda a miracle if you think about it, and one that I don’t take for granted even though it can also be mentally and physically exhausting, and even really overwhelming at times. I still feel so lucky that I have been able to nurse both of my babies with relatively no complications, especially after such challenging pregnancies.
To me, it feels like *this* is something that’s in my realm of understanding and expertise: feeding, nourishing, optimizing nutrition. Yes, yes and yes.
(Side note: Even though I’ve nursed my littles, I am 100000% team “fed is best” and believe every mama is doing a GREAT job whether you choose to breastfeed, pump, formula-feed or any combination of those three. You are giving your baby a great and loving start, no matter how you feed them. I happen to choose to nurse because it is easiest for me and our family, but I completely respect anyone who chooses something else.)
The CDC actually recommends that breastfeeding mamas get an extra 330 to 400 calories a day, to supplement their own nutrition and pass along all that extra goodness, energy, fat and calories to baby.
Because it feels like you’re hungry 24/7 when you’re nursing, I like to keep an assortment of simple, healthy snacks on hand so that I can easily grab a bite of something even with the baby on my hip.
Best healthy snacks for nursing mamas
IDK about other nursing mamas, but having easy-to-eat snacks that fill me up and are made of real food is LIFE changing in this crazy-busy season we’re in… so today, I’m sharing some of my all-time fav healthy snacks for nursing mamas.
(These also work for pregnancy snacks, toddler snacks & travel snacks too!)
For the most part, the best nursing foods for nutrition, milk supply & satiation when you’re hungry are:
- Oats (this is one of the best foods for boosting milk supply! I always get gluten free oats and you can bake them in breads, cookies or muffins or put them in smoothies, protein balls or granola bars, or just do a big batch of oatmeal or overnight oats for the week)
- Leafy greens
- Nuts and seeds (or nut/seed butters)
- Whole grains
- Healthy fats (avocados, olive oil, ghee, salmon, egg yolks if you can tolerate them)
- Brewers yeast for milk supply (to bake into cookies/bread/muffins)
- Water! (Lactation experts advise to drink to thirst when breastfeeding– you don’t need to drink extra water but you also want to avoid being dehydrated)
And here are my go-to nursing snacks that I have on rotation these days:
- Granola ball bites: find the recipe on the blog here! These are soooo easy, and have nut butter AND oats for a double boost of goodness. Feel free to get creative with your add-ins…. I love chopped nuts and you can also do raisins, dried apricots or dark chocolate chips.
- GF honey butter oatmeal cookies: mmmm, these are simple, nourishing & so delicious (nursing or not). The honey + butter combo is *chef’s kiss*. Recipe on the blog here!
- Avocado with sea salt and pepper and salted sunflower seeds on top: I love this for a quick snack that fills me up and has lots of good flavor & texture!
- Open face sandwiches: give me ALL the tomatoes, spinach, sprouts & cucumber piled high on a slice of gluten-free bread with some olive oil drizzled on top plus salt & pepper, plz. So good, so filling.
- Daily Harvest energy bites: I love these when I don’t have time to make my own. The Cacao Nib + Vanilla is just heaven in your mouth.
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- Daily Harvest smoothies: might as well get some smoothies while you’re at it! I love making my own smoothies BUT I will say, DH’s smoothie ingredients and combos are so fun, creative and clean that I love having them for another quick option for snacks or lunches.
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- My favorite oatmeal choc chip cookies: aka, the famous lactation cookies that I recently quadrupled to have a biiiig batch ready to roll! Recipe is here on the blog!
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