This high protein smoothie for breastfeeding and weight loss is the best green smoothie for nursing moms to help support and boost breast milk production. The green smoothie for breastfeeding moms is packed full of protein from spinach, hemp seeds, pea protein, whey protein isolate, and collagen powder.
If you are pressed for time, this lactation smoothie is perfect for a quick and healthy breakfast that is great for weight loss and milk production. Breastfeeding helps to nourish your baby with the essential nutrients it needs and can also help mamas to lose any extra weight, as breastfeeding burns additional calories.
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When breastfeeding, it is essential to include nutrient-dense foods in every meal. This lactation smoothie recipe is loaded full of nutrients and lactogenic foods to support breast milk production; while being great for mamas looking to lose that extra pregnancy weight. It is low in saturated fats and contains healthy carbohydrates and protein to help meet additional protein requirements during breastfeeding.
While it is understandable to want to lose the extra baby weight, new moms must maintain a healthy balanced diet focusing on quality fats and protein requirements. I contribute my weight loss success after pregnancy due to a healthy diet full of nutrient-dense whole foods. Since I had limited time in the kitchen, smoothies such as this breastfeeding smoothie for weight loss full of nutrients were a staple for my breakfast or afternoon snack.
Growing a healthy baby and producing breastmilk requires additional calories and a nutrient-dense diet full of vitamins and minerals that can be passed through the breastmilk and into your beautiful baby. The body is unbelievably intelligent and will optimize breastmilk to meet the baby’s needs. Every time you nurse your baby, your body analyzes the chemistry of their saliva to calculate what nutrients they need more of.
Your body will try to ensure that your baby is getting everything it needs. But you need to ensure you are getting enough nutrients for both of you. My mother always told me that if you aren’t careful, the baby will suck everything out of you! Not prioritizing your health postpartum is an easy way to find yourself with low energy levels and other health struggles.
Benefits of breastfeeding and Colostrum
Before you begin producing breastmilk, your body will make a substance called colostrum, mother nature’s first food. Colostrum is legitimate liquid gold for babies as it is loaded with immunologic components, establishing beneficial bacteria to grow their immune system.
The first 2-5 days of breastfeeding can be frustrating for some new mothers because your baby is hungry and will want to nurse almost 24/7, but you don’t yet have breastmilk! This is entirely normal and biological brilliance, as cluster feeding signals your body to produce the breast milk yet to come!
Colostrum is very rich and concentrated, so it may feel like you aren’t making much but rest assured that it is enough for baby at this stage; babies only require 1-4 tsp of colostrum a day.
While waiting for your milk to come in, don’t wish away your colostrum; this thick yellow liquid is full of white blood cells that will produce babies’ first antibodies. Colostrum also has the vital task of sealing the gut lining by coating the baby’s intestines; a newborn’s intestinal barrier is, by nature, underdeveloped. This sealing of the lining protects them from bacteria, viruses, and other germs entering the bloodstream and prepares the gut for future breastmilk and solid foods.
If you cannot breastfeed but produce colostrum at the beginning, it is highly beneficial to feed this to the baby before beginning any formula.
Lactogenic Hormones for breast milk production
While breastfeeding, it is crucial to focus on eating nutrient-dense whole foods as breastfeeding requires you to eat extra calories to benefit both mother and baby. But the type of food you consume is critical, especially if you want to lose weight, produce breast milk and have the energy you need to take care of your baby!
Simply resting with your newborn and enjoying this time together will reduce stress and benefit the weight loss you desire. Reducing the stress hormone cortisol is essential for weight loss as cortisol can increase insulin resistance, making it difficult to lose weight.
During the initial stages of being a mom, I felt plastered to the couch breastfeeding and had to contact nap with my baby girl for the first six months for her to sleep. With all that sitting and lying down, I was still able to lose all the extra pregnancy weight while I soaked up the newborn cuddles.
A hormone called oxytocin is released when we cuddle, smell, or even think about our beloved babies and is responsible for stimulating initial breast milk “let down” which releases milk stored in the breast. Oxytocin also promotes feelings of calm within the mother and, just through breastfeeding, can burn an average of 500-700 calories daily!
Prolactin is the hormone that stimulates the production of breast milk. Levels are highest 30 minutes after your baby begins feeding, as that is when your body starts producing more milk for the next feed. When your baby suckles, it increases prolactin levels, which is why babies can go through periods of cluster feeding (nursing more often) when they are going through a growth spurt or need to increase your milk supply.
Incorporating foods that help increase prolactin production is beneficial for a breastfeeding mother trying to boost her milk supply. If you are struggling with low milk production, interestingly, more prolactin is produced at night, so it is an additional benefit to nurse or pump at this time to increase supply.
Health Benefits of this smoothie for breastfeeding and weight loss include:
Oats – Oats contain a fiber called beta-glucan which can help the body produce the hormone prolactin.
Flaxseeds and Sesame seeds – Both of these seeds contain phytoestrogens, essential fatty acids, calcium, and protein to promote lactation. Flax seeds are an excellent source of fiber and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats that help promote healthy weight loss.
Pea protein – A healthy plant-based source of protein to help meet additional protein requirements.
Hemp seeds – Hemp seeds contain all essential amino acids, making them a complete protein and a good source of healthy fats.
Whey protein isolate – Another complete protein source to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Collagen powder – Supports healthy hair, skin, nails, bone, and skeletal strength.
Spinach – Dark leafy greens contain phytoestrogens that mimic estrogen and can increase milk supply. Spinach is also one of the best nutrient-dense foods for weight loss and one of the top foods to help lower blood sugar levels.
Dates – High in polyphenols, potassium and fiber, making it a great sweetener for weight loss.
Rest assured that this location smoothie is fantastic for both weight loss and boosting or maintaining your milk supply. Nourishing a newborn baby requires a healthy diet full of whole foods. When you focus on nutrient density, weight will fall off in perfect timing.
Stay away from highly processed refined carbohydrates, processed oils and fried foods which are deficient in nutrients and can strip the body of vital nutrients. The focus should be on eating a whole food diet such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and quality protein.
Also, pay attention to what your body is craving and practice healthy intuitive eating. Do you need more fruits and vegetables? Or maybe, just like me, you need to increase your protein intake and would benefit from a high-protein lactation smoothie.
You can add more healthy fats, such as nuts, to this green smoothie for breastfeeding if you are craving fats or more satiety. Listen to what your body is telling you it needs while breastfeeding.
Why I created this green smoothie for breastfeeding and weight loss
I created this green lactation smoothie when I noticed my milk supply drop around 6.5 months postpartum, and I had also lost an extra kilo below my average weight. I was primarily plant-based at the time, so I decided to increase my protein intake when the naturopath at the health food store inquired about my diet and suggested a high protein lactation smoothie.
I made this lactation protein smoothie using a combination of pea protein, hemp seeds, whey protein isolate, collagen powder, and spinach, an excellent high protein leafy green. The blend of these protein sources helps to meet the increased protein requirements during breastfeeding.
Adding flax, oats and brewers are lactogenic foods that make this the best green smoothie for breastfeeding moms to help boost breast milk production.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. It is a great idea to include protein sources that contain all nine essential amino acids as they contain the correct proportions your body needs. As a busy breastfeeding mom, lactation smoothies are a simple way to incorporate many healthy foods into one meal. By optimizing key ingredients and plenty of water, I continued my breastfeeding journey for years.
During this postpartum period, it is essential to keep hydrated and drink plenty of fluids, as breastmilk is 87% water! Your body is going through an incredible transition and will need optimal nutrition to build a healthy milk supply.
This smoothie for breastfeeding and weight loss was created using my homemade sesame seed milk, which is a wonderful option for new mothers as it is rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B6 and zinc. Just one tablespoon of sesame seeds contains 4.5g of fat, an essential factor for breast milk supply.
Although brewers yeast and sesame seed milk are on the bitter side, I added dates as a natural sweetener to offset the bitterness and sweeten this delicious smoothie for breastfeeding and weight loss.
Benefits of lactation smoothies to promote breastmilk production
Incorporating green lactation smoothies into your diet is a great way to ensure you have an adequate milk supply, which has many profound effects on your baby. Breastmilk is natures superfood for babies and keeping up your supply can help you to lose weight as breastfeeding burns additional calories. At the same time, you provide your baby with essential nutrients and compounds found in breastmilk.
There is some fascinating research being done on a protein-lipid complex called HAMLET, “human alpha-lactalbumin made lethal to tumor cells”, a substance of breastmilk. A study was done on patients with bladder cancer (using a synthetic derivative of this), and the results were incredible.
The patients treated showed ‘significant shedding of tumor cells and excretion of whole tumor fragments in the urine.’ Experiments have shown that HAMLET kills 40 different types of cancer cells and, best yet does not affect healthy cells!
Also, in 2017, a biosciences student from the UK went viral after sharing a photo of her findings. She had taken two breastmilk samples; the first sample was from a mother feeding a 15-month-old, and the second was from a mother feeding a three-year-old. She added the bacteria M. Luteus to 9 petri dishes and placed these two milk samples in the center of the bacteria-filled dishes.
When you look at the photos of the petri dishes, there is a distinct, clear ring around the breastmilk samples, where the proteins in the milk had killed and inhibited the bacteria growth. She had similar findings using e.coli and MRSA.
I could talk about the benefits of breastfeeding all day and I encourage new mothers to prioritize themselves by supporting their bodies with nutritious lactation smoothie recipes such as this green smoothie for breastfeeding moms. The benefits to both you and your baby will show!
Also be sure to check out these healthy breastfeeding snacks 🙂
Green Lactation Smoothie – The Best Smoothie for Breastfeeding and Weight Loss
- High speed blender
- 1 banana
- 1 cup sesame seed milk
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp pea protein powder
- 1 tbsp whey protein isolate
- 1 tbsp collagen powder
- ¼ cup oats
- 1 tsp ground flax
- 1 tsp brewers yeast
- 2 dates
- 2 ice cubes
- Measure all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend on high for 30 seconds