With August under way, a celebratory moment arises—an opportunity to highlight one of the most profound connections between a mother and her baby. It’s National Breastfeeding Month! Throughout August, the goal is to protect, promote, and support the art of breastfeeding. From encouraging infant health, to supporting mothers on their unique feeding journeys, this month is dedicated to education and awareness. With that in mind, today I’m sharing the power of bone broth to increase your milk supply. This nutritious and soothing broth can also improve your overall postpartum healing journey. If you’re a new mama, it’s time to sip on this nourishing elixir.
health benefits of Bone Broth
For context, what is bone broth? Bone broth is a nutrient-rich liquid made by simmering bones, connective tissues, and aromatic vegetables in water for an extended period. It’s naturally gluten and dairy-free. This slow-cooking process extracts a myriad of beneficial compounds—collagen, gelatin, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins.
Collagen and Gelatin
These proteins play a crucial role in maintaining skin elasticity, joint health, and gut integrity. For breastfeeding mothers, collagen and gelatin are essential for tissue repair, which is especially vital during the postpartum period.
Bone broth is abundant in amino acids like glycine and proline, which support everything from liver detoxification to immune function (important during pregnancy and postpartum). Furthermore, these amino acids aid in managing stress, which can indirectly influence milk supply.
Bone broth is a concentrated source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, vital for the body’s metabolic processes and bone health.
Bone broth contains various vitamins, including vitamin A—which is essential for maintaining healthy skin and vision—and B vitamins, which play a role in energy metabolism and stress management.
do I need to buy organic bone broth?
When possible, yes! To take it one step further, opt for pasture-raised bone broth. Ultimately, pasture-raised bone broth offers a multitude of health benefits. It also aligns with sustainability principles. Pastured animals lead a more natural life, resulting in higher nutrient content and healthier fats in their bones. In turn, this translates to a richer and more nutrient-dense broth. Additionally, choosing pasture-raised options supports ethical and sustainable farming practices. This reduces environmental impact and promotes the well-being of animals. While it often comes with a slightly higher price tag, pasture-raised bone broth is a worthy investment—both for you and your growing baby.
My favorite packaged bone broth (truly the most flavorful and nutrient-dense broth!) comes from Boulder Broth. I keep a stash of their chicken, beef, and bison broths in the freezer.
Bone Broth and Breast Milk Supply
In addition to bone broth’s general health benefits, it’s also incredibly supportive for breastfeeding mothers, specifically. It aids in postpartum recovery, optimizes milk supply, and nourishes both mother and baby on a cellular level.
Nutrient-rich support: Packed with collagen, gelatin, and essential amino acids, bone broth aids in tissue repair. In turn, this encourages quicker healing after childbirth and potentially reduces postpartum conditions, like hair loss.
Enhanced milk production: Bone broth’s amino acids, play a role in hormone regulation, stress management, and overall well-being. This can indirectly contribute to more consistent and abundant milk production.
Mineral boost: A concentrated source of minerals—like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus—bone broth supports a mama’s bone health. This is important because a mother’s bone health is transferred to breast milk, which benefits her baby’s development.
Gut health: A healthy gut is essential for both mother and baby. The gelatin in bone broth supports gut lining integrity, potentially reducing the risk of leaky gut and promoting better digestion and nutrient absorption.
Joint and tissue health: The collagen in bone broth supports joint health and may alleviate joint pain often experienced during pregnancy and postpartum.
Immune system support: Rich in amino acids—like glutamine, cysteine, and arginine—bone broth can strengthen the immune system, helping to protect both mother and baby from infections and illnesses.
Hydration: Adequate hydration is crucial for milk production. Bone broth’s high water content contributes to staying well-hydrated, especially during the demanding breastfeeding phase.
Stress reduction: Glycine, found in bone broth, is linked to stress reduction and relaxation, which can positively impact milk supply and overall well-being.
Weight management: Bone broth is low in calories yet satisfying, potentially aiding in postpartum weight management.
Convenience: A warm cup of bone broth can be a soothing and convenient snack for busy breastfeeding moms, providing nourishment in a quick and easy manner.
supporting your bone health during postpartum
Did you know that babies get the minerals they need to develop healthy, strong bones from their mother’s food supply? Unfortunately, if their mom’s stores are running low, they pull from minerals in the mother’s body. This can significantly weaken her bones! Therefore, it’s ideal for a breastfeeding mother to consume mineral-rich foods (pastured meat, seaweed, etc.) during pregnancy—and while nursing. This way, both mama and baby get nourishment without draining the mother’s crucial reserves. Enter: bone broth. As mentioned, it’s an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus to help repair bones.
drink bone broth for stable blood sugar
Thanks to bone broth’s composition (rich in protein and healthy fats), it’s blood sugar-friendly. And this is particularly important during the postpartum period—a time of fluctuating hormones and increased caloric demands. On average, breastfeeding can burn around 300-500 extra calories per day! A mother’s metabolic rate is elevated during lactation to support the nutritional needs of both herself and her baby. Consuming bone broth can provide essential nutrients and calories without causing blood sugar spikes. In turn, this helps stabilize energy, promote healing, and support overall well-being.
How to add Bone Broth to your Diet
To harness the benefits of bone broth for your milk supply, can consider incorporating this nutrient-rich liquid via homemade broth or organic store-bought options (I love this classic chicken bone broth and this coconut curry bone broth). You can sip on warm bone broth between meals or add it as the base for soups, stews, rice, and sauces.
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