Q&A: Peanut butter and breastfeeding
I work full-time but am still breastfeeding my 14-month-old baby. He does not drink any other milk. I’ve noticed that I produce more milk if I eat peanut butter. I work with premature babies and I’ve noticed that mothers that battle with milk production also lactate more if they eat peanut butter. Why is this?
It makes sense that peanuts and peanut butter can increase milk production because it’s a wonderful source of nutrients. I often see lactating women who’re undernourished. They are tired, overwhelmed and don’t eat properly – often relying on convenience food. The mother’ bad eating habits negatively affect milk production. Peanuts provide over 30 essential nutrients. They are an essential source of niacin, folate, fibre, magnesium, vitamin E, manganese and phosphorus. Peanuts are naturally free of trans fat and sodium and have the highest concentration of protein per portion of any of the nuts. The fats in peanuts are mainly healthy monounsaturated fats and the antioxidant value is as high as many of the super fruits like berries. My conclusion is that the peanut butter is a convenient and easy way to boost a new mother’s protein intake, which leads to better milk production. The only warning I have is to check that there’s no history of nut allergens in the family.