The foods associated with fall are some of my favorites — pumpkin everything, soups, squash, and sweet potatoes always feel like the ultimate comfort food to me. As a mom, there are few things I love more than cooking dinner with the "harvest" of fall, especially when sweet potatoes are so great for you and your kids. But are sweet potatoes good for breastfeeding moms or should you take on another veggie this fall?
There's an old wives' tale that suggests sweet potatoes are a galactagogue, a substance that increases milk supply, according to Kelly Mom. But there hasn't been a lot of research-backed evidence to prove that sweet potatoes can give you a boost. In fact, unless you're trying other methods to increase your milk supply, eating anything that is considered a galactagogue probably won't work.
But even if they don't increase your milk supply, sweet potatoes are pretty great for breastfeeding moms to chow down on. According to Baby Center, a healthy diet for a breastfeeding mom includes complex carbs, lots of fruits and veggies, and food rich in vitamins.
And sweet potatoes? They are definitely considered a healthy food item. The Mayo Clinic Health System noted that sweet potatoes are a fall superfood as they are rich in vitamin A (which could decrease your risk of cancer), vitamin C, and a great source of calcium and iron.
If you're worried that sweet potatoes might make your little one suffer with painful gas, that's really a trial and error kind of thing to worry about. Kelly Mom noted that while the idea that something you eat can cause gas in your baby is a rumor that just won't quit, there's not a lot of research to back the claims. It really just depends on your baby. There's no certain list of foods that will cause gas, but if you feel like your baby is suffering, then you can cut the food and see what happens. But nothing will harm your baby if you decide to try some sweet potatoes for lunch.
Despite the health benefits of sweet potatoes and the old wives' tale that it could help your milk supply, the truth about your diet while breastfeeding is that anything goes. Kelly Mom noted that there are no foods to avoid just because you're breastfeeding and you don't have to maintain a perfect diet either. Your milk is just fine for your baby and eating a fairly healthy and balanced diet is just fine. If sweet potatoes are included in that, by all means, chow down. But don't feel like you have to force yourself to eat the fall favorite just because you're breastfeeding either — all food is fair game.