Beer or Barley? What is Best for Breastfeeding Mom?

Is beer or barley beneficial to breastfeeding?Beer or Barley? What is Best for Breastfeeding Mom?

If you have ever nursed and struggled with low milk supply then I bet someone has given you the advice: drink a beer.

And you wonder, will a beer really help increase my milk production?

The honest truth is no. Beer or any other form of alcohol is not going to increase your milk supply. If anything, alcohol may inhibit milk production and your let down reflex, ultimately reducing the amount of milk your baby receives.

So where does this old wives tale come from?

It’s not the beer.

It’s the barley.

Barley is rich in tryptophan and beta-glucan, which are both responsible for an increase in prolactin, the breastfeeding hormone.

So there you have it … now how to cook and eat barely?

For cooking purposes, pearl barely is what you will want to use.


  • 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed and drained
  • 3.5 cups water
  • pinch of salt (optional)


In a 4-quart saucepan, place barley, water and salt. Bring to a boil. Uncover and simmer for 25 – 30 minutes. Once the barely is tender, drain in a strainer and serve.

Will store for a few days in the fridge and can be added to soups, salads and stews. You can also serve as you would oatmeal and top with dried apricots, maple syrup, and pecans.

Cheers to boosting breastmilk with barley!

I bet you were wishing for a different answer and ending to this post …

World Breastfeeding Week 2020

Yvette has a pretty simple philosophy: feed yourself well on the inside so you can live well on the outside. New Orleans native who has called Lafayette home for the past 10 years, she knows how important food is to the Louisiana life. Wife to a LSU football and duck hunting fanatic, mom to two busy girls, and mompreneur with her own business, keeping healthy and sane is essential to balancing the juggling act.  A graduate from Louisiana State University, Yvette is a registered dietitian nutritionist for Eat Fit Acadiana and creator of Foodspirations.  Her passion of inspiring women to show up and rise up, facing both the beautiful and messy pieces of life, embracing all they are, and putting the best version of themselves out in the world. 


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