9 Breast Milk Supplements To Try
One of the main reasons women stop breastfeeding exclusively or altogether is because of low milk supply.
But the truth is in most cases, low milk supply is a temporary issue that can be resolved quickly with the right modifications.
Read on to learn about what causes low milk supply and what you can do about it. We'll also cover 12 supplements for breastfeeding that you can consider using.
What Causes Low Milk Supply When Breastfeeding?
Low milk supply when you are breastfeeding is incredibly frustrating. Not just for your baby who is hungry, but also for you because you aren't sure what's wrong. And you don't know what to do to fix it.
The first thing to do is to stay calm. You don't need to panic and worry that your breastfeeding days are numbered. Stress won't help you or your baby. Make a conscious effort to face this hurdle as a new mom with optimism and calm.
You should know that there is no one thing that causes low milk supply. Your milk production is impacted by many factors.
There are also some medical conditions that can cause low milk supply. For example thyroid issues or diabetes. Start by ruling medical factors out by seeing your doctor.
You might also want to book an appointment with a lactation consultant.
Factors That Impact Milk Production
Before you start taking herbs for breastfeeding, make sure you have the basics in order.
Always make sure that your breasts are drained after each feed. Offer your baby your breast at even the tiniest cue your baby gives you.
Though it's hard with a baby, get as much rest as you can. This makes a huge difference in how well your body can make milk.
Drinking enough water is also vital. Your body can't produce milk if it is dehydrated. Always keep water bottles near your nursing station. If you have a glider, stick a couple bottles of water in the side pockets.
It's also important to eat nutritious food full of vitamins and minerals. Low-quality foods may fill you up, but they don't give your body the ingredients it needs to make milk.
Also, three square meals is likely not enough when you are breastfeeding. You'll need snacks in between.
If you are pumping, it's a good idea to add a few extra pump sessions during the day to stimulate more milk production. You should create a pump schedule to increase milk supply.
What are Galactagogues?
Galactagogues is the fancy term for any foods, herbs or medicines that promote an increase in breast milk production.
There are many herbs and vitamins to increase milk supply. But you should always use them with caution. Even herbal remedies can impact other areas of your health.
Galactogogues can't work without your help. You'll need to breastfeed as much as you can. Nurse for longer stretches of time and maybe even pump between feedings.
Here are the best breast milk supplements you can consider.
Fenugreek is often the first thing midwives or lactation consultants will recommend if your milk supply drops.
Fenugreek is a plant that has been used for hundreds of years in alternative and Chinese medicine.
A recent study of 77 new mothers found that consuming fenugreek herbal tea increased breast milk production. Fenugreek is a safe, natural alternative to prescription medication.
It can be taken in capsule form or as a tea.
2. Rolled Oats
Nursing moms can help their milk supply by adding more rolled oats to their diet. This awesome grain is full of saponins which stimulates the pituitary hormones that stimulate lactation.
Rolled oats are chock full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and iron, a mineral many nursing moms lack. It also gives tired, new moms a boost of energy.
3. Blessed Thistle
You can combine fenugreek with blessed thistle to boost low milk supply. Blessed thistle is safe so long as you stick to the recommended doses.
You can get it as a tea, tincture or in capsule format. Many nursing teas contain this ingredient.
Fennel is a licorcice-smelling herb for breastfeeding. It's been used medicinally since ancient Egyptian times for digestive and menstrual complaints.
The fennel plant has estrogen-like properties which is one of the reasons it helps boost milk supply.
You can take it as a tea or in capsule formula. Make sure to read to dosage directions and follow them carefully.
Alfalfa is a nutrient-dense crop that is also rich in protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Farmers feed it to dairy cows because it increases milk production.
You can add alfalfa to your salads and smoothies as a supplement for breastfeeding.
6. Brewer's Yeast
Not all supplements for breastfeeding are herbs and plants Brewer's yeast is a probiotic that has a bitter taste.
Besides boosting milk supply, it's great for giving you energy and keeping the baby blues at bay. You can get it in powder, flakes, tablets or in liquid form.
7. Milk Thistle
No, this is not the same thing as blessed thistle. Milk thistle is a tall flowering prickly plant originally from the Mediterranean.
It's a well-known supplement for breastfeeding and has been proven to increase milk production in cows.
You can buy the seeds of the plant to make your own tea. You can safely drink a cup two or three times a day.
Place one teaspoon of crushed, chopped or ground milk thistle seeds into 8 ounces of boiling water. Steep for 10-20 minutes and enjoy.
Drink it straight if you can. Or add a bit of honey for sweetness.
For years, quinoa has been touted as a superfood seed. It appears on menus at restaurants everywhere these days.
But you might be surprised that it is also one of the breast milk supplements you can rely on. This seed is packed full of all eight amino acids. It is also rich in iron, zinc, Vitamin E, potassium, magnesium and so much more.
Just like with rolled oats, quinoa has saponins that can trigger the production of hormones that stimulate milk production.
It's easy to add quinoa to your diet every day. You can use it as a rice or pasta substitute, make it into a dessert or even have it for breakfast.
9. Stinging Nettle
We know. The name doesn't sound very appealing but this leafy plant is a great natural remedy that boosts milk supply.
It's great for new moms because it also fights fatigue to help you feel less like a zombie.
Final Thoughts on Supplements for Breastfeeding
There you have it! 9 supplements for breastfeeding that you can use to boost your milk supply.
Remember, always work with a doctor or lactation consultant to find the breast milk supplements that will work for you based on your health history.