Boosting Your Milk Supply with Galactagogues
- July 27, 2021
Whether you are a first-time mama or a veteran parent, breastfeeding is a journey. It’s often filled with struggles and wins as you learn and connect with your baby. And the fact that your body can produce all the nutrients your baby needs to grow and thrive is pretty amazing. But like everything else in motherhood, it can take time to feel confident while establishing your milk supply.
While many women can produce just the right amount of milk, some experience dips in their supply. Being away from your baby, so you aren’t able to stimulate milk supply is the most common reason. But stress, lack of sleep, or even low levels of certain nutrients can also affect how much milk your body makes.
If you are concerned about a low supply, working with a lactation consultant is critical, but galactagogues can also add support. Galactagogues are substances that increase breast milk production, helping you boost your supply to make breastfeeding more manageable and enjoyable.
What is a galactagogue?
Increasing how often you breastfeed your baby (or use your pump) is foundational for increasing supply, but galactagogues are a helpful tool. Natural sources of galactagogues from foods or herbs can be just as effective as prescription drugs for many women. And in combination with increasing the frequency of feeding, these foods and herbs may be all that is needed.
It’s not entirely clear how galactagogues increase supply. Some research has shown that galactagogues work on hormones in the brain and breast milk supply by increasing prolactin levels in the body. Others suggest that they help encourage let-down reflexes, making it easier for you to breastfeed or pump when you need to feed your baby.
Galactagogues can be used alongside other strategies to increase milk supply, including upping your fluid intake, managing stress, eating a nutrient-dense diet, and of course, frequency of feedings.
What are the best food and herbal galactagogues?
All of the following herbs and foods may support increases in milk production. If you are familiar with traditional galactagogues, you may be surprised to see fenugreek missing from the list. While it may help boost supply, many women have found that fenugreek can cause stomach upset or gas in mom and baby. Luckily there are many alternatives.
You can find these items in supplemental and food forms that can easily be added to meals, smoothies, or snacks.
Once again, if you are concerned about your milk supply, working with a lactation specialist is always recommended. But natural galactagogues can be a simple but effective way to support milk production while adding nourishment to your diet.
Nisus Life Postpartum & Lactation Protein Powder contains amazing galactagogues safe for you while breastfeeding.