Updated: Feb 15
A few things about lactation #supplements (aka “galactagogues”)….
1. The foundation for everything with #milksupply is good breast stimulation and milk removal. Let me say it again for the people in the back: THE FOUNDATION FOR EVERYTHING WITH MILK SUPPLY IS GOOD BREAST STIMULATION AND MILK REMOVAL! There are no magic pills, drinks, #cookies, etc.. that will increase your supply without building or re-strengenthening that foundation first.
Therefore, step 1 in #increasingsupply is ALWAYS correcting/optimizing this. An IBCLC can help you with laying this solid foundation by:
- Assessing and working towards optimizing latch, positioning, and milk transfer
- Assessing for suck dysfunction/tethered oral tissues
- Recommending a pumping plan, if necessary
2. When and only when we have done all we can for step 1 AND we still have low supply, then #galactagogues can sometimes be helpful. But there isn’t much research in this area and there isn’t any research that supports use of any of these things in ALL women. Success stories with these things are a mix of anecdotal stories and marketing. The marketing piece upsets me because I feel like many women needlessly spend $$$ on these items when they probably won’t be helpful. I'm literally aggravated by this every. single. day. on my instagram feed. But I'll rant about that another day. ;)
3. Caution needs to be used with galactagogues; just because something is over the counter doesn’t always mean it’s a safe option. For example: #Fenugreek is an incredibly common galactagogue (by itself and in a lot of blends, teas, cookies, etc… so please look at the list of ingredients). But, fenugreek can mess with blood sugar (so a no-no for #diabetic moms) and #thyroid hormones (so a no-no for those with a history of thyroid hormone issues, such as #hypothyroidism, #hyperthyroidism, and #Gravesdisease). It also can cause problems for those with #asthma and cause #allergicreactions for those with a #peanutallergy.
4. However, there are a few galactagogues that you can try that are very low risk or have no known risks…
- #Brewersyeast supplements are sometimes helpful too but can cause headaches and excess gas/GI upset.
- #Moringa supplements are a newer one coming on the scene in North America (but common in places like the Philippines where they may even use the raw plant). Not much research out there but so far no known side effects. I believe it’s high in iron so be cautious that it may cause constipation. Also, it tastes horribly earthy (my opinion) so I would advise capsules rather than loose herbs.
5. Last thing about galactagogues is that since I’m not a doctor or midwife, I can’t “advise” or “prescribe” you to take anything. My job in this area is to educate and encourage you to also ask your healthcare provider.
6. If you are questioning your milk supply or have any other lactation concerns, I would be so happy to help you on your breastfeeding/pumping journey! More info on my Virtual or In-Home consultations can be found here: https://www.moblactation.com/book-online