Table of Contents
1. Herbs for Lactation to Boost Breastmilk Supply
2. When Breastfeeding Herbs May Be Helpful
3. 13 Beneficial Herbs for Lactation
4. Freshly mom Lactation Products
Herbs for Lactation to Boost Breastmilk Supply
Breastfeeding is natural and beautiful but can also be scary and stressful. At the forefront of every breastfeeding mother's mind is whether or not they're producing enough breastmilk. If you're worried about your milk supply, you're not alone. Changes in your baby's behavior or weight and transitions in your own body can cause concern.
Working with a lactation consultant or doctor can certainly help if you're fretting about your supply. While they can suggest changes to your techniques to improve your output, herbs to increase breast milk can provide a natural boost.
Before you start taking anything, talk to your doctor, as not all herbs are safe while breastfeeding. Wondering which lactation herbs are right for you? Let's dive in.
When Breastfeeding Herbs May Be Helpful
Some herbs can naturally boost breastmilk supply. These plants are called galactagogues. A galactagogue is any substance that promotes lactation, whether it be organic or a medication. Many women turn to these substances when they feel their milk supply is low. However, before taking a supplement, you should make sure that a low milk supply is actually occurring. In some cases, you may find that your worries were unwarranted.
One study found that some women, especially first-time breastfeeding moms, perceive their supply is low or dwindling when producing adequately. Usually, the perception occurs around the time a woman's supply regulates at the 6-12 week mark. Upon this milestone, she may not have as strong a letdown, leak, or feel that her breasts are as full as they used to be. However, despite these symptoms, she is still producing enough milk for her baby.
Working closely with your child's pediatrician to track their growth and development and a lactation consultant to assist with feeding may give you a better indication of your supply.
If you do indeed need or want a boost, the following herbs for breastfeeding can be an excellent natural alternative to medicine. Just be sure you combine them with the proper methods, such as feeding on demand, never skipping a nursing or pumping session, and checking for a good latch.
13 Beneficial Herbs for Lactation
If you're looking for a herb to increase milk supply, you'll want to consider the following supplements! Their effectiveness can vary from woman to woman, so don't be discouraged if one doesn't work well for you.
Be sure to discuss any supplements with your doctor. Watch yourself and your little one for any indication of side effects.
Brewer's yeast is an ingredient for bread and beer making made from a fungus. It can also be taken as a nutritional supplement due to its high content of minerals, protein, iron, and B vitamins. Its nutritional benefit is what is thought to help promote lactation. It's not ideal for those who are allergic to yeast or diabetic.
You can use nearly every part of the Blessed Thistle flowering plant for medicinal purposes. Additionally, it has long been used to treat low milk supply. Some mothers reported it to be moderately effective when it came to breastfeeding. However, some women occasionally reported minor side effects such as stomach cramping.
Stinging Nettle is very common and plentiful. Its green, leafy leaves are rich in nutrients, including iron. Historically, it was given after birth to help with anemia. It was also discovered to be a galactagogue, increasing milk quantities in nursing mothers.
Alfalfa has been grown and used for centuries. This is because it is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein while low in saturated fat. It also has phytoestrogens that act like estrogen in the body, boosting milk supply. Ensure the alfalfa you ingest is safe, as fresh sprouts have been linked to foodborne illness.
Goat's Rue comes from the fenugreek family. As a supplement, it is believed to increase breastmilk and promote the development of breast tissue. Fresh or raw Goat's Rue is unsafe for ingestion and can only be used in its dried form.
Shatavari is an ancient Ayurvedic herb that has been used for a multitude of womanly concerns for centuries. As an adaptogen, it can help the body better adapt to stress. As stress is often counterproductive to breastfeeding, Shatavari may increase milk supply.
Cinnamon is another common herb relied upon in Ayurveda. It is thought to help breast milk flow more freely and is excellent at reducing inflammation. However, nursing moms should not take cinnamon in excessive amounts. Additionally, when taken along with Fenugreek, the two herbs can cause a decrease in blood sugar.
Cumin has a history of being used to stimulate milk production. It is also rich in iron, an essential nutrient for pumping or breastfeeding mothers. It helps to ward off anemia, which can be a concern post-delivery. Additionally, Cumin Seeds are excellent for digestion.
Fenugreek is perhaps the most popular herbal supplement for women looking to increase their supply. For centuries, even as long ago as biblical times, it has been given to nursing mothers in hopes of increasing breastmilk production.
It does contain phytoestrogens that mimic estrogen and aid in milk production. Additionally, because Fenugreek boosts sweat production, it is believed to have a positive effect on breast glands which are similar to your body's sweat glands. In fact, when you consistently ingest this herb, your sweat and urine will begin to smell like maple syrup.
Raspberry Leaf is reportedly a galactagogue. In some cases, when taken as herbal tea, women experienced increased milk production. Raspberry Leaf is always beneficial for helping a postpartum mother's uterus return to average size.
Fennel is yet another popular herb for lactation as, like other supplements, it has estrogen-like properties. These properties help to stimulate milk production in nursing mothers. A flowering plant from the carrot family can be eaten as a vegetable, or you can consume its seeds. Its most well-known characteristic is its licorice-type flavoring.
Vitex, known as chaste tree or chasteberry, sometimes appears in lists of herbal supplements for breastfeeding. Reviews and studies are inconclusive because, in some cases, Vitex acts as a prolactin-deterrence, reducing the hormone essential for milk production.
However, other studies have found that it can balance hormones and actually assist with milk production, boosting quantities. Because Vitex affects your body's hormones, it should not be taken if you are pregnant.
Star Anise has been found to increase breastmilk supply due to a compound it contains called anethole. Anethole reacts similarly to estrogen, helping to stimulate the production of breastmilk. It has traditionally been used in Chinese medicine to benefit nursing mothers with milk production, digestion, and immunity.
There are various herbs for lactation that may help to boost breastmilk production in nursing or pumping moms. Occasionally, certain herbs may work better for some women than others. You may need to try different supplements to find what works for you. Before taking anything, be sure to work with your doctor and a lactation consultant to figure out how to incorporate a lactation supplement into your routine best.
Using a lactation mix containing a blend of herbs for breastfeeding can produce the best results. Products like our Chocolate Lactation Drink Mix have been thoughtfully crafted to include the most potent and safe herbs for nursing mothers. The perfect balance of ingredients helps produce optimal results regarding breastfeeding and supporting a postpartum mother's health.
Drinking a herbal lactation supplement, like the Chocolate Drink Mix, works to increase a mom's hydration, benefiting milk production. It tastes delicious too!
Freshly mom Lactation Products
Posted by Shruti Mishra
Shruti is the founder of Freshly mom. She is a profesional plant based chef from Natural Gourmet Institute, NY and a certified IIN health coach. She has been working with Ayurveda, food & nutrition since over 10 years and is also a fresh mom herself.
This article is not a medical advice and is not meant for every situation. Every man's body is different and may respond differently to supplements.