Lactation Supplements

By now, you’ve probably seen some of the lactation aids that are marketed to breastfeeding moms. Teas, tinctures, cookies, supplements and more are all over social media and on the shelves of stores everywhere. You may have even tried a few. But do you really need any of them to build a healthy supply of milk?

Most of the time, the answer is no.

The best way to ensure a good supply is to feed and empty your breasts often. If you're having issues, make sure you meet with a lactation consultant to troubleshoot before turning to herbs or other supplements.

That said, there can be a role for some of these supplements (called galactogogues), especially since many of them are low-risk. Fennel, fenugreek, goat’s rue, shatavari and others are all said to help boost milk supply. Currently, fenugreek and fennel are the only ones recognized by the FDA as safe. Oats and brewer’s yeast are also used in milk-boosting recipes.

Teas, like the ones you can get at the grocery store, may help and likely won’t hurt. Upping your liquid consumption is a good way to make more milk!

If you do choose to pop an herbal pill or down a tincture, make sure you discuss it with your healthcare provider first. Monitor the way your body and your baby react carefully.

See also ...

•  What is a galactagogue?

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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