When a mother is breastfeeding, they may sometimes use herbs to increase the supply of breast milk for their baby. Numerous plants and herbs are thought to help boost the production of breast milk. If you feel a desire to make more breast milk, then the following 9 breastfeeding herbs may work for you.
Certain times can be marked with the decline in the production of breast milk. These include the following:
- When you start taking a hormonal birth control pill
- If you have a lot of stress in your life
- When you are on your period
When those issues occur or if you just have a feeling that the supply of milk is low, you can talk to a lactation professional or your doctor to see if it is a good idea to add some herbal treatments. Getting professional advice is important because different herbs will produce different actions. A lactation consultant or your physician can help you to determine which herb is the best for you. They can also talk to you about how much of the herb you should be taking.
How To Get The Most From A Breast-Feeding Herb
Herbs do not often work without the assistance of other methods. If you are trying to increase the amount of breast milk you are producing, you may need to increase how much you are stimulating the breast while taking the herb. Some ways to do this include nursing for longer amounts of time, breastfeeding more frequently, or pumping between breastfeeding sessions.
Although there may be many different types of herbs that breastfeeding women use to increase breast milk supply, fenugreek is the most common. Fenugreek comes from the Mediterranean and it is a seed with a bitter taste, but smells like maple syrup. When used in moderation, it is not considered harmful. It may produce some side effects, however, including causing your breast milk and your baby’s urine to smell like maple syrup1.
2. Blessed Thistle
Many people use blessed thistle along with fenugreek to improve the supply of breast milk. It is thought to be safe as long as you stay within the recommended dosage.
This herb is known for its licorice flavor and has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It treats many different health conditions, including menstrual problems and digestive issues. For breastfeeding mothers, fennel is also believed to increase milk production.
4. Stinging Nettle
The nutritious, leafy green plant known as stinging nettle is high in iron and various vitamins and minerals. It is sometimes taken after childbirth to help treat anemia, fight fatigue, and improve breast milk supply.
As one of the oldest and most frequently cultivated crops in the world, alfalfa is highly nutritious. It contains many vitamins and minerals, along with antioxidants, protein, and fiber. You can add alfalfa to your diet safely, provided you don’t eat too much of it.
6. Goat’s Rue
This herb is in the same family as fenugreek. Goat’s rue can help to build up the breast tissue so that the mother is producing more milk. An important thing to know about goat’s rue is that is is dangerous if consumed raw/fresh2.
7. Milk Thistle
This plant, which is also known as St. Mary’s Thistle, has been used by breastfeeding mothers for hundreds of years. Many feel that the milk thistle plant contains the white veins because it represents breast milk. According to legend, consuming milk thistle will cause your breast milk supply to increase3.
This traditional herb is often used in a variety of dishes to add flavor, but can also be used as a medicinal resource. People use it for digestive problems, motion sickness and in some areas of the world, for the increase of breast milk supply. Eating fresh ginger root is healthy and you can add it to your diet in moderation with no known issues to the mother or baby.
Garlic is used in many dishes, but it has also been used as a dietary supplement or medication. The are many health benefits of garlic and it is considered to be a safe addition to a breastfeeding diet. When you increase how much garlic you are eating, you may increase the breast milk supply. You should recognize that it can also change the breast milk flavor. Some babies will like the change, while others may not tolerate it as well.
It’s also a good idea during pregnancy to take a prenatal multivitamin to help cover any nutritional gaps in your diet. NATURELO’s prenatal multivitamins provide nourishment for your baby’s developing brain, tissues, and bones.
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501779/, Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet]
2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/galega-officinalis, Galega officinalis
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501771/, Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet]