What food/medicine should I consume for increasing breastmilk?
With all the promotion of supplements to support lactation (also called “galactagogues”), including claims of increase milk production or milk fat, it’s hard not to wonder if perhaps you really do need those products. That’s advertising for the win!
Given all of the hype around galactagogues, you would have hoped that the 41 studies included would have yielded something if the impact was as significant as companies would like us to believe. While many galactagogues are healthy substances themselves, store-bought ones tend to be pricey and sugar-laden. You certainly could add them to your cooking/baking but beyond their general food merits, whether there is any benefit to milk supply is questionable.
Finding a substance to consume that could increase milk supply would be fabulous and if there was a sure thing, we certainly would hear of it as many strive to answer this question. Unfortunately, research thus far has found no supplement that has been shown to consistently boost milk among all people.
What research does tell us is that consistently and efficiently emptying your breasts is the primary way to build and maintain milk supply.
In this process, breast massage is a bonus and an increase is seen if this technique is employed.
Many will respond with their own experiences of herbs, foods, and drinks and we celebrate their success with them. Care must be given not to sacrifice good breastfeeding management due to a focus on galactagogues.
As individuals our bodies likely respond to supplements differently, so eating a diet that keeps you healthy and content may be the best approach.
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We understand and acknowledge that parents and babies can be of various genders on a spectrum of LGBTQI+. Families come in diverse flavours. However, in our articles, for the sake of simplicity and convenience, we will be referring to the breastfeeding parent as the mother and using the female pronouns- ‘she’ and ‘her’ for babies. Babies can be nourished and nurtured in different ways and while we have used the terms breastfeeding and nursing, we recognize that parents can opt to chest feed or finger feed.
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