Breastfeeding Supplements for Breastfeeding Moms
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of supplements to increase breast milk supply on the market today. Many contain similar ingredients in varying amounts and formulations. Breastfeeding supplements have been around for as long as women have been breastfeeding. Most are considered safe and effective, but efficacy is very individual-specific. Below we will talk a bit about these supplements and then ten of the best available on the market today.
What are Breastfeeding Supplements?
According to Medela, the #1 recommended breast pump brand, breastfeeding supplements are also known as galactagogues. They are products created with the goal that taking them may help increase your breast milk supply or improve milk flow. These supplements are commonly found to include tinctures, teas, medications, and cookies like these fudgy brownie lactation bites. Most breastfeeding supplements are readily available in grocery stores and online. It is always recommended that you speak to your physician before starting any supplement that may affect your breast milk or enter into the bloodstream.
What are the Benefits of Breastfeeding Supplements?
The most well-documented supplement with benefits for breastfeeding mothers is postnatal vitamins. This is due to the vitamins passing on to the infant and helping in the development of essential functions and systems. Other supplements do not have as much clinical evidence backing their efficacy. This does not mean they cannot be beneficial, just that there have not been enough studies to make substantial claims of their benefits. On the other hand, post-natal vitamins do have a bit more evidence behind them. They usually include iron, iodine, vitamin D, vitamin B12, choline, and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid).
Postnatal vitamin benefits include:
- Decreasing risk of anemia.
- Keeping thyroid functioning well which helps your baby’s brain and nervous system develop.
- Ensuring your baby gets adequate vitamin D.
- Increasing the nutrient density of your breast milk.
- Helping with eye development in your baby.
All in all, a good vitamin while breastfeeding can be immensely beneficial to both you and your little one. Here is our list of the best postnatal vitamins for moms.
Are Breastfeeding Supplements Safe?
As with any supplement, breastfeeding supplement safety depends on various factors. First, that the ingredients are not ones you have an allergy or intolerance to. Secondly, they do not contain ingredients that are known to cause issues with infants, as it is likely some of the supplement ingredients will make their way into your breast milk and be ingested by your baby. Generally speaking, most breastfeeding supplements are thought to be okay if taken under guidance by a doctor or lactation specialist, but also shouldn’t be the first course of action if you are experiencing milk supply issues. Lactation specialists and doctors advise looking into any problems you may be having with a qualified professional before adding supplements into your diet.
10 Best Breastfeeding Supplements to Increase Breast Milk
When it comes to the ingredients in supplements to increase breast milk, you will find some of the most commonly used are oatmeal, fenugreek, thistle and other herbs. They are always on the top of the list. Whether you are looking for a tea, tincture, or easy-to-swallow capsule, below are some of the best on the market today.
#1 Mother’s Milk Tea
This tea is probably one the most well-known and easy-to-find supplements on the market. You will find this readily online and at almost all grocery and health food stores. It is an excellent option if you are a tea drinker, containing fennel, anise, coriander, fenugreek, and blessed thistle. It is recommended that you drink 3-5 cups a day to be effective. If you do not like the flavor of licorice, you may have a hard time swallowing this one. You can find it easily on Amazon.
Suppose you are a fan of hot cereal in the morning and enjoy simplicity for supplementation. In that case, a good old-fashioned bowl of oatmeal may be the way to go for boosting breast milk production. Widely touted by women as having the ability to increase output by 1-2 oz a day, this is easily the most affordable option on the list. On top of just eating a bowl a day, you can try adding oats to smoothies or cookies to up your intake. If you are back at work and pumping, you can bring along these portable oatmeal cups that only need hot water or a microwave. Gluten-free and in various flavors, it is an easy breakfast or mid-day snack.
Most commonly taken in capsule form, fenugreek has been renowned by mothers for centuries as a great way to increase milk supply. You can find fenugreek capsules online and in many health food or vitamin stores. It is said that the trick to knowing your dosage is correct is that after a few days of taking it, you should smell like maple syrup. Yes, maple syrup. If you do not, it is time to up your dosage as instructed on the product. Some women say it can have the opposite effect on their milk supply, so it is essential to keep track of the ounces you produce a day.
#4 Let There Be Milk! Lactation Liquid
This easy to take lactation liquid is a quick way to get the benefits of some potent herbs without drinking 3-5 cups of tea a day. It includes a blend of blessed thistle, red raspberry leaf, fenugreek, goat’s rue, and marshmallow root. You can mix it with almost any other liquid you desire, but be warned taking it on its own will produce a nasty taste. It is best to mix with something sweet. This is another supplement that is easily found online at Walmart.
#5 Pink Stork Lactation Tea
Another tea-based supplement to increase breast milk contains a combination of milk thistle, fenugreek, marshmallow root, fennel, anise, and ginger. It is caffeine-free and boosts that beyond just helping mamas with milk supply, it can also help with your baby’s gas. A benefit of this tea is that the bag is reusable, so you can have the recommended 3 cups a day while using the same teabag. Available online in vanilla unsweetened and sweetened, it is another supplement that may not be the best for anyone adverse to the taste of licorice, but is worth giving a try.
#6 Boobie Body Superfood Meal Replacement Protein Shake
When you are looking for something that can help keep hunger cravings away and double as lactation support, a shake is the way to go. This protein powder contains organic superfoods like Shatavari and Sacha Incha and pre and probiotics. Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and caffeine-free, Boobie Body has a wide variety of products for lactating moms. These shakes are one of their most popular. You can even purchase them online in a bundle that includes other lactation-supporting products.
#7 Mommy Knows Best Fenugreek Free Lactation Supplement
Some women are sensitive to fenugreek. If that is the case, this supplement packs several other well-known herbs, including blessed thistle, milk thistle, goat’s rue, and marshmallow in it, all without the added fenugreek. One of the perks of this supplement is that while others need to be taken several times a day, you only have to take one capsule once a day to get the benefits. Available at many online supplement and vitamin stores, you can easily access this milk supply booster.
#8 Milky Mama Lactation Cookies
If a sweet treat is more up your alley, lactation cookies could be just the supplement you are looking for. Milky Mama has flavors like oatmeal chocolate chip, salted caramel, and peanut butter. With galactagogues like oats, brewer’s yeast, and flaxseed, these registered nurse developed cookies are a great way to help boost milk production when you have a sweet tooth or prefer something more palatable than a tea. You can find them online at Milky Mama’s website.
#9 Apothecary Milky Way Lactation Support + Immunity Boost
This lactation support and milk supply boosting powder help breastfeeding mamas focus on keeping them feeling their best and help avoid common infections such as mastitis. It is created to be used in any kind of plant or animal-based milk. It tastes like a matcha latte without the caffeine. With moringa, nettle leaf, lucuma, astragalus, and coconut cream powder, it can be paired with a dash of honey as a drink or used in homemade lactation cookies. You can find it online on their website.
#10 Frida Postpartum Gummies for Lactation
No list of supplements would be complete without at least one supplement available in gummy form. These gummies are available at a wide variety of online retailers, including Walmart and Target. Packed with fenugreek and milk thistle to promote production and milk supply, these gummies have a pleasant mango flavor that can help supply with just three gummies daily. Vegetarian and free of gluten, soy and dairy, they are great options for those who’d like a fruity kick to their supplements.
These ten supplements to increase breast milk are among the best on the market. You can even keep a few different ones in your pantry or medicine cabinet so that you may decide if one day a shake sounds good and another a cookie. As always, before taking any supplement, contact your doctor first to make sure they feel comfortable with the ingredients in them.