top of page

Breastfeeding Supplements to Increase Milk Supply



Are you having a hard time maintaining a consistent milk supply? You’re not alone. A lot of mothers find themselves dealing with the same problem. 


Low supply can happen for several reasons. Medical causes can be from insufficient breast tissue, hormonal issues, or surgery, but most of the time, low supply happens because your breasts aren’t getting emptied efficiently. While you address underlying reasons for low supply, there are other ways to improve your body’s ability to produce breast milk. One way is to add galactagogues to your diet.


Galactagogues are foods and supplements that can help you produce more breast milk. They work best if you completely empty your breasts at regular intervals while you take them. Not everyone needs to take supplements for a full supply, but some cultures use them right after birth, no matter how much milk the mom is making.


Here are five great breastfeeding supplements to increase your milk supply. Keep in mind that not all supplements are safe for everyone, so check with your doctor before taking anything while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek seeds are praised for their medical benefits. They can help ease digestive problems, improve menstrual cycles, and even relieve kidney issues. More importantly, some studies have shown that they can also increase milk production.


If you have thyroid issues, you should avoid consuming fenugreek seeds. Taking them if you have an underactive thyroid can actually reduce your supply. You should also avoid them if you are taking blood thinners. Side effects can include an upset stomach or maple-smelling urine.


Goat’s Rue

Goat’s Rue, or galega, is an herb that breastfeeding moms have been using for centuries to boost their milk supply. It can also help moms struggling with Insufficient Glandular Tissue– which can mean you have little breast tissue, and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome–which causes dysregulation of your hormones.


Make sure to check your blood sugar regularly when consuming goat's rue, as it may lower your levels. If you have diabetes, it’s best to avoid consuming it altogether.


Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is another supplement that’s been praised for increasing breast milk production. It contains silymarin, a substance widely believed to help detoxify the liver as well as stimulate estrogen receptors.


Milk thistle is available in capsule form and can be bought in many pharmacies and supermarkets. You can also pair it with fenugreek seeds to further increase your milk supply (see potential side effects of fenugreek seeds above). Make sure to take the recommended dose and watch for potential side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, bloating, or itching.


Shatavari

Shatavari is an Ayurvedic supplement that’s known for boosting breast milk production. Women from India and China have been using it for centuries as a remedy for several health issues, including reproductive conditions, depression, and anxiety. 


While side effects are rare, it’s worth noting that some people may be allergic to Shatavari. Best check with your doctor to make sure it's safe for you while breastfeeding.


Torbangun

Torbangun is an herb that’s been used for hundreds of years in Indonesia. This natural remedy has gained recognition for its ability to support nursing mothers by increasing milk supply.


Furthermore, numerous studies have proven torbangun’s ability to increase lactation without any negative side effects.


Common Drugs and Foods to Avoid While Trying to Increase Your Milk Supply

You may not be aware, but there are certain herbs and over-the-counter drugs that can reduce your supply. Read labels so you know what you are taking.


Pseudoephedrine 

This decongestant is typically found in many over-the-counter medicines for colds and allergies. However, a single dose can negatively affect how your body produces prolactin, resulting in decreased breast milk production. If taken consistently, it can lead to you losing your supply altogether.


Nicotine

Whether you smoke or use a patch, nicotine lowers your prolactin. It also isn’t safe for babies because it can cause damage to their hearts and lungs. Avoid it at all costs.


Herbs

Sage, jasmine, peppermint, and parsley in large amounts are thought to lower your supply. You can use them to regulate your supply if you make too much milk, but you should avoid them if you struggle with a low supply. Sometimes they are in prepared foods, so check labels!


Frequently Asked Questions


Which supplement is best for increasing breast milk?

The best supplements to increase your milk supply can vary from person to person. However, we recommend you try goat’s rue, milk thistle, shatavari, and torbangun. 


What is the fastest way to increase milk supply?

Everyone is different. For some moms, the fastest way to increase milk supply is by nursing or pumping fully and regularly, as well as by adding the right galactagogue supplements to your diet.


What can I drink to produce more breast milk?

You can try breastfeeding supplements to increase your milk supply. These include the five galactagogues we recommend above. You should also drink enough fluids with electrolytes, like a pinch of pink or sea salt.


Why is my milk supply dropping?

Several factors can cause a drop in your breast milk supply. However, it most often happens because you may not have been fully emptying your breasts at regular intervals. 


How can I increase breast milk naturally at home?

You can try taking one of the supplements mentioned above while also making sure to empty your breasts fully and regularly.


Summary

If you are struggling with a low supply, address underlying causes and consider trying these breastfeeding supplements to increase your milk supply. By doing so, you can increase your breast milk supply naturally.


For more medically-based, doctor-created, and patient-tested content on all things breastfeeding, check out our Better Breastfeeding platform. Get 24/7 access to information and solutions to help you effectively feed your baby, whether you are breastfeeding, pumping, or both.


Reviewed by Linda Dahl, MD

コメント


bottom of page