Midwife, Lactation consultant (IBCLC), Child and Family Health Nurse, baby wearing consultant and mum-of-two, Bel Moore, explains everything you need to know about galactagogues.
So what are galactagogues?
Galactagogues are herbal or prescription substances that have milk-boosting properties to increase breast milk yield.
The NEW Healthy Mummy Breastfeeding Plus combines nutrients, vitamins and minerals as well as SIX well-known galactagogues to ensure a mother is being nourished while she nourishes her baby.
Worried about low milk supply?
Although there are limited studies on their actual effect on milk production, anecdotally women swear by a bunch of herbal supplements a.k.a galactagogues to boost their supply.
Most mothers worries about low milk supply are unfounded, if this applies to you, check out this article about milk supply.
However, if you are worried, Bel says you should see a lactation consultant (IBCLC) or a health care professional to rule out any underlying causes such as incorrect latch, tongue tie and medical conditions.
“Milk supply is regulated through a feedback system between the brain and breasts, the more milk removed, the more milk will be made.
Feeding on demand is the best way to regulate milk supply to your baby’s needs but if you are trying to increase your milk supply with galactagogues, stimulating the breasts and additional feeding/ pumping will give the best results,” Bel says.
Galactagogues that boost your milk supply
Bel also says the galactagogues found in The Healthy Mummy Breastfeeding Plus may help boost your supply, and these include:
A herb that is well known for its milk boosting properties.
St Mary’s thistle
Also helps with boosting milk supply as well as being a liver tonic and a potent antioxidant.
This is a good source of fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. When combined with other galactagogues helps boost milk supply.
A sweet liquorice flavoured spice used to treat digestive and menstrual issues but is also a known to stimulate and increase milk production. It may also pass through the breast milk and help a baby’s digestion and relieve colic symptoms.
The dried leaves of the goats rue is considered a galactagogue and studies suggest can stimulate the growth of breast tissue.
Lactation cookies also utilise galactagogues such as oats, brewers yeast and flaxseed to help provide calories (breastfeeding uses approximately 500 calories per day!) and help boost milk supply, Bel adds. Check out some Healthy Mummy lactation cookies ideas here.
Oats contain beta-glucen, a protein, which has been found to increase prolactin (the hormone responsible for milk supply) while brewers yeast (found in health food shops, not the type in Coles used to make beer!) is rich is B group vitamins, folic and chromium.
“Doctors may also prescribe a pharmacologic galactagogues such as Metoclopramide or Domperidone, which although not manufactured specifically for the purpose of increasing milk supply, there are studies to back their efficacy,” Bel adds.
Although most galactagogues are considered harmless, Bel says that some have potential side effects and interactions that must be considered for each individual mother. Always talk to your health care provider about whether a particular galactagogue is safe for you.
Made to assist with energy levels, immune function and support breast milk supply by providing mothers with a boost of vitamins and minerals to aid in recovery post birth.
The aim of this product is to focus on mums nourishing their body to feed their baby! The Breastfeeding PLUS is available for pre-order now.