A very distinctive personality trait of mine is that even though I am able to be present, I am often looking ahead. I am the perpetual planner and researcher. I love to prepare, write lists, have goals, and see them met. So naturally, becoming a mother, I have been doing some research into breastfeeding supplements in case I may require supplements to enhance my supply. Herbal supplements may work better for some than others, and I have not included doses on purpose as I encourage women seeking these herbs to speak a qualified professional.
I have come across a few commonly used herbal supplements commonly used to increase breast milk production:
- Fenugreek: Very commonly used herb in breastfeeding mothers. Best used in conjunction with Blessed Thistle. Some say if this herb will be effective for you, an increase in supply will be seen within 12-72 hours. In a small percentage of women and their babies, fenugreek may cause upset stomachs due to gas.
- Fennel: This herb will not only increase milk production, but also act as a digestive aid in both mothers and their babies. Fennel can be used to help soothe colicky babies and has been recommended to help reverse upset stomach should mother and baby be sensitive to fenugreek.
- Goats Rue: Powerful supplement that has seen an increase in milk production by up to 50% in many cases.
- Alfalfa: This highly nutritious supplement is not just known for its ability to increase breast milk production. Some midwives recommend it be taken before and after birth to help prevent and stop excessive postpartum bleeding and prevent haemorrhage due to its very high levels of vitamin K.
- Milk Thistle: Studies have shown significant increase in breast milk production. This liver protecting seed also interferes with promotion and progression of prostate and endocervical tumour cells! Winning all round with this supplement!
- Lecithin: Now this bad boy I am buying before I give birth to have ready. This supplement is used as a treatment and preventative measure for clogged milk ducts. Available in both tablet and granule form, I will be taking this to help prevent mastitis (an infection of the milk ducts) particularly when my milk is first coming in and women commonly become engorged. Granule form is perfect for sprinkling over cereal, oatmeal, putting in shakes, and even in baking (lactation cookies, anyone?).