Galactagogues and Increasing Breast Milk Production
Proper hydration is the number one key to keeping a good milk supply flowing. Drinks like Gatorade, with all of their artificial flavors, colorings, and additives, actually hinder your milk supply. A good rule of thumb is to drink an 8-oz glass of water every time you breastfeed and carry around a water bottle to sip on throughout the day. Make sure most of what you drink is water, but if the idea of plain water is unappealing, other options do exist.
On the other hand, too much water in the system can inhibit breast milk production. Stay hydrated, but don't keep adding fluids to the body if hydration is not the problem.
Pumping, if done in addition to nursing, can be a highly effective way to increase supply. Tricks include pumping after each nursing session, adding an extra pumping session or two during the day, cluster pumping, power pumping, and nursing vacations.
Cluster pumping is when you nurse and pump every half hour or hour for a couple of hours.
Power pumping is like interval training for breastfeeding. Plan to do this for a couple of days. Pick an hour where you can sit and relax. Pump for twenty minutes, rest for ten, pump again for ten, rest for ten, then pump again for ten minutes. Nursing vacations include spending two to three days, trying to relax and nurse and pump as often as possible.
All of these techniques help increase supply by mimicking the increased demand. Simply put, increased demand for milk will increase the supply.
A galactagogue is a substance that promotes lactation in humans and other animals. Natural galactagogues include foods, herbs, teas, and nutritional supplements. If the breast milk supply is low, even after breast pumping, it may be time to look at galactagogues.
Excerpt from an OrganicLifeStyleMagazine.com article.
The following are galactagogues:
|fennel seed||red raspberry leaves|
|almonds||Inositol/Choline (B Vitamins)|
|chaste tree fruit|
|papaya (some say green works better)|
Take a look at our Lactation Cookies Recipes too.
See the Breast Pump Resources page for more information on breast pumps.
See the Inducing Lactation Resources page if you're interested in starting lactation without a pregnancy, for an ANR, or for your partner.
Reach out to others by using our local online community list.
- We also have a Inducing Lactation Support chatroom (requires Telegram app to sign up. It uses your mobile number to do SMS verification (no spammer robots, please). Afterwards you can put in whatever username you want. Your number isn't shared with anyone. It also has a web browser version.).
Frequently Asked Questions
About Inducing Lactation
How can I increase my breast milk supply? Where can I find recipes for lactation cookies?
Are there health concerns from breastfeeding?