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12 Herbs to Help Boost Your Breast Milk Supply

It can be stressful when you’re having trouble producing enough breast milk for your baby, or filling up your freezer stash for when you go back to work. We all know that added stress doesn’t help any situation. So, I have put together a “little” list of some herbs that can help you boost your breast milk.

1. Fenugreek

  • Among breastfeeding moms, Fenugreek is ranked one of the more popular galactagogues. Many moms have reported seeing results almost right away! However, if it doesn’t work for you, don’t fret. Just keep moving down this list.
  • When to use: Only when breastfeeding!
  • Caution: Could cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), can cause an upset stomach in the baby or mother.
  • Recommendation: Mommy Knows Best Fenugreek Supplement

2. Fennel Seed

  • This seed is very popular in Europe. While it’s obviously known for increasing milk supply, it also work to improve let-down. It may even help with some digestive problems.
  • When to use: Only when breastfeeding.
  • Caution: If using a large amount, the essential oil could be toxic (avoid during pregnancy).
  • Recommendation: Mommy Knows Best Blueberry Pomegranate Lactation Fruit Drink Mix.

3. Blessed Thistle

  • This herb is also known for an increase in breast milk and digestive aid. It does have a bitter taste, so many moms tend to take this in supplement form rather than a tea. This could work well for mothers who didn’t have luck with fenugreek.
  • When to use:Only when breastfeeding
  • Caution: Blessed Thistle is closely related to ragweed. If you’re allergic to the ragweed family, it is not suggested that you take BT. Taking a large amount (more than 1 tsp) can cause gastric irritation.
  • Recommendation: Mommy Knows Best Blessed Thistle Supplement

4. Alfalfa Leaves

  • Some moms have taken alfalfa during their pregnancy to help boost mammary growth to help develop even more milk-making tissue. It is also full of nutrients and minerals, like vitamin K. Many midwives recommend taking alfalfa 6 weeks before your baby is born. This will help to avoid excessive bleeding during the birth and help you recover faster.
  • When to use: During pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Caution: Do not use if you’re using blood thinners or have lupus disease.
  • Recommendation:
    • Dried herb: 1-2 tbsp soaked in about 5 oz of water, drink 2-4 times a day
    • Supplement: 1-2 capsules, 4 times a day

5. Nigella Sativa

  • This herb has been taken for centuries as a therapeutic medicine and for maintaining health. For mothers who are breastfeeding, black seed has been known to boost the breast refill rate. For moms who have breastfeeding problems due to an insulin resistance, this herb would be definitely worth a try.
  • When to use: Only while breastfeeding.
  • Caution: Could cause stomach upset if it is taken on a full stomach (yes, full stomach). It can be taken with honey when your stomach is empty about an hour before meals.
  • Recommendation:
    • Seed form: 1 tsp of crushed seed soaked in about 8 oz water, drink 5-6 times a day.
    • Oil form: 1 tsp 3 times a day

6. Galega Officinalis (Goat's Rue)

  • Among its many benefits, Goat’s Rue has an anti-diabetic property and could promote mammary growth.
  • When to use: You can use this herb by week 36 of your pregnancy and continue after your baby is born. Please use for 3 weeks before deciding whether it works for you or not. This herb does not work as quickly as the others that I have mentioned.
  • Caution: Could have blood thinning properties and may cause hypoglycemia
  • Recommendation: Mommy Knows Best Goat’s Rue Lactation Supplement

7. Chaste Berry (Vitex)

  • This is mainly known for regulating hormonal imbalance. Many moms have experienced a boost in their milk supply and a better let down reflex.
  • When to use: The first 3 months during your pregnancy, and then postpartum.
  • Caution: itchiness and rash, nausea, menstrual disorder, and could interfere with any hormonal-based medication (like birth control pills).
  • Recommended:
    • 1 tsp of ripe berries soaked in about 8 oz of water for 15 minutes, drink this 3 times a day.
    • Supplement form

8. Urtica Diocia (Stinging Nettle)

  • This herb has a lot of iron, vitamin K, calcium, and potassium. It also supports thyroid function, is hypotensive, and antidiabetic diuretic. Can also be used to combat hives, allergies, sinuses, etc.
  • When to use: Can be used during your whole pregnancy and when breastfeeding.
  • Caution: Can cause a slight upset stomach
  • Recommendation:
    • Dried herb: 1 tbsp soaked in about 8 oz of water for 10-15 minutes, drink 2-3 times a day.
    • Supplement form

9. Shatavari (Wild Asparagas)

  • Believed to really help balance female hormones, while being rich in vitamin B, bioflavonoid, and zinc.
  • When to use: Best to take after birth
  • Caution: can cause loose stools.
  • Recommendations:
    • Dried herb: 2 tsp of powder stirred into warm milk, drink 1-2 times a day.
    • Supplement form

10. Marshmallow Root

  • This is usually taken with other herbs that boost lactation, to enhance the effect of the herb (like blessed thistle, alfalfa, and fenugreek).
  • When to use: Only during breastfeeding when used with fenugreek.
  • Caution: Could cause an allergic reaction.  Also can lower blood sugars.
  • Recommendation:
    • Dried herb: 1 tbsp of powder into about 6-8 oz of cold water. Mix and let it sit for 30 minutes and drink.
    • Supplement form

11. Red Clover Blossom

  • This is usually taken with other herbs that boost lactation. It promotes mammary development and has multiple phytoestrogens.
  • When to use: During pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
  • Caution: Avoid using with a birth control hormone or a blood thinner, or a fermented red clover.
  • Recommendation:
    • Dried herb: 1-3 tsp soaked in about 8 oz of water for 10-15 minutes, drink 3 times a day.
    • Supplement form

12. Red Raspberry Leaf

  • Normally known as a uterine toner, this also aids in improving let-down  and is rich in nutrients.
  • When to use: During pregnancy after 32 weeks and after birth.
  • Caution: Could cause a mild contraction if taken early in pregnancy.
  • Recommendation:
    • Dried herb: 1 tsp soaking in about 6 oz of hat water for 5 minutes, drink 2-4 times a day.
    • Supplement form

Hopefully, these tips helped you in your search to boost your breast milk supply! If you have any questions about which one would be best, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

Comments

  • Posted On November 13, 2017 by Adah Chanel

    I am nursing and pumping during work and noticed an increase in milk supply after using Healthy nursing tea and after a week (increasing to 2 packets a day) I was getting additional 1-2 oz each time I pumped. I didn’t mind the taste, however it does have some bitterness. I was also pleased that this product did not upset my stomach like others that I have tried to increase my milk supply.

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