Herbs to Increase Breastmilk Production

Once they’ve mastered the mechanical aspects of breastfeeding, such as latch, feeding on demand, and discontinuing artificial nipples, most moms find that they make enough milk for their babies. If you are one of the few who is still struggling with a low milk supply, herbal galactagogues such as fenugreek, goat’s rue and shatavari may help increase your milk production to meet your baby’s needs.

Herbs Are a Safe Way to Increase Breastmilk Production

Herbs have been safely used in many cultures for the purposes of increasing milk supply. Most women find that taking herbs for a short time will help build and normalize their milk supplies, but some women, including those who are breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery, may need to continue taking them throughout their entire nursing career to maintain the increased volume.

Fenugreek is a Commonly Used Herbal Galacatagogue

Fenugreek.This ingredient of curry is an herb that is used quite commonly for boosting milk supply. You will know you are taking enough when your sweat begins to smell like maple syrup. There are mixed reports on the effectiveness of fenugreek on increasing milk production. The recommended dose is two full dropperfuls of tincture, 2-3 times per day or 2-4 500mg capsules three times daily with meals. Fenugreek is safe and effective for many women.

Goat’s Rue Builds and Repairs Breast Tissue

Goat’s Rue. Also called French Lilac or Holy Hay, this herb has recently become one of the more common galactagogues used by moms hoping to increase their milk supplies. It is especially recommended for moms who are breastfeeding after reduction surgery since it has been reputed to build and repair breast tissue as well as increase milk production. The recommended dose is 2-3 mls, 2 times per day.

Shatavari Herb Is Very Effective for Low Milk Supply

Shatavari. A very popular galactagogue in India and China, this herb has only recently received attention in North America. Shatavari is generally used to improve women’s reproductive health, but it has been shown to increase lactation as well sometimes with extraordinary results. Most herbal galactagogues can be used simultaneously with prescription galactagogues like Reglan (metoclopramide) and Domperidone (motillium), however it is not recommended that shatavari be used in conjunction with these medications.

Prescription Medications May Boost Milk Supply

Herbal galactagogues may be just what you need to boost your milk supply to meet your baby’s needs. If these remedies are not sufficient, you may want to consider the prescription medications mentioned above. A combination of herbal and prescription galactagogues works well for many women. Talk to your lactation consultant or other lactation professional for recommendations, and see what works best for you.

Please note: This article is for information purposes only. Neither the author nor Suite 101 recommends the use of any herbal remedy. Nursing mothers should check with a doctor before trying any herbal remedy.