Galactogogues are herbs used to help increase breast milk supply in nursing mothers. You may be wondering if your milk supply is low and whether or not you need to add supplements to help increase your output. The good news is a lot of mothers do not have low milk supply like they fear they do. Needless to say, lactation problems do happen and we can use herbal remedies to help fix the problem.
- Alfalfa-While this herb may make you think of cute bunnies since this is one of the grains sold on the market for a pet rabbit’s nutrition needs, it also is great for nursing mothers! Alfalfa is loaded with minerals and vitamins. Great for both milk supply and also acts similar to a prenatal pill. It is very high in Vitamin K, which helps with healing wounds and blood clotting (like afterbirth and baby’s cut umbilical cord). Warning: if you are on a blood thinning medication, this may NOT be the right herb for you, due to the high content of Vitamin K. You can take alfalfa in the form of a nourishing tea for your nursing needs.
- Brewer’s Yeast- Known to be a by-product of beer making, is also great for nursing mothers. It is very high in Vitamin B Complex, probiotics, trace minerals, and many other vitamins. It is safe and effective for bringing up milk supply. Brewer’s yeast is not the same as nutritional yeast since it is deactivated; which means it is dead and not a living food. This does not compromise the nutritional value, however. Be careful while shopping for this yeast, that you do not confuse it with nutritional yeast.
- Nettle-Similar to alfalfa, nettle is loaded with nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. It can be made into a tea, added to soups, stews, and pasta dishes, since it is very similar to kale and other dark green leafy vegetables. Making the tea is easy, just add 1-4 tsp of dried nettle leaf to boiling water (8 oz.) and let steep for 10 minutes.
- Red Raspberry Leaf- This herb is best known as a women’s medicine for women’s “issues”. From menstruation to pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause, this is a woman’s best friend. Raspberry leaf is rich in minerals, high in vitamins E, C, and B Complex, calcium, potassium, iron, niacin, phosphorus, manganese and magnesium. To make the tea, take 1 Tbsp and add to boiling water. Let it steep for about 15 minutes and strain out the liquid into your favorite mug.
Be sure to talk to your Midwife, OBGYN or lactation consultant (IBCLC) about herbal remedies before taking any. If you are part of a nursing mother’s support group, (like the Le Leche League) be sure to talk to the professionals and other moms there about any issues you are having also. For more information please contact us!
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