Of all the problems I thought I had during pregnancy and breastfeeding, not producing enough milk wasn’t one of them — and yet, that’s exactly where I ended up. My lactation consultant recommended several lactation supplements to increase my supplyand while it wasn’t an overnight success, they were a big help – and they just might help you too.
Many of us (myself included) are unaware of our body’s needs while breastfeeding. Yes, a woman’s body is amazing and it can produce nutritious milk to breastfeed your baby, but making sure you’re eating enough and staying hydrated is key. That’s why, before you start using supplements, you need to understand what your nutritional needs are, according to Kiana Ayers, IBCLC, RN, LCCE; founder of Moms and Tatas and lactation expert for Organic Sweetie Pie.
Ayers says, “Understanding your personal health while you’re still pregnant allows you to work on positively adjusting your needs to help with breastfeeding.” This means that if you are deficient somewhere in your diet, supplementing with that vitamin or mineral may have an effect on your production. And in general, Ayers (and the World Health Organization), recommends that you continue to take your prenatal vitamins while breastfeeding.
How to increase production
Everyone’s needs will be different and the amount of supplements you take should be discussed with your provider. I can’t stress enough, and Ayers agrees, that you should always consult your IBCLC and doctor before beginning any supplement regimen. If your application is approved, you will begin consuming herbal foods and supplements known as galactagogues – or foods and herbs known to increase milk supply. Ayers says some of these include “dark leafy greens, whole grains like oatmeal and papaya,” while herbal galactagogues include fenugreek, fennel, milk thistle , nettle and ginger.
Beer yeast is a favorite supplement for breastfeeding parents – but I can tell you from experience that if you consume too much fenugreek you might start to smell like waffles due to a compound in weed called solotone, which makes things smell like maple syrup. It’s not a bad smell, but it doesn’t go particularly well with my Ralph Lauren cologne.
Best lactation supplements
The supplements on our list were chosen based on interviews with lactation consultants, conversations with breastfeeding parents, and my own breastfeeding experience. I only included products that testers said tasted good, including delicious Dairy cookiesbut admittedly, some of them are better classified as “tasty”.
If you are looking for the best lactation supplements to increase your supply, these are the best of the bunch.