If you’re struggling with low milk supply and have been scouring the internet for advice on how to boost your milk supply then you’ve likely seen term galactagogue pop up. But, you may still be wondering what exactly a galactagogue is and why they can help boost milk supply.
In this blog post we're going to discuss:
1. What a galactagogue is.
2. What some examples of galactagogues are.
3. The supply and demand system behind your milk supply.
4. The delicious, nutritious and effective galactagogues found in MilkBliss lactation cookies.
A galactagogue is a substance that promotes lactation in humans and other animals. It can be synthetic (pharmaceutical), plant-derived, or endogenous (one that occurs naturally within your own body, such as hormones). Plant-derived galactagogues have actually been used for centuries in both humans and animals for their milk boosting effects. The specific plants, herbs and foods recommended to new mothers to help with replenishing nutrient stores and supporting milk supply may also vary by culture.
Before using a galactagogue it’s important to understand the influence of the supply and demand system on your milk supply. What exactly does this mean? It means that the more that milk is removed, typically the more the body will make. I say typically because there are circumstances when the body just isn’t able to keep up with the demands and a woman finds herself struggling with low supply, despite frequent and efficient removal of milk by baby or pumping. This is when galactagogues can be a good option for boosting your supply. Some examples of potential reasons for low milk supply are:
-insufficient glandular tissue in the breast
-baby has a poor latch whether it be from a lip or tongue tie, low tone, or weak oral muscles *this requires further assessment and support since effective removal of milk is required for maintaining milk supply. Consult a local IBCLC.
-previous breast surgery
-medications or herbs
-longer stretches between nursing or pumping sessions, such as sleeping through the night. If you want to increase and maintain your milk supply avoid going longer than 6-8 hours without removing milk.
-poor fitting breast pump flange *check out our post on Proper Flange Size to make sure this doesn't pertain to you!
If you use galactagogues to increase your supply it’s critical that you remove that milk often to help maintain that increase. *Because full breasts make milk slower* …and if you’ve never heard that, you should check out our previous post about Breast Storage Capacity!
Jessica, the owner and founder of MilkBliss, has gone above and beyond to make MilkBliss products the best they can be. She experienced the struggle of having a low supply firsthand, which led her to develop her own lactation cookie and ultimately create MilkBliss. Through a lot of trial and error she created a recipe that is both delicious and effective! She recommends just two cookies a day and an extra 8 oz glass of water to help your body absorb the nutrients better and see the milk-boosting effects!