Producing More Breast Milk

Not producing enough breast milk can be a major concern for a new mother. In fact, a study showed that up to 75% of new mothers think they may not be producing enough breast milk. In reality the number of women who really are not able to produce enough breast milk are much smaller than this.

If you are concerned that you may not be producing enough breast milk your lactation specialist or pediatrician can help you know whether or not you are. Most likely the problem should be a fairly simple fix. If your low milk supply cannot be increased by changing how often you breastfeed or how you breastfeed then they may suggest a herbal supplement or prescription drug to help.  

Herbal Remedies to Increase Breast Milk

There are a few different herbal remedies you can use to help increase your production of breast milk. One popular supplement that has been approved as a safe supplement is Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum). Fenugreek is used both as an herb and as a spice. Fenugreek is frequently found in curry.  For lactating women fenugreek seeds are used as a glactagogue to help increase milk supply for lactating women. When taking Fenugreek at the required amounts to help increase lactation, lactating mothers may find that their skin exudes a distinct maple syrup smell. Fenugreek is actually used in lower-cost syrup products as a maple syrup flavoring. Fenugreek has been found to increase a women’s milk supply within 24-72 hours of taking the supplement. Once obtaining the results wanted, most women can decrease the amount of Fenugreek needed and stop all together.

Some other popular herbs or food to help increase breast milk are Asparagus, Ipomea, blessed thistle, nettle, anise, dill, fennel, goat’s rue, raspberry, and alfalfa. There are a few other herbs but these are the most popular.

What May Cause a Low Milk Supply?

Hormone Problems-If you have a hormone imbalance this may cause you to not produce as much milk. People with hypothyroidism can often have problems with breast milk production. Imbalances of Insulin, Prolactin, Estrogen, Progesterone, and blood sugar levels may cause problems with breast milk production.

Milk Removal- If you are not removing your breast milk frequently enough, either because you are supplementing with formula or because your baby is not latching on correctly, your body will not produce as much milk. Your body produces more milk if it is frequently being used. You should breastfeed and pump often so that your body knows it should continue producing milk. 

Tissue Damage- Some women that have had mammary tissue damage may not produce as much breast milk. Women who have had breast reductions or implants may have had their glands, or ducts damaged.

 Nipple Confusion- Prevent your baby from experiencing nipple confusion. Nipple confusion can be caused by bottle feeding and excessive pacifier use. These items can cause the baby to be unable to suck properly at the breast.

Anti Calctogogues foods- Certain foods and drugs can cause a reduction in breast milk or make your baby not like the taste of your breast milk. Avoid certain spices in large quantities. Spices such as Garlic, Sage, Parsley, Peppermint, and Thyme can cause problems. Drugs to avoid are Decongestants, Alcohol, Hormonal birth control pills, and tobacco should not be taken unless absolutely necessary.