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Advice from Nurse Wendy: How Galactagogues Support Breast Milk Production

Advice from Nurse Wendy: How Galactagogues Support Breast Milk Production

Advice from Nurse Wendy: How Galactagogues Support Breast Milk Production

As a nurse, one of the most common concerns I hear from new mothers is about their milk supply. It's natural to want to ensure that your baby is getting enough nourishment, and sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may find yourself seeking ways to boost your milk production. Enter galactagogues – a term that might sound like something out of a science fiction novel but is actually a valuable tool in the world of lactation support. Let’s explore what galactagogues are, how they work, and how you can incorporate them into your breastfeeding journey.

What Are Galactagogues?

Galactagogues are substances that are believed to increase milk supply in breastfeeding mothers. They can come in various forms, including herbs, foods, and medications. While some galactagogues have been used for centuries in traditional medicine practices, others have gained popularity more recently as interest in natural remedies for breastfeeding challenges has grown.

How Do Galactagogues Work?

Hormonal Effects:

Some galactagogues work by influencing hormone levels in the body, particularly prolactin. Prolactin is the hormone responsible for stimulating milk production in the breasts. Certain herbs are thought to mimic the effects of prolactin or stimulate its release, thereby increasing milk supply.

Nutritional Support:

Some foods and herbs contain nutrients that are essential for milk production. For example, oats are rich in iron, which is necessary for maintaining healthy blood volume and supporting lactation. Similarly, foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseeds and salmon, may support breast milk composition and production.

Psychological Effects:

The act of consuming galactagogues may have psychological effects on breastfeeding mothers. Feeling proactive about taking steps to increase milk supply can boost confidence and reduce stress, both of which are beneficial for lactation.

Here are some tips for incorporating galactagogues into your breastfeeding routine:

Start with Nutrition:

Focus on optimizing your diet to support lactation. Incorporate foods known for their galactogenic properties, such as oats, barley, almonds, fenugreek seeds, and leafy green vegetables. Hydration is also key, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. I created Hydromom to help make the task of extra water drinking delicious! 

Explore Boobie’s Options:

If you're interested in trying galactagogues, we have them packed into most of our products. While you’re pregnant, especially in your third trimester, start with our BOOBIE* Superfood Protein Powder to build up your strength and baseline nutrition. Once lactating, one BOOBIE* Milk to the Max bar is recommended daily. It’s full of galactagogues and easy for on-the-go - no messy teas or cookies needed!

Consider Medications:

In some cases, healthcare providers may prescribe medications known as pharmaceutical galactagogues to help boost milk supply. These medications, such as domperidone or metoclopramide, work by increasing prolactin levels in the body. However, they may have side effects and should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

Galactagogues can be valuable tools for breastfeeding mothers who are experiencing challenges with milk supply. Remember that every breastfeeding journey is unique. Above all, prioritize your well-being and enjoy the special bond you share with your baby through breastfeeding.

By Wendy Colson RN, IBCLC, RLC

Wendy Colson, a registered nurse (RN) and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), is the Founder and CEO of Boobie* Superfoods. Throughout her career, Wendy has dedicated her time to helping other women conquer motherhood with ease. She helped thousands of mothers breastfeed their babies or receive their mother’s pumped milk during hospitalization. In addition, she has successfully developed a line of innovative, solution-based supplements & products for each stage of motherhood including pregnancy, lactation, and raising a family. Wendy currently lives in sunny San Diego with her 3 daughters and husband. She spends her leisure time devouring chips and salsa and planning new ways to overcome the challenges of motherhood.


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