By Wendy Colson RN, IBCLC, RLC
Do Lactation Supplements Work?
Considering adding a lactation supplement to your breastfeeding routine? Between herbs, supplements, teas, bars and lactation cookies there are plenty of products on the market touted to support lactation. You may be wondering how effective these supplements actually are in supporting your breastmilk supply.
One of the first principles in lactation is that milk supply is a supply and demand system, if you are googling lactation supplements there is likely a concern around milk supply. Always work to explore if your suspected low milk supply is real vs perceived first. Your lactation consultant and pediatrician can help provide guidance and reassurance as to whether you might need additional tools to support adequate milk supply and identify the root cause.
Working on the cause of low milk supply is individualized but likely entails: lots of breastfeeding, skin to skin, ensuring your breasts are fully drained after a feeding, monitoring your babies wet/dirty diapers and weight , ensuring you have a properly fitting flange when pumping, power pumping and often adding in a lactation supplement or galactogogue. When working closely with a healthcare provider, lactation supplements and galactogogues can be a great boost in your breastfeeding toolbox.
Since lactation supplements are not regulated by the Federal Drug Administration, results about increasing milk supply are anecdotal and vary among lactating mothers.1 As such, the use of breastfeeding supplements becomes somewhat of a game of trial and error; what works for one breastfeeding mom may not work for another. We like to refer to our line of lactation supplements as lactation boosters. Since the use of ingredients in our products are part of a clean, healthy diet overall they can be an additional boost to your breastfeeding routine as you work to build up your supply overall. Supplements are not regulated so be sure to work closely with your healthcare team to customize dosage and frequency recommendations.
What type of lactation boosters are available?
Lactation treats, such as Cookies, Bars and Shakes are another effective, healthy, and yummy way to supplement lactation. There are lots of options to purchase these snacks online or you can make your own version. Boobie Brands Superfoods offers delicious alternatives to messy teas and capsules that can be hard to swallow or stomach. Our Milk to the Max Bars are specially formulated lactation bars that contain a proprietary blend of Organic Moringa, Organic Shatavari Root, Turmeric and Spice in addition to oats, flax and chia seeds, brewers yeast (all galactogogues!) that help promote milk production and amp up supply. Boobie’s Milk to the Max Bars are Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free and Dairy-free, to avoid the most common allergens. They make a great snack when you are low on time and energy. They taste delicious and you’ll see results within 3-5 days of consistent use alongside frequent breastfeedings.
Protein Powders can be another option to boost lactation. Boobie*'s lactation protein powder is plant based, filled with milk-boosting ingredients and healthy fats and fibers. Boobie Body Protein Powder is all-natural, organic, and non-gmo superfood to add to your daily routine. You can incorporate protein powders in smoothies such as our immune boosting lactation smoothie, drink it as a shake, add it to baked goods such as cookies or our lactation brownie recipe for some inspiration! Learn more about choosing a protein powder here.
Lactation gummies provide another boost to your milk supply as they are packed with galactogogues and superfoods. Boobie Bears pack in an additional punch by providing zinc, elderberry since we know that moms can’t take sick days. We’ve also added 5000 mcg of biotin as literature supports that low biotin levels can often accompany hair loss that occurs postpartum.3
We know that a dip in your milk supply can be disheartening and keep in mind that for most breastfeeding mamas, this is par for the course. Continuing to work with your healthcare team, doing plenty of breastfeeding and adding in some supportive lactation supplements can all work to help you meet your breastfeeding goals. Being able to know ahead of time what to expect and how to handle these dips can help you feel like the empowered supermom you are!
- Bazzano AN, Hofer R, Thibeau S, Gillispie V, Jacobs M, Theall KP. A Review of Herbal and Pharmaceutical Galactagogues for Breast-Feeding. Ochsner J. 2016 Winter;16(4):511-524. PMID: 27999511; PMCID: PMC5158159.
- "Boobie Bar - Oatmeal Chocolate Chip" https://www.boobiesuperfoods.com/products/boobie-bar Accessed 3 Feb. 2021.
- Almohanna, H. M., Ahmed, A. A., Tsatalis, J. P., & Tosti, A. (2019). The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. Dermatology and therapy, 9(1), 51–70. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13555-018-0278-6