# When Should You Start Taking Lactation Supplements?
Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural bonding experience between a mother and her baby. Breastmilk is the best food for a baby’s growth and development in the early stages of life. However, some mothers may experience low milk supply, making it difficult to meet their baby’s needs. This can be due to various reasons such as stress, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalances, or medical conditions. To help boost milk production, some mothers turn to lactation supplements. In this article, we will explore when should you start taking lactation supplements and what are the best options available.
## Understanding Lactation Supplements
Lactation supplements are products that help enhance milk production in nursing mothers. They contain natural galactagogues, which are substances that stimulate milk supply. These supplements come in various forms such as capsules, teas, powders, and cookies. It is essential to note that lactation supplements are not a substitute for breastfeeding or proper lactation support. They are meant to complement a healthy diet, hydration, and breastfeeding routine.
## When Should You Start Taking Lactation Supplements?
It is essential to understand that lactation supplements may not be necessary for all mothers. Breastmilk production is a supply and demand process. The more often a baby feeds, the more milk the mother’s body produces. Therefore, if a mother’s baby is feeding well and gaining weight appropriately, there may not be a need for lactation supplements. However, if a mother is experiencing low milk supply or wants to increase her milk production, lactation supplements can be beneficial.
Mothers can start taking lactation supplements at any time during their breastfeeding journey. Some mothers may choose to take lactation supplements immediately after birth, while others may start taking them when they return to work or when their baby goes through a growth spurt. It is crucial to speak to a lactation consultant or healthcare provider before starting any lactation supplements.
## Types of Lactation Supplements
There are numerous lactation supplements available in the market. It can be overwhelming to choose the right one. Here are some of the most popular lactation supplements and how they work:
Fenugreek is a herb commonly used in Indian cuisine. It contains phytoestrogens, which are plant-based compounds that mimic estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone that plays a significant role in milk production. Fenugreek works by increasing prolactin levels, a hormone responsible for milk production. Fenugreek comes in the form of capsules, teas, and powders.
### Blessed Thistle
Blessed thistle is a herb that belongs to the daisy family. It has been used for centuries to enhance milk production. Blessed thistle works by stimulating blood flow to the mammary glands, which can help increase milk supply. It is available in the form of capsules and teas.
Fennel is a plant commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine. It contains phytoestrogens that can help boost milk production. Fennel works by increasing prolactin levels and promoting milk ejection. Fennel is available in the form of teas, capsules, and powders.
### Brewer’s Yeast
Brewer’s yeast is a byproduct of beer brewing. It is an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, and protein, which can help enhance milk production. Brewer’s yeast works by increasing prolactin levels. It is available in the form of capsules and powders.
### Other Supplements
Other lactation supplements include alfalfa, milk thistle, goat’s rue, and shatavari. These supplements have been used traditionally to enhance milk production. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support their effectiveness.
Lactation supplements can be beneficial for mothers who are experiencing low milk supply or want to boost their milk production. Mothers can start taking lactation supplements at any time during their breastfeeding journey. It is crucial to speak to a lactation consultant or healthcare provider before starting any lactation supplements. Fenugreek, blessed thistle, fennel, and brewer’s yeast are some of the most popular lactation supplements. These supplements work by increasing prolactin levels or stimulating blood flow to the mammary glands.