Lactation Supplements – When Should I Start Taking Them?
Lactation supplements contain galactagogues that increase milk supply by raising prolactin levels. These herbs and foods may be taken in various forms such as teas, supplements, cookies or chews.
Nurses seeking to increase milk production often turn to lactation supplements in hopes of doing so; it’s essential that they know when these may be safe and useful for them.
As hormone levels begin to increase in the second trimester, women’s bodies begin preparing for lactation by increasing the number of milk ducts in their nipples and gradually producing colostrum – their baby’s first milk which she stores until their child is ready to consume it.
Many mothers take lactation supplements during the second trimester to ensure they produce enough colostrum for their newborn baby, known as galactagogues, which contain ingredients like fenugreek and fennel seeds to increase milk supply.
Before beginning taking lactation supplements, consult with a health care provider first. They can assess if they’re the appropriate choice for you and make recommendations based on your specific circumstances.
Postpartum recovery involves both recovering from pregnancy and birth and producing breast milk for their newborn – two incredibly demanding physiological processes. Nursing women may feel tired and overwhelmed after giving birth, making it hard to prioritize their own nutrition needs while breastfeeding or pumping. A balanced and nutritious diet are vitally important in breastfeeding success; additional supplements may support nutritional requirements in new mothers during these crucial moments of motherhood.
Lactation supplements come in the form of tablets, capsules, and teas and are typically made up of galactagogues – herbs or medications which stimulate breasts to produce prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk supply. There are numerous herbal galactagogues such as fenugreek seed, fennel seed, blessed thistle as well as metoclopramide; many women begin taking lactation supplements as soon as they start nursing or pumping.
Most experts concur that lactation supplements may not be necessary during the first few days after giving birth. Infants typically consume colostrum – the nutrient rich, antibody packed first milk that comes directly from mother. If a mother experiences low milk supply at this stage, speaking to their provider or lactation consultant might help increase it further.
Postpartum period requires adequate sleep, nutrition and hydration. Women who breastfeed may require increased iron, iodine and choline intakes. Dietitians can assist breastfeeding women in identifying nutrient gaps in their diet and suggest appropriate supplements that meet the needs of new mothers. Women should continue taking prenatal vitamins until allergic, as these contain essential nutrients essential for breastfeeding women’s wellbeing. Select a multivitamin that does not contain vitamin A as excessive amounts can be toxic to nursing mothers. Many prenatal supplements provide higher amounts of this nutrient than is appropriate for a breastfeeding mother.
lactation supplements may assist breastfeeding mothers by increasing milk production and alleviating symptoms associated with blocked breast milk ducts. Before making a change to one’s health regimen, however, it’s wise to consult a healthcare professional first.
Although many nursing mothers rely on lactation teas, medications, and cookies as aids for increasing breast milk production, such products often go unregulated and do not undergo rigorous testing to ensure quality and safety. If interested in trying a supplement for themselves they should do so under supervision by healthcare provider or breastfeeding support group.
Fenugreek (also referred to by its Filipino name malunggay) has been studied as one of the best galactagoges. While more research needs to be conducted, a 2017 study revealed that it can increase breast milk supply while simultaneously decreasing engorgement for nursing moms. Fenugreek can be consumed through tea, supplement capsules or in savory recipes such as curries or casseroles.
Brewer’s yeast is another popular lactation supplement available as powder or capsule form, often featured in lactation cookies and beer! According to O’Connor, it “generally considered as good nutritional supplements for nursing mamas”.
For women experiencing low milk supply issues, physicians may prescribe the drug domperidone (Motilium), which works by increasing prolactin levels to promote milk production. While effective, it does carry side effects including nausea and depression so it’s best to discuss it with their health care provider prior to making this choice.
Nursing mothers should also consume an increased intake of iodine and choline, which are found in seafood, dairy products, eggs and iodized table salt. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ Recommendations a breastfeeding woman should consume at least 290 micrograms and 550 milligrams respectively per day of these nutrients.
Boling also advises breastfeeding mothers to focus on eating a well-balanced diet and getting plenty of rest so their bodies can produce high quality milk for their infants. Lecithin found in soy or sunflower based supplements could also aid the flow of breastmilk production, taking it either in capsule form or adding it to smoothies may increase production, she notes. Supplements aside, Boling notes, mothers should focus on producing optimal quality breastmilk production from their bodies by following this advice and following recommendations such as Lecithin supplements to aid production of high quality breastmilk production from their bodies – just one strategy among many.
Though breastfeeding remains the ideal method of feeding her infant, breastfeeding alone doesn’t always work out or women require additional support producing enough milk to meet their infant’s needs. Lactation supplements, commonly known as galactagogues, can increase milk production. They come in the form of herbal or food supplements.
Lactation supplements may help increase nursing women’s milk supply by increasing prolactin levels – hormones which stimulate breastmilk production. Galactagogues come in many forms such as herbs, teas, medications and cookies – with common galactagogues including fenugreek, C. amboinicus and palm date being among them. Pregnant and nursing women interested in using natural milk-producing supplements should consult their healthcare provider first as this professional may advise safe options and any potential interactions or existing conditions that should be avoided due to potential drug-herb interactions or existing health conditions that need be avoided.
People can easily locate lactation supplements at grocery stores and online retailers. DIY options also exist with ingredients like fenugreek tea or eating bowls of mashed fenugreek seeds to increase milk supply; other galactagogues include metoclopramide and domperidone that can be purchased pill or tablet form for greater success in lactation support.
The best lactation supplements are those crafted with a blend of herbs. One such example is Majka lactation powder, which includes blessed thistle, fenugreek, milk and goat’s rue and marshmallow root. Brewer’s yeast may also be added directly into recipes or taken capsule form as another option.
Breastfeeding mothers sometimes believe that certain foods and herbal supplements may increase their milk supply, yet no research exists on their effectiveness or safety. Furthermore, none of these products are regulated by the FDA, leading to inconsistencies in dosage and ingredient quality as well as interactions with medications they are already taking – so always consult a healthcare provider prior to beginning any new supplements.