Is it an exotic amphibian that lives off the coast of the Maldives?
How about a newly discovered astroid?
Actually…. a galactagogue is a substance that promotes lactation in humans and animals. A term likely only to be familiar to nursing mothers or those interested in helping them lactate.
Of course it’s every mom’s desire that she’ll produce plenty of milk, baby will latch on like a pro, and it will feel like the most natural thing in the world. Sure, in the movies it does….but the reality is that many moms struggle with their milk production and envy the woman bragging about her milk supply cascading out of the freezer. There can be a zillion reasons why a mom has lower than desired milk supply, but if it happens to you, try not to sweat it. Here are some things that can help:
There are several brands on the market, but here are a few popular ones:
This is one that I recommend often, particularly for its refreshing lemongrass minty flavor. The active ingredients consist of the herbs fenugreek, fennel, and aniseed. This company makes high quality tea, and I also love that they’re “passionate about connecting people with plants"
This tea contains a soothing blend of lavender and chamomile, and can easily be found at Whole Foods and other organic markets. It also relies on fenugreek, fennel, and anise to help jumpstart the mammary glands and get things flowing.
This one has the same trio of lactating herbs, plus raspberry leaf and orange peel. It sounds yummy, but I have yet to hear feedback on it.
Neuner’s nursing tea
Available primarily in the UK, this is a great option for our overseas moms. It contains the same primary ingredients plus caraway and verbena. I’m curious to know if this tea is available in Australia as well.
Domperidone, or Motilium, is a prescription anti-nausea and motility drug typically used to address GI disorders. But it’s also been found to be extremely effective in increasing milk production. How does it work? It suppresses dopamine, which is a prolactin inhibitor. Prolactin is the hormone involved in lactation, so more prolactin equals more milk.
Is it proven safe?
The FDA has not yet approved it for use in the US, although it is prescribed in other countries, including the UK, Canada and Australia. In recent years there have been concerns about its safety, due to cases in which the IV form of the drug caused cardiac side effects.
For more info on the use of motillium for breastfeeding, read this article from an Australian pediatrician:
*Talk with your doctor and/or lactation consultant if you are considering using domperidone to increase milk supply, and make sure you are educated on both the advantages and risks*
Fenugreek has long been heralded for it’s benefits to the lactating mother, and can be taken in capsule form. Another way to receive it’s benefits is by drinking one of the teas made for breastfeeding mothers. Make sure to purchase herbs and tea from a reputable place, like Whole Foods.
Oatmeal for breastfeeding?? Crazy but yes, it appears to help! Check out this list of other lactogenic foods to add to your diet: