What are Galactagogues?

If you think you might have a low breast milk supply, first read our pages:

How breast milk production works

Is my baby getting enough milk?

There are lactation herbs and medications that are used to increase lactation or stimulate milk production in a lactating mother, or in a mother who wants to induce lactation. 

When is a Galactagogue Necessary?

  • It is needed when a mother has a very low milk supply and is using Galactagogues and pumping to produce more breast milk.
  • Used if a mother is working and breastfeeding, and trying to keep her milk supply sufficient. A mother who returns to work, may need the milk expressed for her baby.
  • Inducing lactation: Used when a mother has adopted a baby and wants to induce lactation for breastfeeding.
  • The baby is premature, and is incapable of breastfeeding at the moment. The mother will need to pump and take Galactagogues, until the baby is strong enough to breastfeed.

A lactation supplement is most effective in combination with cue feeding and pumping sessions. 

Safe Galactagogue Herbs Include

  • Goats rue. Used to make a tea (1tsp dried leaves, infused in 1 cup of boiling water for 20 minutes taken twice daily). Goats rue can increase breast milk production and increase the milk flow (let down). Side-effects include sweating, increased urination and sometimes a drop in blood sugar levels.
  • Hops (Humulus lupulus). Best used fresh for increasing milk supply. Helps regulate hormonal productions, which helps increase milk supply.
  • Nettle leaf or capsules. Take two capsules three times a day. This is another mild galactogue and will be more effective taken with other herbal galactagogues.
  • Shatavari.
  • Flax.
  • Soapwort.
  • Burdock.
  • Chaste Berry.
  • Alfalfa. Four capsules three times a day. Alflafa is mild and can be taken with another galactogue. Alfalfa may also cause some digestive changes.
  • Brewers yeast as a galactagogue. Has very few side-effects, but should not be used if the mother has a recurrent yeast problem or yeast infection. Brewers yeast is rich in Vitamin B, amino acids, minerals and iron. Dosage: 3-5 capsules daily.
  • Mothers milk tea.


2 parts fennel.

1 part nettle.

1 part blessed thistle.

1 part fenugreek.

½ part Hops.

Grind the seeds before adding the boiling water to them – seep for 15-20 minutes.

  • Marshmallow (althaea) root. This Galactogue should be used with the other breast milk herbs, to improve their effectiveness.
  • Red raspberry leaf.

Combining two or three of the above-mentioned natural herbal galactagogue, will work better than only using one.

Galactagogue Foods

Lactogenic foods

  • Carrot seeds, beet and yam.
  • Beet leaves, spinach, chicory and other dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Plain Oats and oat straw capsules or liquid extract.
  • Green papaya (simmered until soft).
  • Dill: Can be used in tea or sprinkled on food. (Two tsp of dill seed daily).
  • Raw nuts, flaxseed oil and sesame oil.
  • Water, herbal root-beers, chicory coffee and barley water.
  • Garlic: It has been found that if a mother eats a lot of garlic, it gives the breast milk a nicer taste, which will increase the time a baby spends on the breast, therefore increasing breast milk production.
  • Ginger (should not be taken with any other medication).
  • Sesame seed.

A more in depth list of lactogenic foods.

A Lactation Cookie Recipe

Increase Breast Milk Supply with Galactogue Drugs

Metoclopramide (Maxolon, Pramin, Maxeran)

  • Side-effects on the mother sometimes include: Tiredness, anxiety, cramps on stomach and diarrhea.
  • Can increase breast milk production by 40%.
  • No documented side-effects on babies.

Domperidone for breastfeeding (Motilium)

  • Increases Prolactin levels, therefore increasing breast milk production.
  • Domperidone side effects: Very little side-effects found.
  • It is usually only needed for a short period of time.
  • You can buy Domperidone online, or over the counter. Don’t buy cheap Domperidone (Make sure the supplier is viable.)

Read more about using Domperidone here. 


- Used in conjunction with Metoclopramide and Methyldopa.


  • Can be taken orally as a spray.
  • Helps with milk let down (milk ejection reflex).
  • Read more about Oxytocin.


  • Found in breast milk, but with no noticeable side-effects.
  • Not available in some countries.

Top of galactagogue breastfeeding page

Other pages on "breastfeeding problems" in connection with galactagogues

- Beer and breastfeeding

- Fenugreek and breast milk production

- Using breast massage and breast compression.

- Taking a lactation vacation to increase breast milk supply

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