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.
- 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.
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.
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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