Beer and Breastfeeding

little boy in blue, beer and breastfeeding

Beer is traditionally known to increase milk supply, but does it actually work and is it safe?

Beer and Breastfeeding

There is a polysaccharide, which is derived from barley in beer (alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer).

The polysaccharide can stimulate prolactin secretion in mothers, therefore, increasing milk supply. Even though it may increase supply, some studies have shown a decrease in milk intake by babies, when their mothers consume alcohol.

It is obviously not a good idea to drink too much alcohol while breastfeeding, but one can benefit from non-alcoholic beer instead, which has the same “milk increasing" effect. 

It is important to remember though, that alcohol on its own, can decrease milk production and decrease the occurrence of let down while breastfeeding. 

What is the Best Dark Beer for Breastfeeding?

Non-alcoholic Guinness or Milk stout.

There are other galactagogues (milk increasing substances, herbs and foods) that (in my opinion) work much better than non-alcoholic beer for breastfeeding, these include:

1.    Lactogenic foods list: This is a list of actual foods such as millet, barley, oatmeal, almonds and much more.

2.    Herbs that increase milk supply: This includes a list of safe herbs to take such as Fenugreek, Goats Rue, Alfalfa, Fennel and more.

3.    Mothers milk tea: The herbs in mother's milk herbal tea, contain phytoestrogens and this substance imitates female lactation hormones.

4.    Oatmeal: Oatmeal contains a fantastic array of nutrients like beta-glucans, phytochemicals, protein, fiber, and carbohydrates.

5.    Taking Fenugreek: Fenugreek contains some plant chemicals that are similar to estrogen (female sexual hormone).

6.    Taking Domperidone: Domperidone increases milk production by stimulating the production of prolactin, which is secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain.

Other Methods

1.    Breast compression: A gentle squeezing technique used to keep the milk flowing into a baby’s mouth.

2.    Babywearing: Allowing a baby full access to the breast. It is especially great for establishing a milk supply.

Before using these to increase supply, a mother should make sure that she actually has a low milk supply. An important read... “is baby getting in enough milk."

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