6 Herbs That Increase Breast Milk Production Naturally
Breastfeeding is a great way for a new mother to bond with her child, and it also offers many health benefits to both the mother and the baby. Though breastfeeding may be a natural process, many new mothers are surprised to learn that it is not entirely trouble-free. In addition to problems with latching on, some women have trouble breast feeding because they have insufficient milk production. Low levels of milk production can be caused by hormonal issues, milk duct size, reactions to medication, or eating large amounts of sage and peppermint. This has been an issue for thousands of years, so there are many tried and tested natural foods that women have used to boost milk production. All of these foods and herbs have been linked to higher levels of milk.
Garlic is part of a group of herbs and foods called galactagogues, which contain chemical compounds that result in more milk production. A 1991 study from the journal, Pediatrics, also found that the flavor of garlic is transferred to breast milk, and most babies nurse more vigorously and longer if a mother eats garlic because they appreciate the change in flavor. A mother’s body naturally produces more milk if there is a demand for it, so longer nursing times stimulate the milk ducts to increase production.
Fennel seeds work to increase milk supply by stimulating the letdown reflex that allows a mother to release milk from the nipple. It is also an herb that can soothe the digestion system, and its digestive effects are so strong that they can also prevent babies from having colic. However, fennel seeds can also suppress appetite, so make sure you are still eating enough calories to produce milk. Keep in mind that the milk stimulating effects of fennel primarily come from the seeds, and not the part of the plant that is eaten as a vegetable.