There are tons of supplements to increase milk supply out there. Fenugreek, nursing teas, tinctures – what are the best ones, and do they actually work? Below is an overview of the best lactation supplements for milk supply available on amazon so that you can pick the one that works for you (and have it shipped to you within a day or two)!
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What to Try BEFORE Taking a Breastfeeding Supplement
There is some amount of risk to trying any breastfeeding supplement. For example, though many women (including me) have seen an increase in supply when taking fenugreek, others have actually seen a decrease.
Therefore, before trying a lactation supplement to increase the amount of milk you pump, I would first try ways of increasing supply that have little or no risk. These include:
- If you’re exclusively pumping, make sure that you’re sticking to your pumping schedule as much as you can, and that you’re pumping at least 120 minutes per day. More on pumping schedules here.
- Do breast compressions while you pump.
- If you’re noticing your supply dropping and you’ve been pumping for a few months or more, try replacing your breast pump parts. They can wear out, and it affects the suction.
- If possible, try power pumping once a day for a week.
- Some women notice that being well hydrated seems to help them pump more milk. You can try drinking water, Gatorade, Body Armor, etc. and see if it helps.
Do Breastfeeding Supplements Work?
Most supplements DO work – for some women.
This is true for pretty much everything having to do with milk supply. It’s not straightforward, and often only way to know if something will work is to try it. Some women see a small boost when they eat oatmeal for breakfast; others don’t. Many moms swear by nursing teas, but they do nothing for other women.
Different things work for different people, so you may just need to try a few things to see what works for you. This article should give you a few different options to start with.
Breastfeeding Supplements to Increase Milk Supply
The best lactation supplements for milk supply on amazon are oatmeal, fenugreek capsules, Mother’s Milk tea, Pink Stork liquid gold, Let There be Milk!, and blessed thistle capsules.
There haven’t been any formal studies as to how effective oatmeal is as boosting milk supply; however, enough women have noticed a difference in milk supply after eating it that it’s widely recommended as a supply booster. Personally, I noticed an increase of 1-2oz per day on the days that I ate oatmeal for breakfast.
Oatmeal has a lot of advantages as a galactagogue – there isn’t any risk to trying it, it’s very affordable, and it doubles as breakfast. The one downside I would say is that its effects are generally limited to the day that you eat the oatmeal, while some other galactagogues (such as fenugreek) you can discontinue after your milk supply increases without any issues.
I’ve had the best results with just having a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. However, if you dislike oatmeal, you can also make lactation cookies or brownies that include it as a galactagogue ingredient. Also, there are a lot of overnight oats recipes that are really good.
Fenugreek capsules are easy to take, there’s a simple way to tell if it’s working, and it’s very effective for a lot of women. When I took it, fenugreek (along with sticking to a strict pumping schedule) helped me get my supply up from 24 oz per day to 35 oz per day.
The dosage that you should start at is two capsules three times per day, and if you don’t smell like maple syrup after a few days, you can increase it to three capsules three times per day. (Smelling like maple syrup is the trick to knowing that it’s working.)
If fenugreek works for you, you should see an increase within a few days of noticing the maple syrup smell.
More information on fenugreek and milk supply is available here.
Mother’s Milk Tea
Mother’s Milk Tea is probably the most ubiquitous and easy to find nursing tea – you might be able to find it in your grocery store if you’d prefer that to amazon.
This tea contains fennel (560 mg), anise (350 mg), coriander (210 mg), fenugreek (35 mg), and blessed thistle (35 mg). It should be noted that these dosages – fenugreek and blessed thistle in particular – are far lower than if you were to take these herbs in capsule form; the tea has less than 10% of what’s in one capsule.
The manufacturer recommends drinking 3-5 cups of tea per day. To make the tea, you steep it in 8 oz of hot water for 10 minutes, and then drink it. It tastes like licorice, and you can sweeten it with sugar or honey or whatever you’d prefer.
(If you don’t like the taste, I made a recipe called “Lactorade” that mixes it with lemon lime Gatorade that might be better.)
Blessed thistle is a plant that is thought to increase milk supply when ingested; these capsules contain the stem, leaf and flower.
Blessed thistle’s effectiveness hasn’t been studied much on its own. Instead, in all of the studies, the subjects have taken both blessed thistle and fenugreek. Therefore, if you decide to try this one, it might be a good idea to try it along with fenugreek.
In the studies, the women who did see an increase in milk supply noticed it within a few days (it ranged between 2-48 hours).
These lactation supplement capsules are 390mg, and the recommended dosage is three capsules three times per day.
Let There Be Milk Best Lactation Liquid
If you don’t like tea, Let There Be Milk! might be a good alternative. It’s a concentrated blend of galactogue herbs, specifically blessed thistle, red raspberry leaf, fenugreek, goats rue, and marshmallow root.
You take it by either adding it to another liquid (they recommend 1-2 oz of the other liquid, and you can mix it with anything from tea, Gatorade, Coke – you’ll want to experiment to see what works best for you as far as taste), or just taking a few drops by itself. I tried it on its own and thought it tasted disgusting, but it was tolerable when mixed with 2 oz of Diet Coke.
The recommended dosage is 1 ml, 4 times per day.
Mommy Knows Best Fenugreek Free Lactation Supplement
Mommy Knows Best makes a great lactation supplement without fenugreek for those who are sensitive to fenugreek or who would prefer not to take it.
It contains a mixture of blessed thistle, milk thistle, goat’s rue, and marshmallow root. One great thing about this supplement is that you one have to take one capsule per day (where with some others, you can be taking two or three several times per day).
Pink Stork Liquid Gold
The last tea is Pink Stork liquid gold, which comes in a really cute tin. It has a lot of the same ingredients as the other teas: blessed thistle, fenugreek, marshmallow root, fennel, anise, spearmint, and licorice. The exact amount of each herb is not specified. Pink Stork claims that in addition to helping boost milk supply, it can help with your baby’s gas.
The manufacturer recommends drinking 1-3 cups of tea per day. To make the tea, you steep the loose leaf tea bag for 5 minutes. The tea bags are reusable (you’re supposed to use each one 3 times). Some users have noted that the bags tear easily, resulting in loose tea in your cup.
Majka Lactation Protein Powder and Protein Bites
If you like to use protein powder, Majka lactation protein powder (also available on Amazon) is a great option. I made the blueberry oatmeal smoothie recipe on their website, and it was really good! The protein powder contains ginger root, fenugreek, and turmeric for milk supply and lactation support.
The lactation bites are meant to be a snack (they are very dense and surprisingly filling) and are made with oats, flax seed, fenugreek, and turmeric for increasing milk supply.
Did I miss any of the best milk supply supplements you’ve used? What has your experience with these been?References
- Bonyata, Kelly, IBCLC. “Fenugreek Seed for Increasing Milk Supply.” https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/herbs/fenugreek/
- Newman, Jack, MD. “Herbs for Increasing Milk Supply” https://www.canadianbreastfeedingfoundation.org/induced/herbs.shtml
- Sim, Tin Fie. “The Use, Perceived Effectiveness and Safety of Herbal Galactagogues During Breastfeeding: A Qualitative Study” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4586661/