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Milk Supply Nutrition

Nutrition for breastfeeding

Lactation Cookies, Herbal Teas and Shakes. They claim to increase milk supple but wha does the evidence say?

One of the top common concerns for first time mums is worrying if their baby is getting enough milk. If you are breast feeding, you cannot measure how much your little cherub is gulping down. And, when you are well and truly past the initial phase of your milk coming in (hello double D’s) your breasts can start to feel softer (even when they’re full of milk). This is when mothers most commonly start to have doubts about their supply.

It seems every mothers group has a anecdotal story of how lactation cookies or herbs have boosted her milk supply. Specifically, galactagogues, the substance thought to play a role.

Galactagogues from food sources: as such brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, flax seed meal and whole oats, Milk Thistle.

With lactation cookies and shakes now available on the market, many are wondering, is this really going to make a difference?

Research findings

An meta-analysis looked at Forty‐one RCTs involving 3005 mothers and 3006 infants from at least 17 countries. Findings conclude due to extremely limited, very low certainty evidence, we do not know whether galactagogues have any effect on proportion of mothers who continued breastfeeding at 3, 4 and 6 months

Yet, there is little evidence that the herbs actually work; nor is there evidence that they do not work

So, you could say more high-quality research is needed.

Therefore, it is important to consider a range of factors, including adequate calories and nutrition for milk supply, mother's and baby's health, baby's sucking skills, proper latch and frequency of feeds, can affect milk production. Every attempt should first be made to identify and correct the causes for low milk production before trying a milk booster. And of course including a wide variety of nutritious foods.

What is important to note is that Despite the lack of clinical trial data on the actual increase in measured volume of breast milk production, indicators of breastfeeding adequacy boosted participants’ confidence levels and resulted in psychological benefits.

By Sarah Why, APD, CEDC, owner of The Good Food Clinic




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